Friday, December 31, 2010
I love the ideas of competition and parents choice.
Is a voucher system the answer?
I do have concerns that vouchers could be a tool to have State Government, (and perhaps even the Federal government), have more control over private schools.
The Federal government has no Constitutional right to be involved in education. (Art. 1, Sec. 8).
The State Constitution is pretty clear that "Neither the state of Utah nor its political subdivisions may make any appropriation for the direct support of any school or educational institution controlled by any religious organization. "
So vouchers couldn't directly help any private religious school, any school accepting vouchers could have more government control, and any private school not accepting the vouchers could be at a disadvantage to those that do.
The Salt Lake County Republican Party Platform states this:
We believe that all children should have access to quality education. Parents have the primary right and responsibility to educate their children, and we support their right to choose public, private, or home education. We support incentives to promote competitive excellence. We encourage cooperative initiatives to help all Utahans become literate in English. We support the prudent and profitable use of school trust lands. We support all interest and dividends from the permanent State School Fund being distributed to each public and charter school to improve student academic performance.
See also the Utah State Republican Party Platform.
Could a bill for vouchers be crafted that solve the stated concerns? Perhaps. We will have to see.
I would be more open to private charity scholarships and/or tuition tax credits, as they are less apt to run a foul of the State Constitution or create more government intrusion. The numbers would have to be looked at and work, as the last thing we want to do is hurt either the students or the teachers. Charter Schools are public schools with more local control. They interest me. We should monitor their progress.
In 1994 I helped a friend with little name recognition, run against a 4 term incumbent. I had been asked to hand deliver flyers. He didn’t have the money to mail them. He won. He name is Ron Bigelow. Even when he had enough money, he still had flyers hand delivered and he personally walked and knocked on as many doors as he could. That is one of the reasons I hand delivered flyers to all 33 County delegate doors this week.
I received a call on Dec. 22nd from a friend who said Robert Gehrke had just tweeted that Rep. Ron Bigelow had been asked to be the State Budget Director. I was shocked. I had just seen him a day or two before. I called Ron on his cell phone. He was surprised that word was out. I congratulated him as I didn’t know anyone that would do a better job for the Governor. While I had considered running in 2012 if Ron didn’t run, I was faced with a choice. I am passionate about the issues - doing what I can to stop what our Federal Government is doing to this nation and this State. I made the choice and I am here.
I grew up in Salt Lake, attended public schools, and graduated from High School. I attended the University of Utah and graduated from what is now known as Salt Lake Community College.
That is where I met my wife Aleta, and we have been married for over 26 years.
We moved to our home in West Valley City almost 24 years ago.
I have been self employed for over 14 years, an architect for 19 years.
Over 8 years ago, I wanted more say in who was on the ballot, and have been an active state party delegate since, even missing a 90th birthday party for an uncle to vote for Jason Chaffetz in 2008 at the State Convention. For over 2 and ½ years, I have actively helped 8 campaigns and have been a top tier campaign leader for 2 state wide races.
One of the areas I love and have been active in is media. Using Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and online News comments to promote issues and campaigns to a wide audience.
For the last 3 years, I have been tracking State bills as part of the Utah AIA government affairs committee.
I am currently the party leg chair for district 32. I have worked with and know several TEA Party leaders and many elected leaders.
Utah is the Best fiscally managed State. We need to continue to improve. The Economy will grow when Government will allow it. In many cases Government is holding business growth back. I see the money spent on buildings and will advocate an improved balance between cost savings and quality to the process.
We need more consensus building and less compromise. If we focus on what we agree on, we can accomplish the most good. I look forward to your questions, and ask for your vote.
Quote from Closing Remarks:
"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge - That myth is more potent than history. I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts - That hope always triumphs over experience - That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe than love is stronger than death."
- Robert Fulghum
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Department of the Interior's announcement today regarding "Wild Lands":
The reaction from US Congressman Chaffetz, Senator Hatch and others:
The reaction from Utah's Governor Herbert:
And has everyone forgot what happened earlier this year? :
This bill authorizes the state to exercise eminent domain authority on property possessed by the federal government unless the property was acquired by the federal government with the consent of the Legislature and in accordance with the United States Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 17.
The ultimate question? What percentage of Utah's land the US Federal Government "owns" was acquired by the federal government with the consent of the Legislature and in accordance with the United States Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 17?
Which says: "... to exercise like [Washington D.C.] Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings ..."
If the answer to the above question is "very little if any", it is time to get the rest back.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tell me what you will do about the 2nd Amendment and what related issues are pending for this session.
