Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Becky Edwards was re-elected for a second term as a member of the Utah State House of Representatives in District 20.

Becky successfully overcame her challenger DJ Schanz with a final figure of 43 to 57.

The thing I hate about primaries is that the best two candidates are pitted against each other and when that happens a little mud begins to be slung back and forth blemishing both candidates.

The other thing I hate is being forced to choose between two good people and in this case both are personal friends.

I have made it clear from the beginning that I like both DJ and Becky and whoever wins will get my full support in the general election.

Primaries can cause hard feelings as people are forced to make a choice. Now we all need to come together and support Becky as our candidate against the Democrat challenger. She deserves our support.

DJ thanks for caring enough about your community and state to take a stand. Whenever an elected official has a challenger it causes them to rethink who they are what they believe and how well they truly serve their constituents. I believe that this race will make Becky a better representative and she has my support as she works through the issues in the upcoming term.

I encourage each of you to get involved in your community and state; discover the issues that will impact you, your family and your way of life. I understand that it is difficult as an elected representative to listen to the issues, the pro’s and con's and then to have to make a vote based on what you hear. Sometimes votes are cast for or against an issue based on the passion of those who either support or oppose it. This means that the right vote is not always cast. For this reason I believe that it is important that we all learn the issues and contact Becky and let her know how we believe. This makes it easier for her to truly represent her district.

I know that Becky is thoughtful and committed to vote according to what she thinks is best. And I know that she welcomes your opinion. Again, congratulations to Becky Edwards. Now lets' do our part as Republicans and vote for her in the general election in November!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

“Representation for Real” or “Republican for Real," you decide.

Those who know me know that both Becky Edwards and DJ Schanz are friends of mine. I believe that they are both good people and each would do their best to represent our district according to the dictates of his or her conscience.
The question is not which “friend” I should support. The question is which person do I believe truly represents my values, beliefs and views as well as those of my neighbors in legislative District 20.

Some of you may think that the Republican Party in Utah has moved too far to the right and others may think that we have allowed our party to be directed by the more moderate wing. Just for the record the name of my blog is “leaningwright” not “moderately middle” so hopefully you understand my political position.

I believe that the only time our party has been represented accurately according to our State and National platforms is when it is represented by those whose political leaning is to the right; the conservative agenda.

Ronald Reagan is without question the most revered conservative Republican president in modern times. He never left anyone to question how he stood on issues. He always made it clear that he was a conservative who held true to his conservative values.

Having said this, I also realize that he occasionally made decisions that were not in line with the conservative agenda, such as amnesty to ill-legal aliens and his support for free-trade which ultimately led to free trade agreements that sent American jobs out of the US and into other countries. Neither of these ideas is based on conservative principles. And I am willing to cut him some slack for bad decisions just as I would Becky if “some” of her decisions were not in line with our Republican platform.

But when it came to basic conservative and Republican principles Reagan never wavered but held true to things like protecting our country with a strong military, family values; his belief that government sponsored abortion and abortion on demand was wrong, his opposition to special rights for selected groups, his support for the sanctity of marriage, parents right to choose the education of their children, and his opposition to high powered and corrupt unions including the NEA are among just a few of the conservative principles he believed. And he never apologized for being a conservative!

We live in the most conservative State in the US and the Bountiful area is also very conservative. It is amazing to me how many people in this area have the same conservative views yet don’t get enough information and vote for candidates that don’t truly represent their political views.

This is why people like Sheryl Allen are elected for sixteen years under the guise that they are Republican and support the State platform when in actuality they vote like a Democrat. And in her case she is now running for Lieutenant Governor of Utah on the Democrat Party ticket! When someone of this position finally steps into the light everyone can see the truth about their political agenda.

Although DJ Schanz has been telling us that he is a conservative and he has been espousing his conservative political views for months we have nothing to judge him on except his statements and his promises. And all politicians make promises when they run for office just like Becky did when she ran two years ago against conservative Paul Neuenschwander with the slogan “Representation for Real.”

