Thursday, October 29, 2009

Breaking: Boss Godfrey's Hand-Picked Realtor Carpetbagger Ejected from the City Council Race

2009 Ogden Municipal Election ALERT!

By Jennifer Neil

This just in:
Phipps disqualified from Ogden election
OGDEN -- City council candidate David Phipps has been disqualified from Tuesday's general election because he failed to file a campaign finance disclosure statement in on time.
Phipps, who was running against Bart Blair for the council's At-large Seat B post, told the Standard-Examiner he missed Wednesday's 5 p.m. filing deadline at the city recorder's office by 40 minutes.
Phipps, in an e-mail to the Standard-Examiner, congratulated Blair who has effectively secured the council seat.
"Ogden politics is an interesting thing. People are constantly trying to pressure new candidates to one side or the other, and the lines continue to be drawn", Phipps said. "I was excited to show Ogden residents that I was willing to stand up to both sides when I felt they were wrong. I desperately hope that Mr. Blair won't just follow the anti-everything administration camp, but that citizens from both sides will have a voice. I congratulate him on a well- run campaign and I support him in any efforts to bring unity back to Ogden. I love this city and will continue to help in its economic growth downtown so all of us can enjoy our downtown again."
J Neil

44 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

JN:

Thanks for the update, and kudos to the SE for going "live" with the story immediately. As a good paper should.

I notice Mr. Phipps' claims he was only 40 minutes late with his financial disclosure statement. Without wishing to be snarky [well, OK, maybe wishing to be just aa little bit snarky], upon reviewing his performance in the campaign, may I politely suggest that he was not yet ready for prime time? [Put up banners announcing his candidacy for the wrong race; claimed endorsements by two people who had not endorsed him; claimed he'd personally been responsible for bringing 32 businesses to Ogden, but was unable to name them; and now, couldn't get his required finance report in on time.]

May I suggest that Mr. Phipps take some time to get his family settled in Ogden, to walk its streets a bit, become familiar with what works here and what doesn't, and why, to become, in short, a resident of Ogden on more than just paper. [Oh, and to figure out where he's supposed to vote.]

Once he's done that for several years, he might then make a more credible run for office.

Danny said...

Criminy!

I . . . I'm speechless!

Phipps is out of the race because he was late to file his disclosure!

What a dumb ....

Jim Hutchins said...

Wow.

Ogden Resident said...

One surmises, that after a few months actually living in Ogden, he decided he didn't like it, and will now be moving out of his rented home and back to Sugarhouse, far from Godfrey's cronies, who gave him all that nice, nice money to run.

Phipps will be doing a different kind of running now.

OgdenLover said...

I can't imagine that Godfrey and Company are all too happy with what they got for their money.

Now all we have to do is get Susie, Stephens, and Garcia elected.

what will it cost us said...

How much money was left over in his campaign chest and how will he spend it.

This is normal Utah politics and he can buy a car, take a vacation, eat lobster now that he is out of the race.

True campaign ethics reform should require that any funds left over go to charity or another campaign. At the least leftover funds should be counted as income if it is spent for anything other than direct campaign expenses.

Dan S. said...

Lest Mr. Phipps grab all our attention...

There's a very interesting entry in the disclosure form just filed by Mark Hains. He reports receiving a $1500 contribution from the Utah Association of Realtors (UAR).

The problem is, he already received $1500 in August from the Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors (NWAR). And according NWAR's own disclosure statement (available from the Lt. Governor's web site), NWAR received 100% of its money from UAR. In other words, NWAR is not an independent organization--it's just the local arm of UAR.

In my opinion, this means that Mr. Hains has actually received $3000 from UAR, in violation of the $1500 contribution limit.

The remedy for such a violation is for Mr. Hains to return the additional money and file an amended disclosure statement. (Please, let's not demand that he be disqualified.)

Abraham Shreeve you neighbor said...

Dan,
Will the lies and deceit ever stop with these guys. Will the paper run a story on what you have discovered?
I think that once again the laws are for only those that are not godfreyites. I believe that he should be disqualified for not being honest here

Bill C. said...

Hey lying little matty has a hains sign in his front yard. So much for any Hains claims of indendent thinking.

Jennifer Neil said...

