Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More on the Showdown in House District 9

Questions on the issues of dual representation and convention rules

The Standard-Examiner picks up on the local story this morning which we first revealed on Saturday: Emerald City councilman Jesse Garcia is indeed challenging Rep. Neil Hansen for his House Legislative 9 seat at the Weber County Democratic party nominating convention, for a possible spot on the ballot in the June 24 primary election.

This morning's story adds another wrinkle to this 2008 election story which has become quite familiar in the politics of Emerald city. As Scott Schwebke reports, "Garcia also said he would consider finishing out his council term that expires in 2010 while serving simultaneously in the Legislature, if elected."

The issue of dual representation first raised its head as a local issue two years ago, during Senator Jon Greiner's 2006 Senate campaign, when some citizens complained that Greiner could not, or should not, simultaneously serve as District 19 State Senator and Ogden City Chief of Police. Yet Greiner is now within weeks of completing his second legislative session, with nary a complaint, at least none that's risen to the surface of public perception.

Similarly, Neil Hansen was criticised during his 2007 Ogden City municipal election campaign, when he refused to rule out serving a dual mayor/house representative role, in the event he were to be elected Mayor of Ogden.

So what about it, gentle readers? Let us know what you think. Would it be for any reason improper for Councilman Garcia to occupy the dual role of Ogden City Councilman/ Legislative District 9 Representative, in the event he were to prevail in November's election?

And we have a sidebar question for any readers familiar with Weber County Democratic Party convention rules. Can anyone explain to us under what circumstances both Hansen and Garcia could emerge from convention and face each other in a June primary? And under what circumstances would only one of them surivive convention to become the sole WCDP candidate in November?

Inquiring minds need to know.

7 comments:

just an observer said...

Greiners’ position as Senator and Chief of Police is a conflict in my eyes. He is being manipulated by the Godfrey Administration, and it is so blatant.

I believe that the position he is in with the manipulation from his Boss is every bit as bad as the pigs lined up for gifts and favors from lobbyists.

I think that there needs to be some type of law that will only allow a person to hold one elected public office at a time. But with the self serving all omnipotent Republican controlled legislature, it has a snowballs’ chance in hell of ever being considered.

As for Jesse being the best candidate for the district 9, I don’t think that his past record as councilman is very stellar; he has for the most part sat on the side lines and didn’t really make any real decisions that would convince me that he is a true leader. I suppose that the voters will decide that however.

J. Spencer said...

I doubt there have been many lessons learned by Garcia, while meekly serving on the Ogden Council, which would be at all useful in that snakepit called the state legislature.

Curmudgeon said...

You raise two different issues, here. One, should state legislators hold another public job at the same time [city councilman, police chief, city mayor]. The problem is, the job of state rep. is part time. Part time job, part time pay. That's what the job was intended to be, by the way. So long as that is so, we have to presume that state legislators [unless they are retired or independently wealthy without having to work] necessarily must have a full time job in addition to their part time legislative job.

I should also note that this problem... and many others, potentially... would be solved by the legislature adopting Rep. Hansen's suggestion that state legislative jobs be made full time, with full time pay. If that were done, the public would have a right to insist... and should insist... that elected state legislators not hold any other full time job simultaneously. That would include, say, Mayor of Ogden or Police Chief.

It might not include the part-time job of city councilman. However, having become a council-watcher over the last two years, I've discovered that any council person who is doing his or her job as it should be done, is putting in damn near full-time hours. Or more. The regular meetings, the works sessions, the RDA meetings, the work done between sessions, the research involved in just keeping up with the proposals coming before the Council, etc. I don't see how someone could do a good job, simultaneously, as both an Ogden City Council member and a state legislature.

The second issue is whether Councilman Garcia can wrest the nomination away from Rep. Hansen. [There was also another candidate who announced at the Weber County Democratic Central Committee meeting last week, and yet another who indicated she was thinking of running for Hansen's nomination.] Parties rarely deny renomination to incumbents with a demonstrated record of repeated election success, as Hansen has. But the nomination will be made by the delegates from Leg 9 at the Weber County Convention. It's not a county-wide contest. If Hansen is solid with his Democratic constituents, if he's done in their view a good job of representing them, if his constituent services operation has been a good one, it will be very difficult for Garcia or anyone else to take the nomination. The answer to your question, Rudi, lies in the Leg 9 district. If the rank and file of party activists there are satisfied with Hansen's work on their behalf, I don't see Garcia or anyone else taking the nomination from him.

