Live Blogging from the URA

I am now sitting at the URA meeting at the South Jordan Library.

What is the URA?

I first heard about the Utah Republican Assembly (URA) from my friend on Facebook. And I became interested in what it was.

As David Pyne is describing right now, the URA’s main purpose it so elect conservative Republicans in the state of Utah. It a part of the larger National Federation of Republican Assemblies.

1:25pm

Opened with Pray and Pledge of allegiance.

1:30pm

Reading of the Rules for this convention.
They were adopted.

1:35pm – Don Ruzicka, founding URA President on the “History & Purpose of URA”

Politics is a struggle of power.  We fight battle to maintain power.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.  When asked what kind of government have you givein us, Benjamin Franklin said: We have given you a Republic.  If you can keep it.

“If you can keep it” means that we cannot become complacent.  If all we do is complain out our leaders and don’t do anything about it, then we can’t succeed.

The Republican Assembly was started  because of the modertation of the Utah Republican Party.  They followed models from Arizona, California, and Nevada.

At the time the Republican party was on the wrong course, as it is today.  And it was doing everything it could to destroy it’s success.  The only way to change it was to change the people who lead it.

We are to become a shadow organization to parrellel the party to help change it.  We have been successful.  To the point of having almost total control of the party.  And we made sure things got done.

Politics are the same now as they were then.  And orginazation like the assembly has the job to get people organized to move the party back to it’s conservative roots.  Many people have been disaffected by what the party has done.  And we have a chance to unify the party and bring back the disaffected.

Aggressive activism with smart and aggressive planning can help us to achieve our goal.

From the originaly URA Brochure:

“Government is not reason, it’s not about eloquence.  It is force, like fire it is a dangerous servance and master” – George Washington.

“A moderate is a politically dangerous person who rationalizes that compromise is more important than principle” – Don Ruzicka.

Join us, if you share our commitment and concern to steer the Republican Party back to it core principles.  We are not interested in talk, we are interested in action and results.

1:50pm –  Elections of Officers

Sorry I had to leave for a few minutes, so I missed the speeches from David Pyne (out going URA President) and Mike Thompson (in coming URA President.

2:15pm – Senator Margaret Dayton – “The Future of Conservatism in Utah”

We blessed to live in the great state.

“The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.” – Thomas Jefferson.

The people who oppose torture also speak about partial birth abortion as important for our society, and it is something that I (Sen. Dayton) don’t understand.

Since it is Mother’s day Sen. Dayton shares a picture of her mother when she graduated from college.  Then shares a story about her mother as planes through over head as they folder a flag from her father’s coffin, and presented it to her mother.  This was a defining moment in Dayton’s mother’s wife.  Then she shares a picture of her father.

The best thing that we can do it take on the things that our parents taught us and pass them on to the next generation.  We need to be advocates for the things we care about and that matter to us.  All legislatures swear an oath to the constitution.  We are not to take our oaths lightly, because we will be held accountable for those oaths.

We need to know the constitution and align ourselves with like minded people.  Some groups are the Patrick Henry Caucus, the Tea Parties that are going on and the NRA.

Dayton has been fighting against the battle for the federal government to control our lives.  The current administration is seek to control more through amendments to the No Child Left Behind Act.

We must use talk radio, education, and our own passionate commitment to our conservative principles to move our principles forward.

Dayton and her husband have been reading about the American Revolutionary War, and has been inspired by it.  Washington seemed to have everything against him before crossing the river for a surprise attack on Christmas.  The important thing to note is that there were a lot of people living in the Colonies who did not support the war, but it was the right thing to do.

To quote Don Ruzicka, Politics is war, it is not a social club or an art, and we need to proceed like General Washington.

She concludes by sharing a post card that said that said, “freedom comes at a tremendous cost” with a picture of Arlington Cemetery, then the words “Don’t worry, a friend has picked up the tab for you.”

2:40pm – Steve Harmsen, former S. L. County Council President – “What I Hope to Accomplish if I am Elected State Republican Chairman.”

I have not left the Republican Party, the Republican Party has left me.  I am the only candidate for State Chair that can bring the Party back.

