Garfield County needs to adapt or die

Garfield County seems to be in a kind of death spiral. As the Deseret News recently reported, student numbers are in a pretty rapid decline, even as the county population is hovering pretty close to historical highs. Residents blame the opening of Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument in 1996 for closing up job opportunities in farming, mining, and timber. While that may be true, it would be a mistake to wait for that decision to be undone. In fact, Garfield County needs to figure out how to adapt to the almost two…

The FortyFive Podcast, Episode 3: Ken Ivory, guest Norm Thurston and Healthy Utah

In episode 3 of the FortyFive politics podcast we talked about the frivolous fraud allegations leveled against Representative Ken Ivory and Senator Todd Weiler’s pro-Medicaid expansion op-ed. We also spoke with Representative Norm Thurston (R-Provo) about Healthy Utah, the House compromise bill, and more. 00:00-01:18 – Intro 01:19-10:32 – Fraud allegation against Rep. Ken Ivory 10:33-22:05 – Senator Todd Weiler Healthy Utah Op-Ed 22:06-1:05:43 – Special guest Representative Norm Thurston 1:05:44-End – FortyFive Roundup From the FortyFive Roundup: Swallow waives preliminary hearing; lawyer says no plea deal in works (Salt Lake Tribune) Final…

The Price of Being an Elected Official

Have you seen the political news lately? Attorney General Sean Reyes has been accepting funding for his next campaign. Marco Rubio got four speeding tickets over the last 18 years. Hillary Clinton isn’t talking to reporters. Representative Ken Ivory is advocating for his American Lands Council and local control of public lands to other states. Welcome to the summer of 2015. None of the above stories are particularly newsworthy, but lets not let important issues get in the way of a good story. In slow news months some reporters seem…

Ivory’s Legal Theories are Weak, But Fraud is a Bridge Too Far

A bad legal strategy doesn’t equate to fraud. I’m no supporter of Ken Ivory’s public lands crusade. I’ve written before about how flimsy I think the legal theories are underlying his claim that the federal government has some enforceable legal obligation to return public lands to western states. In my view, they are not supportable by any coherent legal analysis, and they border on the frivolous. And I dislike Ivory’s theory even more because I happen to think there’s merit to the idea of more local control of public land, and Ivory’s quixotic crusade…

HB277: Well-Intentioned, but Troubling

One of the near-certainties of the legislative process is that you’re likely to get laws that have the best of intentions with poor execution. When “it’s for the children” is one of the primary selling points, those odds would make a Vegas bookie very nervous. It looks a lot like HB277 is one of those bills. It intends to remove the statute of limitations on civil actions for child sexual abuse. These are certainly terrible crimes, but this change is very likely to punish more innocent people than guilty ones. We…

Rep. Ken Ivory Legislative Review – February 21, 2015

This week on the hill was extremely busy and very productive. It’s hard to believe we are over halfway through the session as there is still a long way to go before we can rest. Removing the Statute of Limitations for Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Currently, Utah’s law says a victim has only four years from the time they turn 18, or the time of Discovery to file a civil action in court. To those who are survivors of childhood sexual assault, that statute is laughable. You might as…

2015 Utah Legislative Update from Ken Ivory – 2/5/15

It’s hard to believe that we are already into the third week of the legislation session. Normally, years begin a bit calmer, but this session has started out with a bang. An Educational Meeting with the Future Leaders from Around the World During week two of the legislative session, I had the privilege of addressing a group of future leaders from all over the world. They asked for a briefing about the public lands issue.  These leaders were absolutely shocked that the federal government owns a majority of the land…

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…

Public Lands Debate at SUU [video]

Public lands debate: who will best manage public lands in Utah: the state or the federal government? The following is a video of a public lands debate over control of public lands in Utah.  The debate took place  September 18, 2014 at Southern Utah University in Cedar City. Becky Lockhart, Utah Speaker of the House and Ken Ivory Utah State Representative spoke in favor of the State of Utah taking over management and title to Utah’s Public Lands. Dr. Bob Keiter, Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment University…