The next person calling our government a democracy deserves a slap in the face.
Princeton scholars researched the question and has determined that we are and
have been sliding toward an Oligarchy for some time now. The people can change
it and bring Democracy back, but we are too divided to make it happen. Oligarchy
we are, and oligarchy we will stay.
2 Bits,You forgot to include ALEC in the accomplishments of the KOCH
brothers. You know ALEC the group that hides in the shadows writing model laws
for all the states to adopt.
" In the end, our democracy, when vigorously utilized, does ensure that
justice prevails over injustice."We'll see. On a number of
issues.Utah's legislators never saw an ethic they couldn't
Here's a better headline for the article..."Utah democracy - gulp
- burp - 'swallowed' by industrial lobbyists?’===The evil industrialists are not our enemy. They make many things we
need to live our lives.We could get rid of all industry in the
valley and we would STILL have air pollution (because of all our cars, heating
our homes, generating electricity for our homes, our offices, our jobs (IF we
still have them)...IF industries can pollute less... they should.
But how do you refine gas and not generate some air pollution? How do you
generate electricity (with TODAY's technology) and not generate some air
pollution? How do you drive your kids to school or drive to your job...
without generating some air pollution?Utah moms need to take a
reality pill.====@JoeBlow Far East USA, SC,The "gifts" I referred to, that are currently prohibited by Utah
law... are things like meals, Jazz tickets, cowboy boots, etc...Campaign contributions are not illegal (yet).But even small
gifts/bribes are.It's hard to prove empirically in law when
campaign contributions are "bribes"... or just concerned citizens...
If you have a way... let us know...
I've done a little advocacy on capital hill in Utah a few years ago. My
advice to "cherise Udell" is not to get discouraged.Its' actually a lot easier than it used to be via todays various social
media methods.What sometimes seems like a "cut and dried"
issue to you may not be to a legislator.Try to keep as many
advocates as you can pressing legislators, even it means they only send an email
to THEIR legislator.Lastly, try to enlist the support of other
lobbyists who might have a "lateral" interest in what you are
advocating.For instance, UTA might want to help with clean air
advocacy since that would put more riders on their transit. They've got
DEEP pockets for lobbyists.
The day after he won the election, in my state of Wisconsin, Governor Scott
Walker put signs up, all around the state border saying, "Wisconsin is Open
for Business."Sadly, the past 4 years have taught us that he
meant what he said. "Politics is not a game, it's an
earnest business." Winston Churchill"When buying and
selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold
are legislators." P.J. O'Rourke
2bits,My solution will never fly. And I understand that our
politicians, both R and D, love the power that their position brings them.My solution would be that individuals could donate some amount of money
(say, $5,000) to any and all candidates. All donated money must be declared.Corporations, unions and any other entity could not spend over a certain
cap in a year for political purposes. What is the cap? I don't know, but
a total of $50 K would not be unreasonable to me.Additionally, no
dinners, sports tickets, outings or anything of value could be given.Obviously, this would take a constitutional amendment to accomplish.Anyone found giving or receiving in violation of the law would spend mandatory
time in jail, commensurate with the $$ size of their transgression.The goal would be that our elected officials would make decisions based on
what is in their hearts, not what is put in their pocket.Just
imagine how differently our politics would run and how much confidence the
American people would have in the legislative process.One can dream.
Re the Koch Bros bogeyman...airnaut,I would think you would be
a fan. Under one of your many personas you claimed to be a
"Libertarian". Koch was the Libertarian Party's vice-presidential
candidate.===Google "David H Koch"...Wikipedia"David Hamilton Koch is an American businessman,
philanthropist, political activist, and chemical engineer. He is a co-owner and
an executive vice president of Koch Industries, a conglomerate that is the
second-largest privately held company in the United States.Koch is a
major patron of the arts and has contributed to several charities including
Lincoln Center, Sloan Kettering, a fertility clinic at New York-Presbyterian
Hospital and the American Museum of Natural History. The New York State Theater
at Lincoln Center, home of the New York City Ballet was renamed the David H.
Koch Theater in 2008 following a gift of 100 million dollars for the renovation
of the theater. Condé Nast Portfolio described him as "one of the most
generous but low-key philanthropists in America".===But since he donated $$$ to the Tea Party... he's "evil
incarnate" to Liberals. Like the guy who donated a few bucks to prop-8
ThornBirdsSt.George, UtahIf it isn't already, Utah must be the
Koch Brother's dream state.12:17 p.m. April 10, 2014========= I would not doubt it.Their father Fred died
here in 1967.I reckon his ghost probable is still hanging around haunting
the place.The "John Birch Society" he co-founded is alive,
thriving and doing very well here to this very day.
To "Cherise Udell" maybe the problem isn't the lobbyists, but your
groups methods. The reason why the lobbyists anad the state representatives
were talking and being friendly towards eachother was because they know
eachother. Your group is new and has not spent the time getting to know the
representatives and lobbying them that the professional lobbyists have.You are like the new kid who moves into a school and wonders why you are not
treated like the kids who have been there for years.You have 2 ways
of fixing this. You can work to get to know the representatives like the
lobbyists have. Or, you can HIRE the lobbyists to use their connections.
