What is the ZAP tax on the Salt Lake County Ballot?

This year, Salt Lake County voters have a choice on their ballot. The Zoo Arts and Parks tax (ZAP) renewal is a question on the back side of the ballot along with the state constitutional amendment  and the judicial retentions  that are up for vote this year. However, many people don’t know exactly what the ZAP tax is or what it is for. What is the ZAP tax? The tax is equal to 1/10th 0f 1% (1 cent on every 10 dollars) and is used by Salt Lake County for the Hogle Zoo,…

The Doug Owens – Mia Love Debate: What was the Score Again?

While being a very concerned citizen in terms of politics, I have a confession to make: I hate political debates. I dutifully tuned into the Mia Love, Doug Owens debate last night and admittedly had a hard time finishing the entire hour without reverting my attention to a nice game of Angry Birds on my I-pad. Am I a disinterested Citizen? Typical uninformed voter? Not by a long shot. The problem is simple. In such preliminary campaign debates, no one ever really says anything of weight or importance. No one…

Three Reasons Mitt Romney Should or Should Not Run in 2016

Halfway into President Obama’s second term, the state of America looks shaky at best. Economic weakness continues, civil unrest flourishes and despots across the globe stick their tongues out at a Commander in Chief that appears neither chiefly or much engaged in anything that has the appearance of strong geo-political positioning. Excuses, blame, cover-ups and general deflection and burying of issues are the modus operandi for the current White House. Scandals abound among staff and appointees and despite the still reticent media pandering the popularity of both President and Congress…

BUZZ: Judge Waddoups Rules State School Board Election Process Unconstitutional

On Friday, Judge Clark Waddoups ruled the process by which State School Board Candidates appear on the ballot is unconstitutional, though did not give a remedy. State School Board candidates are interviewed by the Governor’s Nominating and Recruiting Committee, which selects at least three names to forward to the Governor.  The Governor then selects the two names that appear on the November ballot.  Breck England, a candidate for District 5, was eliminated following the interviews by the committee.  He quickly filed a complaint.  Pat Rusk, a candidate from District 6,…

Sim Gill drops the bomb during the Salt City Throwdown Podcast!

Sim Gill is a pretty popular guy. He has been in the media a lot lately. From investigating issues in the West Valley City Police Department, to investigating two of our Former Attorneys General on some serious campaign finance, and public trust issues.  But there is more to Sim Gill than what you see in the media. He is a guy who has some prolific thoughts in his writing, and some big ideas when it comes to reforming the justice system in Utah. In this episode we talk about his…

9 Things Only Politicos Understand About Primaries

For those of us who have been fortunate enough to work on campaigns or be a candidate ourselves, many of the following will definitely ring true.  How we feel running for office How we feel when people tell us that we can’t win How we feel reading the comments section in the Tribune about our race. What we want to do when we ask our friends if they voted and they tell us that they were too busy. When we focused on getting the youth out to vote just to…

Salt City Throwdown: Episode 034 – Better Know a Candidate, Doug Owens edition

On this episode of the Salt City Throwdown Podcast, we sit down with Candidate Doug Owens. Owens,who is running to replace Representative Jim Matheson (D-UT04) who in December decided not to run again. He comes up against favored, and nationally backed contender Mia Love, who even though she has been running for three years, is still running with her hard turn to the right to appeal to the base. We talk about his campaign, how he decided to run, his father who was a four term representative from UTah, and…

Ten Observations On Who Made The State School Board Cut

Ten interesting observations on which candidates made the Nominating and Recruiting Committee’s latest cut for state school board: 1.     All incumbents are moving forward at this point, though that does not mean they are out of danger of being eliminated. 2.     Every candidate in District 6 will be interviewed. 3.     In District 5 all male candidates made it through, but only two of the eleven women did. (This may be due to many, but not all, of the women candidates from that district belonging…

The Salt City Throwdown: Episode 30 “A Biker, a Curmudgeon, and the Salt City Throwdown”.

We’re back! After a long extended break, a couple canned episodes and a best of episode, the Salt City Throwdown returns. This week on the Throwdown, from the Salt Lake City Weekly, we have special guest and City Weekly reporter, Eric S. Peterson.We talk about his background, his work, and how the John Swallow/Mark Shurtleff scandal and other major stories he has covered broke, and the future of AltWeekly news papers, and the newspaper industry in general.

Of Moderates, “Extremists”, and Winning Elections

Over at Utah Policy, Lavar Webb argues that Republicans have to tone down their rhetoric in order to win elections because governing is harder than just throwing red meat to the base. Webb is a fan of “moderates”, thinking they are the key to broadening our base of support and therefore winning elections. Maybe. But too often we focus solely on winning elections for those with an R next to their name without thinking about what they’ll actually do once in office. It wasn’t that long ago that Republicans did win…