Friday, February 27, 2009

Campaign Finance Reform Needed Right Here in Ogden

A Guest Commentary that the Standard-Examiner refused to print

By Dan Schroeder

I was pleasantly startled by the Standard-Examiner's recent editorial advocating campaign finance reform for Utah legislators ("Too much insider cash", February 17).

Of course I was pleased, because the editorial was absolutely right. We need to put limits on corporate contributions, and the public has a right to know where contributions are coming from.

But why was I startled? Because I naively assumed that the Standard-Examiner would have the same attitude toward the legislature that it has toward local elected officials. Let me explain.

Utah's campaign finance disclosure statute applies only to state-level races and school boards--not to county and municipal elections. Cities and counties can pass their own disclosure ordinances, but most of these ordinances are even weaker than the state-level requirements.

For example, Ogden City's ordinance shares all the weaknesses of the state statute, and adds several more:
• It requires no disclosures from incumbent office holders between election cycles;
• It contains an ambiguity that has been interpreted to exempt all political action committees (PACs) from filing disclosure statements;
• It doesn't require that disclosure statements be posted on a web site, so citizens must visit the City Recorder's office and pay 25 cents per page to obtain copies;
• Its enforcement is left up to the City Recorder and City Attorney, who serve at the pleasure of the mayor and thus have a conflict of interest when the incumbent mayor is a candidate.
These weaknesses could perhaps be forgiven if the amount of money involved were negligible. But Ogden's last mayoral campaign cost well over $200,000, while the contested city council races cost over $20,000 each. When office holders have to raise that kind of money, it's too easy for them to become beholden to the contributors.

And who are the contributors? For our incumbent mayor, the pattern is striking. His disclosure statements read like a who's-who of companies and individuals doing business with the city: Gadi Leshem, $10,000; R & O Construction, $10,000; Staker Parson, $10,000; Boyer Company, $9000; Larry Myler, $9000; and on down the list. The conflicts of interest are obvious, but they're completely legal under Ogden's ordinance.

Meanwhile, two of the 2007 city council candidates took advantage of Ogden's loophole for PACs. By receiving most of their contributions through PACs, they were able to hide the origin of these contributions until months after the election.

During the first half of 2007, an organization called Envision Ogden conducted various fundraising activities, including the "Sneak Peek" opening of the Salomon Center. A few citizens became curious and eventually learned that Envision Ogden intended to register as a political action committee with the IRS. Its first political contribution appeared on a candidate's disclosure statement on October 26, but the full picture wasn't clear until the following May, when it filed the required disclosure statement with the IRS (several months late). According to that statement, Envision Ogden spent $26,884 on the 2007 election, including some direct expenditures in support of the mayoral campaign and several large contributions to another entity that immediately forwarded the money to city council candidates.

Yet in all of its extensive coverage of Ogden's 2007 campaign, the Standard-Examiner showed almost no interest in following the money. It did run a perfunctory article after each set of disclosure statements was filed, informing readers of the total amounts raised and the names of a few of the donors. But it never looked at the big picture, or mentioned the large PAC contributions, or raised any ethics concerns. Citizens repeatedly tried to alert the Standard-Examiner to the suspicious activities of Envision Ogden, and were repeatedly told that the matter was not newsworthy.

So again, I'm pleased that the Standard-Examiner is taking a strong stand for ethics and disclosure in the Utah Legislature. I look forward to the day when the newspaper will show a similar interest in what's happening right here in Ogden.

Dan Schroeder has been commenting on Ogden politics for over 15 years, and frequently writes for the Weber County Forum blog site (under his real name). His contributions to Ogden political candidates are listed on their disclosure statements, available at the City Recorder's office.

Added note: This commentary was submitted to the Standard-Examiner on Friday, February 20. The following Monday, the author received the following response from Executive Editor Andy Howell:
Sorry Dan.

We run guest columns in response to editorials when the author was the subject, or connected to the subject, of the editorial. You are free to cut this down to 300 words or less and submit it as a letter to the editor, or attach it to the comments to the editorial online.