I would assume that everyone who voted for Becky two years ago in the Republican primary expected that her slogan meant that she would vote and represent her constituents like a “Real” Republican and according to the beliefs and values “Real” Republicans in Legislative District 20 care about.

I want to take a moment here and list some issues that both candidates have responded to. I have compiled their responses and how they would vote on each issue. If you are still not sure which candidate best represents your political values and beliefs, perhaps this list will help.

1. Would you vote to keep instate tuition for students here in Utah and our country illegally?

Becky: YES

2. Would you vote for a bill to increase taxes including cigarette taxes?

Becky: YES

3. Would you vote for a bill to make it easier for cities to increase recreation taxes?

Becky: YES

4. Would you vote for a bill to require licensing on hunting guides and outfitters?

Becky: YES

5. Would you vote for a bill to permit power companies to restrict your electrical consumption without your approval?

Becky: YES

6. Would you vote for a bill that allows a teacher to receive half of their income after quitting teaching and working full time for the UEA?

Becky: YES

7. Would you vote for a bill that requires cities to make financial information available to the public?

Becky: NO

8. Would you vote for a bill that would allow Utah to withdraw from the Western Climate Initiative, which imposes unnecessary and unproven regulation on private companies based on questionable Global Warming science?

Becky: NO

9. Would you vote for a bill that would end Affirmative action n Utah State Government employment positions which includes State Colleges and Universities, even as most minorities are lobbying to get rid of it?

Becky: NO

10. Would you vote for a bill in favor of "common ground" initiatives to grant special rights to gays and lesbians?

Becky: YES

Questions 1-8 represent actual bills that did come before the Utah State legislature and the responses Becky gave were based on how she voted. The last two questions are based on bills that will come before the legislature and the responses represent the positions that Becky and DJ have taken on each issue.

Two years ago Becky was in the same position as DJ and those who voted for her had to trust that she would represent according to the values and beliefs she claimed. For DJ, he has the challenge of convincing the voter if elected he will be the legislator he claims he would be. He claims to be a conservative Republican and that he will not vote for anything that challenges the constitution. That he will not vote for anything that takes away or unfairly restricts our freedoms, compromises are morals, standards and Republican values and that he will not vote for unfair or un-needed taxation.

However, with Becky we can look at her record for the last term. Do you believe that Becky Edwards votes the way you would vote? Does her record prove to you that she represents your Republican values? She is still using her original slogan of “Representation for Real.” Is this the real representation that you want to send back to our State government?

I believe that her vote on these issues tells us something about the type of “Representation for Real” she must have meant when she ran the first time and the type of representation she will continue to render in our behalf if re-elected.

I have noticed that DJ’s campaign signs say “Republican for Real.” Based on what we have heard from both candidates and based on the record that Becky has created in her first term, I believe the voters in our Republican primary MUST ask themselves this question; “Which of these candidates truly represents me and which candidate IS the Real Republican?”

Don’t vote for your best friend, vote for the person that you believe will best represent you each time a new bill or issues comes to the floor Representation for Real or Republican for Real, you decide.

*For a list of the bills quoted in this blog go to PAGE THREE: “BECKY EDWARDS, Is this the Representation for real you voted for?”

Friday, June 11, 2010

Obama should be looking for a way to plug the hole instead of an "Ass to kick"!

We are now into the second month since the April 20th, 2010 oil disaster at sea that took the lives of 11 BP oil rig workers in the Louisiana Gulf as well as sank the rig and created what has now become the worst oil disaster in history.

This disaster has been acerbated due to a series of government blunders that initially kept BP, the State of Louisiana and other private companies from offering immediate help to the prevention of what now appears to be oil coming ashore on the coasts of all of the Gulf coast states, including Florida!

