Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Morning Standard-Examiner Mailbag

Spotlight on two thoughtful and timely SE reader submissions

To kick off this morning's discussion, we'll highlight a couple of this morning's hard-copy edition letters to the Standard-Examiner which are particularly timely today, as we stand poised on the brink of our 2009 Emerald City Municipal Election, which looms a little more than seven days hence.

First, SE reader Dennis J. Hogge thoughtfully adopts a theme from Doris Kearns Goodwin's Abraham Lincoln biography, "Team of Rivals; The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," i.e., that "an administration that lacks diversity of opinion may not be the most productive or safest," and then offers this savvy observation:
In my opinion, a system of checks and balances should be encouraged, not stifled. The members of the city council should challenge and question the administration on controversial issues. Only then can an equitable consensus be reached. The process requires that the mayor demonstrate leadership, not domination.
Next, SE reader Catherine Gerwels reminds Ogden voters of Boss Godfrey's not-so-hidden agenda, i.e., breaking his 2007 election promise, and instead bulldozing Ogden's upper east bench. Here's Ms. Gerwels "money quote":
Upon learning the content of the [mayor's golf course] committee's report, I feel almost 100 percent secure in saying that given the opportunity, Mayor Godfrey will break his pre-election promises regarding Mount Ogden Park. That chance will present itself if the city council becomes stacked with rubber-stamp members whose real goal is to use our park land to line the pocket books of their supporters at the expense of the long-term future of Ogden city and the overwhelming majority of its citizens. A city without parkland is not a desirable place to live and certainly not one that can boast about its outdoor recreation and lifestyle.
Four years after Boss Godfrey's 2003-05 "Gang of Six" rubber stamp council was unceremoniously ushered out of office by Ogden voters in 2005, Ogden City taxpayers are still suffering the painful economic after-effects. Is it possible, gentle readers, that a now seemingly apathetic Ogden City electorate could allow another Godfrey rubber stamp council to be voted into office again?

Several more powerful arguments, we believe, to to show up in force at the polls on November 3, (torches and pitchforks in hand) and vote for independent thinkers like Bart Blair, Jesse Garcia and Susan Van Hooser.

And what say our readers about all this?


Jennifer Neil said...

Abe Shreve - who works same place as Mark Hains BTW - posts a video on YouTube and in the comments section of the S-E Article about the debate/forum; he edits it so it makes Susie look bad plus adds erroneous and misleading commentary. Let everyone know the source of the vid and go with what you know ...


googlegirl said...

Rebuttal of the Anonymous Video Attacking Susan Van Hooser

Curious 1 said...

What happened to the Geigers and whom they are supporting this election? I miss their ranting and raving about nothing.

I need a good laugh and need a guest commentary or letter to the editor. Are they editing a UTUBE video to post, how is the JIB_JAB doing in the olde wharehouse on Lincoln?

When the kids are silent they might be up to no good.

Phineas said...

They are up at Mount Ogden Park on a fairly regular basis, couching soccer. But really, they are irrelevant; they are just private citizens with one slim vote each, and no more of an ability to influence others than, say, you or I.
Or at least, you. ;>

RudiZink said...

About the reprehensible Hains campaign hit piece video, which deceitfully attacks Hains' opponent Susan Van Hooser...

We've already posted Dan Schroeder's fine retort to Hains' deceptive video.

I have a few additional questions about this:

1) Where EXACTLY does candidate Hains stand on this?

2) Does he condone this cheap video hit piece; or does he condemn it? The longer he stays silent on this, the more this, the more desprate attempt on Mr. Hain's campaigb obvouously becomes.
This reprehensible Hains campaign hit piece video, which deceitfully attacks Hains' opponent Susan Van Hooser completely ot of context, reflcts directly on Hain's campaign and seems to demonstrate the Mr. Hains, like all Godfreyite candidates, are willing to revert to "gutter politics,"

I have a few additional questions about this:

1) Where EXACTLY does candidate Hains stand on this?

