Saturday, March 14, 2009

House Bill 201 Post Mortem

Senate GOP leadership lets Rep. Froerer's remedial "Powderville" legislation die on the vine

Mainly for archival consistency, we'll do a somewhat brief legislative session post-mortem on one of the "good" bills which failed to make it through the legislature this year, due to the running of the clock. We devoted substantial electronic ink to House District 8 Representative Gage Froerer's HB 201 during the 2009 legislative session, which would have re-enfranchised the hapless citizens of Ogden Valley's "Powderville," and given them their own vote on whether to be dragged unwillingly into Powder Mountain's incipient company town.

Although the bill picked up a good head of steam earlier this month, passing in the House on March 6 by a lopsided 52-17 vote, HB 210 was effectively killed in the Senate. For reasons unknown, Senate leadership inexplicably sat on the bill for almost a full week, and then sent it back to the House on March 12, the final day of the legislative session, with a meaningless and trivial "amendment."

During yesterday's blog discussion, several of our gentle readers were critical of Rep. Froerer, for his failure to ultimately deliver the goods. We believe this criticism is entirely unfair, and completely off the mark. We were in steady communication with Rep. Froerer throughout this session; and we're aware that our Legislative District 8 Representative worked feverishly on this legislation. The bill's quick and successful passage in the House is ample proof of that, we think.

So we'll attempt to set the record straight. Make no mistake. The responsibility for failure of this bill rests entirely upon the shoulders of Senate GOP leadership (so-called.) If GOP leadership had considered re-enfranchising the citizens of "Powderville" to have been a priority, believe us, the bill would have been (and ought to have been) quickly delivered to the Senate floor on a silver platter.

If you have lingering anger and angst over the failure of the legislature to correct it's own egregious mistake, please don't mis-direct it to second-term House Representative Froerer, who worked his tail off on this, but unfortunately has a lot more political juice in the House than in the Senate.

If you're looking for somebody to blame for this latest legislative miscarriage of justice, these are the culprits, O Gentle Ones, the ones with an (R) to the right of their names:
Utah State Senate - "Leadership" 2009
If you decide to write to complain, the perpetrators are the ones with an "R" next to their names. We don't know why these people decided to let Froerer's bill die on the vine; but they did. Strangely, Utah citizens keep electing these same people again and again.

Consider this a weekend kickoff open topic thread.

The world blogosphere awaits your ever-savvy comments.

21 comments:

danny said...

Well, continuing the "Froerer" thread . . .

People yesterday, I think, made the appropriate derisive points about Froerer, but perhaps today I'll just ask a simple question.

First, remember that for legislation to pass, it has to pass both houses then be signed by the governor. Three steps. Okay?

If your legislator "works tirelessly" and gets 1 or 2 out of three, how is that better than 0 out of three, and the legislator who does nothing? How is a scam artist who puts up legislation then gets his cronies to administratively kill it any different than an incompetent or lazy legislator? The end result is the same.

I mean, if you add flour and sugar to a bowl, but nothing else, have you made a cake? What good is it?

What, are we still in kindergarten? Do you want to give credit for "effort"? What good is "effort"? We know what needs to be done. We need people who will do it.

Failure is failure, is Froerer. He's no good for his constituents, any way you slice it, unless you know of a bank where they will cash his hot air.

Caesare said...

Danny, we all have yet to see you do anything but complain. Why don't you run for office instead of whining all the time?

You have effectively marginalized yourself as a negative source not matter what the issue, so we will not be seeing you out front taking the kind of criticism that you love to dish out.

RudiZink said...

Exactly wrong, Danny. Rep. Froerer's been something of a thorn in the side of "the legislative powers that be" these last two legislative sessions, trying to represent the interests of his constituents, rather than those of legislative majority leadership.

You'll probably notice that here on WCF, we don't criticise Leg 9 House Rep. Hansen, because the GOP leadership morons won't throw him even a single bone either.

Froerer's being delivered a not so subtle GOP "leadership" message: "Toe the line... or we'll punish your constituents."

It's OK gripe about individual politicians 'til the cows come home, Danny, AFAIC. Indeed that's the whole purpose of WCF.

In this case, however, Froerer is the wrong target.

Waddoups, Killpack, Jenkins (Boss Godfrey's cousin) and Bell should be targets for removal in their next Senate campaigns. We at WCF should keep our eyes on the ball and try to accomplish that over the next few years. Attacking people like Froerer, who actually advocate for their constituents' own interests, is EXACTLY the wrong approach.

This whole discussion should really be about the sick system on The Hill, btw, where party discipline trumps good legislation.

Unless and until the somnambulent Democratic Party offers a few decent choices, we'll have to work it out within the Utah GOP, won't we?

