Monday, November 16, 2009

Members of Congress play games while the country suffers


While our country is in the midst of the worst economic crisis in decades and unemployment is at 10% the worst in 26 years idiot members of our Congress sit playing Solitaire, catching up on Facebook or checking the sports scores in the middle of a budget debate! What is it with these people? Is this the appitemy of arrogance or what? I talked about Term Limits when I ran for City Council and I believe more than ever that we should limit the terms to members of our Congress and Senate so that we can clean out some of this waste. These people get elected term after term, create bureaucratic hogwash and laws, raise our taxes, try to shove a government mandated Health Care program down our throats all the while they are exempt from EVERY law that they inflict on us! They have the most cushy retirement plan in the world; they have their own health care program and they have a Three Day Work Week! How would it be? Vote these parasites out of office.

House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, pictured standing, far right, speaks while colleagues Rep. Barbara Lambert, D-Milford and Rep. Jack F. Hennessy, D-Bridgeport, play solitaire Monday night as the House convened to vote on a new budget. 

The guy sitting in the row in front of these two... he's on Facebook, and the guy behind Hennessy is checking out the baseball scores. These are the same “ELECTED” officials who can’t get the budget completed by October 1! I also find it incredible rude and shameful that these dimwits playing games don’t even have the common courtesy to respectfully pay attention when another member of Congress is addressing the body. If they were students their teacher would have kicked them out of class. Well guess who the teacher is YOU and ME and it’s time we kick them out of Class! After the talking ended and the games were won all that was accomplished was another 30 day extension! Yes, I am mad! This is outrageous!

In November of 2010 the entire House of Representatives will be up for re-election. That is 435 members of Congress and 33 Senators, one third of the Senate. I say any that have served for more than two terms should be sent home regardless of their party affiliation. We always hear the “seasoned” incumbents claiming that their seniority allows them to get more things done for their State (political party), yet if that is true why are we in the worst economic mess in decades? Don’t be fooled by the claim that we need to continue to send US Senators and Congressmen back year after year because they have earned seniority and can do more for us. This is a farce and the numbers prove it! If we cleaned house “Literally”, every two terms we could eventually get the corruption out. The framers of our constitution DID NOT envision career politicians. They were men of character and integrity and they assumed that anyone elected to public office would espouse the same love of country and the freedoms and protection afforded by the US Constitution. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States in 1932, but was inaugurated to office in 1933. He served until April 1945 when he died of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was the only President to be elected to 4 terms. Two years after his death, the 22nd Amendment which limits the president to two terms, was passed in Congress in 1947 and ratified in 1951. It is amazing that Congress saw that a President should only serve two terms but they did not look in the mirror to recognize that they too should be held to the same standard.

We may never get federal term limits enacted by Congress, but we can surely enact them State by State by voting and making sure that we never allow our elected officials serve more than two terms. This way when they go home and can collect their huge government retirement and play Solitaire all day long if they like and no one will ever notice or care!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What I've learned from Local Politics

I just finished running for Bountiful City council and although I received almost 3,000 or the 6,600 votes I lost to a two term incumbent by about 4 points.  During my campaign I always made sure to be kind and thoughtful in how I referred to the two incumbents.  Neither of them are bad men, in fact, I think that they both are good men who have served the last eight years to the best of their ability. It is always hard to win against an incumbent simply because most people don't get to know the candidates and simply vote for the most recognized name.  We had a measly 23.5% voter turn out, a dream come true for an incumbent. I am confident if more people had the opportunity to get to know me that I would have won with a large margin, even against Fred Moss who garnered the highest vote count on election day. Voters want to be represented by able-minded, honest men and women of action and integrity.  Yet, most voters don't take the time to find out what their incumbents have or have not done for the city during their tenure in office. Let me give just three examples of where I believe these men failed to do what was best for the city:

ONE:  BUSINESS REVITALIZATION.  Moss and Tolman have had the last eight years to solve the business migration out of bountiful, yet they along with the rest of the city council failed. Bountiful has lost over 10% of its annual business tax revenue in the last two years.  The dirt pit formerly known as Five Points Mall still grows weeds.  Yes, there are three completed buildings but the largest building that houses mostly medical offices is loosing their largest tenant that currently occupies the entire second floor.  They are moving to Salt Lake, one more business leaving Bountiful. Although each of the council members has spent the last several years talking about the need to do something to re-energize old main street it has been all talk and no action.  Main street is becoming a ghost town strip. Our city has failed business over the last eight years.  They talk a business friendly talk but all one has to do is talk to the business owners of Bountiful to discover that Bountiful City is not business friendly.  I know the owner of a large Chiropractic business in Bountiful who recently built a new building in Bountiful.  He told me that he spent months and months arguing with the city about the plans for his building.  A former council member (Voted out two years ago) told him that his proposed business location on the corner of 200 west and 400 North was in a "residential" area and he would vote against it.  Anybody who drives to that area will discover that most of the neighbors are businesses not residential homes.  However, if you drive two blocks south you will notice the home of the former city council member.  When the business owner finally got the city to approve his building plans and then completed his building the city told him they did not like his ($100,000) electronic sign and that he needed to remove it!  He told the city to take a hike!  This is not business friendly. 

