Saturday, May 31, 2014

Interesting New Developments in the Snowbird Oktoberfest Matter

Sodden question: Will our state legislature act to rein in this latest DABC exhibition of  Utah-style "nanny government?"

As a followup to Wednesday's WCF writeup, wherein we announced that this year's Snowbird Oktoberfest event stands in jeopardy, due to a quirky DABC re-interpretation of Utah "special event" adeministrative liquor license rules, we'll note a few interesting developments, which we've dredged up whilst googling.

First, this strong editorial from the Salt Lake Tribune, laden with some pretty decent legal analysis:
That's right, folks, the DABC's new threshhold criterion "for the common good" is found nowhere within the State's enabling statutes, but is instead a concept which an overzealous regulatory agency has pulled straight out of its... hat.  

Next, although tongue-in cheek, X96 Radio presents this intriguing and amusing spoof, which illuminates the slippery slope upon which Utahs find themselves perched, as our renegade State liquor regulatory bureaucracy cavalierly, unilaterally (and mindlessly) "tightens up" its rules:
"Are we going to be required to have a temple recommend before we can purchase alcohol too?" one perplexed reader asks.

And last but not least, and back on Capitol Hill, we learn of this promising "background" remedial legislative activity, via State Senator Jim Dabakis:
Friday night. I am a bit scarily consumed by DABC policy regarding OkertFest at Snowbird "No Beer at...". The event draws 60,000 people and has been creating memories since the mid-1970's. This and many, many other single permit licenses issued to so many non-profits across the state have been thrown into chaos by herky jerky DABC policy changes. 
I formally ask that the Legislature's joint Administrative Rules Review Committee 'request' the presence of the DABC executive director, compliance director and other senior staff to address the following issues about their administrative rulemaking. I believe that Co-Chairs Senator Stephenson and Rep Oda will see the need to address the issues as soon as possible.
The customers of the DABC deserve the respect of a consistent, reasonable rulemaking process open to a full, complete public comment. Without fear of retribution and done with well thought out policies that do not end up regularly on the pages of the worlds newspapers relegating Utah to scorn and ridicule. Hurting both economic development and tourism.
DABC seems prone to an annoying pattern, regularly doing one or both of the following: 
1. Changing a long-standing practice that significantly alters how it implements a rule, but then decides not to amend the rule because it has determined that the new practice more accurately implements the intent of the rule; or,
2. Amended a rule in a way that significantly alters how it implements the rule. In these cases, the agency has sometimes pointed out that the changes made were still within the scope of the statutory authority it was granted to regulate by rule. However, I contend the following points are applicable:
a. changing a long-standing rule in a way that significantly alters its implementation can cause significant disruption within the regulated community that increases in severity the more the amendments depart from the previous rule language; and b. because rules have the effect of law, rule language, particularly long-standing rule language, comes to represent the state’s public policy, and changing it should involve more discussion and review than can usually occur when a rule change proposal is simply made public. 
The current DABC scenario more closely follows #1 above because the agency has not amended its rule but changed its practice. DABC’s changes to its practice more accurately reflect the implicit intent of the rule, but detailing the changes in practice in a rule change, filed with and published by the Division of Administrative Rules, would have provided notice of the changes to the public and the regulated community and created the opportunity for public input.
Will our state legislature act to rein in this latest DABC exhibition of  Utah-style nanny government?"

The ball's in the legislature's court, wethink.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Standard-Examiner: City Incentives Sought for Kiesel Building