Thanks,

Andy
Reader comments are invited as always.

48 comments:

hmm said...

I am wondering if the Ogden Community Foundation is involved also.

Curmudgeon said...

The SE says it does not do investigative reporting because it cannot afford to have its limited number of reporters devote extensive time [which investigative reporting demands] to only one story. Now, a reader, Dan, has done the paper's work for it, done the investigating, dug out the facts, exposed the smoke-and-mirrors kabuki dance by which Envision Ogden was trotted out as a public spirited group of the civic minded who, as such, got to use public tax supported facilities for fund raising, and then morphed [out of the public eye until long after the election was over] into a Godfrey & Cronies Campaign PAC.

And the SE refused to run with the research it should have done, that its reader did for it. Contributions like Dan's are what a good Op Ed page is for. The SE not only should have run Dan's piece when he first submitted it, it should run it now. Can't help but wonder if Executive Editor Howell turned it down because it revealed in no uncertain terms how the SE fell down on the job in its election coverage.

caddyhack said...

Thank you Dan. That was a good read. It's unfortunate that our local, so-called, newspaper continues to cover the mayor's ass.

However, it's a very good thing that the Weber County Forum is available for all. Thank you Rudi.

summers eve said...

Interesting information Dan. Thank you for the great investigation into this crooked bunch of elected officials.

I am wondering if anyone has tried to post on the SE on line editorial page adding a link to this article. Just a thought.

danny said...

Curm makes a good point. You really can't expect the paper to use their own ink to let somebody criticize them they way Dan did.

Of course, that's one reason they didn't run it. Andy Howell's reasons were lies. They print pure crap from Bob Geiger all the time - boring, irrelevant musings that have no news value at all.

Had Dan written his piece in a way that was neutral toward the newspaper or even a little complimentary, and especially in such a way to encourage readership, I suspect they would have printed it.

After all, it is their rag and is up to them what they print. Maybe Bobby G. sucks up to them, and that's why they print his garbage.

Curmudgeon said...

Danny:

You wrote: Curm makes a good point. You really can't expect the paper to use their own ink to let somebody criticize them they way Dan did.

Sorry. I should have been more clear. I do expect my home town newspaper to run op eds critical of its. I absolutely expect it. And good newspapers do it. Regularly. If Mr. Howell isn't embarrassed by his refusing to run Dan's piece, he should be. And if he doesn't understand why he should be embarrassed, he's in the wrong business.

And I thought of the recent rambling stream of consciousness Geiger whatever-the-hell-it-was that the SE found room for on its op-ed page too. And the SE couldn't find room for Dan's well researched and far better-written piece?

If the SE is going to close its op-ed page to critiques of its news and opinion columns, to Dan's piece and pieces like it, it might as well go ahead and change its name to The Wasatch Daily Advertiser And Scrapbooker's Home Companion" and be done with it.

Skeets said...

The Standard Examiner has become a shill for the existing power structure. The only reporter that had any guts in digging was Marshall Thompson and he was gone very quickly.

No matter how many facts you present them with, they will avoid any direct exposure of lazy politicians and never talk about what they should be doing. No wonder Newspapers are dying. Their staffs are a bunch of stiffs.

OgdenLover said...

Several years ago I submitted an article, critical of Godfrey and the Gondola, to the SE. They told me they would print it, but only when they had another article representing the opposing view. Sure enough, I was published next to a typical Bob Geiger rambling rant that had nothing to do with what I was saying.

Since then I've noticed that they publish Bob Geiger's stuff without opposing views being adjacent given space.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Like the Standard Examiner can generate anything better to print, other than AP wire stories?
Or the usual police blotter inaccuracies?

We read the Standard for free, over at the coffee counter. Not because they display any excellence in journalism, but simply for the reason being it is the only paper in town.

Did they really endorse Mayor Godfrey instead of None Of The Above?
After observing the mayors previous term, albeit from afar, we were appalled.
And promptly canceled our out of town subscription.

Moroni McConkie said...