TWO: BOUNTIFUL POWER COMPANY. Our power company is in desperate need of two new transformers and an overhaul of the power plant on 200 west at a cost in excess of $28 million dollars.  Yet, Bountiful city continues to take $2.2 million dollars from the power company every year instead of using that money for the necessary power upgrades.  We have power poles, overhead lines and underground lines that are over 40 years old and far beyond their normal life expectancy.  These items are in critical need of repair and replacement but the power company now operates with a negative balance sheet each year because the city continues to scoops out $2.2 million annually. Councilman Fred Moss who owns two power companies of his own serves as the city's representative to Bountiful City Power yet, he continues to vote to take away $2.2 million from the Power Company each year.  Is this smart for our city?


THREE:  LIBERALIZING OUR ALCOHOL LAWS. Both Fred Moss and Tom Tolman  voted to  change our alcohol laws by giving a variance to a local restaurant to serve alcohol even though it is across the street from a public library. This was a mess from the beginning yet they, Mayor Johnson and the other council members never took responsibility for the misinformation and untrue accusations against good citizens of our community. Mayor Johnson even had  former Mayor Bob Linell write an extremely biased and completely untrue letter to the editor in the Clipper claiming that comments by Bountiful resident Laura Bunker regarding the alcohol issue with El Matador restaurant were untrue.  Laura later wrote a response with documented information including the official transcripts by the State of Utah that proved her comments were not only true but part of the official record with the State alcohol board. Neither the Mayor, former Mayor or anyone from the council issued an apology to Laura Bunker.

FOUR:  UNNECESSARY MANDATES. They also voted to FORCE via mandate, our citizens to pay additional each month to recycle their garbage. The idea of this was to extend the life of our landfill.  I would have voted against this phony scam that only adds money to the pockets of the sanitation company.  A better alternative would have been to recycle yard waste which represents 40% of the land fill waste.  We should have adopted a program such as the city of Provo did where they gave the residents an additional can to put their grass and yard clippings in to be turned into compost.  This plan in Provo reduced waste to the landfill and the city actually made a profit as the compost was sold.  Our city council would not even look at this issue. 

During my campaign I talked a lot about term limits.  I strongly believe that the longer a politician stays in office the more arrogant and selfish they become.  George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both understood this and neither would serve more than two terms. Yet we have career politicians even in our own city who believe it is their "Right and even "Calling" as Tom Tolman said in the "Meet the Candidates" night held just a few weeks ago.  I  believe that Mr. Tolman would have received the lowest amount of votes if those who voted had heard him make those comments. I find it interesting that the Clipper didn't publish any comments from Councilman Tolman yet they quoted all of the other candidates.  His comment about serving on the city council being his "Calling" should have been printed and those who read it would have had the same shocked reaction as did all of us who heard him say it! I  believe that Tom is a good guy but he should not have run for a third term.  His only goal is to build an enormous History Museum in Bountiful, something that makes very little sense to do.  I don't believe that most who voted for him had any idea of his number one motivation to be on the City Council.

So what is the number one thing I learned from local politics? its all in the name recognition.  Even though I have a memorable name people tend to vote for the name they have heard the most over the years.  Unfortunately for me, they have heard the names Moss and Tolman more than Wright.  But the good news is that if I run again in two years I believe that my name will be among the names they have heard most.  Gee, maybe people will think I am an incumbent and vote Wright next time!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I fought a good fight!

I fought a good fight and I stayed the course. But in the end, the incumbents won re-election to another term now on their way of serving 12 years. Only 23.5% of the registered voters decided for the other 76.5% who would serve as the elected officials of their community. Joe Johnson will be the first Bountiful Mayor in decades to serve a third term. He defeated Jeff Novak 64.8% to 35.2% of the vote. Both of the City Council incumbents with Fred Moss taking 31.4% of the vote and Tom Tolman received 28% of the vote. I carried 23.6% and Ernie Cox got 17% of the vote. The incumbents got what they were hoping for, a low voter turnout which is always to the advantage of the incumbent.

I am so grateful to the scores of supporters, the nearly 3,000 people who voted for me and all of the wonderful people, who made phone calls, walked the neighborhoods, handed out campaign literature and did what they could to help with my campaign. I am indebted to my campaign manager Dalane England who dedicated countless hours to organizing my campaign. She is a true friend and a gem of society. Thanks also to her husband Mark for his longsuffering during the process. I am also very thankful to my beautiful wife Shaun for her undying love and support and to my children who all helped and understood the true meaning of the Primary song about how the children sang as the walked and walked and walked and walked. I love my family and all of my friends and the many, many new friends who believed in me enough to do what they could to support me in this election.

