Monday, November 02, 2009

A Few Back-burner Items in Advance of Tomorrow's Municipal Election

The results of our online website ratings poll; and some belated info from Ward 3 candidate Stephens

OK folks. Now that we're on the threshold of tomorrow's critical municipal election, wherein the Emerald City Lumpencitizens are once again compelled to stand up for their conservative fiscal values and important institutions of our community, against an onslaught of greed-head real estate agents, developers, Godfrey Administration BIG SPENDERS and other filthy politico-corporatist trash, there are a few back-burner items that we need to bring to the forefront.

First, we're delighted to release the final result of that "Best Ogden Campaign Website Poll" which we put up in our WCF right sidebar a couple of weeks ago, Here we go:

Here are the final tallies, with 52 votes logged, in voter preference order:
Bart Blair 16 votes (overall vote percentage: 30%)
Jesse Garcia also 16 votes (overall vote percentage: 30%)
Susan Van Hooser 9 votes (overall vote percentage: 17%)
Patrick Dean 7 votes (overall vote percentage: 13%)
Doug Stephens 2 votes (overall vote percentage: 4%)
David Phipps (who's now disqualified) 2 votes (overall vote percentage: 4%)
Neil Garner 1 vote (overall vote percentage: 2%)
Mark "Stinky" Hains 1 vote (overall vote percentage: 2%)
It'll be interesting to correlate tomorrow's actual voter tallies with our readers' ratings of each candidate's website, we think.

And here's something equally interesting. Both Doug Stephens and Neil Garner each received at least one first place vote for their website, even though neither of then actually has a campaign site on the web. In that connection, we contacted Doug Stephens. He confirmed he has NO website, but he did send us this info, which we've incorporated into Doug's WCF Candidate Roster page:
Information about Doug Stephens Candidate for Ogden City Ward #3
Pretty good informational stuff, we think, from our seasoned Ward 3 incumbent candidate, whom we're strongly endorsing for tomorrow's election.

21 comments:

Stephen M. Cook said...

Mr. Stephens seems like a nice and solid man, and seems to have a commanding grasp of local issues that will be facing Ogden during the next few years.

I made up my mind to vote Stephens this evening.

Dan S. said...

Meanwhile, it looks like Blain Johnson and Royal Eccles have formed their own political action committee, called Forward Ogden. This PAC has already contributed nearly the maximum amount to the campaign of Mark Hains (see his Oct. 30 supplemental disclosure statement).

ozboy said...

Can any one hereabouts tell us what checks and balances are in place to insure an honest count tomorrow?

It is my understanding that the election is in the hands of the Godfrey administration. This could give us cause for concern considering the past high jinks by some Godfreyites on election day in prior races.

Do all the candidates have some one observing the process from ballot box to final count? Please tell us that it ain't gonna be Godfrey and Patterson alone in the back room watching as the Geigers do the count.

Jim Hutchins said...

Good catch, Dan.

Their CFO is Jessica Fawson, who's Mark Shurtliff's campaign manager and who owns her own SLC political consultancy.

Shurtliff has endorsed Hains.

Logrolling is still alive in Utah. The question is, what is a state-level politician who has Federal aspirations doing endorsing a candidate in a municipal race?

Danny said...

Blain Johnson - concealing his identity by creating Forward Ogden.

These Godfreyites just can't help being dishonest. They are cockroaches under the carpet.

Darkness and misdirection: It's always what's for dinner in Godfreyland, with all those guys.

Mayor Matthew Godfrey said...

My Dear Friends,

Can we all be serious for a moment? Assuming Rudi doesn't delete this post, let me talk about something very important.

Here on the eve of the election, it is incumbent on me to put in another word for my good friend (at least I’ve met him once), a man in whom I have complete trust (because he’ll do what I say), and a person who is deeply respected. At least Mark Shurtluff respects this man, and with all the funny business Shurtluff has skillfully gotten away with over the years, his endorsement is saying something.

Now, I’m talking about Mark “Stinky” Hains . I know you’ve all seen his full-color portrait campaign signs all over town. Well that takes some serious cash, and the kind that only comes from one place – the realtor lobby.