In the same week that we learn Denver's 150-year-old Rocky Mountain News has given up the ghost, the Standard of its own free will passed on a great op-ed piece that this blog scooped up eagerly.

Print newspapers, you'd think, would be scheming to stay one step ahead of blogs. Actually, the battle is already over.

Furthermore, in the same week that Holly Mullen leaves the City Weekly. I'll wager anyone dinner at Jasoh that Mullen's next venture is a blog.

Curmudgeon said...

MM:

I noticed Holly's column missing in last few issues. Do you know why? I hope it was her decision and not another resignation in protest. If there's a statement in the CW saying why, I missed it. Was there one?

And you're exactly right about the foolishness of the SE passing on Dan's piece. Howell talks at length about the problem for daily papers created by blogs and cable news... so much of what people used to read papers for they now get faster, almost instantly, so that by the morning edition, it's old news. So, he told me some time ago, the SE concentrates on what you cannot find on line, and he meant mostly local items.

Dan's op ed piece is a good example of locally produced content that would not otherwise have been sooner available on line if the SE had printed it. Blew that one but good, the SE did.

Bill C. said...

The gondola examiner has passed on this story and refused to even look into it for more than a year now.
They were copied with everything that was produced through GRAMA at every step.
Now that the final findings,(diclosures) have been filed, they still refuse to look.
Either Schwebke didn't understand what he was being told, or the governing squirrel patroller carter ordered him to bury it.

Let the truth be known said...

There is so much corruption here in Ogden and i feel that the standard has all the knowledge and the back ground of it all.


I wonder what the Standard would do if it were dragged before a grand Jury inquire, Would they be glad to tell what they know or would they just have to say, freedom of the press.

Hey Rudi Have you thought of emailing the Other news media about this. I bet the ones that believe in true transparency will run with the articles.

Let the truth be known said...

There is so much corruption here in Ogden and i feel that the standard has all the knowledge and the back ground of it all.


I wonder what the Standard would do if it were dragged before a grand Jury inquire, Would they be glad to tell what they know or would they just have to say, freedom of the press.

Hey Rudi Have you thought of emailing the Other news media about this. I bet the ones that believe in true transparency will run with the articles.

Moroni McConkie said...

The Holly Mullen departure was new to me today; online S.L. Tribune has it. I don't know the code for pasting in a link that works. (Sorry -- willing to learn!)

googlegirl said...

Mullen leaves City Weekly

RJ Svengali said...

A corrupt administration is just fine, as long as it is well run corruption, and forward-looking.

Our difficulty is the incompetence of the Mayors office, and the strangled vision, not the petty crimes.
Let him have his back-room deals and padded payroll; however, give us a viable plan and a sensible enactment thereof.

So much goodwill was wasted in order to give CP the golf course.

What Ogden need this afternoon is massage-brothels and cannabis-opium dens on 25th street, a underage rave club with nary a chaperon, and an art house movie theater.

Monotreme said...

Moroni:

You go to the story in the SL Trib and either copy and paste (ctrl-C) the URL (web address), or write it down. In this case, it's

http://www.sltrib.com/ci_11792446

If you want to get all fancy and html-like, you put that in html as follows, but use these kind of brackets (greater than/less than signs: < > ) instead of what I used.

{a href="http://www.sltrib.com/ci_11792446"}This is the text that will appear.{/a}

Remember to replace the curly brackets with greater than/less than signs, and you're good to go.

Today's html lesson brought to you by...Monotreme.

googlegirl said...

HTML Primer

Rod Blogojevich said...

"A corrupt administration is just fine, as long as it is well run corruption, and forward-looking.'

Exactly right, RLS!

Who in their right mind would ever take exception to impeccable logic like that?

Weber County Forum readers are just a bunch of naysaying whiners.

Curmudgeon said...

RLS:

In re: "and an art house movie theater." When the Junction Miller Megaplex was announced, the Miller people, as I recall, indicated one screen of the dozen or so they have would be a home for less-than-mass-market-appeal films. Kind of an indie house in-house, so to speak, where films that we might otherwise have to drive to SLC to see would show locally.