What's next? I love my community and I have no intention of disappearing. I will sharpen my skills and stay involved with the issues that impact Bountiful and my family. I will never become part of the 76.5% of registered voters who don't see the importance of being involved in their community and who allow apathy or indifference to choose their future. I am a fighter. I know that I have been blessed with a good mind, a kind heart, a love of country and community and I believe that it is my responsibility to use the talents I have been blessed with for the benefit of others. In two years there will be three city council seats up for election. Although I have not yet decided my plans, if I do decide to run I am confident that I will win a seat.

Thanks again to everyone who supported and voted for me. It took Reagan and Lincoln many attempts before they were elected to office. If I decided to make another attempt it will be due to their perseverance and inspiration. Until then, let's hope and pray that our city will be in good hands.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Election comes to a vote on November 3rd

This has been quite an experience for me running for Bountiful City Council.  I have made so many wonderful new friends and supporters and rekindled old friendships.  I want to thank my campaign manager Dalane England for her undying support, great advice and willingness to roll up her sleeves and dive into the work.  She is a wonderful person and a very patriotic citizen.  She is a gem in our community.  If I am elected much of the credit will be due to Dalane England.  Thanks also to her very supportive husband Mark!  There have been so many people who have willingly given of their time and resources to help with my campaign.  I truly appreciate each of them.  Thanks to all of those who opened their home to me to meet their friends and neighbors and learn about the issues that are most important to them in our great city. 

I also want to thank the incumbents who are each good men.  I know that they have served to the best of their ability.  Over the last eight years I have had the opportunity to work with each of them.  There were times when we agreed and times when we did not agree.  Although I believe that they each have some noble accomplishments over the past eight years, I strongly believe that eight years is enough.  I support any of these men if they want to find other ways to serve their community or state.  If they want to stay in politics there are many other opportunities. 

Our founding fathers never intended to create a constitution that encouraged men and women from our country to allow their service to become a career.  Most of the social and economical political problems in our government are caused by special interests who have attached their ideas and beliefs to the career politicians by funding their never-ending campaigns and then requiring pay-back by allegiance to their ideas though garnering the politician's votes while in office.

The same thing happens on a local level only we don't refer to it as the politician's allegiance to special interest groups but instead the politician becoming a member of the "Good Ol'boys club.  If I am elected to the city council I will not serve for more than two terms. If I believe that my service to the community was effective I may afterward consider a different office in politics.

If you have not voted yet I encourage you to consider what you have learned about me so far through this campaign.  Go to my website at www.phillwright.com and read up on the issues I believe are important to our community.  There is also a link to each of the news letters I sent to my supporters throughout the campaign. I believe that my ideas and views ring universal agreement with most citizens in Bountiful and I encourage you to vote WRIGHT on November 3rd.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Davis County Clipper shows its bias for the Bountiful incumbents

I am attaching my comments to an online article that appeared in the Davis County Clipper from its Thursday October 22nd Edition.  The front page headline read: "Experience or new blood? Bountiful mayoral race hinges on change vs. stability."  There were a series of comments to the article, some of which were simply false and misleading. There was an attack on one of the supporters of challenger and Mayoral candidate Jeff Novak by a former Mayor of Bountiful, Bob Linnell. Mr. Linell claimed to refute the charges former Bountiful citizen Laura Bunker, made against the current Bountiful administration and city staff, in an endorsement email she wrote for Jeff Novak. In a short time the mud began to fly and concerned citizens passionately wrote rebuttals to one another. My comments are listed below.

"I find it interesting that as of 9:38PM on Saturday October 24th that there were 333 views to this article but only 5 people liked it. Tom Busselberg, the author penned a Headline "Experience or new blood? Bountiful mayoral race hinges on change vs. stability" that should have simply said; "The CLIPPER supports Joe Johnson and the incumbents for re-election" at least then it would have been more honest instead of an underhanded attempt to hide its bias.

In my opinion this election is not about finding blame for past decisions by the mayor or the two Council Member incumbents. The fact is, the longer a politician is in office the greater the chances that he/she will rub more people the wrong way. You can’t please everyone no matter how hard you try.

I believe that Mayor Johnson and Council Members Moss and Tolman have had some good accomplishments in the last EIGHT YEARS and now would have been the time to step aside and let others take on the mantle of leadership. It just makes sense to leave office at the height of your success so that no one can claim that your reason for running a third, fourth, fifth or longer term is motivated by selfish or sovereign desires! Look at history. Why did George Washington and Thomas Jefferson choose not to run for a third term? Because they knew that the longer one serves the greater the chance of that service leading to an entitlement mentality and at the very least they did not want the appearance of self-serving to be attached to their names.

It is unfortunate that people who have responded to this article online have stooped to mud-slinging, misinformation and character assignation in an attempt to protect their candidate. The TRUTH will always prevail and people who read these comments will certainly find the truth.

