Opinionated @ CFE

What Peter Corroon Can Do For Rich County

Oct
24

It’s one thing to talk about the big picture of what a candidate’s approach can do for the state as a whole, or even for the ambiguous “rural areas”. The real question is what any of it means in terms of real action in real places. For example, look at Rich County. With a population hovering around 2,000, it is the epitome of rural. On the surface it may seem like the only future this remote area could have is maintaining a 5-to-1 cows-to-people ratio. Think again.

For instance, did you know that the areas just west of Rudolph, the county seat, have been identified as a plentiful source of wind power? Not only is that potential there, a high-capacity power line passes right through it. Combined with a population eager to get back to work and a climate friendly to developing the area, Rich County could easily add hundreds or thousands of jobs to an area hard-hit by the current economic downturn.

Now this isn’t to say that the cows don’t have any value. In fact, improving the food processing industry in Utah would add significant value to our agricultural sector. Advanced economies cannot exist solely by selling or exporting raw materials. The true mark of a well-diversified and balanced economy consists in taking our raw materials and creating finished products. Even if such manufacturing isn’t immediately in Rich County, it creates demand for the raw materials.

Peter Corroon has publicly stated his commitment to developing these sectors of the economy by being a partner with private industry. His strategies for rural development can help ensure that we don’t get too invested in a single industry or region. For this reason, I encourage you to support Peter Corroon for Utah Governor.

Peter Corroon is the Better Choice for Rural Jobs

Oct
23

All too often, the focus in a state such as ours is on the urban population centers. This often means that rural areas get either ignored or neglected. Just witness how Nevada has been treating its rural population with Las Vegas trying to suck up all of the rural water for its own uses regardless of the farmers or ranchers. This attitude continues the patterns of urban flight and neglects to tap our state’s valuable resources.

Consider which states have been weathering this economy. Most of them are primarily agriculture-based, but they’ve been making significant investments in both the technology and energy industries. Much of this development is occurring outside of major cities. North Dakota, for example, has been working overtime to build up the oil industry and construct hundreds of wind turbines, most of which are out in the boonies. As a result, they have an impressively low unemployment rate and have successfully insulated themselves against any one industry bringing the state down.

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Why Corroon's Charges are Sticking

Oct
15

A lot of people, including the governor, don’t seem to understand why Corroon’s charges are sticking. It’s so simple, though. Not only did Gary Herbert not deny the factual basis of Corroon’s attacks in a recent KSL debate, he has continually failed to provide any kind of alternate explanation beyond “no I didn’t”. It doesn’t make for a very compelling argument, especially with how flustered the guv has gotten when confronted on those issues.

So what’s the deal, Gary? Is there some other story other than the one Peter tells? If so, do you want to share it with us? Until you do, the accusations have legs.

Where I Stand 2010: State Offices

Oct
14

Every year, I spend a considerable amount of time studying each candidate and, if needed, attempting to contact them to get answers to specific questions. I would strongly encourage each of you to do the same. Here are my picks for the state offices.

Governor: In the short time that Gary Herbert has been in the governor’s seat, he’s managed to create a long trail of blunders and screw-ups that are inexcusable. Remember when Las Vegas wanted to siphon off water from Snake Valley? Herbert almost signed a deal to make it happen until it became public and there was an outcry from around the state. How about accepting a $10,000 donation the same day the state grants a first of it’s kind strip-mining permit? Maybe trying to both accept and refuse radioactive waste rings a bell? And how about that $13M payout from UDOT to a losing bidder that he was “virtually unaware” of?  This doesn’t sound like someone who has the best interests of the state in mind.

Peter Corroon isn’t without his faults (cash for clunkers? Really?), but he has been a very effective administrator in Salt Lake County and I don’t feel like he would be running around selling of the state to the highest bidder. He cut the county budget when he had to and wasn’t afraid to raise taxes when he felt it necessary. I want that kind of even-keel leadership, even if his running mate, Sheryl Allen, is a giant yawn. But boring is good. It usually means we can expect a lack of shenanigans.