Hey, Rudi -- the credit for the artickle goes to Schwebke: I just had it turn up in my FaceBook news feed and passed it along ...

TLJ

Biker Babe said...

Dan S. -- doesn't that smack of getting $$$ through a third party, too? (like FNURE)

js

BB

Ogden Dem said...

Well, I have a little different take on why Phipps was late on his financial disclosure form - he just knew he was not being honest in even filing for the city council seat, and with all of his other blunders and he had to do something to withdraw 'gracefully' so I believe he was intentionally late.
He stepped in it and found this to be the best way to wipe it off his shoes.

Danny said...

I suspect that Phipps was a babe in the woods.

One day, he probably saw Godfrey acting in a very arrogant, mean way to somebody, maybe to Phipps himself.

As Phipps contemplated the computer porn in the Godfrey Administration, the sexual harassment, the affair and resignation of Godfrey's chief of staff before Godfrey scooped him from the gutter and brought him to Ogden, the resignation then re-hiring of sexual predator Scott Brown, and all the lying and fraud, he couldn't take it.

Image met reality.

Maybe Phipps was a least slightly decent, and he came to find he couldn't stand Godfrey when he got to know him. Maybe he recoiled at spending four years on his knees at Godfrey's beck and call.

It makes more sense than the assumption that he is so inept that he couldn't file his form on time.

Maybe he just wanted out.

Danny said...

Or maybe Phipps read

Godfrey's Voting Guide

and realized it's funny because it's true.

Machman said...

I am shocked that the URA is losing its mojo. They normally run the campaigns for miscreants like Froerer, Hains, Phillips, and other politically interested Realtors.

How could Ostermiller, Kohler and Kyler let this happen? And the thinly veiled and illegal contributions to Haines. Wow! They are usually far more slippery and stealthy in their financial contributions. Must be a new person overseeing local elections at the URA.

Hate to say "I told ya so..." But you know what I am thinking.

Superman said...

Ahh, Ogden politics.

Stephen M. Cook said...

No one will develop the foothills at the mouth of Taylors Canyon.
It has been interesting watching persons throw themselves against that fact; bloodied, fools they fell, rotting and dying at the foot of that simple fact; greed-blinded, they made spectacles of themselves, mostly for our amusement.

Next?

What would Jesus say said...

One down for the good guys. Three to go!

Curmudgeon said...

Machman:

Well, here's one theory: the local real estate lobbyists have been associating with Hizzonah, Mayor Godfrey, for so long now, his all-but-legendary "Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" ability to screw things up rubbed off on them at last.

Sort of like what happened to the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce leaders when they drank Hizzonah's flatland gondola kool-aid a few years ago. [Though the Chamber leadership and the Chamber itself seem to have been quietly distancing themselves from Hizzonah of late.]

guys with badges said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Monotreme said...

GWB:

Want to offer some sort of evidence, or are you just involved in random, drive-by character assassination?

Dorrene Jeske said...

The UAR is trying to affect all the city council races. I am in Boston and met a lady on the Provo Council and she asked me if the UAR was trying to buy candidates in our local race. She said that they were giving their chosen candidates $5,000. Thank Heavens the Council did adopt a limit on campaign contributions by organizations and individuals of $1,500!
I don't believe that Utah residents are willing to give up the ability of their elected officials to determine where developments should be allowed and the form of those developments. We need to be vigilant in determining the source of campaign contributions -- thanks, Dan S. and all those who have made us aware of these UAR and NUAR contributions.
It is apparent that greed is at the root of this movement.
Thanks, Jennifer for staying true to your convictions and ethics. I truly hope that you will run for Brandon Stephenson's seat in two years. You have my vote!

Pat Dean said...

Let's not forget that Mr. Doug Stephens is a recipient of one or those donations. Prior to the primaries all the candidates were invited to a breakfast meeting at the Northern Utah Board of Realtor office for what was call a Breakfast Training seminar to help with elections. As I understand it myself and few of my esteemed candidates were un-invited stating that the training meeting had been canceled, when indeed the training was held and happy well fed candidates walked away with an endorsment.
I just want to set the record straight I was un-invited and did not attend the training seminar and did not pass GO and collect their $1500.00......

Dan S. said...