I am running for City Council for some of the same reasons that Joe Johnson ran for Mayor EIGHT years ago and that Fred Moss and Tom Tolman ran for City Council EIGHT years ago, because I have a great love for our city, a passion to work hard, roll up my sleeves and do my best to protect the interests of our friends and neighbors-the wonderful citizens of Bountiful.

Mayor Johnson, Councilman Moss and Councilman Tolman you have each achieved great things in your service over the last EIGHT years, unfortunately you now find yourselves on a path to career politics and more and more people in our communities and our country are saying “NO” to career politicians.

But since you have made the decision to run for a THIRD term, please encourage your supporters to be honest, civil and kind to your challengers. Whether or not you are reelected this time your term will one day come to an end and you will want to leave office with a legacy of honor and respect.

I am confident the Bountiful voters will choose wisely this election."

Phill Wright, Candidate for Bountiful City Council 


I read Bob Linell's comments one more time and discovered one last thing that supports my belief on voluntary term limits. I then added one more post to the Clipper's online article comment section.

"One more thought that came to mind as I read former Mayor Bob Linnell's comments. He only served TWO terms, four years on the City Council and four years as Mayor. Mr. Linell, thanks for your service and your example."

Respectfully,

Phill Wright






Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Meet the Candidates Night in Bountiful a Great Success!

I had the opportunity last night to participate as a candidate in the Bountiful Meet the Candidates night. Thanks to the League of Women Voters who has supported this forum for many years past.
I was overwhelmed at the number of people who came to meet me after the event. It was extremely gratifying to hear their positive comments and the pledge of support. I truly appreciate everyone who attended the meeting. Unfortunately more people did not take the opportunity to meet the candidates who want to receive their vote. Here are some of my observations;

Mayor Joe Johnson seemed very defensive on the issue of Ethics and Accountability in government and he strongly opposed the formation of any committee to report on future accusations of ethics violations. He expressed his belief that he was an honest and extremely ethical man. No one by the way, accused him of being dishonest or unethical and Jeff Novak his challenger made it clear that he never made any accusations on the ethics of Mayor Johnson or anyone else on the city council. Mayor Johnson was visibly irritated and highly emotional in his agitated response to the idea. Here is how I see it. If a person is honest and ethical they should have no worry about a citizen’s commission to check on them from time to time. Surely Mayor Johnson has nothing to worry about.

I noticed that along with the two incumbent city council members who obviously attended as participants in the debate that Council John Marc Knight also sat in the audience. I did not notice the presence of the other two Council members, Beth Holbrook and Scott Meyers. I was disappointed that they did not believe that it was necessary to show their support for such an important political event that will have an impact on our city. Now that I have said this, let me apologize in advance if they were there and I just didn’t see them or if they had other pressing obligations that kept them from attending.

I thought that Jeff Novak was incredibly prepared. He is obviously an intelligent and well qualified candidate for Mayor. He was articulate, concise, and considerate of others and the time he took for each answer and he kept his cool when he was attacked by the Mayor and Councilman Moss. I would rate his performance with an A.

Why would Mayor Johnson make the comment that his eight years has made him more qualified to lead as mayor then the challenger? When Mayor Johnson ran eight years ago he was the challenger against a current member of the City Council who by Mayor Johnson’s qualifying comments last night meant that Councilman Gordon was more qualified then Joe Johnson was at that time. It seems a bit arrogant to assume that only a sitting Mayor is qualified for that seat when there are numerous well qualified citizens throughout Bountiful. Mayor Johnson gets a D from me on that answer. Never assume that you are the most qualified at anything, chances are that there is ALWAYS someone more qualified somewhere.

Incumbent Fred Moss gets the “Long Winded” award for taking over five minutes to answer a two minute question. I felt sorry for the designated time clock lady in the audience who kept flashing the TIME END card at Fred and finally she gave up and dropped the card in her lap. Then Fred told her “I know my time is up but I have more to say so I’m going to keep talking.” Those of us on the panel were getting a bit frustrated too because he was eating into the time of all of us in the meeting. When Fred finally finished talking about the needs of the Bountiful City Power plant it was Tom Tolman’s turn. He wanted to yield his time to Fred but instead said a line or two and turned it to me. I think Fred was surprised that not only did I know something about Bountiful City Power but that I had facts and figures with me to back it up. After I spoke the question went to the Mayor and then was supposed to end with Jeff Novak who was at the end of this round. However, Fred was not done and wanted another two minutes for rebuttal. We were all amazed that he again kept talking after the signal to STOP. Fred, you get a D- for thinking that what you had to say was more important than anyone else in the debate last night.

Tom Tolman the other eight year incumbent made a statement that took me by surprise. He said that because he grew up in Bountiful and had pioneer descendants from Bountiful that he had a “right and responsibility” and that he had a “calling” to serve in Bountiful City government. Tom, I assume that you meant that due to the longevity of your family heritage in Bountiful that you felt a responsibility to serve in government to protect the heritage of your family and the community of Bountiful. I appreciate your love of Bountiful but anyone who wants to serve on the City Council has to be elected to that position by the community and no one can serve without receiving the majority of votes by the citizens in the community regardless of any “right” or "calling"they believe they have to the seat. Tom gets a C for failing to express himself in a way that does not make him look like an incumbent who believes he can continue to serve even if the people don’t vote him in for another term. I believe they call that Monarchy, we are a Republic, even in Bountiful.