Big shot developer proposes $1.12 million taxpayer bailout

Troubling Standard-Examiner story brought to our attention by regular Weber County Forum contributor Smaatguy, who wryly remarks, "Good lard...the nonsense never ceases...". Here's the lede:
OGDEN — A development company wants to revitalize one of Ogden’s most historic downtown buildings, but before it does so, it wants the city to pony up more than a million dollars in incentives.
Salt Lake City-based Lotus Residential Partners wants to renovate the historic Kiesel Building in Ogden, located at 2411 Kiesel Ave.
The company plans to develop the building into an “’upscale urban-loft” style apartment complex, with approximately 50 separate apartments and 11,000 square feet of ground-level retail space. Lotus has developed several similar projects in the Salt Lake City area and this isn’t the first time the company is dealing in Ogden.
Read up folks:
This matter appeared on the Ogden City Council agenda on Tuesday, folks:
Down in the SE comments section, the ever sharp-eyed and alert comments board regular Bob Becker "nails it," wethink:
Isn't Godfrey Towers on the corner one block east still largely unleased, along with much of the ground level retail space at the Junction ? And more along Washington Blvd a block in each direction? Does that not at least suggest Ogden in that neighborhood is already significantly overbuilt in re: retail space given current economuc conditions? And the investors want the city to subdize more? What's that old adage about the first thing to do when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging? [...]
Paragraph five, in which Lotus Residential Partners explains why it wants a taxpayer funded bailout of its investment in the Kiesel property is a real doozy. Let me attempt a plain English translation: (a) "Inflated aquisition costs" means, I suspect, "rats, we paid too much for the building." (b) "depressed rental rates" seems to mean "Ooops! We just noticed there's a glut of rental units hereabouts and so we're not going to be able to charge the rents we thought we could." (c) "A gap in revenues and expenses" presumably means something like "we're going to lose money on this deal unless we can convince the Council to pony up a seven figure publuc subsidy." That about it? Or close?
We'll be keeping an eagle eye on this story as it develops, of course.

As an added bonus, we provide below the email and telephone contact links of our Ogden City government elected officials, for the convenience of those gentle readers who'd like to throw in their own 2¢, concerning the "wisdom" of this proposed developer bailout:
Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune: No Beer for Oktoberfest? (Crackpot) Utah Board Gets Tough on Liquor Permits - Updated

Utah: The Best Managed State?

Via State Senator James Dabakis:

First, imagine this story without the SL Tribune (! I spoke to the director of the DABC moments ago. I asked him to withdraw for at least 6 months any significant new interpretation of DABC regulations. Pending public hearings and input. Invariably, the DABC's star chamber antics every few months create hostility with the public and bad press worldwide (few months ago it was the 'Will you be dining with us' fiasco). Serious changes deserve serious people with serious input! A six month freeze, with public input and hearings, please.
Planning an event like Oktoberfest or dozens of other community events (many of them charitable) takes months (sometimes years) of work, organizers must not be subject to quick, capricious whims of the DABC.

Is this the best managed state? DABC eruption after DABC eruption?

Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones...

Update 5/29/14 10:00 a.m.:  The Salt Lake Trib follows up on yesterday's story, with DABC executive Director Sal Petilos' lame excuse for threatening the end of the Snowbird Oktoberfest's 40-year cross-cultural community tradition:
"Utah: The Best Manage State?" [snicker]

Apparently DABC Director Petilos "didn't get the memo."

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Science Saturday: May 24, 2014 Edition

Sodden Question: So what does an old fart like Tarantino know about the movie business these days?

Its Science Saturday, WCF Peeps. Buckle up your warp-drive, and get a grip:

1) In the US, cheap shale gas has been pushing coal out of the electricity market and there are already indications that industries are beginning to prepare for the day when solar and other renewables push shale gas out of the energy market, by shifting into higher value products.
Bad news for the evil Koch brothers, who are expending billions to protect their lo-tech ancient fossil fuel investments.

2) Researchers have worked out how to make matter from pure light and are drawing up plans to demonstrate the feat within the next 12 months.
The theory underpinning the idea was first described 80 years ago by two physicists who later worked on the first atomic bomb. At the time they considered the conversion of light into matter impossible in a laboratory.
But in a report published on Sunday, physicists at Imperial College London claim to have cracked the problem using high-powered lasers and other equipment now available to scientists.
"We have shown in principle how you can make matter from light," said Steven Rose at Imperial. "If you do this experiment, you will be taking light and turning it into matter":
This folks, is somehow something the "most smartest" ancient alchemists would have "killed for," back in the days of 13th Century technology. Technology which may be soon delivered on a silver platter by a downloadable "App," we earnestly hope.

3) The news: In the past few years, we've seen the introduction of a cervical cancer vaccine and a prostate cancer vaccine — but what if a vaccine could actually cure cancer, instead of just preventing it?
According a new, promising study by the Mayo Clinic, that possibility might be more real than you might think. The famous medical research center announced Wednesday that one of its patients is in remission without a trace of cancer left in her body — all after receiving a single, massive dose of the measles vaccine.
Keep your fingers crossed, folks; and make sure your IRA retirement account will keep feeding your expenses for the next few thousand years, LOL, if this technology "takes hold".

