Monday, April 21, 2008

Uncle Don Miller's report on the Washington County GOP Convention

To live and learn at a Washington County GOP Convention
By Uncle Don Miller

Congressman Jim Matheson is in the grips of environmental extremists, according to Merrill Cook.

Boy scouts are never welcome at Democratic Party events along with the God word.

They have a small photo showing that Senator Obama not only won't say the pledge of allegiance, but turns his back when others are saluting the flag.

The Washington County Sheriff color guard was responsible for the GOP convention not starting as scheduled with the pledge of allegiance, not Dean Cox the County Chair.

Lin Alder's father supports Alan Gardner as the incumbent running for the County Commission [Wow! Lin's dad was at the Washington County Democratic Convention proudly passing out fliers for his son]. Gardner was the major supporter of the Vision Dixie planning process.

These were among the GOP truths put forth Saturday at the 2008 Washington County Convention held at Dixie State College. Ironically, DSC recently lost the stellar leadership of President Lee Caldwell in part because the local GOP office holding monopoly didn't like Caldwell discussing educational funding shortcomings in public.

With the old guard incumbents firmly entrenched and with 446 delegates present, Dean Cox kicked off the show by reading an aggrandizing fictional help wanted ad listing the many huge sacrifices that his bosses make while serving as public officials.

The rest of the show was also mostly predicable. All of the challengers to the old guard went down to blazing defeat. Carmen Snow got the highest losing share at 28 percent. Our old friend Greg Aldred who ran as a Democrat two years ago, was sadly packing up his booth all by himself when I left and he begged me to take some bottled water to ease his packing burden.

The old guard, Clark and Urquhart especially, have honed their stump speeches -- Utah is rated as the best managed state only because the GOP has been in control for the last two decades.

In the past three years "new" funding for public education has increased by $1 billion and no other state has increased school funding by 40 percent. By calling it new funding they are trying to imply all of the increase has been on top of usual school spending apparently to obscure the fact that much of the increase stems from increases in the student population so that Utah still is dead last in per pupil spending.

Taxes have been cut by $400 billion. They don't offer a breakdown of this figure to point out that like Bush tax cuts, the lion's share of these have gone to the super rich and to businesses. They also don't mention the tax system in Idaho is progressive and Idaho spends $1,000 more per pupil than Utah, while Utah has a regressive tax system. Also, the current economic downturn will likely make those tax cuts for the rich look ill-advised in the very near future.

Utah is the most business friendly state in the US -- see above tax cuts. Procter and Gamble is for the first time in 40 years building a new plant in the US, namely in Box Elder County. Don't ask about the tax incentives that Utah has promised to P&G to facilitate this venture.

DSC got more "new'' funds this year than the U of U. They seem to be shy about mentioning what the new figure for DSC is, suggesting it could be very small, if the U of U was basically shut out of any new funds this year.

They have made progress on illegal immigration, but more needs to be done. But don't suggest fining or jailing employers.

They got St. George a $42 million airport bridge loan. But don't dare ask why the city decided it was a good idea to sell the airport property at least 4 years before they needed to and during a property value slump. And don't mention that a client of a GOP leader in the state legislature benefited from the property being sold early as well as the client not being required to pay for the property for at least 4 years, hence the need for the bridge loan in the first place.

Only Merrill Cook has the name recognition and only he has backing in Salt Lake County needed to defeat Congressman Matheson. Cook has never lost an election in Salt Lake County and even Matheson told Cook in his first bid for office that he was lucky to not have to run initially against Cook. Matheson voted against Bush tax cuts and wants to repeal them so he favors a $60 billion tax increase. Moreover, Matheson got an F- from an unnamed anti illegal immigration group, and Matheson supports federal land grabs. Cook otherwise plans to renew Newt Gingrich's contract with America.

Bill Dew, the other possibly serious challenger to Matheson, with his wife Jolene by his side sharing his short speaking time, emphasized that they were willing to spend $500,000 of their own money to defeat Matheson. The Dews will also support economic development and freeing up public lands while also clamping down on illegal immigration. The Dews' theme is back to common sense.

When I left, Rep. Mike Noel was screaming about some evil environmental organization, backed by a possibly Islamic foreign billionaire, who won't open his books so the GOP can prove his intent is to slowly terrorize and destroy the state of Utah.

And so it went on a beautiful spring day-- Don Miller


Anonymous said...

About 15% of the the $400 million tax cuts went to business. The rest went to individuals.

Anonymous said...

$150 million of the tax cut was for reducing the sales tax on food and the statewide sales tax rate, making the overall system less regressive.

Anonymous said...

Based on data in the 2008 Economic Report to the Governor (page 67), Utah's dependency ratio is 35.4 children age 5 to 17 for every 100 working age adults. The ratio for is Idaho 31.2. Utah's ratio is 13.5% higher than Idaho's. This explains the difference.

Anonymous said...

So P&G is building its first U.S. plant in 40 years in Utah, and Miller is complaining?

Are you for real?

While Miller can complain about unquantified tax breaks for P&G, the rest of us are glad the jobs are coming to Utah.

I guess we can forgo the tax incentives for high wage manufacturing jobs and be satisfied with low-wage retail and tourism jobs that Miller wants.

Sticking it to business sure sounds like a lot of fun if you're retired and don't need a job, but the rest of us need jobs.

Anonymous said...

Miller is absolutley on fire! Funny how the GOP is always declaring that anyone who disagrees is wrong. Why? Because you're not listening. The lies Miller pointed out tells the story. It's not about right and wrong for the GOP; it's my way or the highway.

Great Report Don!


Anonymous said...

It's interesting to note who is using facts, data, and logic and who is simply "on fire".

Being "on fire" sounds awesome, I suppose, but I'd rather rely on something more substantive.

steve u. said...

Crackerjack reporting. Utah cut taxes by $400 billion from a $12 billion budget?