Ernie Cox. Ernie, where have you been the last couple of months? You were insistent that you wanted to run for City Council even to the point of convincing Eric Hattabaugh to drop out of the race to avoid a primary runoff for the City Council seats, yet until last night I did not know if you were still in the race. You have no campaign signs anywhere in Bountiful and I have not seen or heard anything about you in weeks. I thought your comments last night were fine but when asked to describe the things that were done wrong and the things that were done right by the incumbents in the last eight years all you could say was that you did not think that they had done anything any different than you would have. I did not expect you to start listing your grievances with the decisions of the incumbents but I did expect more form you on that answer. I have to give Ernie and “Incomplete” because there just isn’t enough information to judge him on. Sorry Ernie, let’s hope you can get your message together and out in the next two weeks.

Obviously it would be a bit too biased if I rated my own performance. However, I do believe that I was well prepared and my biggest critic told me I did wonderful. My wife gave me an A. If you weren’t there you’ll just have to take her opinion for it. 

Overall, it was a great night and I enjoyed being a part of it. I really do appreciate the service of our Mayor and City Council over the last eight years. I know they have served to the best of their ability and I also know that if elected, I will most likely serve with one or more of them.

Mayor Johnson made another comment that we constantly hear in politics. He said that the current administration had worked hard in the last eight years and that there was much left to do and that they needed to serve another term to accomplish their goals. My response was that there will always be more to do and if you are that committed to a goal or a project for the city make sure that you get involved as an active citizen after your term ends and allow your replacement to take up the banner while you help him achieve your original goal.

Thanks again to all of you who attended the meeting it was quite revealing. I look forward to helping either Fred Moss or Tom Tolman assimilate back into the community so that I can pick up their torch and run with it! PLEASE VOTE WRIGHT on TUESDAY NOVEMBER 3rd

Monday, October 5, 2009

You can't go wrong when you vote wRight!

There is nothing more irritating for a voter than to support a candidate based on what they have learned from either listening to the candidate, reading the candidates campaign materials or even worse talking directly with the candidate and feeling satisfied with the information they received from the candidate to eventually vote for the candidate, and then shortly after the candidate becomes the newly elected official and takes office he does the exact opposite of what he campaigned on.

Unfortunately, this happens all too often in politics.  Those who know me know that I am a very passionate person but that I also listen to understand and then when I have formed an opinion I express it and then act upon it. I do what I say I am going to do.

There are several issues that I am extremely committed to.
  •  I will never, ever vote to liberalize our alcohol laws. These laws allow merchants to responsibly sale alcohol (their legal right), while at the same time protecting our families and children from irresponsible patrons who drink and drive. And they also help to keep our teenagers away from easy access to alcohol. For years Utah has had fewer alcohol related accidents or deaths than any state in the nation.  Liberalizing our laws even on a local level send the wrong message to our teenagers and also put more of our citizens at risk of loss of property or even life.
  • I will never, ever vote to mandate anything that is not totally necessary to protect life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness, i.e., I would not vote to "FORCE" our citizens to pay an extra fee and require them to recycle their garbage, especially after discovering that the overwhelming majority DO NOT want the mandate! 
  • I will not vote to take away the property of a law abiding citizen simply to improve commerce either public or private.  I will not encourage a city employee to harass and threaten a citizen with legal action simply because their mother in law has worn out her welcome according to some ancient and ill-conceived city ordinance. Instead, I would bring the ordinance to the attention of the council and either amend it, update it or simply do away with it. City ordinances should be designed to protect our liberties not take them away.
  • I will not vote to raise taxes due to municipal mismanagement of funds.  Tax increases should be the last resort after re-budgeting, tightening and reevaluating expenditures.  Most tax increases could be avoided with proper budget planning and then sticking to that budget.
I realize that it is easy to play the Monday morning quarterback, but some things are innate.  We are raised with them or we learn them and they become part of who we are.  I am not ashamed to say that I am a conservative, I AM A CONSERVATIVE!  But that doesn't mean that I can't get along with those who have opposing or even opposite views.  I have many friends who have different political ideas.  I understand the reality of getting along with people, even those who are not your friends or who don’t think the same.  But, I will not compromise my core beliefs!  They make me the person that I am. 

I don’t believe in compromising my integrity or my principles.  It is my goal to bring people to my side and not to lean across the aisle and not to expect to get dirty.  There are too many politicians who have soiled their integrity and conscience by leaning over to the other side to compromise who they are and what they believe.  I refuse to be another one of them.  This does not mean that I refuse to learn.  Surely there will be many issues that require creative thinking and even challenging decisions.  But I believe that if I keep my principles and values in check that I can make the tough decisions without compromising who I am and what I have promised to those who vote for me.

