Monday, June 30, 2008

I had lunch with a Democrat!

I went to lunch today with Richard Watson, the democratic candidate for the State Senate District 23 seat. I had a very nice visit with him. No, he is not trying to buy my vote as I paid for my own lunch. We talked about several things including the questions that I e-mailed earlier to all the candidates (see here). He e-mailed me his answers to those questions 12 days ago. I still have not received answers to them from Dan Liljenquist.

When I mentioned to Richard that I hadn't received answers from Dan yet, he said maybe Dan feels like he doesn't have to worry about the general election. I was a little disturbed by a quote that Richard mentioned to me along those lines. In an article from the June 21st edition of the Salt Lake Tribune (see here), Dan Liljenquist is quoted as saying, "In Davis County, the primary is the election since 70 percent generally vote a straight ticket." This is what Dan used to justify the amount of money he spent leading up to the primary election.

I've mentioned in previous posts that I feel like many democrats and republicans aren't too far apart in many of their viewpoints (see here). I've also mentioned previously that I believe voting for someone just because of their party is ridiculous (see here). These two beliefs say to me that Mr. Liljenquist still has an election to win. He best not take it too lightly. I believe a lot more people will vote in this election than in previous state senate seat elections because of the great interest in the presidential election. I'd still like to wait to post Richard's answers to my questions so that his answers don't influence Dan's answers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Republican Primary is History

I voted in the Republican Primary yesterday. I was glad to wake up today and see that Dan Liljenquist had defeated Ron Mortensen. I haven't put my reasons on this blog for not supporting Ron Mortensen. I've always felt like Ron Mortensen would not be responsive to his constituents, and, that he wanted to be in the Senate to push his own agenda. This was confirmed to me by the lack of any response to my e-mails to him. If he won't be responsive to e-mails before the election, how responsive will he be after he's in office?

I had Ron contact me a few times concerning the South Davis Recreation Center when I was a member of the Woods Cross City Council. When he would talk to me, he always seemed to want to be confrontational with those who did not agree with his views. I have found that in politics you need to work at making friends and building a consensus rather than making people upset with you. I couldn't see Ron's methods working very well in the Utah State Senate. The people who vote against your stance today will be the same people you'll need voting with your position tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

She's put up with me for 15 years!

Today is my 15th wedding anniversary! It's hard to believe that my wife has put up with me for all these years. I love her immensely!

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart! Here's to 15 (at least) more!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Would I be as involved?

Yesterday my wife asked me an intriguing question. She asked me if we were to move away from the South Davis area, would I be as interested or involved in politics as I am? Since she asked me, I've been mulling it over in the back of my mind. (That's what techie types do. We work on a solution to an issue in the back of our mind.)

Would I be as involved in local politics if I were to move away from the South Davis County area? I probably wouldn't. One of the reasons that I am so involved and interested in politics in the South Davis area is that I have a historical love for the area. I was raised in Woods Cross. I remember walking down 800 West as a kid to buy candy and a soda at Irv's Market. Call it nostalgic, but, I love Woods Cross because so much of my life has been lived here. So would I have that same vested interest in a place that I wasn't raised in? Probably not. I'd probably end up being like the majority of residents and not really care or know what my city officials were doing.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Meeting With Dan Liljenquist

Tonight I attended a "Meet the Candidate" event at Woods Cross City Hall for Dan Liljenquist who is one of the Republican candidates running for Utah State Senate District 23. I must admit that I was impressed with what he had to say. I didn't agree with his position on everything, however, I felt like his position on several items matched my feelings.

He was asked how the state can make sure the money that is given to education actually makes it to the classroom. He said that he would like to see a push for mandatory audits of money that is given to the school districts. He stated that it is possible that the money is being used for legitimate needs, but, the problem is that we just don't know where the money is going.

He also feels that campaign contributions should be used only for campaign purposes. I previously posted that I felt Mr. Liljenquist would not likely vote for ethics reform. I'd like to reverse that position at this time. I no longer feel like Dan Liljenquist is trying to buy a seat in the Utah State Senate. After hearing his thoughts on ethics in the State Senate, I feel that Mr. Liljenquist will be a positive influence for ethics changes. He stated that he feels the Senate should open their caucuses the same way that the Republicans in the Utah House of Representatives have.

Dan also said things about government being local first that really resonated with me. At the meeting tonight, I stated that Ron Mortensen's group, Citizens for Tax Fairness, was publicly opposed to the South Davis Recreation Center. I then asked Dan what his position is on cities coming together to spend tax dollars on things such as the South Davis Recreation Center. He said that he felt like his opinion on that doesn't matter because he doesn't feel that is a state issue. He feels like the state shouldn't be telling cities that they can or cannot come together on things like that. He said it's a city issue and the decision should be made by the city council. He likened the things that the state legislature, county commissions, and city councils, should be doing are like firing lanes. It's when the legislature starts crossing those firing lanes that it messes things up. He said that the sovereignty that states enjoy should be passed on to the cities as well.

All in all, I was very impressed with what Dan Liljenquist had to say. Based on that and the fact that I haven't heard any response at all from Ron Mortensen in regards to my e-mailed questions, I will be voting for Dan in the Republican Primary election.

Can I take it with me when I die?

I recently read the book, "The King's Highway" by Howard Fullmer. This book reminded me of a subject that I've wanted to write a post about for some time. The subject is that of materialism vs. service to others. Do we value our physical possessions more than we value our relationships with family and friends? Do we care more about gathering lots of things for ourselves or making the journey easier for others?

Years ago I was asked by a friend if they could borrow my truck to haul some dirt for their garden. If I had valued my possessions more than my relationship with my friend, I would have said no because he might have scratched it, wrecked it, or any number of other things. Looking back, I'm glad that I said yes to him.

How many times do we tell our kids or grandkids that they can't use something because we are afraid that they will hurt or damage it? Do we value the physical possession more than we value our relationship with our child or grandchild? There are many people who spend lots of time and energy taking care of or gathering more physical possessions and not enough time taking care of their relationships with family and friends. In the end, what do we take with us when we die?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Follow-up on Alleged Theft of Adoption Records

I previously posted about Jill Ekstrom being charged with stealing adoption records from the second district court. A news item on KSL's website says that Ekstrom entered a "no contest" plea on Monday, June 9th. Sentencing has been set for July 22. According to the report, Ekstrom claims that she will withdraw the plea because she was taking pain killers on Monday. Maybe later we'll find out she was under the influence of pain killers when she allegedly took the records.

So why a "no contest" plea instead of a guilty plea? According to, a "no contest" plea indicates that, while you are not admitting guilt, you do not dispute the charge. This is preferable to a guilty plea because guilty pleas can be used against you in later civil lawsuits.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Still No Answers

I still haven't received answers to my questions from the candidates for Senate District 23 race. I did hear back from both Dan Liljenquist and Richard Watson. They both said that they were (understandably) busy, but, that they would put answers together and get them to me.

They at least were responsive enough to get back with me and let me know that they had received the e-mail and were working on answers. For me, that goes a long way in saying what kind of a representative they would be in the Utah Senate.