Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Uncle Don Miller says: Rep. Clark is now suddenly aware of the need to discover goals for China trip

As a leading organizer of the planned trip to China (SL Tribune 3/28/07), it seems strange that Utah House majority leader David Clark is now (Spectrum 4/16/07) suddenly aware of the need for him and his fellow Utah legislators to discover some specific goals for their taxpayer funded trip. Perhaps Rep. Clark's new found thirst for goals and his vocal passion for accountability to taxpayers is designed to compensate for the embarrassing travel facts revealed on April 9, 2007, by the Deseret News. On that date the Deseret News reported the story that Rep. Clark and several other legislators used at least $108,500 of their campaign donations for personal use to pay for travel to such places as Clark's trips to Vietnam and Germany.

The Deseret News noted that while this use of campaign funds is legal in Utah, it may be questionable because the paper's analysis shows that up to 95 percent of campaign funds come from special interests with business before the Legislature. By contrast, federal law bans members of Congress from spending their campaign money for personal use.

Wonder how the IRS views the taxability of campaign money diverted for personal use?

Also Read the SL Tribune's: Legislators vague about China Trip


the man said...

Rob, thanks for posting this.
I'm not clear why Utah legislators need to go to China. Is it because they're going to learn something wonderful from a communist government?

Anonymous said...


Some Democrats are planning on going on this trip. Will you call them out by name and criticize them as well?

Would you feel better if they were going to Cuba instead?

A Utah Democrat said...

I don't think any of them should go -- D's or R's, and to China of all places. I'm a Democrat... and I can't understand why this trip is necessary. What on earth will this trip do for Utah?

Democrats on the list:

Senator Dmitrich
Senator Goodfellow
Representative King
Representative Moss (who says she is not sure she will be going)

Voice of Utah said...

I'm with a Utah Democrat -- I'm irritated with the Dems and the Repubs who are going on this taxpayer-funded boondoggle. This is not a partisan issue, other than the fact that the majority of legislators going happen to be Republicans. It's a taxpayer issue. To anonymous: The only thing that would make me feel better about this trip is if they paid for it themselves--you know, like the rest of us pay for our vacations.

Emily said...

Utah Democrat and Voice of Utah -

I second that! Why are they going? Any of them? Doesn't sound like a wise use of taxpayer dollars to me.

Rob said...

I didn't criticize anyone. The article written by Uncle Don Miller belongs to him. I did however post his article, just as I posted the legislative response defending the trip.

With that said I do want to state that I do have a problem with doing business with China. Unfortunately our society is now dependent on products that are manufactured in China, and it is my opinion that purchasing these products is not in our long-term best interest.

My biggest problem with this trip is the fact that the reason for going was "vague" at first, but seems to have been better thought out after there was some criticism.

I can't speak for the Democratic legislators, but I know that I for one would decline the trip unless there were some very specific achievable goals that would benefit Utah, and even then I would still have a problem doing business with China. I would also decline to use campaign donations to fund personal trips except for trips that were actually campaign related.

In the end, do we really want to continue funding China's oppression of their citizens, and do we feel that campaign donations should be used for personal vacations?