I give anyone who votes for me my word that I will not say what you want to hear just to get your vote and then do the opposite once elected.  I have made it clear who I am and what I believe.  If elected I will be true to myself and those who elect me and I will not simply fall in line just to become one of the good old boys. You as a voter are not looking for someone who will simply fit in.  You want someone who believes the way you believe, acts the way you act and will stand up for truth regardless of the political consequence even if it means a loss of popularity or expulsion from the club.

I have no intention to get into City Council and simply stir things up or create trouble.  I am confident that I can work with whoever wins the mayor’s race; I know both Mayor Johnson and Jeff Novak.  I know they are good men even though they see some things differently.  I know that either would not knowingly lead the city astray. I also know the existing Council members and I know that they each have their opinions on things and that there will be times when I am in agreement with some, all or none of them.  I can deal with that.  With your help I will win this race and I will be the voice, your voice that you may feel is often missing in our city.

I am Phill Wright and I am confident that I am the person you want to represent you in the Bountiful City Council.  Please, call me if you have other questions.  My cell phone is 801-540-3598. I ask for your vote on November 3rd.

I am confident you won't go wrong when you vote wRight!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Recession is over? Tell that to the 10% of Americans who don’t have a job.

With the recent statements lately by the news media that the recession is over you would think that we would no longer see those hefty unemployment reports each month that show first time unemployment claims in the hundreds of thousands. Do you think those people are feeling much better about being jobless now that the recession is over? What’s even more amazing is the government analysts have been talking about the “good news” in jobs because the amount of layoffs has decreased in recent months. Excuse me, but just because we have seen a decrease in the amount of unemployment claims doesn’t mean that we should get giddy over the ADP Report which shows that the private sector job market cut 254,000 people in September. Those jobs were held by real people. I don’t suspect that they are reading the report and having tailgate parties with their unemployed friends and neighbors celebrating the “good news.” Of course the Labor Department projects that number to be 200,000 but we have seen that their projections have been way off for months. Either way is this an indication that the recession is over?

What planet do some of the members of the news media live on? Dose their home planet have “good news” about their unemployment situation too? Let’s not all go out and buy a new car on this “good news” (of course, that program is gone now too). Instead, let’s look at the numbers and see how they REALLY add up.

Barry Habib of the Mortgage Market Guide did a great job of breaking things down. Here are his thoughts; “The population is growing, therefore the workforce is growing. There are 150M people in the workforce, and that number grows by about 1% or 1.5M people per year – simply due to population growth. Just to keep pace with that, the US needs to create about 125K jobs a month. So realistically, a loss of 200,000 jobs is actually means we are falling 325,000 jobs behind for just one month…which is enormous. Now consider that nearly 10% of the work force is unemployed – that’s 15 million people – a huge number of folks who are without jobs. And many people are not even counted in that data…If you haven’t looked for work in four weeks, you are removed from the ranks of “officially unemployed” people – but you might be discouraged, ill, dealing with family issues and therefore not seeking work. Taking those people into consideration brings actual Unemployment rates to about 11%. Then going on further, and counting the folks who have had to settle for part time work, as no full time positions were available – this brings the real rate of unemployment to about 17%! This is a whopping 23M people who are, for all intents and purposes – unemployed. This is more than the population of the state of Texas, or New York, or Florida…or actually any other state in the US other than California.
So how do we get back to the forty year average rate of unemployment, which was closer to 6%? And remember – for the past 15 years, which includes the 2001-2002 recession, the very worst rate of unemployment seen was about 6%. We’d have to see a drop in unemployment of 4%...which means 6M more people need jobs. If the target to reach this was over 5 years, the US would need to create 100,000 more jobs per month – ie: 6 million people divided by 60 months = 100,000 jobs per month. PLUS don’t forget, we need at least 125,000 additional jobs just to keep pace with population growth. This means the US needs to add 225,000 jobs per month minimum, consistently over the course of five straight years, just to get back to what we’ve become accustomed to being a normal level of unemployment.”
In the past 10 years – there was only one year when this level was achieved. It was 2006, during very good times, when we grew by 232,000 jobs per month on average over the course of the year. During the past 20 years, the average growth rate has been 91,000 jobs per month – and the very best 10 years were from 1991 – 2000, when we averaged 150,000 per month. So how do we get to 225,000 jobs per month on average for the next five years? Bottom line, we won’t. Expect higher unemployment rates to persist.”


I am not trying to let the wind out of anyones sails but the reality is that the recession is not over. Many think that we have not hit the bottom yet. We continue to see a rise in unemployment with more layoffs daily. And don’t be fooled by anyone who tries to cook the numbers or make bad news look like “good-news.” Bad is bad, good is good and we’re all big enough now to know the difference. Who knows how much longer we’ll be in this recession but my guess is that we have at least two more years before we start to see some recovery. Keep in mind all the news that got us here was based on the residential mortgage market mess and now we are looking for the next shoe to drop, the commercial mortgage market and that shoe is even bigger!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Proud to be an American? Yes I am! And I thank God every day!