2) Does he condone this cheap juvenile hiot piece? Or does Mr. Hains condemn it for the hevily-edited crap thaqt it is?

The longer he stays silent on this, the more probable it is, wethinks, that we can infer that this horribly deceptive video comes directly from his own campaign.

I'd suggest that everyone make inquiry of Mr. Hains on this issue, through the email contact link, which this this entirely unexceptional council candidate has posted on his $3500 plus professionally designed, campaign website.

In my view, we believe that Mr. Stinky Hains ought to be bombarded with inquires on this issue.

Probable it is, wethinks, that we can infer that this horribly deceptive video comes directly from his own campaign.

I'd suggest that everyone make inquiry of Mr. Hains on this issue, through the email contact link, which the this entirely unexceptional council candidate has posted on his Campaign $3500 dollar professionally designed website.

In my view, we believe that Mr. Stinky Hains ought to be bombarded with inquires on this issue.

RudiZink said...

Sorry about the typos, people! I posted my last under the heat of passion... and on the fly without my reading eyeglasses, which were crushed yesterday by my GIANT malamute dog!

Jennifer Neil said...

OK - so I emailed Mr. Hains about the video - though I didn't mention Abe Shreve - :

Mr. Hains - did you commission this? : YouTube Video

I think it's deplorable and shows very little integrity, especially with the claims distorted and outright false; and with the being film edited to show misleading statements by Ms. Van Hooser. Not really fair - you should concentrate on your stand on issues if you want votes, not smearing your opponent. Ogden City has enough dirty politics going on with stuff like this going into the election.

Jennifer J Neil, a concerned voter
and this was his reply:

I didn't make it, nor did my campaign committee have anything to do with it; I haven't circulated it, but of course I've seen it. Her apparent lack of accuracy on several items concerns me as it should concern all voters. Thanks for your concern.
M Hains

Jim Hutchins said...

Note the carefully parsed reply.

At no point does he deny that his co-worker Abraham Shreve (Mr. FNURE himself) is responsible for the video.

If I were he, I'd be backing away from this particular Two-Step Mamba. (Legend has it that after the Black Mamba sinks its fangs into you, you have two steps before you drop dead.)

I'd say Mr. Hains needs to come clean on this one, and quick. If he does not, then I think we need to work assiduously to find the source of this video. It's gotta be technically possible.

OgdenLover said...

What a load of bulls*#t! Although I doubt any of us expected him to condemn the video.

I went to the YouTube site, trying to report the video and the only category I could find that vaguely fit the situation was to call it spam (for inaccurate statements). Isn't it convenient that comments are blocked on the video site.

OgdenLover said...

"Nor did my campaign committee have anything to do with it (the video)". Who is Hains' campaign committee?

OgdenLover said...

Time for a laugh -
From Mark Hains website discussion of the non-debate at City Hall.
I suggest we vote for the ones who showed up including Neil Garner, Mark Hains and David Phippen.

A Conspiracy of Dunces said...

It's the plural of Phipp.

One Phipp.

Two or more Phippen.

Phippen' idiots.

Mulekite said...

A timely reminder from the keepers of the Dominant Paradigm.

Was for Suzy said...

"Her apparent lack of accuracy on several items concerns me as it should concern all voters. Thanks for your concern."
M Hains

I wanted to vote for Suzy but after seeing all the errors she made in her debate presentation I am quite concerned. You say it is out of context but they are actual things she said.

Rather then condemn Hains, perhaps you should explain these comments, errors and/or untruths said.

Dan S. said...


Since you seem to be unwilling to follow the link posted above, here's Part 1 of the rebuttal:

Rebuttal of the Anonymous Video Attacking Susan Van Hooser

by Dan Schroeder

This video cleverly takes out-of-context statements by Susan Van Hooser, distorts their original meaning, and then claims that the statements are false. If you watch the video closely, you’ll see that none of its claims have merit. Here is a point-by-point analysis:

1. Van Hooser states that city council members cannot legally meet to discuss issues without a recorder to take minutes. She is clearly referring to the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act (Utah Code Title 52, Chapter 4), which defines any meeting of a quorum of the city council as an open meeting where minutes must be kept (and advance notice given). The video falsely states “there is no such law”, when in fact there is. Van Hooser doesn’t mention the quorum requirement in the video, but her statement has been edited to remove the context so there is no evidence that the full statement was misleading in any way.