Didn't happen.

Curmudgeon said...

Rog Blog:

Let me tell you a story.

Long ago, many many moons, I was just beginning to teach history in the bayou state. I was teaching a night class for non-trads [the grandma brigade as I called them]. One of them, a woman in her sixties then [35 years ago] was upset because another professor had trashed Huey Long as a crook. She remembered Long and she told me, of course, about the school books. [Huey was the first Louisiana governor to decree that children in public schools should have their schoolbooks provided by the state. They had previously had to buy them. Many could not.] And then she said this:

"We knew Huey was a crook. So was the guy before him. But here's the difference: under Huey, the little people got something. The rest of 'em stole just as much as he did and nothing came down to us."

Granted, not exactly a Sunday school civics lesson in how government ought to work. Nevertheless, a not-bad description of what RJS was saying. If you're going to have corrupt execs in public offices, it's better to have ones who use their corruption to produce for the people too rather than just for themselves.

I don't find his argument bizarre. I wouldn't make that argument myself, but it is not a nonsensical one.

Oh My said...

So lets see if I have it straight.

"During the first half of 2007, an organization called Envision Ogden conducted various fundraising activities, including the "Sneak Peek" opening of the Salomon Center (a publicly-owned facility)."

And then shortly after that, this happened:

"Envision Ogden spent $26,884 on the 2007 election, including some direct expenditures in support of the mayoral campaign and several large contributions to another entity that immediately forwarded the money to city council candidates."

So Mayor Godfrey hosted at the new Ogden owned "rec center" what turned out to really be a 2007 municipal election fundraiser, which generated 27 thousand dollars in campaign donations to Godfrey's campaign, and those of his political cronies.

Although Dan S. tells us that this behavior is perfectly legal, it sounds like criminal behavior to me.

Was it OK for Godfrey to give Envision Ogden the keys to the Salomon Center, so the campaigns of Godfrey and his cronies could inject $27 thousand into their 2007 campaign warchests within a few weeks?

Twould be definitely interesting to hear from 2007 candidates whose campaigns were compromised by this clearly illegal conduct.

Keisha said...

Great expose, Dan.

As the 2009 municipal election comes up in a mere eight months, we need to keep our minds right, and contemplate what "the Little Shite" (Godfrey) will try to pull off in our next city election.

Many thanks for you article, Dan S.!

And for those readers who have't clicked on Dan's links... the best part of Dan's article is in his very well researched links.

Click the links, people!

dan s. said...

Oh My,

Sorry if I wasn't clear. What was perfectly legal (as far as we can tell) was for Godfrey to accept direct campaign contributions of thousands of dollars each from dozens of companies and individuals who were doing business with the city.

What Envision Ogden did, on the other hand, was almost certainly illegal.

Stay tuned.

City Worker said...

Hey folks here Is the law that I know Rep Hansen sponsored and that Boss Godfrey knew all about.

RESTRICTION ON POLITICAL ACTIVITY OF MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES

Having worked for the city at the time and had some concerns for the bill at the time. I now know that Hansen was brilliant it passing this law. The one caviat about this is that Sen. Father in law Ed Allen Co-sponsored the bill in the senate.

So is the County attorney doing anything about this? Or is this something like sit on this til Mr. Decaria is confirmed as a judge?

what will it cost us said...

Thanks Dan. Now as for Mayors, when Perry ws mayor we had a fun city as I read it since it was before my time. He winked at some of the liquor laws, some of the police might have been bribed, but he left us with the city county building, forest service building, Ogden High, Perry Egyptian, and the pioneer rodeo and parade.
When Deardon was elected he hired all LDS executives to run the city, brought us the mall and the fun started to leave Ogden.

This continued with the current mayor, doing away with the street festival, closing the bars, and turning downtown into kiddyland, where they don't spend money eating out or drinking, and the streeets dry up after 9 or 10 almost every night. And stores and venues are closed on Sunday.

Ogden will take a few years to recover, but with Iggy's, Sonoran, the 25th street establishments that are still fun Union Station atracting tourists and the frontrunner here it will survive.