Few things make my blood boil more than when I hear a thankless foreigner of one of the many countries that America has protected from the horrors of war and the conquest of an evil empire, slander with disdain the United States of America. These, uneducated individuals show their complete ignorance of world history and the place America has played in keeping them free from the bondage of an aggressor who at the very least would require them to learn a new language.

I am proud to be an American! If there is ever a time when pride is an acceptable thing it is when declaring that pride to live in the greatest country god has ever given to man, the United States of America. My ancestors are from England, Ireland and Scotland. I also have ancestors of Cherokee Indian decent, but I am first and foremost and American! I am not some type of hyphenated English-Irish-Scottish-Cherokee Indian-American, I am a full-blooded American and although there are many wonderful countries throughout the world with similar ideals none is more blessed with freedom and the hand of Divine Providence than America and I proudly call it my home!

The United States of America is the leader in the world for new technology, Medical advancement (and yes, we DO have the BEST health care system in the world regardless of what some with a warped sense of understanding may think). We have defended the sovereignty of more nations than any other country in the world. We don’t conquer a country and then take its land; Iraq, Japan, Germany and the countries of the former Soviet Union are flying their own flags not the US flag.

The world leader in foreign aid is The United States of America. We also are the highest in charitable giving in the world. There are times when I, like many Americans, get so frustrated with ungrateful recipients of American charity that I would like to tell them to drink their oil and eat their sand. But we are too caring and too generous to make such as statement even when our face is being slapped and our hand is being bitten.

It is bad enough when a foreigner slams America but it is even more repugnant when an American who has reaped all the benefits of living in this great land tries to destroy it from the inside out. People like Michael Moore remind me of the hideous creature in the movie Alien that gestates inside the human body and then rips its way out destroying the body in the process. (Sorry for the graphic reference). People like this ungrateful loser receive all the benefits from a free capitalist country and then turn around and slam the capitalism and freedom that gave him the ability to profit from his American hatred! Is this not the epidemy of ignorance? Don’t you just wish we could send him to work in one of the sweat shops in China for a week and then see if he appreciates America? I know that many of you would want to give him a one-way ticket to China and truthfully I am one of you!

I recently re-read a wonderful Cover Story article printed in USA Today in 2002 by William J. Bennett called A Nation Worth Defending. He wrote about the lack of education of world and American history for our youth. He quoted the following statistics from a survey conducted by Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT), “Moreover, of the 55 highest-ranked colleges and universities in the nation, not a single one requires students to take a course in American history in order to graduate. Only three require a course in Western civilization. This is cause for alarm, but it should not come as a surprise. The recently released National Assessment of Education Progress reveals that 57% of high school Students are "below basic" in their knowledge of history. Just 18% of fourth-graders, 17% of eighth-graders, and 11% of 12th-graders score at the "proficient" level, the one at which the National Assessment Governing Board, the administrators of the tests, says all students should perform.”

He continued with more alarming statistics; “This historical ignorance is not merely of academic concern. It has real-world consequences. Returning to the AVOT poll, more than 70% of college students disagree--and 34% strongly disagree--that the values of the U.S. are superior to those of other countries. More than one-third disagree with the claim that, "Despite its flaws, the United States is the best country in the world." Eighty percent reject the claim that Western civilization, with its unparalleled achievements and human flourishing, is superior to Arab civilization. In what was perhaps the most-striking finding, one-third said that they would evade a military draft in the war on terrorism; another third would refuse to serve abroad; and just one-third would willingly go fight overseas.” I, like Mr. Bennett, believe that this lack of patriotism stems from a lack of education about America and our great history of the defense of humanity. Our children need to be educated with the truth about America, it is the greatest nation on the earth and any honest historian can state the facts that America has done more for the advancement of freedom and the sovereignty of individual nations than any other country in the world. Again, if there is an instance when pride is a good thing it is in being proud to be an American. Yes I am! And I thank God every day!

Mr. Bennett's article can be found online at: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1272/is_2690_131/ai_94384312/

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Like an Ostrich with its Head in the Sand