A: Fred C. Cox
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
I agree that the right to keep and bear arms is not tied to a militia, it was also to allow us to protect us as families & individuals. The 2nd amendment protects us not only at the federal level, but the state level. Some recent court decisions have helped.
I agree that the commerce clause has been abused by the Federal government, and that the concept of guns and ammo being made and used in a state and therefore not regulated by the federal government is a good step. I would have voted for that on the state level.
In too many cases, the federal government has been ignoring the US constitution and trying to take away [the] rights and powers left to the states and the people. In some cases the states are doing it, and there is a real concern that the international community will continue to try to take away our rights.
Rep. Carl Wimmer has 2 bill requests on this subject, but I have not seen them.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Economy, Fiscal Responsibility, Energy Independence, Education Excellence
Utah is the Best fiscally managed State. We need to continue to improve. The Economy will grow when Government will allow it. In many cases Government is holding business growth back. Education can, will and must improve, but spending more money isn't always the answer.
As a taxpayer, I see the money spent on buildings and will advocate an improved balance between cost savings and quality to the process. I would hope we can reduce costs while still maintaining the quality and also increase the value and number or size of projects.
We need more consensus building and less compromise. If we focus on what we agree on, we can accomplish the most good. We need clean energy, clean air, clean water, clean land and energy independence. We may not agree with each other on all issues. We do need more renewable energy and to save energy.
By being active in politics, we can influence what happens around us. One of the areas I have been active in is media, including Social Media. In politics, I have been and am currently an online media rapid response moderator and/or responder, along with managing several Facebook groups and pages, and using Twitter to promote news to a wider audience, or reducing their impact.
LICENSES AND AFFILIATIONS
• Licensed Utah Architect since 1991
• Licensed Idaho Architect since 2008
• Member of the American Institute of Architects since 1991
• Member of ChamberWest since 2007
PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY SERVICE
• AIA Utah, Government Affairs Committee, January 2008 to present. Assisting with tracking, suggesting, and coordination of bills and regulations affecting the practice of architecture.
• Utah Republican State Delegate 2002-2003, 2005-2011.
• Salt Lake County Republican House District 32 Chair, August 2010 to present
• ChamberWest Regional Chamber of Commerce Government Action Committee
• Campaign Volunteer and/or Consultant for the following:
Ron Bigelow, Utah House of Representatives, 1994 to Nov. 2010.
Jason Chaffetz, U.S. House of Representatives, Utah 3rd District, May 2008 to present.
Kevin Fayles, Candidate for Mayor, West Valley City, UT, 2009.
Dave Hansen, Utah State Republican Party Chair, March 2009 to June 2009.
Cherilyn Eagar, 2010 US Senate Race, May 2009 to May 2010,
Tim Bridgewater, 2010 US Senate Race, May and June 2010.
Morgan Philpot, 2010 U.S. House of Representatives, Utah 2nd District, June 2010 to November 2010.
Daniel W. Thatcher, 2010 Utah State Senate, District 12, August 2010 to November 2010
• Church Based community service
The Salt Lake County Republican Party will be covening a caucus of the Salt Lake County Delegates from Legislative District 32 on Thursday January 6, 2011 at 7:00pm. The Caucus will be held in the Meeting Room at the West Valley Library, 2880 West 3650 South, West Valley, UT 84119. Registration for the meeting will begin at 6:45pm and the meeting will begin promptly at 7:15pm.
The purpose of the meeting will be for the Salt Lake County Delegates in Legislative District 32 to determine the Republican who will be submitted to the Governor for appointment to fill the remainder of the term.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
According to Wikipedia
"Renewable natural gas, also known as sustainable natural gas, is a biogas which has been upgraded to a quality similar to fossil natural gas. A biogas is a gas methane obtained from biomass. By upgrading the quality to that of natural gas, it becomes possible to distribute the gas to customers via the existing gas grid, and burned within existing appliances."
With Kennecott's recent announcement to move to using natural gas for power, and Utah being in the top 10 states with natural gas reserves, what is stopping Utah from promoting what we have and making more?
According to the Salt Lake Tribune:
"The company will retire three coal-fired plants and replace them by 2014 with a gas-fired plant that not only generates electricity but also captures and uses waste heat. Kennecott will gain 100 megawatts of new power, while dramatically reducing pollutants at the company’s refinery, located near the southern edge of Great Salt Lake.
"The proposed changes, which require state approval, would reduce Kennecott’s overall air pollution by 20 percent."
As discussed in The Huffington Post, Utah already has great potential for Solar, Wind and Geothermal, why not add more biogas production to the mix? We seem to have enough hog, cow and turkey farms, along with plenty of generated garbage. We are doing some in this area, what can we do to be better?