I want to make this a bottom up party, instead of a top down party.  I want to make delegates 365-day a year delegates, instead of 6-hour (during the convention) delegates.  I want to strengthen the neighborhood caucuses.

Money has compromised our party principles and the preservation of power.  Hermes posulated the things come in cycles.  We are in a cycle, but that does not mean that we need to become moderates to succeed. Rather we need leaders who will represent the conservative principles of the party.

Here is what I would put on the talbe to allow delegates to assume their position of power.  All of the assets would be made available to all delegates.  I would emphasize the Internet; we need to use the Internet to get out the message of the Party.

I am running to represent the delegates who represent the views of the people who elected them to run.  Other candidates are representing the people who “tapped” them for this position. (Not Harmsen’s exact words, but definitely implied).

I have the managerial competence to do this job.  I will maintain a fair a flat playing feild for all Republicans, and put the delegates in their rightful place at the head of this party.

3:00pm – Morgan Philpot (former State Representative) – “Why I am Running for State Vice Chairman”

Form – These are the issues (like the Constitution, Declaration of Independence).

Ideology – This is what drive the forms.  These are the beliefs and ideas that lead us in creating these forms.

Spirit of Liberty – Is the ideology that we should use to guide our ideologies.

Quote for the Declaration of Independence, then declares that he is here to win so that he can lead the cause of the Spirit of Liberty.  In having the spirit of liberty, we will win the battle.  We are not called to lose, but to have the faith to win.

Quotes Oliver Cromwell, who fought for the good old cause over the pompous leaders of his generation.

3:10pm – Congressman Merrill Cook – “The Abuses of the Federal Reserve, Fannie and Freddi Seen up Close from the Vantage of the U.S. House Banking Committee”

Cook served 4 years on the House Banking Committee, so he has had a chance to see the Federal Reserve up close and personally.

Liberty is important when it comes to economic endeavors.  It plays an important role in capitolism.

There is no constitutional basis for the economic system we have, where the congress is in control of our money.  The Federal Reserve is not a vital part of our economy.  There are alternatives to the Federal Reserve and restore freedom and have a strong economy.

Bernake has admitted that we are printing money out of thin air.  The only reason that inflation isn’t going crazy right now, is because the productive capacity is greater than the economic activity is.  When demand meets the capacity, we will see up to 30% inflation in under 1 year (possibly a month).

It’s not a bad idea to put the constitution back in charge, and allow banks to fail, and to put congress back in its place.  The President isn’t asking the congress any more to even print more money, because we have the Federal Reserve.

3:25pm – Representative Greg Hughes

When I was elected, it was an economic down turn, and there were many bills calling for increased fees and taxes.  And many of these were passing despite the “conservative” members of congress.  So, we decided to have a conservative caucus with an open door, where people could work together to increase conservative values being represented in Congress.  This caucus started to drive policy leading to more conservative use of taxpayers money.

We helped pass school reform in vouchers.  We also passed State spending limitations, allowing the government only to increase it spending in a more conservative way.  We have fought several other caucuses in keeping taxes lower than many were proposing.

The Future of the Republican Party.

The Tea Party’s were an organic movement of the people speaking out against the direction of government.  We need this kind of statement.

I was disappoint with the Republican’s when they had control of the Congress and the White House, and they didn’t represent our values.  It is the democrats and the media that are saying that the Republican Party need to come more to the left.

There is a lot of angst at Sen Arlen Spector’s switching of parties.  I know this from my experience in politics in Pennsylvania.  Spector moved over, because he knew that he was going to struggle in the next election if he kept his alignment with the Republican Party.

The Senate now only knows one note: “Me, Me, Me, Me, Me.”  We have gone so far astray from Reagan’s big tent.

The tent as I remember wasn’t, if you love small government and big government then come on in.  Reagan Republicans were working men and women who agreed with his principles of self-determination and self-governance.

We have the party that will captivate Americans and Utahns that will direct this country.

The social conservative isn’t what has ruined our party.  Think about the social liberal.  Where is the cry against the social liberals and the direction that they are taking this country.  We are playing defense on this issue, and the other side gets a pass.  We need to get more direct in what our party is about.