We are sorry to lose all the businesses that were here in Ogden for many years and are now boarded up.

A city needs diversity, shopping, fun places to hangout and enjoy a quiet dinner and wine. A city also provides recreation for its citizens to enjoy, not to make a profit. Will the mayor make us pay for libraries since they don't turn a profit. Marshall White center, Lorin Farr park, all of the city parks, or will it best serve the citizens to sell and develop all of the golf courses, parks, trails?

We also need open space to hike and enjoy quiet solitude and enjoy nature.

dan s. said...

Although I really appreciate all the thanks I'm getting in these comments, I need to point out that much of the thanks should actually go to Bill C. He's the one who first learned that the Sneak Peek event occurred before Gold's and Fat Cats legally took possession of the Salomon Center, so the arrangement must have been made directly between Envision Ogden and the city. Bill was also the first person to notice the large contributions from Friends of Northern Utah Real Estate on the disclosure statements filed by Johnson and Eccles. Bill even speculated at the time that FNURE might be a front for Envision Ogden.

Thanks, Bill!

summers eve said...

If you look at the contributions from Friends of Northern Utah Real Estate, it lists the location as 4723 Harrison Blvd. which is the address for Blain Johnsons law firm.

Is the Friends of Northern Utah Real Estate even a legitimate entity?

City worker said...

So if the mayor did break the law, Does this mean that he goes to the crowbar hotel?
I'm I reading this right.


Utah Code
Title 10 Utah Municipal Code
Chapter 3 Municipal Government
Section 1310 Penalties for violation -- Dismissal from employment or removal from office.


10-3-1310. Penalties for violation -- Dismissal from employment or removal from office.
In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any person who knowingly and intentionally violates this part, with the exception of Sections 10-3-1306, 10-3-1307, 10-3-1308, and 10-3-1309, shall be dismissed from employment or removed from office and is guilty of:
(1) a felony of the second degree if the total value of the compensation, conflict of interest, or assistance exceeds $1,000;
(2) a felony of the third degree if:
(a) the total value of the compensation, conflict of interest, or assistance is more than $250 but not more than $1,000; or
(b) the elected or appointed officer or municipal employee has been twice before convicted of violation of this chapter and the value of the conflict of interest, compensation, or assistance was $250 or less;
(3) a class A misdemeanor if the value of the compensation or assistance was more than $100 but does not exceed $250; or
(4) a class B misdemeanor if the value of the compensation or assistance was $100 or less.

Amended by Chapter 147, 1989 General Session

dan s. said...

City worker,

Laws were definitely broken.

Whether any of it can be tied to the mayor himself is far from clear. Only if others are willing to squawk, I suspect.

At this time it's doubtful that anyone at all will be prosecuted. Who's gonna prosecute? Gary Williams?

Bill C. said...

Dan, you're teasing these folks, you failed to mention that prior to becomming the City Attorney, Gary Williams hung his hat at the very same address that all this funny stuff took place. I think Councilman Johnson's office?

Let the truth be known said...

I guess a grand jury would be the only way to get at the truth.

BAT_girl said...

Sorry to be late for this PARTY. I was away in Gotham, solving some crimes against HUMANITY. You all remember HER. RIGHT?

Yah, DAN S., thanks for such a great, well researched aritcle. WOW.........so many problems to solve.

Since I am just a pigment of Someone's imagination, I cannot Vote in Emerald City. Just in Gotham. But I have a few thoughts and pieces of info.

On what DAN said about the Ogden City campaign disclosure statute, all the following surprised me:
• It requires no disclosures from incumbent office holders between election cycles;
• It contains an ambiguity that has been interpreted to exempt all political action committees (PACs) from filing disclosure statements;
• It doesn't require that disclosure statements be posted on a web site, so citizens must visit the City Recorder's office and pay 25 cents per page to obtain copies;
• Its enforcement is left up to the City Recorder and City Attorney, who serve at the pleasure of the mayor and thus have a conflict of interest when the incumbent mayor is a candidate.