4) This final story would more appropriately appear under the topic heading "Science and Technology,"  we suppose. Nevertheless, we're not "purists," so please view the awesome below-linked story and  embedded video:
Not everyone in the film industry agrees with the wisdom of these digital technological advances, by the way. For instance, check out Mr. Tarantino's strenuous objection concerning this topic:
So WTF does an old fart like Tarantino know about the movie business these days?

That's it for Science Saturday this week, folks!

Don't forget to to toss in your own 2¢

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Standard-Examiner: Weber Commission OKs Roy Library Contract

All's well that ends well, we guess

Good news for Weber County Library expansion proponents this morning, as Standard-Examiner reporter Cathy McKitrick delivers this morning's encouraging story. Despite earlier murmurings to the contrary, it appears the the voter-approved Weber County Library project is now back on track. Here's the lede:
Weber County commissioners unanimously approved a $16.4 million contract Tuesday with R&O Construction for the building of a new headquarters library branch in Roy.
But not without getting an earful first.
For over an hour, residents from all over the county filed to the microphone to either urge their elected officials to proceed with the Library’s $45 million five-year capital plan approved by voters last June or to limit spending and dilute the planned projects in scope and purpose.
That flood of fired-up folks stemmed from recent unfounded rumors, Commissioner Matthew Bell told those in attendance Tuesday.
“Never once were we against building libraries, never once did we try to slow the process up,” said Bell, who has been a vocal opponent of the $45 million bond for more than a year.
Bell told the audience that the “third-space” Roy project will move forward.
Read the full story here:
A Weber County Forum Tip of the Hat to Commissioners Gibson and Zogmeister for their wisdom in arguing and voting in favor of the will of the voters of Weber County:
“I think I speak for members of the Library Board of Trustees, Friends of the Library and others, that we have had a lot of debate over a lot of these projects,” [Weber County Commissioner] Gibson told Friday’s crowd. “But I think it has been good, positive debate, and I’m happy today to announce that it’s my belief that we are of one vision as we move forward in completing and finishing these projects.”
During Tuesday’s session, Gibson said “it’s wise for an elected body to do what the public tells us to do. It’s a good thing . . . and we’re elected by that same majority.”
At Tuesday’s session, Commissioner Jan Zogmaister, who serves on the Library Board and recently lost her re-election bid for the GOP nomination when 67 percent of about 600 Republican delegates voted against her at their April convention, credited her commission colleagues with negotiating successfully to move the Roy project forward.
“I too fully respect and intend to honor the vote that’s been taken,” Zogmaister said, adding that she expects everyone to come together with that same respect for the process.
“If you don’t like a process, change the process — but until it’s changed, respect it,” Zogmaister said.
And kudos to Commissioner Bell, for (belatedly at least) listening to the voices of reason.

All's well that ends well, we guess.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Libertas Institute:Tax Dollars for a Gun Range?

Yesiree, our purportedly "fiscally conservative" Utah public servants will always be tight-fisted with our hard-earned taxpayer monies... except, of course... when the're not
It’s important to point out that Utahns around the state were required to help fund the purchase of a gun range in a single location, benefitting only those in the surrounding area. Residents of St. George, Vernal, Provo, and other cities around the state should not be forced to subsidize a facility that does not benefit them in any way. If Weber County officials wanted to convince residents of the alleged need to purchase the facility outright—and therefore require them to pay not only for its purchase, but also its ongoing maintenance—then they should have proposed a bond to the residents in that community along with the resulting tax increase. Instead, we once against witnessed the path of least resistance being followed—the lobbying effort to receive a portion of taxes taken from all Utahns, almost all of whom do not even realize how their money has now been used.
Libertas Institute
Tax Dollars for a Gun Range?
May 15, 2014

Here's a thoughtful editorial from the libertarian-oriented Libertas Institute about last month's $3.8 Swanson Tactical Center gun range purchase, which has also been the subject of several recent Weber County Forum rants:
Yesiree, folks. As Libertas Institute President Connor Boyack correctly observes, our purportedly "fiscally conservative" Utah public servants will always be tight-fisted with our hard-earned taxpayer dollars... except, of course... when the're not. Yes?