You’ll note he took in a lot of money from my cronies in September, a lot more in October, and a lot more at the end of October. And much of that came from my realtor friends.

Now naysayer Dan Schroeder wrote an article that you can read here. It turns out that like my other candidate David Phipps (who had to drop out of the race) that Mark Hains is also a little lax when it comes to obeying the law. But these sorts of technicalities are not important right now.

Note that even nationally our country is spending $8000 a pop in tax credits to get people to turn over their houses, to buy and sell, to create commissions for real estate people. This activity does absolutely nobody any good, except for realtors. Yet, when they need to get things done, they clap their hands, and the US Congress sits up and wags its tail for them. In other words, if you think only Utah is controlled by this powerful group, think again.

So what I have to ask you to think about this evening is this: DO YOU REALLY WANT TO PISS OFF THE REALTOR LOBBY?

I thought not. So tomorrow, vote for their man, for our man, for my man, and for your man, Stinky Hains. Don’t let the thousands my cronies have given him be for nothing.

(And don’t forget the other realty man, Neil “Doughboy” Garner. You can see the cash the realtor lobby rolled him right here. )

Trust me. You do not want to piss these realtor people off. (And you do trust me, don’t you?)

Wade said...

Hey what time do the polls open?

OgdenLover said...

Polls are open from 7AM until 8PM.

Dan S. said...

This morning I received a response from the city recorder, regarding my inquiry into the campaign contributions from the Utah Association of Realtors (UAR) and the Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors (NWAR) to candidate Mark Hains.

According to the city recorder, there is no violation of the contribution limit because UAR and NWAR are legally separate "persons". This is because they are registered with the state as separate nonprofit corporations, and with the Lt. Governor's office as separate PACs.

However, the response did not acknowledge the fact that NWAR has received 100% of its income from UAR. In my mind, this fact casts doubt on the "separate person" interpretation. Furthermore, even if the two entities are separate legal persons, each of them would be in violation of the "name of another" provision--not just for the contributions to Hains, but for the contributions to Phipps, Garner, and Stephens as well.

At around noon today I sent a reply to the city recorder, pointing this out. I have not yet received a response. I suspect, though, that this time the response will be the same that I got from City Attorney Gary Williams last March, regarding the FNURE incident: He'll say that as long as the money was legally under the control of NWAR, it was no longer the funds of another and therefore this provision is inapplicable.

A few months ago I pointed out that under this interpretation, I could run for city council with my campaign funded entirely by Osama Bin Laden, but conceal the source of the funds by having Osama give them to my Aunt Rose who would then pass them on to me. With the new $1500 contribution limit I'll have to enlist a few other relatives as well, so that none gives me more than the limit.

Although I strongly disagree with Mr. Williams' interpretation of the law, the more important point is this: Do we want a city council member who looks for loopholes in laws, rather than honoring their spirit? Is this what Mr. Hains means when he says he wants "to encourage as much transparency and public involvement as possible"? Is this his first step toward becoming a "unifying influence" in Ogden politics?

Dan S. said...

I should add that according to the city recorder, Mr. Hains had already inquired as to the propriety of accepting $1500 each from UAR and NWAR. So he knew he was in a gray area, at best. What I don't know is whether he disclosed, at that time, that 100% of NWAR's funds came from UAR.

Jim Hutchins said...

Dan,

I appreciate the work you've done on this.

However, I strongly suspect that the answer you received (and the one you'll receive in a few weeks) were determined ahead of time.

That is, I think that the parties involved ask Mr. Williams whether their activities are within the law, and that he's advised them as to what he feels is legally acceptable.

As you've pointed out already, what's legal and what's ethical can be two completely separate things.

I think your comparison is a bit faulty, though. To make your example apt, your Aunt Rose would have to be a sock puppet, not a real person. That is, Aunt Rose in this case is 100% funded and created by Osama Bin Laden.

I truly think they should just give up this tissue-paper fiction. I see a group of men looking for work on Wall Avenue every time I pass by there. Why not just pay them $20 each to go and vote for Mark Hains? Apparently, there would be nothing wrong with that, either.

AWM said...