2. Van Hooser states that “we have no retail downtown,” expressing an often-heard sentiment among Ogden residents. Although the statement isn’t literally true, the broader point is that more retail is needed downtown because the existing retail businesses are specialty shops that do not sell most types of general merchandise. In a similar spirit, Mayor Godfrey has frequently said (especially when promoting his gondola proposal), “We’re not on the map.”

3. Van Hooser says she’s “not sure that Ogden City needs to be the financier of everything that happens at the Junction.” The video then twists this statement into “the candidate says Ogden City financed everything at the Junction.” In fact, she never said that. However, it is true that Ogden City is the largest financier of the Junction, having invested approximately $40 million of public funds so far.

4. Van Hooser says that at city council work sessions, department heads provide information to the council. Then, in a separate clip, she says “there’s never a department head sitting there to answer a question...” This sounds like a contradiction, but we can’t be sure because the context is missing from both statements. In the second statement, especially, it is impossible to tell whether she is talking about city council work sessions or something else entirely.

[continued below]

Dan S. said...

Rebuttal, Part 2:

5. Van Hooser refers to “businesses that have been here forever” that “didn’t receive money from the city.” The video then states that the city has loaned more than $3 million to small businesses in recent years. However, there is no contradiction at all between these statements. The statistic is irrelevant to the point Van Hooser was making, which is that certain new businesses are being given favored treatment compared to older businesses.

6. Van Hooser states that “most golf courses are not really profitable.” The video then gives a few local examples of allegedly profitable golf courses, including the city’s El Monte Golf Course. Again, there is no contradiction here: “most” does not mean "all", and Van Hooser would undoubtedly acknowledge that there are exceptions. Most golf courses, in fact, are closely associated with country clubs and/or real estate developments, and probably would not be profitable as stand-alone operations. As for El Monte, the city combines its finances with that of Mt. Ogden Golf Course, so there is no reliable way to tell how much money either of them is separately gaining or losing.

7. Van Hooser states, “Our golf course is tied to our open space; it’s one third of the open space of Ogden City.” This familiar statistic is based on the Ogden City General Plan, which inventories 606 acres of city parks and recreation areas. Of this total, the Mt. Ogden Park complex (including the golf course) covers 209 acres, or slightly over one third. The video quotes, without documentation, a much higher figure of 2,519 total acres of open space. This figure, if it is based in fact at all, would presumably have to include county, state, and federal lands, as well as school playgrounds and private cemeteries--none of which are owned or controlled by Ogden City.

8. The video claims that Van Hooser “refuses to debate on Ogden City’s channel 17.” In fact, Channel 17 could have filmed the very debate that is shown in the video. Van Hooser declined a debate invitation from Mayor Godfrey’s office, because she did not consider it appropriate for the mayor to be in charge of a debate.

9. The video claims that Van Hooser “gave incorrect information 8 times”. In fact, the video shows only seven instances of allegedly incorrect information, and as explained above, none of these instances hold up to close scrutiny. This video is nothing but mudslinging by an anonymous coward who refuses even to step forward and take responsibility for it.

(This rebuttal was written by Dan Schroeder, with no input or authorization from Susan Van Hooser. I stand by the factual claims in this rebuttal and welcome inquiries from anyone who wishes to dispute them.)

Anonymous said...

Was for Suzy: you and your gutless ilk are cowards, and you yourself are a craven liar.
You never were for Suzy, and you are certainly not now.

I am for Susan Van Hooser, am not a coward, do not see the need to act like a dick in order to get my way in life.

Come clean with yourself, and act honorably. At least that way if you win, it will not be the victory of the damned, and if you lose, you will still be an honorable citizen.