3:40pm – Representative Chris Herrod – “The Importance of the 2010 Election Cycle”

When I was 16, I went on a BYU semester abroad to Europe, and I saw the barbed wire into hungary, and I say the berlin wall, and walked across the Charlie Checkpoint, and I was grateful for the country that I lived in.

A second experience was in 1992, I had finished my Master’s at BYU, and I went to the Ukraine after the fall of the Soviet Union.  I asked my class, while there what they thought about their freedom.  The 19 women answered that until I can own my home, I am not free.  She understood the importance of property rights.

The final reason this election cycle is important was when I saw a police officer harrassing some children who were trying to sell biscuits.  They hadn’t paid their “protection money.”  I tried to help these kids, and I was arrested. (This was in Russia.)  When they saw my American passport they finally let me go.

Government is starting to take over free enterprise.  And this is our fight, and we need to put our life and our livelihood on the line to protect the freedoms that we have.

We are losing freedom as our banks are being nationalized.  You control an economic system if you control the banks.  I have begun to fear for my family and my livelihood as this control is changing.

The 2010 cycle may be the last chance we have to restore these freedoms.  In the conservative movement we are too concerned with our petty difference.  We need to over look that to make a difference in the 2010 cycle.

3:55pm – Representative Craig Frank

The NFRA’s elephant is in an attacking mode.  I like that better than the “sleepy” elephant the the RNC currently uses.

My mother used to put sayings like: “Do Nothing, Say Nothing, Be Nothing” at children’s eye hieight.  And that lead me to be the type of representative I wanted to be.

When I first arrived in the legislature, I saw several who kept voting no.  And I saw myself being drawn to them.  From this we have created the conservative caucus to help lead the conservative principles in the house.

In the front of my Pocket Constitution there is a quote: “The power under the constitution will always be in the people.  It will be entrusted to representative of their own chosing…” If they don’t represent then it is the power of the people to recall their representatives. – George Washinton

I am on facebook to reach a segment of the population under 30.  We need to reach this group.  Pres. Obama won because of this population.  He reached out the them through facebook, twitter, and blogging.  We need to take an offensive position, and take on the fight like this elephant.  We are missing 12 years of Republican here.

4:10pm -Thomas Wright, Salt Lake County GOP Chair (impromptu invitation to speak).

I am excited to getting out and working to get our values more represented in our precinct meetings. It’s my hope that recommit ourselves to the grassroots efforts to getting our message out.

Larry Meyers, Immediate Past President – “What Conservatives Need to Do to Win the 2010 Election”

We need to stay inspired and stay within the fight.  It is easy to get inspired.

I think of Patrick Henry, he was a lot like us.  He was just a little guy.  He didn’t have a lot of money, just a regular country lawyer.  But most of all he stood up for what he believes in, and he went up against the establishment in the House of Burgesses.

He was able to do a lot to represent his people.  We are each Patrick Henry’s.  Don’t be afraid to stand up for freedoms.

4:20pm – Mike Thompson, Closing Remarks

We are challenged to bring someone into the URA.  This is important to us with elections coming up.  We want to see Morgan elected as Vice Chair of the State Party.  Morgan is the type of leader that can bring the party back to where it needs to be.

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My Early Voting Experience

I voted today. And it seemed to go really well. There were two main things I like about early voting.

The first, and perhaps the most obscure to some readers, is that I got to show my ID. Yep, photo ID is required to vote in you early vote. I with that it was required to vote any time. So, it was my great honor to show my ugly driver’s license photo to the friendly poll workers.

The second thing I liked about early voting was that the lines were short. The prediction is that this is going to be one of the biggest turn out for voting in recent history. So, the polling places are going too be packed. I was in an out of my polling place in just under 30 minutes.

There are also some other incidental nice things about early voting. The people in line seemed in a better mood. Perhaps, it’s because they got to choose when they were there, and not forced into a time frame mandated by others. The volunteers were ver pleasant. Usually, the seemed rushed and unhappy. Today, they were very nice and glad to see me. Perhaps, I just got lucky. It is also nice to know that my vote is cast.

