Message from our New Chair

I am a naturalized citizen, perhaps that gives me a different prospective of the American political scene. I remember when I was in Chile as a child, listening to the BBC World Service on my dad’s shortwave radio to a man that I knew to be the President of the US as he spoke to his country with startling clarity: “The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” I was struck with the man … the myth and the legend; Jackie O’s husband! It was JFK’s birthday yesterday. I was so enthralled. When Pinochet quelled the miner’s revolt in our local town, by the soldiers shooting in air, I knew that was not what Jackie O’s husband meant. When the “carabineros” chased a man from the Chilean side to the Expats side to beat him to a pulp; I knew that was not what Jackie O’s husband meant. I questioned why we had two sides of the company camp; I knew that was wrong. We were in Chile not a country called “Expat.” The shortwave radio gave me another insight into America; the landing on the moon, what Neil told the President “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind”. In my 13 year old mind, Jackie O’s husband was still the president. In college I was the champion of the underdog....

Budget Woes

The TC Democrats have been quite concerned, not just about the county budget, but also the many people who rely on that budget for their livelihoods and who now find themselves unemployed and too experienced to get just any job in this economy. These are our family, friends, and neighbors and the community is a better place to live having them here than seeing them go. To understand the severity and complexity of the issues currently being faced by our county, we recently had Mike Jensen, the county auditor, come to our central committee meeting and answer a roomful of questions on this topic. We have spent some time looking at the budget ourselves, trying to see if there is anything at this point that we would do differently. The fact is this is a problem that has been building for several years, and there is little at this juncture that we can propose to solve these issues. Tooele Democrats appreciate that responsible fiscal policy sometimes means that we must implement programs at odds with our own ideals. While many of us would propose different budget cuts to meet the same objectives, a careful examination of the situation reveals that the correct course of action should have begun years ago when the real estate bubble was still building: taxes should have been raised to create a fund that would have buffered some of the impact of the predictable recession that has plagued us for several years. With the drop in property values, responsible fiscal policy should have raised the tax rate to provide equal funding for services–then drop the...

An Average Utahn Caught In A Republican Political Scandal

I meant to post this earlier, its an email from our state chair, Jim Dabakis and he touched upon it again last night at our convention. Denice, a Tooele resident, was at our convention last night, and I’m awestruck by her courage and her willingness to stand up for what’s right. Dear Democrat, This email might be a bit longer than usual, but this story needs to be told in full. This is a story (compiled by Eric Ethington) I wish every Utah voter would read. It moved me. Told in full for the first time, it is a sad story about a faithful employee, a hard-working Utah woman, who was crushed by the machine. An ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE RULED that UDOT “exceeded the bounds of reasonableness and rationality,” and firing her “amounts to an abuse of discretion.” The Governor, the Attorney General and the head of UDOT chose not to appeal the decision. An Average Utahn Caught In A Republican Political Scandal What happens when an average, everyday Utahn gets caught up in the middle of a Republican political scandal? Nothing good. Just look at the story of Denice Graham and the lives that were hurt because a campaign needed someone to blame. In December of 2009, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) was getting ready to award a bid for a billion dollar contract for the I-15 construction project in Utah County – the largest single contract ever given by the state of Utah. On December 2nd, 2009, Denice Graham, a mid-level manager at UDOT, was called by Laurie Wadsworth from Provo River Constructors, one of the companies...

By the people, for the people…

In 1863, at the close of the gruesome Battle of Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln stirringly spoke on the subject of our country.  His address is one of the most prolific of any President ever to head this country.  In it, Lincoln extolled the valor of the men who died to protect the freedoms of America.  He then shared with us the vision that these men had, the vision behind which they gave their lives:   “That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”   This was the vision Lincoln had.  This vision transcends political ideology, religious belief, race, and social differences.  This vision, encapsulated in less than a sentence, is the vision of America.  And this is the vision that we, as Democrats, share.   We, as Democrats, are proud to be Americans.  We are a people blessed with unalienable rights.  We love these rights and promote government that protects us.  We truly believe in a government of the people, by the people, for the people.   Democrats understand why the people are important.  We understand why the framers’ first words in the Constitution are “We, the people.”  Government’s purpose, as stated in the preamble, is “to insure domestic Tranquility…promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”  The Constitution is clearly a people driven document.  It was written to establish a government that would bless our lives and the lives of our posterity.  We share the same values and concerns as our Constitution’s framers and seek to bless the lives of others through responsible government.   Some people...

It is possible to be a good Mormon and a Democrat

I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am also a Democrat. I see that many principles taught in my church and the principles of various Democratic platforms go hand in hand. Yet the vast majority of my fellow church members in Utah don’t hold the same political ideals that I hold. This is not a problem to me. This country was established to encourage freedom of thought and the expressing thereof. I am proud to live in this country where I can voice my opinion and worship how I choose. Most of my fellow Mormons hold these rights close to their hearts. I had the opportunity of attending the Democratic precinct caucuses on March 13. There I saw many Tooele citizens come together to choose people to represent them. It was true democracy at work. Shortly thereafter, word got out that I attended the caucus. Not two days after the caucus, I began to be approached by a number of fellow Church members who expressed concern that I had attended the Democratic, and not the Republican, caucus. This, to me, is quite the conundrum, considering the First Presidency of the Church issued a statement urging Utah members to attend political caucuses stating that, “Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of the various political parties.” The LDS Church is not the Republican Party. Neither is the church the Democratic Party. The moment one equates any party with the LDS Church is the moment one defines a theorized theological falsity: that God dictates all political policy that we...

From the Donkey’s Mouth

By David L. Swan If you think that a “blog” is something from a 1950’s horror movie, or a “tweet” is something a house finch does to get you to fill the backyard feeder, this is article is for you. Technology moves fast and with it so does information. Like our Republican colleagues, we have websites, facebook pages, blogs, you name it. But the fact that you are reading the Transcript/Bulletin suggests you remember when there was a Transcript and a Bulletin and you set aside time every Tuesday and Thursday night to read the community newspaper. We hear you, and if you are reading this, we want you to know that what you think matters. People who read the local paper are the most consistent and best informed voters and we want to let you know a little of what we are thinking and what we have to offer our community, our state and our republic. We hope to make this a regular feature of the newspaper. But let me say in full disclosure, that the author is not a journalist. Unlike Fox News, I will make my bias public. I have been asked by the Tooele County Democratic Party to write a regular monthly article. I am an advocate for the principles of the Tooele Democratic Party. And what are those principles? Democrats believe in a strong sense of community. The strength of our community depends on the strength of the infrastructure our community depends upon. Education, roads, services for the elderly and disabled, clean water, air, and all the other things that improve our quality of...