Mr. Dean,

Thanks for the report. To clarify, here's the list of candidates who have received money from the UAR/NWAR:

Mark Hains, $3000 (in violation of $1500 limit)
Neil Garner, $1500
David Phipps, $1500
Doug Stephens, $500

So I think it's fair to say that the UAR/NWAR is quite a bit less enthusiastic about Mr. Stephens than they are about the others. On the other hand, they obviously aren't crazy about you (or the other candidates who were eliminated in the primary) either. In such situations, when the incumbent has a good chance of winning the election, it's common for organizations to support the incumbent.

It's unfortunate, though, that they weren't even willing to talk with you. If I were a UAR contributor I'd be upset about that.

Glass House said...

Dorrene:

Your criticism of the Realtors supposedly buying the election is a stone thrown from a glass house. Your own sister, Vickie Matson,running for South Ogden Mayor, received a sizable donation from the same Northern Wastach Association of Realtors for her campaign. Also, you and all your friends on the ogden council received sizable donations from unions and other speical interest groups.

OgdenLover said...

Glass House,
Dorrene isn't responsible for what her sister has done.

There is a difference between accepting money from the Firefighters and a real estate PAC. The firefighters might lobby for trucks that don't need to be refilled with water every day, or making the firehouses safe, but those things benefit all of Ogden. Real Estate interests are in it for themselves at our expense.

The Firefighters risk the ire of City Hall when they support non-Godfrey candidates. Yet they show they have integrity and courage by doing so.

Jennifer Neil said...

Here, here OgdenLover

TLJ

Glass House said...

Unions are set up for one purpose only--to increase the pay and benefits of its employee members. The city council is the body that controls employee pay and benefits. Thus, union donations to city council members are far self-interested and dangerous than the donations of realtors who are not regulated by the council. Unions are paying to elect the very council members that sign their paychecks.

Ray Vaughn said...

Glass House. Please explain the difference between union members contributing to city council candidates who "sign their paychecks" and realtors and realtor PACs contibuting to city council candidates that pass laws and regulations that govern the actions of realators?

Stephen M. Cook said...

One big difference: firefighters actually do something worthwhile for a living, something honorable people stand in awe over; you know, parades and such.

Realtors just needlessly attach themselves to commerce, and suck. Can you imagine a swarm of realtors in a parade? Doubtless, they would mince preening just after the torte lawyers, but before the shifty-eyed pickpockets.

And no one would cheer.

Jennifer Neil said...

Glass House -- Of course they have an interest in the pay & benefits of their members: speaking of the Firefighters Union Local and the Ogden City Fire Department ... Have you seen the fire stations and/or trucks lately? Do you know how many trucks break down on the way to calls? Do you know how long it has been since our fire fighters have had a raise? I think the correct answer to the last Q would be six years.

I would encourage our Firefighters Union Local to endorse and support candidates that will have a more than passing interest in the infrastructure of our fair city. Where would the Realtors be if our infrastructure collapses because all council members care about is build build build ... ???

We would have a city much further in debt than it is now, with many more budget shortages for infrastructure than it has now - and most probably people and businesses leaving in droves. Leaving behind a tortured landscape with empty condo buildings and parking lots where beautiful trails and mountain views used to be ... leaving behind fenced in empty homes that people were forced out of for the sake of downtown development that never happened (think WalMart, Lesham) ...

Glass House said...

Jennifer:

I know its a few days before the election, but hyperbole aside, facts are still facts. Fire trucks aren't breaking down every day and the fire fighters haven't gone without a raise for 6 years (actually, its been one year). There has not been a single fire layoff, although other cities are downsizing nationwide. And the administration you hate is not trying to destroy Ogden, even if you have valid arguments that it could be administered in a better way.

And while individual fire fighters can be heroic, so can police and other public servants. But that does not change the root motivation behind any union--including the fire union. When was the last time you saw a press report of the local union lobbying for a truck or a fire station. Never. It is always about pay and benefits, which is exectly how it should be. That is the job of labor unions, and that is why they pay money to elect friendly city council candidates.

Realtors donate because they also have an interest in creating a business climate that allows them to succeed in business. There is nothing evil about either, but the unions are directing paying those which will be paying the union employees. This explains my original glass house comment to Dorrene.

Ultimately, voters must decide if there interests best line up with the business motives of the Realtors and other business contributors, or the pay issues of the employee unions, or neither.