Pick your targets carefully, Danny; and try not to blow away friends of democracy, and the will of the lumpencitizenry...

Get real, Danny, in other words.

Zimmy the Geek said...

I like "Danny." He knows economics. He's possibly a banker or a stockbroker. Who knows?

As for local politics?

Danny is clueless.

Machster said...

Danny,

But Rudi says we should all be thankful (basically) for our Representative's hot air, ineffectiveness, and impotence. Like my daughter used to say when she was a teen, "But Dad, I did my best." Which was effective by the way. Still, results are what matter in the real world. So let's review the bidding on Gage Froerer's proposed bills this session:

I would remind everyone that a previous session he sponsored only a bill which would enable developers to bypass local planning commissions and go directly to County Commissioners with their subdivisions and developments. It almost passed too! Now don'cha just love that bit of self-interest conflict of interest, BS?!

HB 0067 Public Hearing on Property Tax Increases - "addresses taxing entity's procedure for public hearing notices and hides "New Growth" from revenues and when determining the % increases of tax rates." IT SEEMS TO HAVE PASSED ALTHOUGH IT IS NOT CLEAR YET USING THE STATE LEGISLATURE'S WEBSITE. HERE I AM HAVING TO ASSUME IF SOMETHING WAS NOT DEFEATED, IT PASSED. Good legislation? You decide...

HB 0083 Property Tax Relief Programs: It would have increased qualifying limits for Circuit Breaker relief from about 27K to 33K. IT FAILED This should have been virtually a "slam dunk" to pass. So why didn't it?

HB 0086 Division of Real Estate Amendments: This changes "glad" to "happy" in essence. Plus it exempts himself from having to renew, reactivate or recertify and pay for his Real Estate license. AND it takes away "whistle blowers" rights (line 932-933) & lines 1638 - 1639.
SINCE IT BENEFITS HIMSELF AND THE REALTORS ... IT PASSED.

HB 00201 Municipal Disincorporation Amendments: We all are familar with this one which would correct the unconstitutional HB 466 he helped pass along with every other legislator earlier. IT WAS CHALLENGED BY THE URA AND DEVELOPER LOBBY AS A PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS ISSUE, BELIEVE IT OR NOT. AND IT FAILED.

HB 0243 Rental Restrictions on Condos and Common Interest Communities: This adds provisions favorable to association of unit owners (developers and Realtors). IT SEEMS TO HAVE PASSED.

HB 0246 Property Tax - Residential Exemption: This would grant residential 45% credits to primary residential lots greater than one acre and less lthan six acres. Froerer lives on a lot greater than one acre and less than 6 acres. IT WOULD BENEFIT HIM SPECIFICALLY, YET NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST THERE RIGHT?
No matter. It Failed based upon Sen. Brambles "This is class warfare" statements.

HB 0266 Wrongful Lien Amendment: this only changes a single definition..Record interest holder(from)"a grantor of a deed conveying property interest in certain real property." TO: "Any grantor in the chain of the title in certain real property." BIG DEAL1?? Who do you suppose wrote that little beauty? Froerer or the URA lawyers? You decide....
It seems to have passed. You lawyers out there is this a big deal?

HB 0299 Unlawful Detainer Amendments: This provides a previous owner after a forced sale is guilty of an unlawful detainer if they don't move out quick enough.
Yeah, Gage! you go get all those mortgage non payers and throw them out on their ears...RIGHT NOW!! Very good and timely legislation, again favorable his business interests and those of his developer, mortgage financier friends. Supported by the URA lobby, no doubt, this passed.

HB 0418 Delinquent Property Tax Amendments: We know this one. But you may not know that Froerer allowed it to be watered down until it dissolved into nothingness at a mere 1% increase in the 2% penalty with an increase of a couple of weeks before the property tax became delinquent. The Realtor/Developers opposed this shutdown of the lucrative exceedingly low interest rate and penalty loans being bourne by us on time property tax payers.
It was in their best interests to defeat this bill if not water it down into insignificance. And they did. It failed also.

So, you see of the nine (9) bills introduced by our "Representative" Froerer, five (5) seemed to have passed which are favorable to either himself or his own business interests that of the Realtors/Developers and not good for us as the majority of the electorate. And four (4) "Failed", which many of us would consider "Good" legislation favorable to the electorate majority.

Caveat, the State website is vague about the status of the five bills which I am calling "passed". But those bills which "failed" are very clear. Thus the forced assumption at this stage of the process.

So...get real Rudi. Danny has it right. You are capable of being wrong and in this instance I suggest you are off track and simply allebying for and thus enabling more of the same from a Representative you supported back in 2006. We all hate to admit when we are wrong or disappointed. Look at his record Rudi, don't listen to his rhetoric and excuse making. The man is an incompetent and ineffective legislator without any "juice" as you call it, in either the House or Senate.