If you are interested, here were my votes:

President: Chuck Baldwin
3rd District Represenative: Jason Chaffetz
Governor: Jon Huntsman, Jr.
Attorney General: Mark Shurtleff
State Treasurer: Richard Ellis
County Mayor: Mike Renkert
County Council: Steve DeBry
County Council: Michael Jensen

State Constitution Amendment A: Yes
State Constitution Amendment B: Yes
State Constitution Amendment C: Yes
State Constitution Amendment D: Yes
State Constitution Amendment E: Yes

Proposition #1: No
Proposition #2: No

Anyway, I encourage you to get out and vote early. I would guess that the lines are going to get longer day by day. So, get out soon, for your own sanity.

Apologies to Todd at the Utah GOP Blog

Perhaps I reacted before I had all the information. But Todd of the Utah GOP said that my comments must have been marked as Spam (can’t figure out why), and that he deletes all Spam comments without checking. Thus, my comments on the bailout were deleted for nothing more than a technical error.

So, let me offer an apology to them. Perhaps I should have talked to them first before I called them out publicly. Thanks for your response, and posting of my dissenting opinion at the blog.

Now, just one more request. Can you start posting on Twitter again?

Wimmer’s Tax Plan

When I talk about Carl Wimmer, I failed to discuss appropriately his new tax plan.  Perhaps that is a good thing, because it left this opportunity to dispel some half truths that are being spread about his record.

When I picked up the mail today, I saw me second mailer this campaign season from Wimmer’s opponent, Dave Hogue.  However, I was deceived.  While it appears to have come from Hogue’s campaign, the small print reveals that the ad came from the Utah State Democratic Party.  I almost had to get out a magnifying glass to see it.

But that isn’t the point.  The point is that this ad is full of half truths.  While, I could discuss that half truths the add tells about Wimmer’s vote on CHIP and the Jordan School District Split.  I would like to focus on the most erroneous the half truths.

The ad states, “Now education funding is a mess, and Wimmer wants to shift the burden by INCREASING THE SALES TAX BY 2.25% to fix the district split” (emphasis theirs).

Talk about picking and choosing what you talk about.  The Democratic Party forgot to mention that Carl’s Tax Plan will completely remove the school district based property tax.  Wimmer’s purpose is to create a way for school funding to be more proportionate to population and not to property value.

The current system has several flaws.  In places where properties have high values, the school receive more money then those were property taxes are lower.  Also, it creates a system where some pay less than their share of taxes because they have larger families, or they have multiple families living in a home.

Wimmer’s plan will change that buy, taking the money to areas where people live.  For example, I have a large family.  There are eight of us.  However, I pay a rate of taxes based on the value of my home.  Granted I live in a larger home, but I know people who live in homes almost twice the size of mine, but they only have three people living in that home.  Because I have eight people to care for, I will pay a fairer share of my burden to educate my children through Wimmer’s program.

Don’t let the half truth’s of the Utah Democratic Party fool you.  Wimmer is working to lower taxes.  Wimmer cares about our children and he is fighting for our children’s education.  Wimmer is the right choice for District 52.

Huntsman Endorses Chaffetz

For those who showed up looking for another one of my wonderful dutch oven recipes, let me extend my apologies. This endorsement got in the way. However, I promise you that it will be up tomorrow (even if George W. Bush endorses Chaffetz).

Yesterday the Salt Lake Tribune, and this morning the Deseret News reported that Utah’s Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. has officially endorsed Jason Chaffetz to represent Utah on Capitol Hill. The Salt Lake Tribune also mentioned that Senator’s Hatch and Bennett with be hosting a fundraiser in Washington, D.C.

While the Democrats are trying to turn this into a “Cannon”-ization of Chaffetz, by claiming the their endorsements and support are signs that Chafftez is a member of the Good-old-boys club in the GOP. However, they are simply wrong.

Some are arguing that this is just a sign of how desperate the Republicans are to win in November. They think that they are just supporting Chaffetz to keep the party intact. This is only partly true.

Aren’t there Democratic Candidates that the Party endorses even though they don’t agree with them one-hundred percent. Hillary Clinton has even endorsed Barack Obama. Two people in the DNC who seemed to be at odds have come together. This is nothing new. There is nothing “desperate” about the endorsements and support for GOP leaders for Chaffetz. And Utah Democrats are the pining to win this election. They don’t have much of a chance, but it is fun to see them fighting.

