Treasurer candidates stress qualifications

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  • commissions
    June 21, 2008 11:40 a.m.

    I know some folks who know Mark and they were shocked to hear him say he made enough to be unemployed from March until he becomes treasurer in January. That's almost a whole year. They thought money was a little tighter- obviously not!

  • former banker
    June 20, 2008 11:24 p.m.

    Reading Walker say he earned enough through his salary and commissions to enable him to resign from Zions and focus on running for office made me laugh. As a former bank employee, all I can say is things must have really changed since I left the bank. And, if it was that good, the pay at Zions would far exceed his salary as treasurer...makes you wonder again what the agenda is.

  • wendy whiner
    June 20, 2008 11:20 p.m.

    This is the first article I've read where Walker admits he was a sales person for Zions, what happened to "Manager of Government Finance?" There's nothing wrong with being a salesperson, however, when you try and pass yourself off as being something you're not, that's what creates doubt. The treasurer's office must have the respect of all, and integrity is a must. And last but not least, must have proper training and education. Ellis meets and surpasses all the criteria, vote Ellis June 24 and show Curtis and Co. that we can think for ourselves and don't appreciate having their agenda shoved down our throat. It is time for the intimidation on the hill to stop. Only citizens can change the mentality on the hill by making informed choices. It is hard to respect those who show so little regard for us.

  • Rick of SJ
    June 20, 2008 6:47 p.m.

    It's too bad it takes so much effort and all this wasted money on an election to expose a crooked clown like Walker. He's grasping at straws. He's nothing but a puppet of the republican leadership in the legislature who apparently hold sway with the Lt. Gov and AG. He may have the republican leadership's money (Where did he get all that money?) and their plentiful lack of ethics, but he is woefully unqualifed to be state treasurer.

    He shouldn't even be running according the the Utah Constitution. He and is legislative "leadership" voted a raise for the state treasurer's position and now he's running for that same office during the same term.

    Wonder if Walker's planning to use that salary increase he voted for to help fund the deputy treasurer's promised big pay raise(you know, the bride)? NOT!, he's got plenty of sugar-daddies to step in and take care of that just like they promised. Real honest, fiscally conservative politics, just like that white-elephant soccer stadium Walker and his buds got us.

  • Just asking
    June 20, 2008 4:35 p.m.

    Would Shurtleff and his buddies support someone running for Attorney General who is a paralegal at Siegfried and Jensen and never went to law school?

    My gosh, no.

    Would they support someone running for State Auditor who is a cashier at Smith's, doesn't know beans about accounting, and is not a CPA?

    Oh my heck, no.

    Would they support someone running for Treasurer who was a salesman at R.C. Willey and Zions and a poli sci major?

    Ya, you betcha.

  • A Man's Man
    June 20, 2008 2:28 p.m.

    *"I knew of the displeasure with Ellis," Walker said. "To me, he's done things that run contrary to what Republicans want."*

    Like vouchers? Yeah, that was just what this state wanted.

    Finally, someone willing to stand up to Rep. Greg Curtis and the rest of the Republican establishment in this state. What we need is someone to bring their big heads back down to reality. At least Ellis is man enough to grow a pair speak his mind.

  • Treasurer DEBATES?
    June 20, 2008 1:59 p.m.

    Treasurer Debates??? Are you people kidding? You really want a debate? Have you ever attended or even heard of a debate between treasurer candidates in the past? Especially in a PRIMARY election!

    What exactly would you have the treasures debate? Their political ideology? It's not a political position. Whether 5% interest is better than 5.5%? Who can get us a better bond rating? How they would distribute funds (because that's mandated by the Legislature). Are you just hoping for a debate so they can NOT TALK about the job-offer-scandal (which both will say they have been advised by their lawyers to not talk about until the investigation is complete)?

    I sometimes think this is the first treasurer election many of these people have been congnisant of, and that's only because of the media coverage centered around the scandal accusations.

    You want a treasurer DEBATE? Snooore....

  • Doug
    June 20, 2008 12:42 p.m.