I may not have an advanced degree, but, its pretty simple and hardly something to get worked up about.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Wait, downsizing fire protection? While the city builds new water tanks?
Rather that advise you in your attempt at an advanced degree, we would point you toward more doable cursory wikipedia degree in the long history of contentious relations between business leaders and union workers.
See, no one really needs salesmen.
Really, they are practically an anachronism in an electronic age.

Firefighters? Compared to salespeople?
Don't make be laugh.



This favorable business climate that you espouse includes spending other peoples money, raising property taxes for infrastructure necessitated by your grandious unpayed for plans, and personal self-interest at the expense of integrity and civic duty.

Realtors, in general, are a weaselly bunch, lazy, vain, and without scruples. They take seminars on the skill set to be a weasel; at least the successful ones do.

Kelly Ripa said...

I agree. Other than shuffle paper around, trying to find an angle that screws you but enriches him, and waste a bunch of non-sellers time, this whole industry are true bottom feeders.

Could you imagine all of the Womans Clothing Sales People getting together, and creating a candidate like they did Phipps, create numerious shell PACS, etc.
Sure they could, but why don't they? Because, as a group, they have no aspirations to power over you; they do not think that because they sell Womens Clothing, they should somehow have easier access to law-making and regulation-enforcing. Yet, people who sell real estate somehow do think they should have this privilege.

Not: Privilege = Priv-Lege = Private Law.

Realtors are like used car sales people, the lady who gives out free samples in the supermarket, or the person who tries to sell you more life insurance.

Valuable? very rarely. Handy? occasionally. Annoying? usually. Necessary? not at all.

An important part of the business climate, or progress, or creating jobs in Ogden? Don't make me laugh.

Jennifer Neil said...

GH --

I spent more than an hour one day in Station 3 ... talking with actual firefighters and touring the building. The only fire truck assigned to the station was sitting in the bay - with a constant stream of water dripping out of the tank. the Capt on duty told me they need to fill it up with water twice when they DONT use it. She told me how old the truck was and let me inside of it. I asked her about breakdowns .. and she said you don't want to know how many times that happens.

And who said I hate the administration? Not I.

They also told me about all the new talented strong young fire men and women they lose after they realize there is no raise in their immediate future. The ones that have been at that particular station (not the Captain, I didn't ask about her pay) get paid the same as a newbie.

"Ultimately, voters must decide if there interests best line up with the business motives of the Realtors and other business contributors, or the pay issues of the employee unions, or neither."

The people who live here and plan to stay would be smart to align with politicos who would continue to maintain and even update the infrastructure -- without a viable infrastructure, the business motives of the Realtors are moot. Pay issues with public servants: police and firefighters included ARE important, as well as addressing the budgeting of community dollars to keeping them in working condition. There is in the budget somewhere to hire 17 (?) more police officers, but someone is blocking that from happening. If we have a council that is balanced in a desire to take care of the existing residents and businesses as well as prepare for the contingencies that there will be growth it would be good. Not a council that plans on and begins implementing growth and hopes the capped-budget existing infrastructure will support it.

It is something to get worked up about -- I live in the district serviced by Fire Station 3 and would certainly not want their truck to break down three blocks away while my life burns down around me. As a voter, I want government (administration and council alike) to seriously consider these issues and how they affect everyone.

Businesses come and go -- residents come and go -- the firefighters are here to protect them while they're here: they don't have a choice.

TLJ

Ray Vaughn said...

Again Glass House. Please explain the difference between union members contributing to city council candidates who "sign their paychecks" and realtors and realtor PACs contributing to city council candidates who pass laws and regulations that govern the actions and income of realtors and developers.

Buddy said...

Ray Vaughan: you should really do some research before you cast your wild assumptions about realtors into the wind. Realtors are governed by the Division of Real Estate, Department of Commerce, State of Utah, not some association or City Council. If a City Ordinance effects a realtor, then it effects most other professions as well. The UAR and NUAR are associations and in no way do they govern a realtors actions. Nor does a City Council passed Ordinance.

It's time to get off the realtors backs or at least know what you're talking about. Here's but another example of "rave on."

Rau Vaughn said...

