When do issues with political fundraising actually concern Alliance for a Better Utah?

Remember when Alliance for a Better Utah was a fighter for clean, ethical campaign fundraising? A quick look at their own website shows that they’ve spent a lot of bytes going after what they perceive to be campaign financing evils and violations. Heck, they even demanded a quick way to investigate any allegation of violating campaign finance laws. So given that Utah House Democrats stand accused of illegally fundraising at the Capitol, ABU should be all over this one like they were with Mike Lee’s home sale, right? Pfft, as…

Utah’s online sales tax bill died because it had serious flaws

The Salt Lake Tribune carried an op-ed this week bemoaning Utah’s Legislature caving-in to Amazon by failing to enact an online sales tax this legislative session. While I certainly agree that the price differential is hurting Utah businesses, this bill was the wrong way to level the playing field. The primary obstacle to this bill was in its implementation. The bill declared that if internet companies advertised on a website owned by a resident or corporation (commonly called an affiliate link) that is incorporated in the state of Utah, that is enough…

10 Tips for easily following the Utah Legislature

The Utah legislature ranks among the best in the nation for state legislative transparency and ease of following the goings-on on Capitol Hill. Here are 10 easy ways you can follow along with the legislative session, which also gives you info for some awesome small talk at dinner parties. Go to the award-winning legislative site: le.utah.gov You can search for bills by topic, number or legislator. Track bills electronically.  Each time there is a change to the wording and each time it is scheduled to be discussed in committee or on the floor, you…

The Mero Moment: Madsen’s Pot Bill – December 10, 2015

The Utah Legislature soon will be in session and the controversial subject of medical marijuana will be front and center. On one side of the debate will be State Senator Mark Madsen and his bill to legalize certain marijuana products to relieve chronic pain. On the other side of the debate will be a Senate colleague, Evan Vickers, and a House colleague, Brad Daw. They will introduce an alternative bill that focuses more on the real science involved and less on pot-induced pain relief. There is at least one more…

Utah GOP Chair James Evans letter spells out legal basis for SB 54 dispute: Certification to Utah Supreme Court next?

In a letter Friday (embedded below), Utah GOP Chair James Evans responded to two previous letters from Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox relating to issues of disagreement between the Utah Republican Party and the Utah Elections Office over SB 54. In the letter, Evans highlights areas of disagreement with the LG and spells out the Republican Party’s analysis of the dispute, request possible certification to the Utah Supreme Court for final resolution of the issue. With filing period opening in early January for candidates to begin collecting signatures, all parties to…

Kim Burningham: Be cautious about current talk of a special session

Capitol at night

Rumors are swirling.  Some sources are reporting a special session of the Legislature will be held next week.  Currently, the Governor has not called such a session.  I write in opposition to calling a special session and urge the Governor to refrain. At one point, the rumor mill suggested that a special session would be called to deal with SB 54, the compromise allowing political candidates to use an alternative system for getting on the ballot.  The current talk focuses on a different issue, the process for selecting State School…

The candidates to replace Justin Miller in HD 40

With Justin Miller’s resignation in effect on November 11, Democrats will gather to select a replacement, choosing from four candidates to send one to Governor Gary Herbert for appointment to fill out Miller’s term representing HD 40. Early on, prior even to Miller’s resignation, former HD 40 Representative Lynn Hemingway let it be known that he wanted the seat back and was seen as a favorite for getting it. Insiders watching the race have place attorney Amy Fowler and accountant Chris Stout in a competitive position, speculating that delegates may…

Honest Press Releases | House Democratic Leader Not Surprised By Recent Integrity Grade for Utah

What if press releases were completely honest? The following is satire.  For Immediate Release: November 9, 2015 Contact     Utah Politico Hub www.utahpoliticohub.com House Democratic Leader Not Surprised By Recent Integrity Grade for Utah Salt Lake City – In light of the low-grade Utah has recently received by the Center for Public Integrity, House Democratic Leader Brian King issued the following statement: “We welcome this effort to shed light on problems with Utah’s political process. We welcome any effort at all that could help move the Utah Democratic Party from a…

Out with the baby, or just with the bathwater? Now that Governor Herbert won’t assemble a USBE nomination committee, what next?

Due to a 2014 court case, Governor Gary Herbert won’t be putting together a state board of education recruiting and nomination committee this year, even though it’s required by law. Under Utah law, the governor is required to assemble a committee for the purpose of recruiting and preparing a list of candidates for the Utah State Board of Education (USBE). The committee narrows down the candidates (after recruiting and reviewing applications), then, sends to the governor a list of at least three of the candidates for the USBE, along with pertinent…

The Mero Moment: The Medicaid Debate – October 15, 2015

Medicaid has been thoroughly debated in Utah for nearly three years now and its conclusion seems a bit anti-climatic. As I share these thoughts, the House Republican Caucus will have voted whether to accept the latest compromise to extend eligibility to more Utahns. I would be shocked if the House Republican Caucus voted anything other than no. Of course, I’ve followed this debate along the way. Actually, my interest in finding sound solutions to helping our neighbors in need pre-dates, by many years, the current debate – and, frankly, I’m…