It's the same old story all over again, we guess... and the beat goes on...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Disappearing Ink: Former Journalists Say The Decline Of The Salt Lake Tribune Stems From A Conspiracy Between The Paper's Corporate Owner And The LDS Church

Imagine, if you will,  a world where the Deseret News winds up as Northern Utah's only remaining major newspaper, peeps 
In any situation where there’s a quasi theocracy ... any state where it’s politically or religiously dominated, an independent voice or a countervoice for that matter, is critical to the survival of diverse thinking.
My sense is that the entire industry has tried to lay print to rest before it’s ready to die, and I see that as a mistake. I think the revenue most places still comes from print—most of the revenue—and that’s why the new split hurts the Tribune so much.
Much of what the Tribune does, involves going to court with the government over open-records requests—an often thankless and costly process undertaken so that Utahns know the business being conducted on their behalf. [The Tribune has] always been a very strong, strong investigative watchdog newspaper. I’d hate to see it go. It would be a bad thing.

The Trib Receives a
D-News "Warm Embrace"
Humdinger of a journalistic tour de force from Salt Lake City Weekly this morning, for those WCF readers who'd like to fully bone up on the current plight of Salt Lake City's top-selling newspaper, the Salt Lake Tribune.  A giant Weber County Forum Tip O' the Hat to SLWeekly reporter Colby Frazier, for one of the most robust and well-researched journalistic pieces which we've featured on these WCF pages in years. Read up, folks:
Within this morning's story, Mr. Frazier has embedded this handy link, which opens this important online petition:
We urge all WCF readers to chime in on this right now. Can't hurt; might help.

Imagine, if you will,  a world where the Deseret News winds up as Northern Utah's only remaining major newspaper, peeps.  If that distressing prospect won't motivate you to take immediate political action, we suppose nothing will.  For a little extra inspiration however, please view the image embedded above, which lays it all out in graphic form, wethinks.

Happy Birthday to Us

Thanks, Weber County Forum readers!

Why it seems like only yesterday that we were introducing Weber County Forum to the lumpencitizens of northern Utah, and whaddaya know, we celebrate WCF's ninth anniversary today.

Happy Birthday To Us!

We'll thus take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt thanks to the political wonks who've given us their enthusiastic support over these past nine years.  We believe that all-in-all, our little home-town blog has proven to be a great and unique community resource.

We couldn't have reached this important milestone, and accomplished the many significant things which we've achieved without the robust contributions of all of you who've stuck with us since our initial founding on May 15, 2005.

Thanks, Weber County Forum readers!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Standard-Examiner: Non-renewed Ogden Teachers Question the System

It's time for a thorough Ogden School Board "house-cleaning," wethinks

Eye-opening Becky Wright story from the Standard-Examiner, profiling the plight of former Ogden High School chemistry teacher Jennifer Claesgens, "one of 17 provisional teachers who received notices from Ogden School District that their contracts would not be renewed." Here's the lede:
Jennifer Claesgens’ resume boasts a Ph.D. in science and mathematics education, with an emphasis in chemistry, experience teaching high school, and four years as an assistant professor at Northern Arizona University’s Center for Science Teaching and Learning. When she married a man from Ogden, Claesgens left the university to become the new chemistry teacher at Ogden High School.
Before the school year was over, Claesgens received notice that her contract with Ogden School District was not going to be renewed for the coming year. She was stunned.
“I actually looked at them and said, ‘This is the first I’ve heard that there was a problem,’ ” she recalled, thinking back to a meeting with her principal and other district administrators. “I asked, ‘What’s the basis of this?’ and they said ‘goodness of fit.’ ”
Check out the full text and embedded video here:
Our take-away concerning academically well-qualified Ms. Claesgens’ sudden blind-siding by the Ogden School District Administration?

"Toe the line (and keep your mouth shut.)"

In our view, today's story is symptomatic of the greater problem in the Ogden School District, of course, where OSD Schools Superintendent Brad Smith has ruthlessly dismantled much of the previously existing OSD personnel infrastructure over the past few years.

Happily, there will be a remedy for the OSD's heavy-handed treatment of Ogden school teachers coming up in November, O Gentle Ones, as all three Ogden School Board incumbents who will stand for re-election in our Ogden School Board races face well-qualified challengers, who are poised to change the Superintendent Brad Smith-centric culture of the Ogden School Board:

District #2 - 4 year term
Steven L. Marker - Incumbent
Douglas B. Barker - Challenger

District # 4 - 2 year term
Jeffrey Heiner - Incumbent
Dori Stauffer Mosher - Challenger

District #7 - 4 year term
Joyce J. Wilson - Incumbent
Aaron G. Garza - Challenger

Our advice for Ogden residents concerning in the upcoming 2014 Ogden School Board Elections?

Write this down so you don't forget it, folks!