Oregano, the solution to the problem, or the problem to the solution?
Monday, December 6, 2010
Most people that want the caucus system changed, there are exceptions, are frustrated that they don't have as much power as people that show up to the caucus meetings. It doesn't take money, you just have to show up.
The fact that Bob Bennett lost this year is actually a good sign.
People that are upset Mike Lee was the GOP nominee should ask themselves if they went to their caucus meetings? Did they vote in the primary when there was a choice between Bridgewater and Lee? Did they go and vote in the General Election?
What we need are more people getting involved earlier, not shutting down the system that protects us from the power hungry people wanting to take over.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
"To the extent that it is cost effective to do so, beginning in 2025 the annual retail electric sales of each electrical corporation providing power across state lines shall consist of qualifying electricity or renewable energy certificates in an amount equal to at least 20% of adjusted retail electric sales."
Utah has Renewable Energy Goals as State Law.
"To the extent that it is cost effective to do so, beginning in 2025 the annual retail electric sales in this state of each electrical corporation shall consist of qualifying electricity or renewable energy certificates in an amount equal to at least 20% of adjusted retail electric sales."
The bill that was passed:
Curtis S. Bramble, Utah State Senator (R), District 16 invited all groups effected or interested that would sit at the table to get involved in the bill. In this case, Senator Bramble was a consensus builder. No one voted against this bill, House or Senate. That is what we need nationally, and it isn't happening.
Does it work? See:
Monday, November 22, 2010
Allow private health care insurance companies and providers to have policies/plans that cross state lines with the following rules:
1. A Limitation of Liability can be set for errors and omissions provided it is at least $250,000 per case and $500,000 per year. All medical disputes between provider/insurer and/or insured shall be submitted to nonbinding mediation unless the parties mutually agree otherwise. Binding Arbitration shall not be forced on any party.
2. Insured can find out the itemized cost of all non-emergency health care in advance and agree to the any and/or all amounts in advance.
3. Insurance and/or Health Care Providers must provide incentives for Preventative Care, Health Savings Accounts and High Deductible accounts.
4. All Health Insurance premiums paid by insured, self-employed or employer are tax deductible at the federal level.
5. All Health Insurance plans are portable, including between employer, or insured locations within the US.
6. There is to be no waiting period for preexisting conditions.
7. Insurance Providers must also provide plans for High Risk patients.
8. Health Care Providers part of this system of allowances and rules can refuse emergency care or free care for non-emergency needs.
9. Insurance and/or Health Care Providers may not be required to pay for abortions.
10. Laws against waste, fraud and abuse by insured/insurance/providers will be enforced.
Friday, November 19, 2010
We may not agree with each other re: Co2 cap/trade, taxes, or our effects on climate.
We do need more renewable energy. Coal is reportedly being removed fast enough in Utah that it could last only 15 to 45 years for use in Utah at current rates.
Many existing coal source locations could shut down soon, and we have increased risk of other mining collapses if they don't.
We will need more electricity to offset a reduction in the use of foreign oil, and we can't afford to just rely on coal.
How much oil and gas is untapped in Utah and can we get it without hurting our state treasures?
Do we have existing dams that we could add hydro power to, without putting more land underwater, hurting our rivers and/or wildlife?
What percentage of the energy we make should be exported? How close to a balance can we get?
It has been pointed out that renewable energy will help the state's economy in places that coal, or gas won't. Renewable energy being added to the mix will increase the life of the Utah coal economy.
Having goals to rely on renewable energy and energy savings to make up the increased demand on power is good.
Why do we make immigration more complicated?
You can't let everyone show up for the same show or there would be no place to sit, and you do need some reasonable security and rules.
If we are going to have a line for people to come to this country, you can't reward those that bypass the line. They need to be sent to the back of the line. That doesn't mean you should stop treating them like people.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
It is time earmarks were no longer the return on investment for big money, incumbents re-election campaigns, or lobbyists.
A city shouldn't have to pay some lobbyist to donate to a campaign fund of someone back in DC to get the help they need from the federal government.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
The US Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, takes precedence over any State or Federal Law, and/or any government agency set of rules. It is time that TSA have their wings clipped.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
We need to remove and not create any rewards and incentives for immigrants to come here and be here illegally.
Immigrants that are here illegally should not have the ability to become United States Citizens prior to those outside the U.S. applying to come legally.
We do need to treat all, even those breaking our laws, as human beings.
Citizenship, if desired and qualified for, must be applied for with the application from the country of origin, (unless qualifying for asylum) and behind those that have been waiting legally there.