Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bennett may need Hatch in the future.

Sen. Bennett cast one of the deciding votes against the constitutional amendment banning desecration of the U.S. flag. In a Deseret Morning News article he is quoted as saying, "If the public doesn't like that decision, they can always change me." This is definitely true and it may hurt him in getting re-elected, however, I think more importantly is that there may be a time in the future where he absolutely needs Sen. Hatch's support and Hatch may be less willing to support him at that time.
Politics is always a game of give and take. Anytime I hear somebody say that they voted against something because theirs is a better idea, I wonder if they understand the give and take of politics.
Sen. Bennett, work with Hatch. To me it seems that the other options of preventing flag burning have been attempted. The other attempts only led to the Supreme Court saying it was unconstitutional. How much tax-payer money do you want to spend to try your idea through the court system? A constitutional amendment seems like a low-cost alternative. Spend my money wisely, please.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I voted electronically!

So I went and voted in the primary election this morning. I voted at Woods Cross Elementary School. Here's how the process went.
I walked up to the table and stated my name. The poll worker said "You are registered as a Republican in Precinct 5." She then handed me a yellow piece of paper. (I'm still not sure what that piece of paper was for. I returned it when I returned my voting card.) Another poll worker at the table picked up a plastic, ATM style card and programmed it using a handheld device that looked similar to a calculator. He then handed me the card and directed me to the voting machine.
At the machine, I put in the card, and it pulled up the instructions for voting. After briefly reading the instructions, I proceeded to vote. Just for kicks, I even touched the back button and changed one of my previously entered votes. After voting, I looked at the printout and made sure it matched my choices. Not such a hard thing to do.
Here are some questions that I had after voting that really make me wonder if this is any better then a punch card ballot.
1) I didn't notice that the machines were hooked to any kind of battery backup. What if there were a brief or even an extended power outage at the polling location?
2) When I put the card in, I wondered what if somebody somehow made their own "voting cards?" Could they then vote multiple times or vote in different races then their own precinct?
3) What if somebody takes the ATM style card home with them? Could they then get enough information to create their own cards to illegally influence an election?
4) The printout made me a little nervous. Someone could figure out how I voted by monitoring the order in which people voted at the machines. I also didn't look at the printout before I started, but, I bet if the advancement of the "receipt tape" didn't work quite right, I could probably see how the person before me voted.
5) What was that silly yellow piece of paper for?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I'm elected, so I don't have to.

In a Deseret Morning News article, it says this about the current Davis County Sheriff not taking the physical fitness test required of his officers, "Cox said that because he is an elected official and not an employee, he does not have to take it."
So does that mean that elected officials should be above the law also? It doesn't make sense to me, if policy requires your officers that you oversee to take the physical fitness test, you should take it as well. To say "I'm elected and not hired in my position, so I don't have to." portrays an arrogance that I don't think anyone wants in an elected official.
I don't want my elected official to be arrogant. Maybe that arrogance can contribute to morale problems. Do you think that's the case?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Acquit means to be found innocent.

Except, apparently, in politics. An article in the Salt Lake Tribune talks about the race for House District 19 in Davis County. This race is between Mark Jacobs and Sheryl Allen. The article says, "Five years ago, the state Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing investigated Jacobs for building a house in Bountiful without a professional license. The city charged him with a Class B misdemeanor and a jury acquitted him in 2001."
I am not a lawyer, but, the dictionary that I use defines acquit as, "pronounce not guilty of criminal charges." To me that means that Mr. Jacobs was found innocent of the Class B misdemeanor charges against him. So why are those charges being brought up now? He is running for a political office, which means, to some people, drag out all the dirt you can about someone. Even if the person was declared innocent of criminal charges.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Why are they so interested?

Why do government workers and elected officials keep such a close eye on bloggers? Just to show you what I mean, somebody from Woods Cross City Hall has accessed my blog at least once every business day for the past 7 days.
Are political bloggers really that interesting, or could it be that government types know how to get their way with the mainstream media, but not bloggers? Mainstream media (the Davis County Clipper, in particular) always seem to make time to contact the government workers and elected officials to get their side of the story. When I was an elected official, it was kind of a known thing that the Clipper reporter wouldn't make the City Administrator upset. If the reporter did, it could make getting information later on harder for them. Bloggers don't need to worry about making a government worker or elected official upset, because, bloggers tend to get the majority of their information from the regular Joe citizen.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I want my way, or no way!

An article in the Deseret Morning News talks about the U.S. Flag Protection Amendment. It notes that Sen. Hatch has co-sponsored the bill and that Sen. Bennett will vote against it.
This sounds to me like pure politics. Sen. Bennett says that he has his own Flag Protection Bill and wants it approved instead of the Constitutional Amendment. So, instead of working together, it's okay to say that I want my bill passed and not yours? The article quotes Bennett as saying, "I don't want to amend the Constitution, I won't say never, but I am very reluctant to amend the Constitution, particularly in an area where there isn't a need." Interesting, since the very reason that the Supreme Court has said it's fine to burn the U.S. Flag is because of a Constitutional Amendment.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Where have you been?

Where have I been for the past week? I've been with a Varsity Scout group hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We went to a place called Havasu Canyon. It's on an Indian Reservation.
The scenery is absolutely stunning.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Budget Time = Christmas Time?

So it's budget time for most Utah Cities and Towns. This is the time when department heads make their wish list and then City Managers / Administrators or Mayors get to act like scrooge and give the departments a fifth of what they want.
That's why budget time reminds me of Christmas time. Most kids get to make a list of what they want for Christmas and then Mommy or Daddy get to trim that list down to what the budget can afford.
Which makes me wonder, have you seen a City Council not approve funds for a project that the majority of the City Council has as a pet project?