Hi Buddy, just seeking a answer to a unanswered question. You take the position that the city council and or the mayor can take no position or action that benefits realtors or developers? I take it that your position that union members giving money to city council candidates is bad and realtors and realtor PACs contributing to city council candidates is good.

Sean, Rush and Glenn said...

We agree with you completely, Rau V. Although we were in favor of unions in our younger days, when we could barely put food on our tables and pay the rent, we're now against unions now that we're drawing fat multi-million dollar paychecks and working for the anti-union fatcats!

Thank goodness we were lucky enough to wise up!

Curmudgeon said...

GH and RV:

May I respectfully suggest you guys need to take a course or two in labor history.

Yes, labor unions certainly do work to increase the pay and benefits of their members. But they also work to provide protection for their members from being fired for arbitrary or political reasons --- and yes, it does happen where there are no unions. [Just ask the cop who got fired by the mayor of that town down south for daring to give the mayor's son a ticket.]

Labor unions also work to insure safe working conditions for their members. Again, a little knowledge of what workplace safety [politely so called] was like before unions would, I think, give you a better idea of both the origins and some of the functions of modern unions beyond raising the pay of their members. Let us remember that before unions, the standard work week in many American workplaces was 12 hours a day, six days a week. Vacation time was unknown. Got hurt on the job, too bad. Fired and no compensation. And so on.

So the claim that unions, like the firemen's in Ogden, have only their members pay in mind is flat wrong on the evidence. [Recall, please, mayor Godfrey's attempt to have Ogden eliminate its civil service commission. ]

As for realtors, it is equally false to suggest, as one of you seemed to, that Council actions do not and cannot specifically impact realtors. Not so. Whenever the Council looks, for example, at changing the zoning regulations for steeply sloped land, for example, it deals with a matter of particular interest to realtors. So does it too when it changes urban residential density zoning, etc.

I agree there can be at least a perceived conflict of interest involved in Council candidates getting campaign donations from city employees unions, but no more so I think than their getting them from realtor lobby groups or the Mayor's developer cronies. So long as we finance our electoral politics [national, state and local] by interest group donations --- and that's how we do it, mostly --- it would be wrong to say to the realtors, yes, you may give freely to candidates, and then say to city employee groups, no, you may not.

As for "special interests" --- well, special interest groups are always those giving to the candidates you oppose. Those giving to your candidate are public interest groups.

But do do a little reading in American labor history before you start spouting off on unions again. You have a lot to learn. We know what a unionless America was like. We've been there. We have a history. It wasn't pretty.

Ray Vaughn said...

Curm. I do not have the time or free schedule to take a course in the labor movement. But I will reread the fine book by Studs Terkel "Working:People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do" Originally published in 1974 it is still timely and relevant.

Curmudgeon said...

RV:

I know Studs' book. And apparently you do too. I suspect what you mean is you're going to read it again. Not a bad idea, but you might also want to look into something you haven't read before that ranges a little more broadly over the topic of organized labor than Studs did. Sadly, from what I've seen, American labor history is sadly undertaught in schools these days. But then, American economic history in general is also woefully under-taught [we focus in schools, from what I can see, mostly on presidents and wars].

OFD said...

Glass House-
If the fire department cuts the staffing levels the city will lose the federal grant that is paying to bring us back up to what we were before we lost the ladder company. The inspection division has lost one and is falling farther behind. Everyone here with 1-6 years in is making the same wage, it was raised 2 1/2 years ago. The engine Jennifer is talking about has caught on fire while driving down the road, luckily not on a call.

CLARITY said...

To maybe clear the confussion, even though it's election day and all this energy that has gone into presenting these scenarios and statistics are now basically meaningless:

The NWAR is the "Northern Weber Association of Realtors." It is what used to be called the "Ogden Board of Realtors" and then the "North Davis Weber Association of Realtors." It is an association, the Board that every realtor must belong to in order to be an active realtor in this area. It is not a PAC.

The UAR is the "Utah Association of Realtors," a State headed PAC, and the NAR is the "National Association of Realtors," a nationally headed PAC. Both are different entities fro any local Board.

Therefore, Dan S, Haines is not in violation of receiving double contributions from from a PAC. In fact, he could receive $1500 from both the UAR and the NAR, plus another $1500 from the NWAR, and not be in violation of anything, except your opinion, which is wrong.

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