If it isn't already, Utah must be the Koch Brother's dream state.
2 bitsCottonwood Heights, UTJoeBlow - Far East USA, SC,We
already have laws in Utah prohibiting legislators from accepting gifts... I
don't know if they work, but what more do you want us to do??11:25 a.m. April 10, 2014========= Gee, I don't
know...Perhaps use the $1.2 billion NSA facility in Draper.Heavens knows we can track a citizen buying a candy bar it Smith's
grocery with it, It should be able to spy $Millions of going in and out of
Government officals bank accounts....That is, only if WE the people
[of the people, for the people] want it to.The problem is -- Abraham
Lincoln and his words are DEAD.In 2014, it's By the
Corpoarations, For the Corporations, and like Mitt Romney said --
Corporations ARE people.Lincoln must be rolling in his grave.
JoeBlow - Far East USA, SC,We already have laws in Utah prohibiting
legislators from accepting gifts... I don't know if they work, but what
more do you want us to do??
Opposition to so-called "clean air" legislation does not require
lobbying or influence by industry -- it can be based on facts and logic. Some
of that legislation would clearly hurt Utah economically while not significantly
improving air quality, which is largely controlled by Utah's geography.
"if we are going to restrict access to one group.."It is not
about "restricting access". Politicians should meet with their
constituents, be it Moms against pollution or an oil company.They
should meet with these groups to understand their concerns and issues. It
should be their jobs.But, meeting with them should not require major
dollars. It should not require expensive dinners or golf outings. It should
not require campaign contributions.When lobby money or campaign
contributions are made, maybe it is quid pro quo and maybe its not. But if
nothing changes hands, then there is no doubt.
Who is the "biggest polluter" in Utah? It's not Kennecott.
It's you and me. The exhaust from our cars is the biggest polluter in
Utah. Unless you work from home or ride a bike to work, you're part of the
"biggest polluter".Isn't it strange that those complain
the loudest think nothing of the fact that they are they problem. It's
always someone else's fault. There's always someone else to blame.I never have trouble contacting my state legislator or my state senator.
I'm polite to them and they are polite to me. Just because they
don't always vote the way that I wish does not mean that they are inept or
corrupt. They represent the wishes of all the people, not just my wishes; but,
notwithstanding that fact, they listen and they consider all opinions.If your representatives won't talk to you, either you need to elect
different representatives or you need to work on your telephone
If the industry lobbyist are so evil... maybe we should not allow them to
petition the Legislature. But be careful... if we are going to
restrict access to one group... you are next (or somewhere down the line).
Because once we accept that we can restrict access to people you don't
like... it's only a matter of time before they get around to locking you
and your group out.If Utah Moms against pollution have a
Constitutional right to petition their government... so do industry lobbyists.
They are people too. You can't say one person can petition... but another
can't.The lobbyists represent their views... and Utah moms
represent their views... neither should try to silence or have the other's
right to petition the government revoked (IMO).====RE:
The "army of pro-pollution lobbyists"...Are they really
"Pro-Pollution"?Or are the pro- whatever industry they are in?Is that industry just interested in creating more pollution?Or are
they interested in producing a product you use... like gas, or salt, copper,
milk... or disposing of hospital waste?You go to hospitals..
right?Somebody needs to dispose of the stuff they use to treat you...
Unfortunately, things will need to get worse before they'll get better. If
the people want change and cleaner air, they'll have to do it at the ballot
box. Currently, they don't want it bad enough.
Sec : Senator, I have a Bob Smith on line one, he'd like to speak with
you.Sen : Bob Smith? I don't remember any contributions from Bob
Smith?later...Sec : Sir, I have Lockheed Martin on line
two.Sen : Well put them on this instant! Capitalism means
selling out to the highest bidder.
I like the term 'industrial lobbyists'. Not so much that they
represent industry as much as they lobby on what can be best described as an
industrial scale. It's the same now in campaigning. We have average
citizens who can support a campaign modestly, and then we have campaign
supporters of industrial scale. They shall be heard first.
"Industry" is what is written on the great seal for the state of Utah.
That's where the state's values lay.
Citizens United?McCutcheon??You ain't seen NOTHING yet...
ALL democracy is compromised by money. All of it.Unfortunately, we
tend to only complain about the money that taints the other side while turning a
blind eye to the corruption in out own house.The Left complains
about the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and big corporations and the Right
complains about George Soros and Union contributions.In the now
famous words "What difference does it make?" Is the corruption OK
because it is helping your side?The money corrupts. It is meant to
corrupt. Both R and D are corrupt. And it will ALWAYS corrupt.And
just yesterday, the DN ran a editorial about how that money (read corruption) is
good for the system.And half the country buys that baloney.