Utah Democrats, sexual harassment, and accountability

The longer you are involved with politics the more obvious it is the inclination toward cliques, tribes, bullying, and fighting for or about identity we all learn in grade school stays with us into adulthood. Nothing exposes that sad reality like a controversy. This isn’t a fun post to write. Empathy for Rob Miller, or anyone, having their past combed over and every personal flaw debated publicly makes me hesitant. Anger at those without clue or scruple condemning the women who signed the letter to leadership accusing him of sexual…

Why I believe the accusations against Rob Miller

Way back when blogging about politics in Utah was a relatively new thing, almost everyone was doing it. At one point there were probably close to 50 people running their own politics blogs including almost all of the writers here at UtahPoliticoHub (myself included). We would occasionally meet face-to-face to break down the toxic barrier of only recognizing a person as words on a screen. Rob Miller was a frequent attendee and put off an immediately likable vibe at each of these events. He was everyone’s friend, fellow Democrat or opposing…

Media malpractice on Justin Miller or wink wink nudge nudge?

The more you look at the whole Justin Miller scandal (more on that here, here, here, and, heck, one more: here), the more you start to wonder: Where are the calls for investigation?  Where are the editorial boards of the press? Other than the fascinating reporting by City Weekly, the rest of the press (as well as the left side of the political spectrum) has been all but silent about Miller’s behavior. And seriously, go read Stephen Dark’s post at City Weekly. It’s worth your time, and I’ll still be here when you get back. Back?…

Rep Justin Miller should not resign. Yet.

Last week, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams released a seven month old recording of Representative Justin Miller effectively admitting to stealing over $30,000. Justin Miller should not resign as a member of the Utah House of Representatives. Yet. Let me explain. I realize that this is obvious as it relates to McAdams (who is more the victim in this case, albeit a victim that has waited the better part of a year to tell anyone), but it’s a little less obvious for Miller. After all, Miller is either a dreadful accountant,…

Another Scandal: Why didn’t this come out in October? Oh, wait…

Utah blindsided by another political scandal File this under: “Things That Would Have Been Nice To Know Last October.” Wednesday morning, Utah woke up to another political bombshell.  Accused of stealing $30,000 in campaign funds, Rep. Justin Miller, a first-term member of the Utah House, was fired from his job working for Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. In addition to working as an adviser to McAdams, Miller had previously been McAdams campaign manager. Oh, and P.S.: Miller was fired  in October of 2014. In a tit-for-tat, Miller accused McAdams of firing him…

SB 54: The Basics. Again.

I was speaking with an influential and highly-regarded figure in Utah politics this week and realized most people, even those “in the know,” still don’t understand the basics of SB54. So here they are: Under SB54, a political party has 4 options to get candidates on the ballot: become a RPP, become a QPP, run candidates as write-in candidates, or run candidates as unaffiliated candidates. Registered Political Party (RPP): The RPP route is, verbatim, the CMV initiative option. To be on the political party’s primary ballot, candidates are required to…

Time for change inside the Utah Republican Party

The current turmoil inside the Utah Republican Party (URP) tells me it’s time for a change. It’s time to recalibrate what it means to be a Republican and how that meaning is reflected inside the organization. Ironically, the URP suffers from success. It’s supermajority status means, whether it likes it or not, that the URP is a Big Tent. As a result it’s in conflict – it likes its numbers and hates its people. Democrats who can’t get elected in many locales run for office, out of necessity, as Republicans.…

Was Justin Miller Kicked Out of the Democratic Party?

Tonight, I was looking at the Utah Democratic Party’s web site, and something troubled me: Representative Justin Miller, Freshman Democrat representing district 40 (Millcreek) is missing from the list of elected officials. Which could only mean three things: 1) Representative Miller was abducted by aliens and therefore is no longer representing the good people of Millcreek (my parents will miss having you as their Representative). 2) Representative Miller was kicked out of the Utah Democratic Party for unknown reasons.  Maybe he failed a James Evans-esque litmus test. 3) The Utah…

What if Utah Politics Were Like High School

A recent discussion about Utah politics got me thinking: What if we boiled down Utah’s politicians to the same kids we all knew in high school? And, since I’m the one writing this, our “Utah Politico High” looks a bit like Olympus High School in the mid-1990’s. The Band Geeks. They think they are the cool kids. They know their craft well, but few outside this group appreciate their skills.  The majority of the school doesn’t even know they exist.  This group is represented by the writers of Utah Politico…

Is Celebrating Non-Victories the Utah Democrat Way?

When you’re part of a losing team, you start to grasp at straws for anything you might be able to sell as a victory. As a long-time Cubs fan, I’m pretty used to being in that position. (Yes, go ahead and crack your jokes. I can take it.) I completely understand the need to turn lemons into lemonade, but at some point you’re filling a pitcher with water and some yellow food dye and calling it the same thing. It very much appears that the Utah Democratic Party and many…