Howard Stephenson: Why Utah’s rank on per student spending is just one data point – not a vice

When State School Superintendent Brad Smith spoke at the recent Utah Taxes Now Conference on May 28, he struck a nerve with protectors of the education status quo when he said that a high ranking on per student spending is not a virtue and Utah’s ranking at 50th place is not a vice.  “It is simply a measure of input variables and it is one input variable, and that’s all,” he said. Smith had been similarly criticized when he decried those complaining about the Legislature’s 9.4% education funding increase in…

Election 2014 Fearless Predictions from the Utah Politico Hub

Today is the big day.  (Well, as far as elections go, ‘big day’ may be a stretch.)  While most races wrapped up months ago, there are still a few worth watching tonight night.  So without any real research and a lot of fun speculation, we present this year’s Utah Politico Hub’s Fearless Predictions: Dan Karen Shon Holly Curt Jesse John Stan Fearless Prediction Congressional Races UT-04 Doug Owens v Mia Love  Mia Love  Mia Love Doug Owens  Mia Love by 8 pts  Mia Love Mia Love  Mia Love  Mia Love…

A Guide to Voting: Resources and Rants

Every year about this time, my phone starts ringing.  Neighbors, friends, family members, all calling to ask how I voted.  This year, I thought, to save you all the call, I’ll walk you through my thought process as I fill out my ballot and give you the resources you need to make your own informed decision. Since I live in Davis County, I received my ballot in the mail.  If you do not have your ballot in hand, and would like to follow along visit: here I both love and…

Weird Gems from Campaign Disclosures

Every so often, when perusing the candidates’ campaign disclosure forms, you stumble upon weird gems.  Something different than flyers, mailers, and food.  Here are a few of the gems found in this year’s forms: I am all for friendly and civil elections.  But I find it strange that Senator Jim Dabakis provided his opponent, Jacquie Nielsen, with campaign advice.  According to her disclosure, Dabakis provided her with an in-kind donation of a campaign consultation.  The question becomes, was it really worth $100? I can just imagine it: “Don’t run,” he…

What If Utah Politicos were Simpson Characters…

We all know that there are no shortage of characters here in the political sphere in Utah.  So we decided to incorporate a few of them and see how they would stack up against the lovable characters from the Simpsons. Jason Powers / Mr. Burns Both are incredibly smart and capable at what they do best.  However, the methodologies by which they use to achieve their means can be questionable at times. Comic Book Guy / JM Bell I don’t think that anyone is going to disagree that there is anyone in…

Say What?! Utah Politicos in Quotes and Week in Review | July 14-20

This week’s collection of interesting quotes from the #UTPOL and beyond, ranging from the thought provoking to the mouth dropping, from the dead serious to the just plain hilarious. Did we miss any? Send them to us at UtahPoliticoHub@gmail.com, and we’ll consider them for next week’s edition. What’s in a name? As I wrote in a previous column, my chief complaint with Johnson is that he has an incredibly redundant name. Worse, his parents apparently couldn’t decide on the appropriate way to spell John/Jon, so they ended up just splitting…