Right now, you are just another Ferengi/Ooman that thinks people who win using dirty tricks are somehow yet winners.
You are wrong, Gutless One: people who win using dirty tricks are losers.

ozboy said...


Words of wisdom said very well!

Was for Suzy said...

Stephen is an idiot. Should read his own words and live them. Because someone questions what he believes is true he has to attack in such a foul way using the same tactic he is criticizing. Wake up out your dull delusion Stephen. And are you a mind reader? I was for Suzy. Not now!

Was For May Smith said...

Was for Suzy:

Your writing style is oddly familiar. Care to identify yourself by your real, true name, like others on this forum have done?

Otherwise, you're just a coward like me.

Anonymous said...

My biggest concern is that most of your aren't Van Hooser supporters but Godfrey haters. I'm SickofU

The Amazing Kreskin said...

Wow, an anonymous mindreader who can divine everyone's deepest motivations and impulses.

You missed your calling, anonymous. Of course, in order to become a psychiatrist, you would have to actually read and follow instructions, like the ones above the window you just typed in.

All these years and still too stupid to read. Tsk, tsk.

Biker Babe said...

anonymous -- then go away. no on is forcing you to read WCF



Jennifer Neil said...

ok, after I received the email from Mark Hains regarding the Ms. VanHooser pirate video :

I didn't make it, nor did my campaign committee have anything to do with it; I haven't circulated it, but of course I've seen it. Her apparent lack of accuracy on several items concerns me as it should concern all voters. Thanks for your concern.
M Hains

I emailed him asking if Abe Shreve (the maker of the video) was on his campaign committee. To this he replied:

Abe Shreve is not on my campaign committee.


Jim - you said: "Note the carefully parsed reply.

At no point does he deny that his co-worker Abraham Shreve (Mr. FNURE himself) is responsible for the video."

He still does offer no such denial, just that Abe's not on his committee ...

J Neil

Anonymous said...

One would be a small and quite silly person, who hates Mayor Godfrey.
Hate is an unbalanced chemical-stew/emotion, a negative force that wastes itself on its own futile rage.

It is like battling with yourselves.

When one hates something, one twirls and dances with ones opposite, and it becomes part and parcel. One allows ones opponent to define oneselves.

We actually have little emotion regarding the Mayor.

We are of the mind the Mayor is a not-too-suave criminal, quite common actually, and a political hack that could not fight, screw, or buy his own way out of a wet paper bag. His rise to his slim bit of power was due to voter incompetence. He could not even get elected to captain of a softball team if Ogden had an informed an engaged electorate.

Godfrey's last few campaigns have merely followed the trends of incumbents using their previous term to twist the playing field for the securing of an office of which he has little skill for.

In Chicago, he would already be in prison, disgraced. In Utah, he is merely a laughing stock; a buffoon.

But hate? Nah, my nemeses do not look the ineffectual dweeb stocking shelves at The Dollar Tree.

ozboy said...

Ah common Stephen

Are you saying I can't hate the incompetent and dishonest twerp?

How about if I just have contempt for him and indulge in a little bit of reviling the phony once in awhile, would that be OK?

Anonymous said...

You can, of course.

We have been known to raise our fist in the air, shake it, and say, "Curse you, Bernie Madoff!"

We take hate, and curses, very seriously. Godfrey is not worth the paper he is bought and sold with.
And, since history will have a lot to say as regards him and his ilk, we will just vote, and encourage others to do the same.

Godfrey, Ph'tah.

Biker Babe said...

Anonymous - you say most of us are Godfrey haters? I'm not a hater, I kinda like the little guy, as long as he doesn't open his mouth.



Stuie R. said...


I'm just the opposite. I kinda like the little feller when he does open his mouth.

A thought said...

