Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Salt Lake Magazine Write Up of 3rd CD

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Governor Huntsman Would Make Opposite Choice Than Lobbyist Cannon

On Joe Cannon's Lobbying Brother Rep. Chris Cannon:

Rebecca Walsh reported on Out of Context, "If I were in that position, I would not have been lobbying a family member," Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. said Wednesday.

See entire blog

Flashback: "
Chris Cannon is wrong. Chris Cannon is so wrong that he sounds as though he is willfully blind to his ethical dilemma."

Issues Ripe for Debate in Congressional Oversight Committees

When all three branches of government are controlled by one party, oversight goes out the door and so do checks and balances. Read about issues that would be investigated when there are good checks and balances are back in the Congress here.

Listen to the Military and Diplomatic Professionals

Our policy decisions need to be based on sound advice and pragmatic concerns. We need to stop the Rovian model of making policy decisions based on how it advances a political agenda. See how our military and diplomatic professionals are being ignored by partisan leaders in Washington here.

The Abramoff Galaxy

The Washington Post has a nice graphic on the tangled web of Jack Abramoff. How far does his web stretch?

Here is a timeline .

Sunday, August 20, 2006

College Students: Lets rise up and get you some real representation in Washington

Politicians ignore you. There are almost 100,000 of you in the 3rd district. A total of about 150,000 people are projected to vote in this district in November. Read this article to see how bad you have it. Lets get together and get you the help you need so you can live the life you want.

To help make a difference go here.

Who is Christian Burridge?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

SL Trib Denounces Rep. Cannon's Ethics

Today the Salt Lake Tribune denounced Rep. Chris Cannon in an Editorial here. The Editor pointed out,

"Chris Cannon is wrong. Chris Cannon is so wrong that he sounds as though he is willfully blind to his ethical dilemma. We believe, however, that the voters of Utah's 3rd Congressional District are not so blind and, if asked, would hold their elected representative to a higher standard."

We agree.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cannon Brothers' Ethics Questioned

A story ran all over the country today about the ethical considerations of Joe Cannon, Utah State Republican Party Chairman lobbying his Brother and former business partner Rep. Chris Cannon. See the SL Tribune here. On KSL's Nightside Project Chris Cannon was asked if he would stop letting Joe Cannon lobby him. Chris Cannon said "No."

Let me tell you why congressional ethics rules are important and should not be just discarded. Congress has ethics rules prohibiting appearances of impropriety and conflicts of interest so the American people don't lose faith in the system. It is not the issue as to whether or not they do anything that is improper it is the appearance of impropriety that does the system in. Federal Judges recuse themselves from cases all the time for merely appearances and not actual real bias or conflicts. In fact, they are ethically obliged to do so. The same applies for our members of Congress.

Rep. Cannon says that Joe Cannon works for one of the "biggest law firms in the world." If Joe Cannon's firm is so huge, why can't they send over another lobbyist to avoid the ethical questions? It better not be because it is inconvenient, you don't dodge your ethics because of convenience.

Rep. Cannon says he cannot control his brother. Well a congressman can control his office and Joe Cannon's firm has other lobbyists. I call on Rep. Cannon to do the right thing and take the less convenient course and avoid the appearance of impropriety

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Youngest State In Nation Needs Voice for Future

Utah again ranked as the youngest state in the nation. Look at a recent Deseret News article about our state. We need a voice that will fight for our future. This week I received a unanimous endorsement from the Utah Educators Association. My opponent did not receive this distinction. What UEA knows about me--after almost an hour and a half of being questioned by their leadership panel--is that is that I have a vested interest in our public schools. My first daughter will start kindergarten next year. I am in this for the long haul. We need a congressman that sees the big picture. Someone who does not treat their position in Congress as a hobby or a nice pseudo-retirement option. But someone who is willing to work full-time for our future. Here are some issues where my opponent and I differ:

  • I am absolutely opposed to ANY nuclear testing in Nevada.
  • I am opposed to any centralized control of our school curriculum in NCLB.
  • I am in favor of keeping Pell Grants and Student Loans in line with rising costs of tuition.
  • I am in favor of capping guaranteed bankruptcy proof student loan interest at 4%.