Remember when you were a small child and would cover your face with both hands so as not to be seen? Your parents would say things like "Where did he go?" or "Oh no! We can't see you anymore?" As a small child you thought covering your face not only kept you from seeing anyone but it also kept anyone from seeing you. You also thought covering your face kept you safe from harm. As you grew older reality took over and you soon understood that covering your face only kept you from seeing what was going on around you; you were not hidden from anyone but were still in plain sight. It was like the ostrich fabled to put its head in the sand to hide. (Another reality is that Ostriches don’t put their heads in the sand to hide. This was a myth attributed to the ancient author Pliny the elder who lived around A.D.23-79). Although the Ostrich does not put its head in the sand to hide it does attempt to be stealth by simply sitting on the ground. It is still the largest bird in the world and sitting on the ground even in the bushes does not do much to hide it. When you live in a nice town, a wonderful state or a free country you tend to ignore the politics around you that either enable these freedoms or inhibit them. Unfortunately, most people don’t get involved enough in their communities or their country because they are too busy living their lives and dealing with the day-to-day tasks necessary to maintain whatever measure of happiness or success they have attained. This is evident with the low voter turnout in the US at nearly every election whether local or national. How many of us are still hiding our faces with our hands or worse yet, putting our heads into the sand or just sitting on the ground to hide from reality or commitment? Most people quickly take their hands from their faces or pull their heads out of the ground when they discover that their personal liberties have been taken from them. Unfortunately, sometimes it is too late to do anything after the fact. The irony of the Ostrich is that it is not only the largest bird in the world but that it has the largest eyes and best vision among its kind. This means that if it stands tall, lifts its head high and opens its eyes wide it can see all around it at great distances and quickly discover any enemy far and wide that would do it harm. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with us being like the Ostrich as long as we utilize its most effective means of protection—its big eyes. Open your eyes and find out what is happening around you in your community, your state and your nation. Discover what you can do to protect your way of life, your liberty and happiness and then when you discover it go to the voting booth and cast a vote for the man or woman who sees things through your eyes!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Self-Imposed TERM LIMITS say something about the politician

I remember back in 1992 the voters in the State of Washington instituted term limits on their elected officials.  The state’s US congressman at the time Democrat Tom Foley was a powerful heavily entrenched career politician who had already served in the US House for nearly 30 years, decided that the voters in his state were wrong and he being a seasoned lawyer brought a suit against his state to overturn the new initiative. Hard to believe, but true!  What does this say about the attitude of an elected official who turns on his own constituents? It seemed surreal that any politician could be so callus and arrogant toward those who had elected him into office, time and time again, election after election for three decades! Was Mr. Foley an example what happens to politicians who forget why they are in office-to SERVE and represent the values, beliefs and needs of their constituents who elected them to office?

Mr. Foley was the Speaker of the US House, a position he achieved in 1986 when House Speaker Jim Wright (D) of Texas resigned his position in the midst of an ethics scandal. While in the House, Speaker Foley, consistently opposed efforts to impose term limits on the elected officials in Washington State. He won the support of the State’s voters to reject a term limits referendum in 1991 but just one year later in 1992 the voters decided that they had had enough and passed the initiate and term limits became the law.

One would think that an elected official would get the message of one’s constituents but this was not the case with Tom Foley.  He pressed on with his law suit challenging the constitutionality of a state law setting eligibility requirements on federal offices. The Federal courts sided with Mr. Foley declaring that states did not have the authority under the U.S. Constitution to limit the terms of federal officeholders. A victory for Mr. Foley?  I think not.  Now as Paul Harvey would say; “here’s the rest of the story.”

In 1994 just two years after the States voter approved term limits initiate Mr. Foley decided that he wanted to run once again for re-election. Now just imagine your are the sitting congressman and your constituents in record numbers voted to keep you from making a career out of your position you laughed at them called them ignorant, ill-informed law-breakers, you sued them in Federal court and now you smile at those whom you have conquered and tell them that you want to SERVE them once again for a 16th term. Does this even seem real?  Into the picture comes Republican challenger George Nethercutt of Spokane, Washington. Nethercutt was a well spoken and confident newcomer to politics.  His campaign focused on one simple line, "Foley against the People of the State of Washington." Nethercutt won the election making Tom Foley the first sitting Speaker of the House to lose his bid for re-election since Galusha Grow in 1862.

Term limits are a wonderful thing when they are self-imposed.  It is the recognition that lengthy service breeds entitlement.  It is the very reason that President’s Washington and Jefferson after both serving two terms would not run for a third.  They each new that the longer they served the greater the likelihood that selflessness could become selfishness. Even George Nethercutt promised the voters of Washington that he would only serve three terms but he served five and lost his bid for a sixth term! Obviously, the voters finally caught on that time.

There are two reasons that I support term limits. First is apathy. Apathy (a low voter turnout) usually keeps the incumbents in office.  It is when the voters look the other way and don’t vote that their freedoms are slowly taken from them.  Term limits are a good way to keep apathy from re-electing the same people year after year decade after decade.  The second reason I support term limits is because the incumbents have discovered another way to stay in office through re-districting.  They simply re-draw the lines in their districts to make sure that they only capture the people who voted for them.  This way regardless of the voter turnout they will be re-elected because the majority of the voters in their “new” district are the party-liners who voted for them the last time.

If more people would vote there would be no need for term limits. Ultimately the power should always be in the hands of the voters not the politicians.  The only power a politician should and does have is that that is given them in measure by those who put them in office. When that power is abused or worse, used against the very people who gave it, the voters MUST take it away.  And the best way to take it away is at the election both one vote at a time.  But until more voters exercise their God-given right to vote I will support term limits!

If you've Never FAILED you've never lived.

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