    So why is it that Mr. Walkers photo shows up first on each page and to see the Ellis photo one has to click on the photo gallery? Is this an attempt to promote Walker? I'm sure both photos could have been displayed together if in reduced size.
    Will someone from the Desert News let us know why they communicated to us in the way they have.
    BTW - If I were the hiring manager I know who I would bring on. It would be someone who can do the work on their own and has a specific track record.

  • Sarah
    June 20, 2008 10:10 a.m.

    Friday, in your comments to Jenna, guess what! Utah does have restrictive investment guidelines, however, Utah could have had their entire portfolio in exactly the same securties Florida did. They lost a ton of money in asset back cp, which carried top notch ratings from the agencies. So, don't go spouting off about how Richard and Ed shouldn't take the credit for keeping Utah out of trouble. Your fool proof comment is off base.

  • Medicare Kid
    June 20, 2008 10:07 a.m.

    Walker isn't qualified. His attempt to run for the Treasurer is the product of the arrogance of the legislature toting one of their own. That I can understand. But explain to me why our Attorney General can stoop that low to support Walker. I now question his competancy.

  • One thing the article missed
    June 20, 2008 9:58 a.m.

    The article tried to talk qualifications, and did a good job making Walker not look like too big a loser (that's what we expect from the leadership lock-step D-news). They failed to mention that one candidate has an educational background in finance (Bachelors and MBA) and actually teaches a graduate course at BYU on investing public money. The other candidate has a Bachelors in Political Science and probably couldn't get a decent grade in the class Ellis teaches.

    They also failed to look at Walker's puffery, where he labels himself a "Manager of Government Finance" at Zions who literally managed nobody, and who was a front-man sales guy who had nothing to do with and no special knowledge about how any of these products work. Anything he says about treasury management or finance he doesn't understand because it has been fed to him by the type of political consultants he wants to hire to "advise" the treasurer's office (which means RUN the treasurer's office).

    Even if it's the only race in your voting area, it's important enough to get off you duff and do your civic duty. Vote for Richard Ellis!

  • Get real
    June 20, 2008 9:54 a.m.

    So Mark,
    You intend to bring in a group from the outside to tell you how to run the treasurer's office...I thought you were the expert, at least that's what you implied on your website regarding all your "experience" at Zions. Hate to break this to you, but there isn't a heck of lot you can do with operating funds that are spent before the ink dries. Also, the Money Management Act dictates the investment criteria with what to do with public funds. And, let's not forget, the Money Management Council has the oversight of these funds, you can keep your "private sector" cronies downtown and meet them for breakfast more often at Mimi's.

  • Walker, a Disaster
    June 20, 2008 9:34 a.m.

    I hope the primary results in an overwhelming victory for Richard Ellis. Mr. Walker would be a complete disaster for the State of Utah.

  • Best Managed State
    June 20, 2008 9:30 a.m.


    I would encourage you to listen to the words of Dave Clark, an avid Mark Walker supporter as he presented the bill to increase the State Treasurer's salary. He said that Alter has done a great job and that the Treasurer is a key cog in the wheel that has helped the State become one of the best managed in the nation. Its on the legislature's website under HB 304 2007 General Session House Day 29 floor debate audio files. It's interesting how stories can change when you are now supporting a lesser qualified candidate! I guess you could say Dave Clark didn't know what he was talking about back then, but I respectfully disagree.

  • shelly
    June 20, 2008 9:26 a.m.

    what? you want to hire a group of people to come in and tell you how to run an office that has been responsible for acheiving a AAA bond rating and being the best money managed state? Mark Walker how is that being fiscally responsible?

  • Educator
    June 20, 2008 9:24 a.m.

    As a teacher, the choice in this race seems to be a no-brainer. The state treasurer has sole responsibility to invest the School Trust Lands money as well as being responsible for over $25 BILLION of taxpayer money held in the Public Treasurer Investment Fund on behalf of the state, counties, cities, school districts and other government entities. That is an average of $80 million per day. Do I want Richard Ellis with 22 years of public treasury experience as well as a couple of years as Governor Walker and Governor Huntsman's budget director, or do I want Mark Walker who hasn't passed a single bill as a legislator, has the worst legislative committee attendance record and worked to get entities to invest with Zions NOT the State? I want a person with experience and integrity managing MY state retirement fund, MY school trust land monies and MY tax dollars. I hope Republicans all vote for Ellis next Tuesday, so this Democrat can vote for him in November.