It's time for a thorough Ogden School Board "house-cleaning," wethinks.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Standard-Examiner: Taxpayers Had "Little" Public Input in Weber Gun Range Transaction

"Little public input?" Howbout NONE?

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupt absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.
Lord John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
Acton Insitute
1834 – 1902
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
H.L. Mencken - American Curmudgeon
A Little Book in C major
If these [two] stooges who run Weber County aren't careful, they are gonna make the folks forget all about Godfrey, that other slippery little feller who specialized in sliding stuff under the tax payer's noses.
Standard-Examiner comments
May 9, 2014

Bad news for the lumpenicitizerns of Weber County, as we learn from the Standard-Examiner this afternoon that without any even a single word of "formal" public discussion or comment, and just as we predicted a few days back, the Weber County Commission
 "good ole boy majority,"  by a vote of 2-1 ("ousted" Commissioner Zogmaister dissenting), "closed the deal" on their precious "Taj Mahal" gun range, "last Wednesday (April 30)," to the tune of $3.8 million taxpayer bucks:
"Little public input?"  Howbout NONE?

We'll just have to sit by and enjoy our tyrannical Weber County government for the next two years at least, inasmuch as there are no opposition candidates, barring a write-in effort, for the two open 2014 General Election County Commission seats.

Looking at the bright side however, and gazing into our trusty crystal ball, we'll predict a brand new lease on life for community watchdog Weber County Forum, we guess, as our current Weber County Commission picks up where the ever-tyrannical Boss Godfrey left off.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune: Brigham City Doctor Gets Big Prison Time Reduction

"This being Utah, I'm sure the 'fix was in...'"

By: Ray

According to todays Salt Lake Tribune, convicted drug dealer Dr. Dewey McKay's sentence was "drastcally reduced" from twenty years to three, with credit for two years already served in the "slam":
Seems a bit excessive of a reduction for a felony drug dealer whose deeds were alleged to have caused his patients harm. I'm sure there are plenty of minor drug dealers who are not getting the same % reduction as Dr. McKay. But this being Utah, I'm sure the "fix was in...":

Comments, anyone?

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Standard-Examiner: Our View: Tax Dollars for Shooting

The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys

It's nice that the county has a boost in its paramedic fund, but we expect the county to offer more information than merely that funds have "built up." If perhaps as much as $2.3 million of Weber taxpayers' funds is going to buy a gun range, we'll need to know how the excess money accumulated and why it should be used to buy a gun range that has apparently faltered as a private sector endeavor. The county has the responsibility to persuade residents that the $2.3 million doesn't have a better use than for shooting.
Standard-Examiner Editorial
Our View: Tax dollars for shooting
May 6, 2014

Top-notch online editorial from the Standard-Examiner this afternoon, questioning the "wisdom" of our Weber County Commission, in ripping off the Weber County "paramedic fund" to the tune of 2.3 million bucks,to finance the purchase the money-losing Swanson Corporation Tactical Training Center "Gun Range", which facility includes "[f]our partially-enclosed live fire ranges, complete with on-board camera systems and variable lighting, along with a "simulated urban comabat environment," etc, etc, etc. Crank up your sound and feast your eyes on the testosterone-induced video promo:

Here's the S-E editorial:
Our take?

Comments, anyone?

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Standard-Examiner: Bell Denounces Any Use of Weber Library Bond for Gun Range Purchase - Updated

Too bad the Weber County Democrats couldn't muster a couple of candidates to at least run against the present Weber County GOP tyranny

As a follow-up to our 4/24/14 WCF story, wherein we "connected the dots" between two Cathy McKitrick/Standard-Examiner stories of the same date, and speculated that our "Weber County Commission [was taking] the "Tried and True 'Bait and Switch' Tactic to a Whole New Level", we'll observe this morning that our conjecture that our Weber County Commission is in the process of "raping" library bond funds for the purchase of the Swanson Tactical Training Center gun range seems to have gained some traction within the Weber County lumpencitizen community.