Let's fight for our future together.

Friday, August 11, 2006

We Need Ethics Reform in Congress

As I travel the district I often hear that many people have lost interest in the political process. I have often wondered: why? People feel that they don't have a voice, that it does not matter what they say or do because the lobbyists in Washington are going to get what they want anyway so one might as well just be apathetic. This is exactly the attitude that the special interests in Washington want--voters to feel powerless and let the first pigs that can rout their way to the trough to get the goods. This is a very dangerous trend and leads to destabilization of our democracy. That is why I stand for comprehensive ethics reform.

I call on my opponent to do the same.

  • We need an independent commission to investigate Ethics misconduct in Congress.
  • We need to impose an effective gift and travel ban.
  • We need to end the money chase. This means public financing for candidates running for federal office.
  • We need to slow the revolving door. This means effective time limits from jumping from K Street into Congress or senior staff positions or from Congress or senior staff positions to K Street. David Safavian was a gambling lobbyist working for Jack Abramoff when Congressman Cannon hired him to be the 3rd District's Chief of Staff. Then after Congressman Cannon took money from gambling interests and then then voted on gambling legislation Safavian went back to Abramoff and his other gambling clients. Later Abramhoff took a deal and is now in prison. Safavian took another job with the administration, was later indicted, went to trial and was convicted and is now in federal prison. The Third District deserves better.
  • We need to shine a light on lobbyist activities. Sunlight is always the best disinfectant.

For more on this topic visit Common Cause.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

America wants a new Congress

Delay Cuts and Runs From Race

Delay vows to cut and run from Texas and go live next to the beltway in Virginia. The Hammer said, "As a Virginia resident, I will take the actions necessary to remove my name from the Texas ballot. To do anything else would be hypocrisy...." Since when was Delay worried about hypocrisy?

Legendary Voice of KSL: Don Gail Blasts Partisan Politicians in Power

Utahns should reconsider the morality of the leadership in Washington. Read Don Gail's piece here.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

No Multi-Millionaire Left Behind

Marrying the elimination of the estate tax to an increase in the minimum wage is unconscionable. It is another bait and swich proposal and bamboozels the American people. It is the story of Robin Hood--in reverse--it steals from the poor and gives to the rich. Lets compare the two proposals:

  • according to the Economic Policy Institute the average increase in pay for a worker on minimum wage is $1100.00 a year. Though if one worked all year round it could be as high as $4400.00 a year.
  • Increasing the minimum wage would affect 6.6 million people.

On the other hand,

  • Making permanent the Paris Hilton tax cut would only apply to 8200 people.
  • Their windfall: the average is $1,300,000.00 with 90 estates getting as high as $5,400,000.00 in 2011.

These windfalls and irresponsible give-aways must be paid for in the future. While the politicians in power have their cake and eat it too, our next generations get to pay the credit card bill. How much will it cost the U.S. Treasury? $300,000,000,000.00. By raiding the treasury to give Paris Hilton more of her daddy's money, this policy eventually shifts the tax burden to working families. By the way, my opponent--who stands to benefit himself from this bill as he is a multi-millionaire--voted for this bill which according to a Salt Lake Tribune Editorial is sure to die in the Senate. It is time to disconnect these measures and pass a meaningful minimum wage increase with no strings attached.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Spring City Pioneer Day

Gearing up for Spring City Pioneer Day Parade
Meeting the Folks of Spring City
Celia and Alma celebrating their Pioneer Ancestors

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Horseshoe Mountain Pottery

I first met Joe Bennion at the Sanpete County Convention in Manti early in the campaign season. I was happy to go and buy some hand crafted pottery from Joe at his shop called Horseshoe Mountain Pottery on the main drag in Spring City in Sanpete County. Spring City is the most well preserved village based on Mormon settlement patterns in Utah. Here are directions. Joe makes fine hand crafted pottery in a shop that is based on the honor system. This means if no one is around to tend shop a customer can come in and leave their money on the counter and take some pottery. Go visit his shop, it is worth the drive all by itself.

Richfield Town Hall in May

In May of 2006 I was invited to take part in a town hall meeting in Richfield. You can watch it here.