  • Ellis has a proven track record
    June 20, 2008 9:18 a.m.

    I found it interesting that in Walkers latest campaign mailer that he failed to mention any of his experience. Actually, its not that surprising considering the fact that he doesnt have any experience that would qualify him for this position.

    Instead, he chooses to throw out hollow rhetoric, bumper sticker philosophy and campaign buzz words, like I supports tax cuts and fiscal conservative. Does Walker know that it is not the job of the treasurer to cut taxes?

    From Governor Walker: I was able to visit the rating agencies in New York and am pleased to say Utah has an excellent reputation due to its fiscal management and we are one of few states with a Triple A bond rating," said Gov. Olene Walker.

    "Maintaining this rating has and will save the state millions of dollars. It is imperative we continue conservative fiscal management in order to retain such a high rating."

    Yes, Ellis is a fiscal conservative as well.
    However, because Ellis actually does what is fiscally responsible and right, Walker tries to brand him as a liberal because Ellis doesnt go along with every single want of the Legislature.

    This is my type of candidate. Vote Ellis!

  • You would you hire?
    June 20, 2008 9:01 a.m.

    State Treasurer is one of those positions that you wonder why they are elected. I look at it this way, if you were looking to hire a State Treasurer who would you feel is the most qualified. I am afraid that Mr. Walker's resume would not even be considered in a hiring process.

    I am personnaly involved in public finance. The State Treasurer's office is currently ran extremely well and is respected across the country. True it is very conservative. But the primary focus has been to protect the assets of the citizens and do not risk the pricipal on short term investments that have long term negative impacts.

    From the facts and not politics, I am a strong supporter of Ellis

  • Dan
    June 20, 2008 8:43 a.m.

    I worked for Richard a couple of years ago. He's a great man, and when it comes to finance, he's brilliant. He's also a straight shooter--when he says he doesn't enjoy playing politics, he means it. He's one of the few individuals running for office because he enjoys the technical work of that office and because he wants to serve the State rather than himself. I can tell you he's absolutely the right person for the job. A vote for Ellis is a vote for the well being of the State's finances.

  • Incredulous!!!
    June 20, 2008 8:38 a.m.

    I can't believe Mark Walker, who was a "no-name" in Zions Bank management, has risen to candidate. I can't believe we are so gullible as a culture to let guys like this sneak into the henhouse. It reminds one of when the neighbor from the "ward" comes knocking under the cover of "Brother" and we assume a benign agenda, and put our guards down. Walkers a'knockin, with the same old smooth Utah spin.

  • Friday
    June 20, 2008 8:31 a.m.


    The State received the "best financially managed state" award from the Pew Center on States. The award was given to the Legislature and the Governor, that is made clear by the Pew Center. Richard Ellis and Ed Alter have claimed a piece of that. It is inaccurate for them to take responsibility for that award.

    These guys inflate just as much as the next person. They want you to believe that without them, the state's finances will be in turmoil. Utah law is so restrictive and so carefully written so that it is nearly fool-proof when it comes to finances. We could never have happen here what happened in Florida, where their Treasurer went off and invested in a bunch of speculative real estate on behalf of the state.

    People, Walker may be young and unqualified in your minds, and that is fine. But seriously, take a step back from your hatred for Walker, or your over-infatuations with Ed Alter and Richard Ellis and ask yourself: isn't 28 years enough? Sure, they are saying how wonderful things are in that office, but you cannot make me believe that they couldn't be doing things better. 28 years people!

  • Jenna
    June 20, 2008 7:31 a.m.

    Walker is quoted as saying "I come from the private sector, where you're judges on exactly what you do." Is he trying to imply that in the public sector people are not judged on exactly what they do?