I’m proud to support Peter Corroon as our next governor.

State Senate 9: Wayne Niederhauser is seeking a second term in the State Senate, and I see little reason to think he doesn’t deserve it. He’s done a lot of grunt work with updating the tax code using his background as a CPA and has been extremely responsive when I e-mail him with a concern, a critical feature in any elected official. My only quibble is his vote for HB150 to expand administrative subpoenas, but every candidate will, sooner or later, make a vote I don’t like.

With a lot in the plus column, Tyler Ayres has an uphill fight to convince me to switch horses. While he ordinarily would be a reasonably good candidate (albeit one I’m not particularly excited about), there’s just not enough reason to vote for him over Niederhauser. Most of his issues read like boilerplate Republican talking points despite being a Democrat, and it makes me feel like he’s taking the Trisha Beck approach to running on and yet away from his party. I don’t much like pandering, and this particular bit doesn’t do much for me.

I’m confident that Wayne Niederhauser will do a fine job with a second term.

State House 48: Two years ago, I expressed concerns at how unresponsive Trisha Beck seemed when I e-mailed her my list of candidate questions. Today, I can see that my concerns were well-founded. Any time I have e-mailed her on an issue of importance to me, I would hear nothing back. Ever. Not even a courtesy “thank you for contacting me” form letter. Look, I know part-time legislators are busy folks, but responding to constituents is part of the territory. If you don’t do that, what good are you?

Lavar Christensen is seeking a re-match of 2008 and is seeking the seat again. I feel that his positions are much more in-line with mine, and, more importantly, he’s always been responsive to communication. If there’s an issue I care about, at least I know he’ll be listening. That counts for a lot.

I’ll be voting to replace Trisha Beck with Lavar Christensen.

Why elect Gary Herbert?

Sep
28

Enjoy this video I made in 15 minutes of my spare time.

Why I Support Peter Corroon for Governor

Jan
11

As of late last week, the field for governor shaped up as a battle between sorta incumbent Gov. Gary Herbert and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon. Herbert hasn’t been at the helm for very long, but I already have a pretty good feel for where he’s heading, and I’m not entirely sure I like it. Like many other Utahns, I’m pretty ticked off about rolling over to the Southern Nevada Water Authority and totally hosing rural ranchers and farmers in Snake Valley. I’m also not very impressed that he’s decided to more-or-less give EnergySolutions the green light to truck in whatever the heck it is they want to from whatever state they want to. It remains to be seen if he can truly pull a rabbit out of hat to balance this year’s budget (I have a feeling he’ll pull it off), but he seems to be a bit too wary of tax increases, even if they end up being necessary.

Mayor Corroon, on the other hand, has proven himself a very capable executive in the largest county in the state. He stood fast on opposing tax increases when they weren’t necessary and proposing raising taxes when it was. I don’t feel like Salt Lake County is rolling in excess and I’m glad we have a mayor who’s willing and able to call those shots, even when it may be politically unpopular. I like taxes as low as possible just like the next guy, but I also realistically understand when things are more expensive and that you will always reach a point at which you can’t cut any more. (This in no way insinuates that there can’t be more belt-tightening at the county level, but the effort required to find more cuts may not be worth the final amount.) I’m also confident that if Corroon was governor, we wouldn’t be hand-wringing about Las Vegas water grabs or depleted uranium.

That’s what I want from a governor, someone who defines quality of life as something greater than tax revenues. I don’t feel like Gov. Herbert has done a good job in that regard, but Mayor Corroon has already proven himself by fighting the soccer stadium handout to millionaire crybaby Dave Checketts (who somehow found the money to later buy the Rams), opposing taxes when they weren’t necessary, supporting them when they are, and generally being a good manager, just what we need in the executive branch. I hope you’ll join me in supporting Mayor Corroon’s bid for higher office.

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