Automatic Endorsement: A “Professional Courtesy” That Needs to End

As former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff headed off to jail Tuesday, I couldn’t help but think of the long list of elected officials that have endorsed their campaigns. In fact, Swallow’s list of endorsements reads like a who’s who of GOP elected officials in Utah. I’m sure a lot of them are left with a very strong sense of buyer’s remorse (some more than others). I think this also underscores a very distasteful cultural practice in party politics: the expectation that elected officials will automatically provide their…

Ten Utah Races To Watch On Primary Night

Early voting in the Utah Primary ends today, and the Primary Election will be on Tuesday, June 24. With no statewide or federal offices grabbing headlines, it might be easy to forget that there’s a primary at all. But there is, and here’s ten races that you should keep your eyes on. 

Buzz: Dana Layton reports no expenditures in the LD60 race

Candidates have started filing their pre-convention disclosure reports and Dana Layton’s seems to have a serious discrepancy. While she lists a balance forward from her previous campaign and a $500 donation from Utah Bankers Association PAC, she doesn’t any expenditures at all. Assuming she had to at least pay a filing fee to run, this would seem to be a completely inaccurate report. This comes after missing the disclosure filing deadline earlier this week. That could raise questions from her challenger, Brad Daw, who was defeated in 2012 following a…

Snapshot of GOP Caucus Night #OR28

I attended the GOP caucus for Orem Precinct 28 – the Fighting 28th! – on the evening of March 20. I preregistered online and also checked the boxes of the offices for which I planned to run. I was able to give my printout and show my driver’s license to the lady in charge of last names E-L. She’s known me for over ten years, but they still made sure everyone had their ID. We had the gymnasium of Orem Elementary. In 2012, we’d been assigned an arts & crafts…

From Anti-Common Core to Pro-Common Core to Whatever

What a journey HB342 has taken this session. Anti-Common Core When HB342 was first released the education community freaked and those opposing the Common Core rejoiced.  The bill would have required the State Board of Education to revise the core standards in the next two years.  This bill generated a giant fiscal note (standard creation and adoption is expensive).  There was also an incredibly uncomfortable public meeting between Rep. Layton and the State Board of Education. Flash forward to committee. Pro-Common Core Right before HB342 was to be heard in…

Brad Daw “considering” running for House again

Former House Representative Brad Daw of Orem has confirmed he’s “considering” running for office again after he was vindicated in a vicious smear campaign orchestrated by John Swallow consultant Jason Powers. Daw served four terms in the House before losing in the 2012 GOP primary to challenger Dana Layton after an avalanche of negative ads funded by a Powers PAC that didn’t like his stance on the payday-loan industry. “My biggest concern is gauging public interest.”

Buzz: GOP facing an X Chromosome Deficit in the House

Unless there is a dramatic shift in the political landscape, next year will see only two Republican women in the Utah House of Representatives. With Speaker Becky Lockhart retiring at the end of the session, presumably to begin a run for the Governor’s office, and Representative Ronda Menlove announcing on Wednesday that she will not seek reelection, the House will be down to just Representative Becky Edwards of North Salt Lake and Representative Dana Layton of Orem. Rumors are swirling that Layton will face a challenge from former Representative Brad…

Heard on the Hill: Shhh…someone might be recording this conversation.

Utah Capitol Hill

As legislators debate a bill penalizing “revenge porn,” it may be the secret recording of the legislators themselves that is most disconcerting to the part time lawmakers on Utah’s Capitol Hill. Rumors, perpetuated by several legislators, are circulating that at least three legislators have found themselves the focus of recordings without their knowledge or consent. As Representative Dana Layton said during the debate over revenge porn, according to Eric Peterson,  its “almost natural law” that sending anything electronically means losing control of it. Is it also natural law that elected officials…