    I hope each candidate is accurately judged on their experience and results.
    Currently, Utah is:
    - The only state in the nation with an A rating on finances
    - The best financially managed state in the country.

    Who's been making it happen? Ed Alter and Richard Ellis. As Deputy State Treasurer, Ellis has overseen the day-to day operations fo the office since 1996.

    Do I want someone with a degree in Finance an MBA and extensive experience (Ellis), or do I want someone with a degree in political science and a weak (and inflated) resume in the private sector (Walker)?

    No Brainer--I'm voting for ELLIS!!!

  • What?
    June 20, 2008 7:27 a.m.

    He'll get advisers from the private sector because he has no idea what to do after being elected. He was in Sales at some lumber store when he ran for the legislature 4 years ago and was hired by Zions ONLY BECAUSE he was a legislator. They've got an R and a D--Ross Romero--so their bases are covered.

    As an R myself, and very involved in the political process for years, I'm totally disgusted with the turn the party has taken in the past couple years. The arrogance of the current leadership is frightening.

    He certainly offered Ellis a job and promised him a higher salary. Of that I have no doubt--i also have inside info. He needed Ellis.

    We'll lose our bond rating with Walker in office.

  • Walker: Padding his resume?
    June 20, 2008 7:23 a.m.

    For those who have been following the race and educating themselves on the candidates, they might have read an article that appeared a couple of weeks ago that exposed Walker for padding his resume.

    On Mark Walker's campaign Web site, he touts his private-sector experience during his three-year stint as Zions Bank manager of government finance.
    However, the Zions Human Resources office defined his position as a sales resource officer, a job he left at the end of March to run for state treasurer.

    According to Zions, Walker's official job responsibilities included sourcing and developing prospects and new clients, selling business banking services and products and developing sales strategies and expanding referral sources.

    In other words, he was nothing more than a salesman and is not qualified to manage a taxpayer portfolio of roughly $12 billion. Walker is a political science major who has no experience or background in financial management. He is not qualified!

    Ellis has over 20 years of financial management and treasury experience, a BS in finance, an MBA, teaches graduate students cash management and investing, and is the current deputy chief treasurer.

    This is a no-brainer. Vote for Ellis on June 24th.

  • Walker Refuses to Debate Ellis
    June 20, 2008 7:16 a.m.

    Per Elliss site/blog, Mark Walker declined the invitation to debate Richard Ellis on Take Two with Rod Decker on Sunday. This is not the first invitation he has declined. On his site, Ellis speaks candidly about the spin/misinformation about him and addresses other pertinent matters.

    One has to ask themselves the following question.

    Q: Why would Walker, who has a degree in political science and recently worked as a salesman at RC Willey and in sales at Zions Bancorp not want to debate Ellis? Should it matter that he has NO financial management or treasury experience? Afterall, Walker did have the worst voting record in committees of ALL legislators this year.

    Allegedly bribing Ellis who has vastly more experience and qualifications to drop out of the race isnt a crime is it? So what if another paper has the email backing Ellis claim against Walker.

    So Walker was exposed for embellishing (some would call it lying) his resume and making claims that weren't true?

    As for the issues, he is for cutting taxes and opposes same sex marriage, neither of which have anything to do with the treasurer's role.

    Let's debate. This is too easy. Be smart, vote for Ellis!

  • doubly curious
    June 20, 2008 1:10 a.m.

    "I think the treasurer's office has been completely hands-off" Walker said.

    So just exactly what does Mark Walker want to get his hands on and why?

  • Curious???
    June 20, 2008 12:29 a.m.

    To Representative Walker::
    If you quit your job to run fulltime, why are you not showing up for debates with your opponent? When a candidate is AWOL, it usually means they do not want to answer questions like: what makes you think you are qualified for this job? is this why you made an illegal job offer to Richard Ellis???

    And, you say you are living off of salary and commissions you earned at Zions. This sounds like an admission you were a salesman and not a sophisticated investor as you say in your website. Did Zions hire you after you became a legislator to use your influence to obtain the taxpayer money from the local governments???