This is by far the biggest and most costly presidential blunder of American History. We don’t even know yet the true costs of this nightmare. We don’t know how many businesses including small, medium and large companies will fold as they see their livelihood in the fishing and recreation industries disappear.

But it’s much more than just those who fish; it affects tourism, restaurants, financial institutions that hold loans for hundreds of companies in the area, it impacts insurance companies already strapped from the Hurricane Katrina disaster a few years ago, all types of jobs are interconnected with this industry. The economic impact has potential for massive wide spread collapse!

In the midst of this our inept president looking for a finger to point makes a comment that he’s looking for “whose ass to kick.” I am furious at the ignorance and incompetence of this political pawn of the left wing socialist progressive movement. He has never met with the CEO of BP who has asked for a meeting the convenience of the president, he drug his feet for WEEKS before his administration could authorize permits to those in the gulf who knew how to prevent this disaster from coming ashore. Instead, he has spent his time golfing and entertaining Hollywood celebrities in an expensive temporary fun tent gala on the Whitehouse lawn!

Now that the heat is on we see the true nature of this man exposed. He may be good at reading a teleprompter but when it comes to commander in chief he is nowhere to be found; well that’s not entirely true, if the tent is still up!

I feel the pain of those who were duped into voting for this fraud. I am still shocked when I see the occasional OBAMA 08 bumper sticker on a car. Now is the time to buy stock in Gillette as razor blade purchases should start going thru the roof as former Obama supporters began buying them to scrape any trace of their support for OBAMA off of their vehicles!

Obama is trying desperately to demonize BP as the big bad oil company responsible for the entire mess, yet his administration has down played the fact that BP was given a pass on a safety inspection just weeks before the disaster.

In an ABC News story on May 27, 2010 written by news correspondent Yunji de Nies, we learned of the “resignation” of S. Elizabeth Birnbaum the Director of the Mineral Management Service in the Obama administration. She reported; “At a news conference this afternoon, President Obama told reporters he was informed of Birnbaum’s resignation earlier this morning and did not know the circumstances by which it came about.”

Do you believe for one minute that Obama knew nothing about the circumstances of her resignation? This is a double edged sword. If he knew nothing about it, it proves my point at his ineptness as president; if he knew about it, it proves his culpability as the president that he knew about a vital department’s lack of oversight as a federal agency charged with overseeing safety and security of companies operating in this industry and did nothing to fix it!

Obama knew about the scandal ridden department in September of 2008 when MMS Employees were fired for accepting gifts, favors - even sex - from oil industry employees in exchange for “looking the other way.” He appointed Ken Salazar to be Secretary of the Interior in December 2008 and he pledged to clean things up

Obama told ABC news “I can tell you what I’ve said to Ken Salazar, is that we have to make sure if we are going forward with domestic oil production that the federal agency charged with overseeing its safety and security is operating at the highest level.” I guess the words “highest level” must mean something different to Obama than they do to the rest of us.

And finally, (sorry this is so long, but I’m a little heated and I need to get this off of my chest) the embarrassment Speaker of the House said that BP shareholders are going to have to wait on the dividend until BP has covered the costs of this disaster. When I first heard this I was driving in my car and thankfully there were no other cars near me because I’m sure my driving became quite erratic at that moment. Madam Speaker, the government does not have the right or authority to tell any private company who they will pay, how much they will pay or when they will pay! The United States is still a REPUBLIC not a Dictatorship or Communist rĂ©gime!

Later I heard the CEO of BP suggest that his shareholders may not be getting their dividends. I don’t know if this comment was made because of US pressure or not, but I have no problem if a company makes this type of decision on its own, but not under the dictate of the US Government. The last time I checked Obama still owned to US auto companies but he hadnt taken over BP yet!

There are those who would like to see BP destroyed by this. I understand the frustration but BP is an international company owned 39% by Americans, American pensioners and American pension funds The financial fallout would be devastating to hundreds of thousands of Americans who have invested in this company.