RudiZink said...

I'm still disapointed that you didn't make a campaign run against Froerer, Machster. There was lots of talk, early on.

You had the opportunity and you bowed out.

Please stop the late hour bitching.

I'm in frequent contact with many of your neighbors in Huntsville, BTW. Most of them are gaga about Froerer's legislative efforts.

Try to add something positive, Machster, inasmuch as most of your neighbors seem to believe you're "all talk."

danny said...

I remember Keynes (a, perhaps self-serving, genius who has been misrepresented time and again) once was asked why he had changed his mind. He said,

"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

I too change my mind from time to time. I wanted to change it about Froerer, based on Rudi's recommendation of him.

But so far this thread has only put more nails in Froerer's coffin, and to the extent that Rudi is right about his constituents, it has showed them to be a little light upstairs.

But it was fun today, to have almost every post contain my name!

Finally, fame!

BTW nice work Machster.

Curmudgeon said...

Way Way Off Topic, but what the hell, why not?

Attended the Salt Lake City St. Patty's Day Parade today.

It was the first teetotal St. Patty's Day Parade I have ever seen. No beer. No beer! Not among watchers, not among marchers.

It led off with a marching bagpipe band playing "Scotland The Brave." [?]

One float had a huge image of St. Pattrick on it, and a huge image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In a St. Patty's Day Parade. Only in America! [I mean is this a great country, or what?}

One marcher had a sign that said on one side "How about a trade, God?" and on the other, "Miller for Buttars?" She kept turning the sign so spectators could see both sides. She was cheered loudly as she passed. There may be hope for Zion yet....

You may now return to political squabbling.

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

There may not have been any beer visible, however I bet there was a shit load of ingested Valium. This is Utah where we fuel it up with the big "V" and near beer. We don't wanna be alcohol sinners you know!

Sybill said...

Boy, talk about hot air from Machster and Danny. These are the most clueless of all the people that grace these comment pages.

They do belong in the land of OZ!

dan s. said...

Machster,

There's a list of passed bills here. Your inferences about which bills passed appear to be correct. In several cases, however, the bill was amended before it passed. Haven't looked into any of these bills or whether the amendments were significant.

Minor machman said...

I keep clinging to old habits of actually caring...about my community, neighbors, the Valley, Ogden, and thus trying to simply get people to recognize the truth about what has been happening to them and why. But as the Marine Major (Jack Nicholson)said to the young JAG lawyer (Tom Cruise) in the movie..."You can't HANDLE the truth!" (or facts as posted above in the previous Machster post).

I was disappointed big time by the same "neighbors" - all Ward members, who effectively discredited me and my intentions to inform/educate. This is the reason I chose to not run against Froerer inspite of much support and campaign money flowing in from all over the County and State (which I dutifully returned.) They have a unique way of doing that in a 212 trash can town run by the Ward.

So this is my swan song post, since you Rudi and "Sybill" have joined with the "dark side" here in Huntsville (we have our own "Godgrey" as Mayor in Town named Jim MacKay. As hard as it is to just suddenly stop caring about the community and what is unethical and wrong with the State legislature and some of its members, "Shake the stick...YOU got it"... Enjoy my absense for life.

Namaste and good luck. You will need it without those able to state the facts without being smeared for having done so.

There Rudi, a positive post.

Machster

Peterball said...

There is a re-occurring comment in regards to running for election if you do not like what is occurring with your represenative. While that is a possible outcome for dissent it is a qualifier for validity of dissent, Many of us fail to have the time, money or political persuasion to pursue public office. This does not preclude us from having a valid point of view.

laughing said...

Really Rudi, you are going after Machster for "late hour bitching" and for being "all talk"? No one sees the irony in this attack?

Curmudgeon said...

Peterball:

Exactly. Nicely put.

In the American political system, if it is to work as designed, voters not only can, but should speak up --- loudly and often --- about what they do not like government doing in their name, or what they want it to do that it isn't. And when someone replies "You don't like things the way they are, why don't you run for office or stop complaining," you know you've run into someone who has no arguments left to counter what you're saying.

Curmudgeon said...

On the general topic of legislators introducing bills they do not wish to see enacted merely to take some of the heat from constituents off them, there is an interesting example Brian Moench's column in Sunday's Salt Lake Trib.

From the column:

Where legislative policy must confront environmental contamination and public health, the House member leading the charge to ignore the connection is Rep. Roger Barrus, R-Centerville.... Barrus felt the heat from his own conservative district regarding a proposed petroleum coke-burning power plant and tried to fake it like he was going to protect them from more industry pollution. He proclaimed sponsorship of a bill that would have done just that, accepting credit for "defending his constituents," only to quietly table it once the spotlight shifted.