WOW, you guys have wacky laws here. Leaves a lot of room for any flim-flam politico to run, and get away with all kinds of stuff in their PAC.

Yah........that EnvisionOgden PAC......I heard a lot of Ogden supporters got snookered on that one. In fact I attended the Ogden/Weber Chamber BIG HAT award dinner in May 2007. Camille Cain received the award. When all the guys stood up, former winners with these funny BIG HATS, the announcer mentioned that the last woman to win it was no longer ALIVE. So they were glad Camille was still breathing. Is that considered HUMOR in Ogden?

Since I went by myself, and did not know anyone, I just sat at a table up front with some nice looking younger folks. During dinner for some reason the conversation landed on EnvisionOgden. The woman sitting next to me said she and her DOC husband had attended a fund raising dinner for this group in the winter. FEB or Mar she thought. I asked her what EnvisionOgden represented as a group. She said that she and her husband had moved to Ogden in 2006. He is a DOC at McKay Dee. The moved up from Houston, I think. She was working with the GOAL group. But when they went to the fund raiser for EnvisionOgden, she said the mission statement of the various speakers was very vague. But since she was volunteering for the GOAL group by that time, all her friends told her this fund raiser was a must attend. So she and her husband did.

Is that how you folks raise money in Ogden? You can just slip in a PAC and nobody notices?

Danny said...

Comment bumped to front page

ozboy said...

"Let the truth be known"

Sorry, but that is a non starter here in the land of Zion.

Grand Juries can only be called by a panel of judges who meet from time to time around the state. They are a decidedly political bunch and seem to take great pains to protect wayward politicians of a certain ruling stripe, ie republicans.

There have been several well organized and documented attempts by concerned Ogden citizens to get a grand jury to hear complaints and evidence against the criminal Godfreyite cabal, all to no avail.

The deck is stacked against integrity and ethics in this well organized theocracy we know as Utah. This is not only in the embarrassing state Legislature, but in the judiciary as well. You just do not, and never will see an official body made up of members of the predominate religion challenge another public body of co-religionists over possible criminal conduct.

It is sort of like the Taliban only here they wear conservative suits instead of turbans.

summers eve said...

Ahh Ozboy, they are like the Taliban, they have even been known to rough their wives up from time to time to keep them in line.
Very wise analogy Oz.

Don Wilson said...

Ogden Lover.....
Your experience sounds familiar. Way back when, I submitted an op ed to the SE-a condensed version af a letter I had submitted to the Council and WSU. The subject was Malan's Basin and Chrisp's plan to develop same and concluded that P. would lose his shirt if he pursued the idea. Don Porter rejected my piece saying that it was not topical enough for the paper but he would publish it on Std Net. I rejected that idea, we had words and I assumed that put an end to it.

The next day Porter called back and said that they had received another op ed and wanted to publish mine with the other as opposing views. I agreed and lo and behold the other article was by our beloved Mayor. A typical load of BS about gondolas, ski areas and etc. Some things never change it seems.

Curmudgeon said...

All this grousing about LDS influence in Utah politics. It is clear that you all ignoring the dangers facing our children that brave legislators like Sen. Valentine and his confreres are working to counter. Do you people not understand the threat maraschino cherries pose to the youth of Zion? Are you all wilfully blind? Do you not understand that the sight of those bright red jars visible to children even across an expanse of tables at Iggy's or Friday's or Chilli's are enticing them into lives of apostasy, degradation, depravity, sin, voting Democratic and hub-cap stealing? Won't you listen to Ms. Kris Kimball --- a mother, people... a mother! --- who is supporting Valentine's ten foot wall Zion Curtain bar bill?

"Our family values would be competing with a social norm that glamorizes alcohol," said Kris Kimball, a mother of two teen children. She said the blenders and maraschino cherries "look kind of tantalizing" to children."I'm not concerned with them ordering a drink. I'm concerned … about them being in an environment where they witness the mixing," she said. "It's scary. It's bombarding them."

And all you naysayers can do is kvetch about LDS influence in the legislature. Shame!