Been thinking over this claim that "98% of Godfrey initiatives passed by council" and that that is suppossed to show the people that the council is really an independent body that votes for what's best for the people. I think that if one would poll the votes, the "98%" is quite misleading, as most of those "passed initiatives" tallied votes of 4 to 3, with the usual "Nay" votes being issued by Garcia, Jeske and Wicks, the "Yay" votes being cast by Johnson and Stephenson, with the independent and deciding votes being made by Stephens and Gochner.

To make an issue of "98% of Godfrey's initiative have been passed by the council" is a sad attempt at misleading the people into thinking that all members are independent thinkers and vote in the best interests of the people.

Just a thoght.

One other thing: sure seems like much is being written and thrown around by this O'neil gal, the third place finisher in a two horse race. If what she had to say was so relevant, maybe she would have done better in the Primary. I doubt this loosing effort of hers last September is setting her up for any big run in the next election. She's most likely had her 15 minutes of fame and her opinion seems to be more that of sour grapes than substance..

Dan S. said...

"A thought" claims that "most of those 'passed initiatives' tallied votes of 4 to 3". Not true at all. The vast majority of city council votes are unanimous.

And therefore, the rest of the argument kinda collapses, don't it?

Don't believe me? Pick any two-month period you like since Godfrey took office, up to around April 2009. I've got all the minutes from that time period, and I'll gladly go through them and give you a breakdown of the votes. (The city is slow to post minutes on its web site so I don't have a complete record of the last few months.)

Just a thought said...

Most of those initiatives you speak of, Dan S, are the common, every day initiatives that are designed to run the basic needs of the City (public services).

Isn't what everyone's so excited about those big, money needed proposals (The Junction, WalMart, Wynco) that has everyone here in such a twist? Those are what I'm refering to, not some Ferret Ordinance or Street Vacation.

Biker Babe said...




Dan S. said...

Just a thought,

I agree that many city council votes appear to be highly routine and uncontroversial. But looks can be deceiving. It would be hard to draw a line to determine, objectively, which votes are potentially controversial and therefore should be weighed in any meaningful measure of council members' voting records.

Still, I would challenge you or anyone else to look at the facts and try to make the case that any council member in recent years has ever been "anti-administration". As I said, I've got all the meeting minutes from when Godfrey first took office through about April 2009. I'd be happy to burn them onto a disk for you, so you can pore over them to your heart's content and pick out all the best examples of anti-administration votes. The fact is, you won't find much. Every single council member votes with the administration the vast majority of the time--even on major proposals.

Just a thought said...

Dan, did you hear about The Junction vote, the old Ernest Health vote, the WalMart vote? I doubt you'd find many anti-Godfrey council members voting to go along with the Mayor on any of these, especially Garcia and Wicks.

I stand by my premise: there are those council members who will vote against Godfrey on every major initiative he brings up and those who will vote with him. I'm not sure I want to "pore" over every council meeting since Godfrey took office, but I'd bet that if I did, my premise would be supported. Hell, Wicks won't even meet with Godfrey for a scheduled Leadership Meeting, let alone vote with him on something like Wynco, et al.

Have you really gone to all that effort to acquire over 10 years of council minutes? I can't imagine anyone doing that. I think you need to take a break and go fishing or something, like directing your efforts into a campaign or running for office yourself.

But I have to applaud you for one hell of a lot of work. One question: Other than posting these statistics on this blog, what do you plan to do with all that stuff?

Dan S. said...

Just a thought:

Three examples, over a four-year period, does not constitute "every major initiative". Moreover, I have no idea what votes you're referring to on Wynco and WalMart--and I have no recollection of any split votes on either of those projects. For the Junction there have been many votes but I'm guessing that you're referring to the vote to issue the bonds and back them with BDO revenue, which occurred in late 2005. Garcia and Wicks voted no on that, so you've produced one four-year-old example where two council members voted against a major initiative. Congratulations.

Please write again when you have some actual facts to back up your point.

(I obtained the minutes by asking the city recorder for them. Had to pay a small fee but it was much less than what I've contributed to candidates this election cycle. I'm trying to interest Rudi in posting them on for public access, but it's a back-burner project.)

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