I'm not from Leg 9, but if I was, I'd support Hansen's renomination and election. If Hansen were not running, I'd happily support Garcia's nomination and election.

just an observer said...

So Curm, are you saying that these patriotic legislators are serving as a means of income? Or are they doing as a civic minded person wanting to give bake to the communities. I tend to believe that all of the flag waving and rhetoric of civic mindedness is not really that, but rather another teat for them to suckle.

I just think it is not appropriate to hold 2 elected postions at one time. That was the question. As for Greiner, I was only commenting about the blatant cronyism that is alive and thriving in the Godfrey administration. You would have to see it first hand to believe. I have been in the room when the ass kissing and DNA swapping has occurred whith our beloved Senator and his minions.

Viktor said...

Observer

Greiner is not elected as Chief of Police. He serves at the pleasure of the mayor. therefore he is not serving in two elected positions.

By the way, he is a quadruple dipper from the public trough. He is actually retired from the police force with full benefits, He is also current Police Chief with big salary, He is also retired from the Army Reserve with pension, and he is drawing salary from his State Senate Seat. All of which makes him perhaps the biggest sucker attached to the public tit in Utah.

Todd said...

Nomination of Candidates for the General Election. All persons intending to become candidates at the Primary Convention for any elected public office, except for Lieutenant Governor of the State of Utah, shall file a statement of
candidacy with either the County Clerk or Lieutenant Governor's Office, as is appropriate. Where the number of candidates
filing declarations of candidacy is not greater than the number of nominees required for the next general election, those
candidates shall be allowed to address the convention or caucus, as appropriate, seeking confirmation of the Democratic
Party nomination. If the candidate receives a majority of the vote of those delegates voting, the candidate shall be declared
to be the Party's nominee for that office and shall not be required to stand for election at the Primary Election. Should the
candidate receive less than a majority of the votes cast for confirmation, there shall be no Democratic Party nominee. Where the number of candidates is greater than the number of nominees required for the next general election, there shall be
nominating and seconding speeches made on behalf of the candidate and the candidate shall be allow ed to address the
convention or caucus, as appropriate. Then the delegates who reside in the district to be represented by the candidate shall
vote. Voting and the announcement of the voting shall be as follows:
(i) the delegate shall obtain the ballot from a member of the Registration or Elections Committee;
(ii) after voting the ballot the delegate shall dispose of the ballot as provided for by the Registration or
Elections Committee;
(iii) the official ballots shall then be transmitted to the members of the Election Committee for tabulation;
(iv) The results of the ballot shall be determined as follow s:
(A) if a candidate receives sixty percent or more of the votes cast at the primary convention, that
candidate shall become the party's nominee in the general election without the necessity of
standing for election in the primary election; or,
(B) if there were more than two candidates seeking the Party’s nomination and no candidate receives
sixty percent or more of the votes cast at the primary convention the convention shall use multiple
ballots. The two candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be placed on a second
ballot. If one candidate receives sixty percent or more of the votes cast at the primary convention,
that candidate shall become the party's nominee in the general election without the necessity of
standing for election in the Primary Election; or, if no candidate receives sixty percent or more of
the votes cast, or there were only two candidates on the initial ballot in which no candidate
received sixty percent or more of the vote, but one candidate receives at least fifty-seven percent
of the votes cast, there shall be a final ballot listing the same two candidates. If on the final ballot
one candidate receives sixty percent or more of the votes cast at the primary convention, that
candidate shall become the party's nominee in the general election without the necessity of
standing for election in the primary election; or, if no candidate receives sixty percent or more of
the votes cast both candidates shall be declared the party's nominees to stand for election at the
next Primary Election. The final ballot may be waived by the Party Chair upon the receipt of
written signed requests by both candidates seeking the nomination. Voting shall remain open for
successive ballots after the first as provided for in the Rules adopted for governing the Convention.

just a cop said...

Hansen is our man. For a Democrat he has more conservative values than any republican out there. He is what the republicans wished they had in their party.

Thank God he's a DEMOCRAT.

We love you Rep Hansen keep on fighting.

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