[The Trib story from which the Kimball quote above comes can be found here.]

al said...

Next thing you know those impressionable youth of weak parental influence will want to order a Shirley Temple or Roy Rogers, leading to the demise of our civilization.

Moroni McConkie said...

Thanks, Monotreme!

Bill C. said...

Curm, you being a historian and all, I'm surprized that you haven't fallen upon the real reason that Valentine, Waddoups, Ruzeka and these other interlopers are reacting to alcohol in such a manner. It's guilt and embarrasment, for their fathers and great grandfathers.
In 1933 Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st amendment to the Constitution of the United States, officially ending prohibition. Now that's the rest of the story.

Lionel said...

All this LDS stuff reminds me of a very old joke:

"What is the difference between LDS and LSD?

One you take with a cube of sugar and the other you take with a grain of salt.

(For all of you straight lacers - in the early days of the LSD era the way it was consumed was to put a drop of LSD on a cube of sugar and eat it)

Dorrene Jeske said...

Forgive me for getting off the subject -- your post is an excellent one, Dan S.

For those of you who have not seen the agenda for Tuesday’s Council meeting, there is a public hearing before the Council decides whether to adopt the petition and ordinance that would incease the number of bars/private clubs in the Historic District. Please attend and let us hear from you during the public hearing, at which time you will have five minutes for your presentation.

Also give us inpur on what should be done with the heating systems at Marshall White Center -- it is not operating properly affecting all the programs at the Center especially those that involve the swimming pool.

Thank you.

BAT_girl said...

As a regular reader of WCF and a not so regular reader of the SE, I am surprised the regulars on WCF complain so adamantly about the content of substance the SE regularly........DOES NOT HAVE.

Rather just to the AC360 reporting on what they left out.

Thanks to those of you like DAN S., RUDI and Bill C who do that regularly. And continue to make WCF a great read.

Ogden Dem said...

Dorrene -regarding the MWC - find the money and fix it. Ogden City administration always seems to 'find' funds needs for their pet projects well tell them to find funds for a vital city entity. The center serves far too many people to just have it ignored.
I am not a drinker but if the private club/bar brings revenue into the city and it is not like some of the sleazy bars already on 25th, go for it.

summers eve said...

Dorrene, take the money out of Godfreys' budget to make repairs.

BAT_girl said...

Connect the dots...........

Dan S. said............. " (Bill C. is) the one who first learned that the Sneak Peek event occurred before Gold's and Fat Cats legally took possession of the Salomon Center. So the arrangement must have been made directly between Envision Ogden and the city. Bill was also the first person to notice the large contributions from Friends of Northern Utah Real Estate on the disclosure statements filed by Johnson and Eccles. Bill even speculated at the time that FNURE might be a front for Envision Ogden."

I looked back in my notes for some help on this.

EnvisionOgden was formed in early 2007, maybe Jan or Feb. It came out of the Ogden Community Foundation. A local Keller Williams Real Estate agent was put in charge of it:
Abraham Shreve
http://www.theabrahamshreveteam.yourkwagent.com/
http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=abraham+schreve&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

When Dan S. checked into EnvisonOgden in late Oct 2007, just before the election, Dan was told to contact Abraham Shreve for more information. Dan S. told me at that time that Abraham Scheve told Dan he was only the head of a grass roots Ogden Community organization, formed to promote Ogden. Later Bill C. found out that EnvisionOgden had been set up by people involved with the Ogden Community Foundation as an independent entity to park (PAC style) money collected from FEB 2007 on, to donate to specific political campaigns, going into the NOV 2007 elections.

Most of the financial strategy meetings of EnvisionOgden took place in Blaine Johnson's offices, across the street from Ogden City Hall. Since most of the financial strategy meetings of Ogden Community Foundation took place there, that location made sense. After all, Blanie Johnson was / is on both EO and OCF.

The website, EnvisionOgden.org was put up to sell tickets for the opening of the Junction Opening on6.15.07. No new content to EO.org has been added since about 7.22.2007.

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