Dan...I for one appreciate your efforts on behalf of all Ogden residents to ensure they are in the know of the behind the scenes tactics being used by some of the people running for office. You can cut this pie a number of ways and come up with different conclusions depending which side you are on. I'm of the opinion that what Haines is doing is just plain poor form and it may be a precurser of how he will conduct himself in office if he's voted in. It appears he's beginning to apply the rules selectively and that is the last thing I want from an elected official. He does not have that option once in office. It's all or none! This might also be an insight into his character, values, and morals

Curmudgeon said...

SE website is down. Again. Not good.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Elected officials should follow the spirit of the law, and not equivocate in matters of public trust.

Dan S. said...

S-E web site is still down. Definitely not good.

Dan S. said...

Jim,

You're right: Osama could simply create a bunch of PACs, and give each of them $1500 to give to me.

However, under current law, this would actually be more transparent than laundering the money through my Aunt Rose and my other uncles, aunts, and cousins. That's because PACs now have to register with the Lieutenant Governor's office, disclosing the names of their principal officers, at the time they're organized. Osama would still be wise to recruit my uncles, aunts, and cousins as PAC officers, so the PACs would have to be more than sock puppets. State law didn't require registration of local PACs until this year.

Unfortunately, when the legislature amended the law to require registration of local PACs, it failed to amend the disclosure filing deadlines in odd-numbered years. A local PAC files a disclosure statement in August (if it exists by then), but files no further statement until the following January. Osama's PACs wouldn't have to disclose the source of their funds until after I've been sworn in as a new council member.

It would be easier, and far less transparent, for Osama to just use real people as intermediaries. Then they'd never have to disclose where they got the money.

Just wondering said...

Why do you alleged "gentle readers" seem to be "shocked" about real estate PACs supporting the candidate of their choice? You act as if it's an outrage and violation that a PAC would support a candidate and contribute dollars to the candidate's campaign. Haven't you folks seen campaigns before, either national, state or local? Absolutely NOTHING new here. Have you been living in a vacuum? This is what PAC do; it's the reason for their existance.

And then there's the madness ove the candidates. Heavens sakes, Phipps has already destroyed himself (as if one couldn't have predicted that from the outset of his idiotic shot at Ogden politics). Debates on signs, anti-mayor candidates being called "independents" and pro-mayor candidates being labeled as sneak thieves in the night. The Mayor has his supporters and also those who go against him. It all washes out on election day.

So much energy on these emotional, basically meaningless posts. People like Shroder who have the minutes of every council meeting that Godfrey has attended since first being elected. Besides using that info for his posts on this here blog, what the hell is he going to do with that stuff once this election has run its course?

Nothing wrong with blogging it up some, but I'm wondering why you good people aren't out pounding the ground and putting your efforts somewhere that could do some good instead of writing all this stuff to each other all the time. It reminds me of the CB radio craze days when everyone had one but couldn't drive to the local pub without informing everyone what one's 10-40 is or 10-20 was, even though everyone knew where each other was and what each other was doing at the time.

What wonderous moments these are. Now, as was then, is pure theater.

Jim Hutchins said...

Just wondering:

Nice dose of nihilism, there.

If there's no point in discussing local politics to effect a positive, meaningful change in our communities, then why are you here? What is the point in telling people "there's no point"?

Getting back to your initial comment that morphed into a nihilistic rant, it's not the existence of PACs that troubles us. It's the disproportionate influence of certain PACs. You could say the same for state and national politics as well. When one interest group drowns out all others in a game of "beggar thy neighbor", it's time to speak up.

Jim Hutchins said...

Just as a followup to the above, this brief discussion is a pretty good answer to "why are you guys here?"

I note the magic phrase from the above article:

...with deviations [in power and wealth transfer] being mitigated through elections.

That's why we have elections, and that's why we have blogs to discuss local politics, Just Wondering.

Dan S. said...

Just wondering,

I obtained those meeting minutes for reasons that had nothing directly to do with the election. As I said on another thread, I'd like to post them all for public access, but this is a back-burner project.

AWM said...

Dan...That's a big 10-4 good buddy..we down on the flip side

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