Here is a list of some of the larger investors; State Street Bank, Wellington Management , Barrow Hanley, Bank of America , State Farm Insurance, T. Rowe Price, Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Management, Tradewinds Global and Gates Foundation. These companies have invested billions into BP. Just imagine the magnitude of financial crisis it would cause if BP went under because of this.

No, we do not want to see BP destroyed by this unfortunate and horrific disaster. Instead, we need them to be strong enough to help pay for the cleanup and restitution to those who died working on the oil rig and the untold future numbers of those whose livelihood will be impacted for years to come.

President Obama would be better off keeping his dirty mouth shut and letting the governor's in the Gulf States handle this mess with whatever help or authorization they need from the FED's but without their direct involvement.  The Federal Government's involvement in the BP oil disaster gives new meaning to the term "muddy the water."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Looking at two of the Nation’s biggest disasters, The BP Oil spill in the Gulf and President Barack Obama!

The oil spill in the Gulf is now being called the worst oil spill in US history. BP, President Obama and Bobbie Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana struggle to find a way to cap the broken drill pipe which is releasing about 800,000 gallons of oil each day off the coast of Louisiana. Oil has started to run ashore in Louisiana, Alabama and soon Florida.

This unthinkable mess that killed 11 oil rig workers on April 20th, 2010 when the oil rig exploded and sank in ocean waters over a mile deep is now threatening the fishing industry in at least two states and the tourism industry in three states.

Governor Jindal blasted the Obama administration today for not moving quicker to issue Federal permits for containment plans. He said it took over three weeks for the administration to respond and then they only received about 25% of the permits they have requested. While thousands of workers are on the scene, every attempt thus far to cap the pipe has failed.

President Obama, in an attempt to look presidential and in charge, went to Louisiana last week and held a bloviated news conference with top military leaders and advisors including-- college professors. He embarrassed himself when he spoke about how his daughter asked “daddy when are you going to plug the hole?” He threatened BP with the cost of the cleanup and any other financial hardship caused by the catastrophe. And he concluded his rambling remarks with a promise to the American people that this disaster is top on his priority list and that he will use every resource available to him to plug the hole!

So far nothing has worked to plug the hole and he has now turned to Hollywood as he usually does when nothing else is working for him and has asked movie director James Cameron to help with a solution to capping the pipe. James Cameron couldn’t stop the Titanic from sinking (one of the most successful films he directed) but hopefully that experience has taught him more about oceanic disasters so that he can be one of Obama’s best resources.

I’m sure if Mr. Cameron’s ideas don’t work he’ll turn to other well-qualified sources such as comedian Jerry Seinfeld or perhaps famous singer-songwriter Sir Paul McCartney who both just appeared at the White House Wednesday June 2nd, 2010. Of course, they are among his top secret back-up plans invited to the White House under the cover of Sir McCartney receiving the nation’s highest musical award. Hopefully one of the three will be able to come up with the idea that will finally plug the hole!

Here are the facts:

• More than 17,000 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast States have been authorized to help with the spill

• Over 20,000 government, private and contract workers are on the scene

• About four million feet of containment and sorbent boom has been deployed to contain the spill and almost 14 million gallons of oily water has been recovered so far.

• There are over 120 controlled burns of oil on the water

• Over 1,900 ships are helping in the containment and clean up efforts

As you read these statistics you, like me, probably thought that this pipe must be massive. We know that it is about a mile deep and hard for conventional dives and equipment to reach. But with the difficulty and numerous attempts to cap the spewing pipe it must be the size of an oil tanker, right? Wrong! Would you believe that the pipe is only 6.625 inches in diameter? That is about the size of your average student calculator.

Now, I surely don’t claim to be an engineer or rocket scientist or oceanographer or college professor or even famous movie director, comedian, singer or any other specialist in hole plugging. But since this pipe opening is only about the size of a small waste paper basket, if I were Obama I would take my daughters advice and find something that would simply plug the leak instead of capping it.

