Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Interest groups affecting legislation and Utah lands

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  • Alliance for a Better UTAH MIDVALE, UT
    July 30, 2012 7:29 a.m.

    It’s unfortunate that Mr. Webb failed to undertake any analysis of ALEC and to fall for the party line. The complaints about ALEC are not corporation bashing. The legitimate complaints about ALEC include: (i) a complete lack of transparency - ALEC conducts its meetings and activities in secret and erases its fingerprints from its legislative models – something even our own Senators Bramble and Niederhauser have now called to reverse, (ii) a misrepresentation as being bi-partisan - only 1 of 104 members of ALEC leadership is a Democrat (NCSL, in contrast, requires, by its bylaws, that leadership alternates between Ds and Rs), (iii) a move beyond the founding principles of free markets and limited government to a radical social agenda (e.g., stand your ground), which has given 50+ corporations more than enough reason to leave the organization without suggesting that they caved to public pressure, and (iv) a claim that ALEC does zero lobbying and is entitled to tax-deductible 501(c)(3) status (i.e., using taxpayer funding through tax expenditures), whereas its primary activity is lobbying. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Webb went with sound bites rather than factual analysis.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    July 29, 2012 7:23 p.m.

    Mr Racer:

    Because of their widespread adoption, the common core standards will dictate what is contained in nationally used standardized testing. Nationally standardized tests are already required by Utah legislators to be used in Utah schools. All nationally normed test content will be based on those standards, whether or not we like the standards or the reasons for their use. Better get on board, sooner rather than later.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    July 29, 2012 12:41 p.m.

    LaVarr, you missed the whole point with those opposing Common Core. It has very little to do with the standards themselves and everything to do with the fact that with it in place, we as parents, teachers, and taxpayers have no say in what will be taught. While it wasn't directly created by the feds, it has become, with the testing and money carrot, the defacto national curriculum that will be controlled from Washington D.C.

    The issue is what this will lead to, and the fact that we will not be able to undo it once in place that is the problem with Common Core - not what math facts it may require!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 29, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    I liked the idea of pointing out that attention could be drawn to the issue by pointing out that "rich liberals" would buy up the land if Federal control is lost.

    But you left out a bunch of "rich conservatives" like Dick Cheney, who has bought up a big chunk of Jackson Hole and Donald Trump (not sure if he's a conservative or just a nut case), who has bought up some big chunks of several states.

    Closer to home, there's Mr. Ivory and his friends who are even now pushing to move the state prison at taxpayer expense so they can enjoy the profits that will come from the land they will be able to develop.

    Remember the saying, "Socialize the expense, privatize the profit."

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 29, 2012 1:02 a.m.

    Which 'interest group' has first dibs on any changes to utah liquor laws? You bet it isn't right.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2012 1:00 a.m.

    There is more than one similar group like ALEC. The only perceived reason the democrats are targeting ALEC is they generally don't belong to it, as it promotes conservative policy. They seem to be keeping quiet about the groups they belong to.

    All the groups have strengths and weaknesses. All can help discussion among legislators. All can be taken advantage by some corporations.

    NCSL ?
    CSG ?

    Whether or not you agree that ALEC is a great idea, it is being unfairly targeted as the other groups do the same thing, but don't have as much of a conservative bent. For anyone to target ALEC and then not go after NCSL and CSG shows they really are looking for headlines and don't care about anything else.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2012 12:58 a.m.

    Under the US Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 17, and the 10th amendment, the Federal Government can not exercise exclusive jurisdiction or own land in Utah, unless it is for Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings, and it was purchased by the Consent of the Utah Legislature.

    When Utah became a state, the Federal Government committed to selling the unappropriated public lands, extinguishing the title, and providing 5% of the proceeds of the sales to the State School Trust Fund.

    I believe it would be better to have the land transferred to Utah as opposed to requiring the Federal Government sell the land to developers or other countries like China. The Utah State Constitution is designed to protect the Public Land based on Article XVIII, Section 1, Forests to be preserved, and Article XX, Section 1, Land grants accepted on terms of trust.

    If the Federal Government sells or transfers any public land to Utah or others, 5% of the proceeds of the sales should got to the School Trust Fund. There is a gaping loophole in that process which we need to close.