In that connection, we'll  shine the spotlight on the latest glorious S-E offering from the ever-journalisticallly yeoman-like (and exceedingly smart) Cathy McKitrick.  For starters, here's the lede:
OGDEN -- Weber County Commissioner Matthew Bell weighed in Wednesday on whether he would consider using savings from the $45 million library bond to help fund the purchase of an indoor gun range.
"Absolutely not. Ain't ever going to happen," Bell said. "The bond is specific for doing library improvements, and that's what we're going to do."
Read Ms. McKitrick's latest story, for the full "skinny":
And do not fail to check out the underlying Disqus comments section beneath Ms. McKitrick's story, where, as of this juncture, scores of upset people who ACTUALLY voted the recent Library Bond Election (which election our Commission seems about to nullify) are free-wheeling, lambasting, and generally throwing in their own angry 2¢.

Seems to us that if the Commission axes library bond funding by any significant degree, and yet approves the"white elephant" gun range purchase, such an embarrassing departure from "democratic" reality will reveal our financially "tight-fisted" Commissioner Bell to be a dissembler, deceiver and rhetorical trickster, don'tcha think?

Too bad the Weber County Democrats couldn't muster a couple of candidates to at least run against the present Weber County GOP tyranny, YES?

Update 5/6/14 9:40 a.m.: Via Cathy McKitrick: "This [above-linked] story actually had an update that went into last Friday's print edition but didn't make it online until today. The county found the remaining funds to buy the Swanson gun range last week."

It thus appears that the gun-range purchase is a done deal. Rather than to dip into the library bond fund, their be tapping money which has been layin' around "idle" in the "paramedic fund."


Saturday, May 03, 2014

Science Saturday May 5, 2014 Edition

 Chalk it up to a slow news day, we guess

Since it's been a great long while since our last post on this sorely neglected topic, here's our newest Science Saturday update, carefully compiled from the broad variety of stories which we've collected over the past few months days. Although the first two of these stories ain't exactly hot off the press, here goes:

1) Perhaps the most confounding mystery of all involves how incredibly large stones made their way to the middle of the Egyptian desert in ancient times without massive mechanical assistance. No camel, even the Egyptian kind, is that strong. The truth, researchers at the University of Amsterdam announced this week in a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters, may actually be quite simple. It has long been believed that Egyptians used wooden sleds to haul the stone, but until now it hasn’t been entirely understood how they overcame the problem of friction. It amounts to nothing more, scientists say, than a “clever trick”:
Bad news for "space alien theorists," we guess.

2)  With the World Cup just six weeks away, Brazilian authorities have approved the widespread, commercial release of a strain of mosquito that has been genetically reprogrammed to wipe out its own species:
Venomous jungle snakes and/or American GOP politicians next, please.

Gold "Bug"
3) It seems that medieval alchemists were looking for the Philosopher's Stone—the magic element that could turn lead to gold—in the wrong place. Turns out the "key" is not  a mineral. It's a bug, according to the below-linked story:
Sodden question:  So where can we acquire a healthy culture of Cupriavidus metallidurans... and some decent quantities of gold choride? Time to make some serious "hay,"  inasmuch as we ain't doin' so hot in the stock market lately, wethinks.

That's it folks.  You can chalk it up to a slow news day we guess.

Neverthelless, don't hesitate to post your own science stories in the comments section below.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Provo Daily Herald: Former Candidate Criticizes Utah's Caucus Convention System

At least one unsuccessful 2014 GOP challenger becomes a convert to the open primary nomination system

Interesting story from the Provo Daily Herald, revealing another set of glaring defects in the current caucus/convention nomination system, which the 2014 Utah legislature mercifully augmented with an alternative statutory direct primary nomination procedural approach. Here's the lede:
A former congressional candidate has panned Utah's unique process of selecting candidates for the ballot.
Mark Hedengren, who ran against Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, for the Republican nomination in the 3rd District but lost at the state convention last Saturday as he only won 65 of the 1013 votes available, now says he supports the Count My Vote effort to change Utah's election process after being a candidate in the caucus convention system.
Hedengren said in an email to reporters that the current system is "pretty messed up" and the arguments traditionally made as to why the system is better than a direct primary process, such as that the current system prevents big money from taking over elections, aren't true.
Read the full story Daily Herald story, folks, setting forth exactly how Mr. Hedengren believes he was run through the GOP "wringer":
Mr. Hesterman complains that the caucus and convention system is "one big long fundraiser for the Utah Republican Party," among other things, and says that although "he did enjoy the experience of running for office ... it did not make him a convert to the caucus convention system."

"The state should have open primaries in the future," Mr. Hedengren adds.

Needless to say, we'll be sitting on the edge of our seat, watching to see how these dynamics play out in the 2016 Utah General Election, when Utah's new dual-track political nomination system is at long last unrolled.

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