[Note: not intending to open the whole Froerer matter again, on which folks, myself included, have pretty much made their views known and are not likely to change them absent new evidence one way or the other. Merely offering the item above as an example of the kind of thing that goes on... in Utah, in Congress, in legislative bodies from coast to coast... not infrequently. Further deponent sayeth not.]

Bill C. said...

Machster, don't abandon ship, welcome to the precarious position of not being beholden to one party or the other here in Utah.
Rudi and Curm have their loyalties so ingrained that they almost never publicly take their party affiliates to the woodshed. Curm with addled eddy, and now Rudi with gage frorer.
As an independant you'll begin to see how neither party actually goes much beyond lipservice to their stated principles, it seems these principles other than sound bites are really non exsistent. You feel like you're powerless, despite all your efforts in your district, your points are clearly accurate and you wonder how your neighbors can be so blind to what's actually transpiring around them, you have my empathy. You ought to experience my district, it's worse.
To fully understand Utah politics you have to come to grips with the fact that the first anglos to arrive here were coming to escape the U.S. and democracy. They were coming to establish a kingdom, controlled by a theocracy, the church. The idea of questioning the leadership is quite foreign to the rank and file as it is prohibited in the church enviroment, and this often extends to secular matters as a result of first nature, folks are raised this way.
It's unfortunate that politicians are keenly aware of this and tend to exploit it for their own personal gain.
Don't give up, keep trying, there finally seems to be a small movement in the right direction. In Utah's constitution there actually is reference to separation of church and state, and folks should soon recognize that affiliation with a particular party does not line up with their religious beliefs.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill C:

You wrote: Rudi and Curm have their loyalties so ingrained that they almost never publicly take their party affiliates to the woodshed. Curm with addled eddy, and now Rudi with gage frorer.

You haven't been paying attention. I've criticized Mr. Allen consistently for his wrong-headed support of the Godfrey Gondola obsession. Did you miss that somehow? What I didn't do is presume that his being wrong on the gondola matter also meant he would be unfit to serve as the representative for the tenth district. I didn't think his being wrong on the gondola erased his solidly Democratic voting record as a Senator. But to suggest I never criticized Mr. Allen is flat wrong.

As another example [would have posted on this but could not find a link to SE story], Rep. Hansen came down on the wrong side of the bill relieving landlords of the responsibility for maintaining carbon monoxide detectors in the units they rent. He was for it. Sen. Greiner came down in the right side of the bill. He was agin' it. Since Ogden City is the only Utah city that requires landlords to install CO detectors, this was exclusively an anti-Ogden bill. It should never have passed. Sadly, it did. Be interesting to know if Hizzonah's pet lobbyist worked on this one, and on which side.

I'm happy to acknowledge right votes by Republicans and wrong votes by Democrats. Of course, in Utah, most of the time most of the legislators voting wrongly are Republicans, so naturally their antics will draw notice and mention much more often.

Sorry, Bill, but your claim that I am so partisan I never criticize Democrats cannot be sustained on the record.

PS: seems to me Rudi goes after the wing nut Republican leadership in the House and Senate with some regularity too.

Bill C. said...

Curm, I didn't say never. I said almost never. As for Rudi's republican leadership, individual republicans don't hesitate to take shots at these guys, year in year out, regardless of who's in charge. It makes me wonder how they select their leadership, and maybe they ought to change.

danny said...

Machster,

Why leave? Lots of us think you're great.

And as far as the people who say to run for office: so if you comment, you have to run for office?

Tell them to look up "non-sequitur."

If I say Evil Knievel needed more control at Ceasar's Palace, does that mean I have to jump as well?

How come smart people don't run for office? How come we can't get any smart people to jump at Ceasars?

Duh.

ozboy said...

Bill

The Republicans in the legislature do not pick their leaders, God does, just as HE picks the leaders in the waaaard.

As to Mach Man, it would be sad to see him bail out on this discussion just because Rudi got bitchy and threw a cheap shot at him, but then I understand getting pissed at bush league republican tactics myself.

As to Froerer, hell, it seems that there are a number of people on this forum that has the sleazy little punk's number, not just Machman. Too bad Rudi has his ego so invested in the GOP that he can't see it himself. Just hope Froerer doesn't take any sharp turns lest our dear blog master suffer a broken neck.

And to round out this rant (assuming the blog master doesn't delete it for the above remark) - marginalizing people that have political complaints by saying "why don't you run for office" is just about as stupid as telling someone that if they don't like it here then leave. Seems like a pretty intellectually bankrupt response to me.

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