Further, Chaffetz has not been “Cannon”-ized as some have implied. First, Let me explain what I mean by Cannon-ized. Chaffetz opponents says in the Salt Lake Tribune article that “He’s already changed. He’s already become just like them.” He is saying that a vote for Chaffetz is a vote for Chris Cannon. That is crazy. If you know Chaffetz, if you have met him, if you have worked with him. You know that Chaffetz is his own man.

If you need further proof of that, then need I remind you as does the Salt Like Tribune, that Chaffetz had the guts to tell the Governor that he was duped. If that isn’t enough, he did it in public. People try to mock him for this. However, it speaks to something bigger. It speaks to one of Chaffetz greatest assets. Let me use the words of Governor Huntsman as quoted by the Deseret News, “Jason’s dogged tenacity will serve the people of Utah well.”

Chaffetz is the man that we need in Congress. He will win this race because he is about the issues, and he is right on the issues. He sees things like Utah does. Governor Huntsman’s endorsement doesn’t do much for me. If you have read this blog for a long time, you know that I don’t care much for his politics. However, many people like him, so this endorsement will serve Chaffetz well.

Cannon Says I am “Harsh, Boorish”

I have been giving Chris Cannon the benefit of the doubt these past few months. I wasn’t willing to vote for him, but I was willing to give him the respect that should be given honorable people.

However, that respect is all over. No more.

I can’t believe it, but Chris Cannon has called me and those who joined me into voting for Jason Chaffetz “harsh” and “boorish.” Maybe the fact that I didn’t know what boorish meant is a sign that I am. But it is just plain rude to refer to people as such.

The sense that I am getting is that Republican leader ship is disconnected from it’s voters. Cannon’s comments are only a part of it. Apparently, as the article suggests. Bennett and Hatch are disconnected too. Oh, but that was a given.

However, LaVarr Webb agrees stating that these are only localized issues. If they are so localized how come President Bush has one of the lowest ratings in history, and why isn’t Cannon the first incumbent this year to lose his seat.

It’s time for the Republican Party to wake up. They need to realize that it isn’t just the far right wing of the party that is tired of their antics. It is the average citizen that wants to get back to the truly conservative values.

Before I close this, I have a couple of other thoughts. First, what is this that Chris Cannon is saying about not knowing who Jason Chaffetz is? If that is true, then no wonder he lost the race. How can you run a campaign against someone and not do your research? That is either an out-right lie, or Cannon is a complete idiot.

Finally, is it me, or does Chris Cannon sound like he is supporting the Democrat candidate? Maybe he is trying to imply that a vote for Chaffetz made it easier for a Democrat to win (which is true). But it doesn’t guarantee them a win.

I thought that Cannon had class. But it is obvious, that if he did, he lost it when he lost the race in the primary.

What Does Chaffetz’s Win Mean?

As with many of us in the grassroots initiative that helped to secure Jason Chaffetz the Republican nomination yesterday. We are on a high and very excited to see our candidate win. Like Jason, I thank Congressman Cannon for his years of service. Although Cannon didn’t represent me in everything, he did a good job in many ways.

Over this past weekend, I have been thinking about what Chaffetz win means. A lot of these thoughts were sparked by the Bob Lonsberry endorsement that I read on Saturday.

This column by Lonsberry really got me thinking that Chaffetz win could really mean a return to conservative
principles by the Republican Party. This is what I want. This is what we need. Our constitution has hung by a thread long enough. It is time that we start fighting for it in a real way.

Chaffetz’s win could be the start of this movement.

The Republican Party won in the Reagan Years because of our adherence to the core conservative values. Since then there has been a move to the center. I have assumed it was because they felt the centrist position will win. But it hasn’t done us well.

Chaffetz’s win send the message that we the party realize that. We want a more conservative front. We need to get back to the Constitution and fight for our freedoms.

Now is the time to take the Party (especially here in Utah) back to its conservative roots. The movement has started, let’s keep the ball rolling.