And if I were Obama I would know just the thing—something that is thicker than two phone books, absorbent when wet, thoroughly useless, never known and surely would not be missed by the government or the American public. By using this item Obama would be the hero--the leak would be stopped and the country would even be saved from financial ruin.

Mr. Obama please, I beg of you cork the leak with the only thing sure to gum-up and plug the system, the new HR 4872, 2,087 page Health Care bill you and congress just shoved down our throats! I can promise you that about two thirds of the country will apalud as you "fill Barry fill!"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

We're all so different yet so much alike

As I write this post I am sitting in a terminal in the Atlanta airport waiting for my flight.  I look around and see waves and waves of people from all walks of life, ethnicity and national origin. They’ve come here from all parts of the world as a leg or final destination of their journey; all so different, yet all alike. 
By the time you have made it through the full body scan, pat down and disrobing security process you seem to be striped of your individuality and you are just like everyone else who just went through the same irritating and somewhat humiliating procedure just to board a plane.
As I look around I don’t see a variety of political, religious and social beliefs I simply see people, people just like me trying to get by in life the best they can.  It is odd how you feel that connection to strangers in an airport. 
Our political beliefs cover the full spectrum of ideas but when you strip away that thin layer of differences our connection is a spiritual connection that we are all children of a higher being. We share similar hopes and dreams of freedom, security financial success, and personal liberty, healthy and happy families.  We are all very much alike.
I remember the Bay area Earthquake October 17th 1989 at 5:04 PM in the Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose California area. The World Series had just started at Candlestick Park in San Francisco and the stadium was filled to capacity when the 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit. 
Within minutes the Oakland Bay Bridge crashed into the ocean killing the handful of people in their cars.  The irony is that typically at 5:04 PM on a weekday that bridge would normally be packed bumper to bumper with traffic as workers were on their way home. But not this day, it was the World Series and Candle Stick Park was the destination of most of those vehicles.  It was the savior of hundreds maybe even thousands of lives who decided to go to a ball game instead of driving the long and congested commute home.
I was in my office in a high rise building in San Jose when the quake struck.  The sudden jolt and continual gyrations overturned desks, filing cabinets, and chairs and shook pictures off of the walls.  I looked out the window and watched as the road in front of the office moved up and down like a wave in the sea. 
The quake seemed to last forever as we were all frozen in time all wondering if this was the big one.  There was nothing you could do, nowhere to go nowhere to hide.  When the quake and aftershocks finally ended I felt a tremendous sense of relief and gratitude to god for sparing my life and the life’s of millions including my friends and family.
That night as I drove home my typical 30 minute drive took over two hours.  Along the way I could see damage to some of the homes where front porches or chimneys pulled away from the home. Cellular phones or “car phones” as they were initially known, were fairly new and I was one of the fortunate ones to own one but I had no service all the way home.  So my attempts at contacting my family were in vain, and all I could do was hope and pray that they were safe.
The oddity of the experience is that there was not one reported traffic accident or citation that evening in northern California.  People would approach a non-working traffic light and politely wave people by and they took turns through the intersection.  Somehow that one night each of us were able to put aside our differences in politics, religion and social beliefs and we simply became people, survivors who united in what we had in common instead of dividing with our differences.
One other oddity happened that night that did not manifest itself until nine months later.  Northern California had its largest baby boom sense World War II.  The survivors embraced and expressed their love for their family and friends and their gratitude for god and his saving grace.  And many did more than just embrace.  And yes, I will admit my wife and I also participated in the expression of love as we witnessed the birth of a beautiful baby girl July 17th, 1990 exactly nine months later to the day and almost hour.
Well my plane will be boarding soon so I need to go to my gate.  One last look around and I am grateful for my connection to all of these strangers. We’re not so different after all. May their hopes and dreams come true and I hope that each of them makes it safely to their final destination.

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

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