Sunday, March 23, 2008

Politics--local and VERY local

As Tuesday, March 25th is the date for precinct caucuses here in Utah, I've been reading up on some of our local races. We've actually got quite a bit going on this year, with primary challengers in our house district race (66), our senate district race (13), and our federal congressional race (Utah's Third Congressional District).

It's not a surprise that Chris Cannon has an intra-party challenge again--people haven't been particularly pleased with Congress as a whole, and Rep. Cannon doesn't have the highest approval ratings in the world. This year there are two gentleman running against him for the Republican "nomination"--David Leavitt (our former governor's brother) and Jason Chaffetz (a former Chief of Staff for our current governor).

I believe that all three of these gentlemen are patriots, wishing to serve the country as best they can. I believe that all three want to protect our country from trouble within and without. I believe all three are honorable, upstanding citizens. So in this case, I'll be making my choice based on another criteria--fiscal responsibility. I personally haven't been pleased with Congress in that regard in the past several years, and I am considering voting against Chris Cannon for that reason--message-sending and all that. However, I won't just blindly vote for "anyone-but". According to both the challengers' websites, they are against the type of spending we have seen recently. Specifically, Chaffetz supports presidential line-item veto power over "pork barrel" earmarks. More research and information must be gathered before I am willing to commit to any of the three.

More locally, Senator Mark B. Madsen (senate district 13) has a challenger, J. Lane Henderson. I haven't been able to find much information about Mr. Henderson, but possibly he is (or was) mayor of Salem. I like Senator Madsen, though, and agree with many of his stances (as well as a voter-identification law he sponsored this session), so for now I don't see myself switching away from him.

Even more locally, Rep. Mike Morley (house district 66) has a challenger, Chance Williams. I can find no information about Mr. Williams beyond this quote in the Deseret News:
"I got tired of reading all the articles about (Rep.) Mike Morley (supporting a bill) that would benefit his construction company," said Chance Williams, a Republican candidate in District 66 running against the Republican Morley. "I want to see people working for legislation that would sincerely benefit the people."
I'm not familiar with this objection, and a quick search of the Deseret News archives (search terms Mike Morley and construction) leads to two articles--one which only mentions Rep. Morley in the comments (a forum I'm not inclined to put great trust) and one which discusses possible conflicts of interest and praises Rep. Morley for his "thorough" disclosure form. So, unless I discover more about this situation, I'm pretty comfortable supporting Rep. Morley.

I'm hoping to be a county delegate again this year--I had such a great time doing it for the last two years. Maybe even a state delegate--that would be an amazing experience. We'll see. Even if I don't get that opportunity, I'm really looking forward to the caucus Tuesday.

[Update: Be sure to read the comments--there is a lot of good information there]


UtahTeacher said...


Thanks for running the Bloghive by the way. I love it!

Rep. Morley and former Rep.'s Ferrin and Way are as self-serving as Rep. Tilton on a smaller scale than the possible billions from the nuclear plants. They made $500,000, $600,000, and $700,000 from three separate charter school transactions in the first few paragraphs of this Jan. 27 Tribune article. It's just sad.

UtahTeacher said...

OK, I'm an idiot. My link is too long and I don't know what to do. Just go to my blog and see the post made on Feb. 18, but titled "Jan. 27 Tribune Article on Legislators Profiting on Charter Schools...referenced in my post above"

The Trib doesn't leave articles up after a couple weeks, so I just cut and pasted the text.

Keryn said...

utahteacher--thanks for the links (and you're not an idiot; I have no idea how to link in a comment at all. I let Bradley do the heavy lifting on all things computer!).

I read through the article from the SLTrib, and I agree that I would like to find out more about it. There are examples of generous dealings on his behalf, as well as un-generous dealings, in the article. So I'm not sold on his moral turpitude based on this article. I'll have to look more into it.

Thanks for your blog, as well. It's good to read someone who focuses so much on education--such an important topic!

Mdot said...

Decent take on things. Let me tell you that I am overtly supporting Cannon for a number of reasons.

1-He's the MOST effective legislature that Utah has ever seen in the House. Cannon has had 15 sponsored bills passed and signed into law. Matheson has ZERO as does Bishop. If we send back a freshman we'll have 3 Reps from the state that have never had a bill signed. That's doing Utah a HUGE injustice.

2-Cannon co-sponsored the same Line Item Veto Act that Mr. Chaffetz claims to support.

3-Chaffetz calls himself a Republican but he lives in Congressman Matheson's district. He probably said to himself, "Who's the most vulnerable guy out there and that's who'll I'll run against." He doesn't live in the 3rd District.

4-Cannon is a fighter. Leavitt says that he'll go back to DC and be statesman-like and be a reasonable voice in Congress. He likens himself to John Boehner from Ohio. Well, Boehner is a good person but remember that we lost the House under the watch of such leadership. Cannon comes from the mold of Gingrich and others that can articulate the differences and stand on principles. We can't send a Kum Ba Yah candidate in Leavitt.

5-Newt Gingrich said in a mtg that if DC had more people in it like Cannon, we wouldn't be in the mes that we're in right now. If there is some frustration out there we should be taking it out on people that are the problem - Mr. Matheson and others (I tried saying this to Chaffetz but he didn't want to listen).

My list can go on and on...

Keryn said...

mdot--thanks for your comment, and for all the information! I've actually been contacted by Fred Piccolo, Communications Director for Rep. Cannon, with a lot of the same information that you posted. I'll be putting up a post based on my emails with Mr. Piccolo later this morning.

I've also been contacted by Deidre Henderson, Utah County chair for Jason Chaffetz's campaign. She has sent me information that I'll be posting later this morning as well.

Mdot said...

I'd love to hear what additional information. I went to a mtg with Chaffetz where he was beating up on Cannon for missed votes. I asked Cannon about that looking for some clarification. He wouldn't mention specifics but his staffer showed me copies of press releases and a graph indicating when the votes were missed.

Ironically Cannon missed votes when his youngest daughter was born and then again when his oldest daughter was sick or when she passed away. Sorry, but you CANNOT tell me that it's more important to be in Congress than with your daughter and family when she dies. That's heartless that he even brings that up.

Jason The said...

As a liberal, I'd obviously prefer a Democrat elected. That said, as a Utahn, I would even be encouraged if voters would at least start being more picky with their Republicans.

Cannon is an embarrassment to the state in so many ways, the most obvious of which is his tendency to parrot what the "big boys" in Washington tell him to think. I've followed the man for years very closely, and I have never heard an original thought come from his lips. Utah deserves more.

If it's still too early to recognize that the GOP has strayed from the values we hold close as citizens of this state, let's at least start demanding integrity and real representation from the Republicans we elect.

Baby steps, as they say. Great post, by the way. Good info here.