Davis County Convention

12 Apr 2008

The 2008 Davis County Republican Party Convention is over. Of the eight candidates (including myself) who were running for the Senate District 23 seat, only two remain, and will face each other in a primary election. Those two cadidates are Dan Liljenquist and Ronald Mortensen. You read that right, I’m out of the race.

It was a lot of fun for me. I regret that there was so little time (merely 17 days) between the caucauses and the convention. This made it nigh on impossible to speak with the bulk of the 270+ delegates who voted in my race. It didn’t help that I fell ill and lost a little over a week’s worth of working time to it. Several friends were trying to put together “Meet the Candidate” events for the delegates in their areas, but with so many people getting sick and everyones’ busy lives, they were never able to get things together.

I met many good people, made associations that I will treasure for years to come and thouroughly enjoyed talking with people about a wide variety of issues.

One question that many have asked me, of course, is, “When and where will you run again?” The answer is that I will probably run again. Exactly where and when I do not, yet, know. I learned a lot from this first experience and will, hopefully, be able to better prepare for a future race.

It was certainly a worthwhile experience. Many, many people have expressed their appreciate for my speeches and discussions. I know that even though I am no longer in the running, that I had a profound effect on the race and on a great many persons’ viewpoints. That is a very rewarding and humbling feeling for me. I am very grateful to all those who have supported my effort.



Taxes

26 Mar 2008

First of all, we must always keep in mind that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Taxes are necessary. It is, however, the responsibility of the Government to ensure that taxes do not over-burden the taxed, whether individual or business.

I believe that there are far too many taxes in Utah. It costs money to collect the vast array of different taxes. It is a burnden to business where the costs of ensuring that proper compliance and payments have been made often exceed the amount of tax paid.

Our Government needs to reduce and simplify the tax system to something comprehensible, economical to administer and fair to all.



Privacy

26 Mar 2008

Government must not invade nor circumvent individual privacy. I and many others haven written extensively over the past several years of the dangers inhereant in many of the directions our Federal Government has pursued since the terrible attacks upon us, September 11, 2001.

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

This is a difficult issue for many. I simply see that if we allow the continued erosion of our basic freedoms and privacy, the United States of America will become a police state sooner than we might realize.



Infrastructure

26 Mar 2008

It is important that the people have reliable infrastructure for society to function and grow. Roads are one type of important infrastructure. Water, sewer and electrical service are others that are quite often recognized. Fire, police and ambulatory services are also very important parts of our infrastructure.

One type of infrastruture upon which all of the rest now depend is telecommunications. The 100+ year old model of a government regulated monopoly no longer works in this day and age and is no longer necessary. The technologies have advanced beyond the point where this model made sense.

Our government needs to cease actions that protect these ancient, 19th and 20th century monopolies. There are better ways.

We in Utah are developing a problem with overcrowded roads. We’re not yet at the point where it will be a crisis. There are many other states whose cities are far worse off than we. Still, that’s no excuse to wait until the need is upon us. We must be proactive and find solutions to these looming infrastructure issues.

Road congestion could be eased considerably if there were other good resources to permit large business to locate some of their large facilities in less crowded areas. We are building a new road and the new commuter rail (long overdue) is ever closer to opening up service.

The UTA public transportation system was, 10 years ago, a system to be envied. It was convenient, efficient, affordable and safe. Since the introduction of light-rail, which was, and remains, a good idea despite it’s poor execution, UTA has all but completely destroyed it’s once good name. Costs have soared and services dwindled.

Telecommunications infrastructure is of critical importance to society, today. Not only because so many other infrastructure systems rely upon it, but also because businesses and individuals need fast, affordable, reliable access to local and global information. The UTOPIA Community MetroNet is an example of how we can properly provide such infrastructure.



Education

26 Mar 2008

Many, many people have been asking me about education. I am very grateful that they have also shared their views and ideas. Those discussions have already, in this early stage of my campaign, help expand my viewpoint. There are ideas that I had not encountered before, many of which have good merits.

I believe that education is the great key to a stable, prosperous, self-sufficient society.

In 2006-2007, Utah’s K-12 education system ranked 38th among the 50 states.

In 2005, education in the United States ranked 13th in the world.

According to EducationWeek’s January 2007 report, Utah ranked 20th among the 50 states in the liklihood that a student born and educated here would “succeed” in life. Not too bad, but I know that we can do better.



Transparency

26 Mar 2008

Many politicians do seek input from their constituency. This is very good. However, very few provide much, if any, communication back to those they are to represent. They hold various meetings behind closed doors. What was discussed?

We have a system of representative government. True representation, however, requires transparency and two-way communication.

I hereby vow to conduct my campaign and my service in office as transparently as possible. I will share information regarding the topics and substance of all meetings, conversations and communications which relate to any work I do as your State Senator.

I hereby vow to communicate with those I represent, to provide them with information as issues, bills and conversations evolve, to listen to the true desires of the majority of those I represent, to vote according to my constituents viewpoints.

I ask only the you, too, participate in this process and provide me with true information such that I may take good action.



Family

26 Mar 2008

We in Utah are lucky. Our legislative bodies have not (yet?) attempted to legislate some of the anti-family practices we’re seeing in other states. But we need to be vigilant and not allow ourselves to peer over the edge of this particular slippery slope.

Government should not meddle in the family. Parental rights are very important to me. The parents and the family as a whole are the best resource we have. They can teach, nurture, encourage, support and develop their children, crafting model citizens who have learned to do the same for their children. When governments start reaching inside of families, it seems inevitable that the impact will be destructive, despite the best of intentions.

Of course, it is still necessary, at times, to protect children from heart-wrenching situations and environments. We must always be careful when stepping in to break up a family and make sure it’s only done when no other reasonable options remain.

You shouldn’t be taxed because a loved one died. The people shouldn’t feel that their government is treating them with utter disdain. Does it feel as though your government says, “We’re very sorry for your loss, but we’re going to take some ridiculous percentage of the estate,” I want to permanently end estate and inheritance taxes.



Running for Utah Senate District 23

17 Mar 2008

Earlier today, I registered to run for the Utah State Senate in district 23.

I am not a politician. I have no desire to be a career politician, as in, I am not running in order to “play the game.” The game is not what truly interests me. Of course, there is a game and at times it must be played, though, I will endeavor to minimize those.

I believe that Government of, by and for the people should follow these core values:

  • Family First
  • Transparency of Representative Government
  • Education
  • Provide infrastructure
  • Protect individual privacy
  • Reduce and eliminate the over-taxation of businesses and individuals
  • Spend, save and invest wisely
  • Encourage business and trade

I am running because I feel that more can be and needs to be done for these values. There has been much good legislation in Utah, there have been some questionable items and some that bring more serious cause for concern.

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.