The dichotomy of wrong reactions to Mitt Romney in Utah

Mitt Romney seems to spark, in Utah at least, a bizarre dichotomy of wrong reactions. On the one hand, you have the gushing fans, who are otherwise normal dignified accomplished sentient beings who turn into groupies outside a rock concert at the mere hint that the great venture capitalist might let them join his binders full of women. Yes, this includes many high level elected officials in Utah. These people believe in Mitt as Midas, the chosen one with the magic touch who can turn anything into gold. They wholeheartedly…

10 Reasons why Utah fights monuments

President Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell are deliberating over whether to designate the Bears Ears National Monument. You can’t walk through a grocery store without seeing newspaper headlines shouting that Utah’s leaders vow to fight the monument. What is going on? This isn’t the first time the passionate politics of presidential monuments have come to the Beehive State, where our motto is “Industry.” In 1996 President Clinton designated the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in south-central Utah. This was the largest monument declaration in the history of the continental US,…

Mike Noel receives the 2016 Friend of the Trust Award

Salt Lake City – Representative Mike Noel has been awarded the 2016 Friend of the Trust Award, the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) and School Children’s Trust Section of the Utah State Board of Education announced today. Noel will receive the award Thursday, October 20, at a 9 AM assembly of students, educators, and community members at Kanab High School. “Mike Noel is a true champion- perhaps the true champion- of the school trust lands and their mission” said Tim Donaldson, Director of the School Children’s Trust. “In recent decades, Utah’s school trust lands…

Why the Right went wrong

“Ted Cruz could win several important counties in Mississippi.” -David Brooks Twenty five years ago EJ Dionne Jr. wrote ‘Why Americans Hate Politics’ (1991). That would become my Political Science 101 textbook at Weber State in the winter of 2000, and I read it over pizza in my Ogden basement apartment while watching the Bush-McCain primary results come in on FoxNews. I didn’t much like that book, but this one is better, if shrill and partisan. It sure seems timely and accurate in describing my once proud party, which is…

What James Madison thinks of Donald Trump

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito once joked that the late Antonin Scalia “wants to know what James Madison thought about video games.” We may never know the answer to that question, but I believe we can know what Madison thought about Trump. Madison was the author and architect of our federal Constitution, which has endured for centuries unlike any other governmental legal system in human history. We are a nation built around- not race, not geography, but ideas. That has only worked, to the extent that it has, because Madison…

Damschen, Gordon, and Donaldson: A proposal to put more money into Utah schools

Written by David Damschen (State Treasurer), Natalie Gordon (School Children’s Trust Specialist), and Tim Donaldson (School Children’s Trust Director). Senator Ann Millner and Representative Mel Brown are proposing SJR12, an amendment to the state constitution that, if passed by 2/3 of the legislature and approved by voters, will increase and stabilize the distribution from the permanent State School Fund through the School LAND Trust program. A corresponding bill, SB109, details the formula that will be used for the distribution. The goal of the amendment is to insure that the distribution from…

The Obama Legacy: FDR, JFK, LBJ…BO?

There is plenty of room at the top because the highest positions are hardest to fill. Organizations are not skill pyramids, the best and brightest aren’t necessarily at top with descending rank and ability below. As CEO, Principal, or President you want “a visionary leader”, but what does that mean? For me, I don’t necessarily want a professor, I’ll take a bear of slightly above average brains, but one who is optimistic, has a good vision, can clarify through the mess, and can identify and manage talent. In other words,…

Donaldson’s post-GOP debate quick hits

Some thoughts after CNN’s GOP debate: Rand Paul gets the Jon Huntsman Award as the Republican who wins the Democrats vote. Jeb Bush is having a terrible time, as I see it, and it is only getting worse. He is the establishment, big donor, old news candidate that doesn’t fit the mood. He seems like a defensive spoiled weakling getting bullied. He is owning, disowning, and reowning his brother. Whatever criteria qualifies for “he kept us safe” applies as much to Obama as W. I am surprised that no one is…

There are 3 types of players in state politics

If you can understand what motivates another person, you can predict how they will behave, and that is very valuable intelligence to have. In over eight years of working with many legislators, boards, administrators, committees, lobbyists, and other players in Utah politics, I have built a paradigm of the basic types that I think covers all of the players. People can move between these roles, but people are usually just one at a given time. The Technocrat “…in the trough of human feces eternally are the flatterers…” –Dante’s Inferno This…

Entertainment, Civics and the War on Women

“If I had two faces”, Lincoln said “would I be wearing this one?” For those who sat through the multiple hour stump speeches and debates of the 1850s, the wit of Honest Abe was endearing, the humor a symbol of intellect, the comic relief an indication of humility. Entertainment and civics, in short, were complimentary. But is the entertainment aspect of today’s politics anathema to good civics? Donald Trump is, Hugh Hewitt says, “the id of America.” I don’t know about that, but these latest chauvinistic remarks do prove Camille…