Tag Archives: utah politics

The People’s Bribe Videos

Utah’s Liquor Legislation

Liquor Legislation is getting a lot of attention this session.  Utah is known all over for its draconian liquor laws and there has been a lot of activity  this session over changes. to these laws.

Utah has a law that anyone wishing to patronize a bar must become a member since bars are required to be “private clubs for members only”.  This is one reason why many people, including tourists, do not regularly visit these establishments in Utah.

Tightening up the laws to include more touch penalties for infractions of Utah’s liquor laws is on the agenda this year, but legislators are also examining legislation (HB151) that would do away with the private club membership issue and would replace it instead with scanners  to verify the validity of a patron’s identification.


Data would be stored on-site for a week and there would be no centralized law enforcement database.New templates would be designed for bars in restaurants to keep the mixing of drinks out of the view of children. Existing restaurants would be grandfathered in, but might qualify for assistance if they chose to renovate to conceal the mixing of drinks.

Salt Lake Tribune

I personally adovocate e the elimination of the private club membership requirement and am cautiously optimistic about its replacement (as long as there is no “big brother” component to it over the long term), however am not in favor of the restaurant bar legislation.  I feel this is an unnecessary crossing of the line of the rights and freedoms of individual business owners.  If parents do not wish their children to be exposed to any type of liquor culture, they should refrain from taking them to any establishment that serves liquor, period.

Non-Partisan agrees with me on this:

Proponents of the “10-foot wall” argue that the mixing of drinks in view of children in some way glamourizes alcohol and encourages children to drink.  This falls back into that responsibility argument that I’ve made about 500 times on this blog.  Be a parent, explain to your children the dangers of alcohol and over-consumption.  If you’re that paranoid about them seeing a drink being mixed, don’t go to places that serve.  Realistically, it’s not like they’re not going to see the drinks being served after they’re mixed behind the wall.

HB151 has cleared the house and unanimously passed the Senate.  It is now in the hands of the Governor. Continue reading

Buttars Poll

Please take a minute to participate in the poll over on Utah Legislature Watch about Senator Chris Buttars resigning.

“Your Papers Please”….Another “No” to Feds by Utah: National ID Law

A House Committee voted overwhelmingly on Friday to join over 20 other states in refusing to participate in the Read ID Act.  This act was signed by George W. Bush in 2005, with an implementation deadline of 2010, that would require all state DMV’s to transform state drivers’ licenses into national ID’s which would store all person’s data in a national database.

Not only do Legislators across the country in various states feel this is a degradation of freedom, but it would also cost millions of dollars to implement.

"Real ID has the potential to be one of the most destructive things to freedom this country has ever seen," said Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman.

On a local level, the act would also require Utah to spend $2 million to $4 million, money that could be better spent on education or human services in this damaged economy, said Rep. Jen Seelig, D-Salt Lake City.

(Salt Lake Tribune)

However, defying Homeland Security comes with consequences.

If the federal government decides to implement the act in 2010, as scheduled, no Utahn will be able to board an airplane without the national ID. Rep. David Litvack expressed concern that Washington also might withhold its federal funding so long as Utah refuses to obey, or ask the state to return the $1.8 million in federal grants it received to create national IDs and the centralized database.

So, that’s like sanctions, right?  Oh yes, that’s right – the U.S. Government always resorts to imposing sanctions when it doesn’t get what it wants.

More Money for Primary Seat Belt Law? Utah Says “No”.

Utah Legislators have "missed out" on $1.2 million from the feds for not having a "Primary Seat Belt Law".

In Utah one can only get cited for not using a seat belt if another infraction is the reason for being pulled over by law enforcement.  The feds want Utah to change that law so that Utah can receive additional monies for highway-safety improvements.  In other words, the money is conditional.

Utah Legislators feel that imposing a primary seat belt law would be infringing on one’s right to think for him/herself.

Salt Lake Tribune

"Missing out on a million dollars to preserve that right is absolutely appropriate," said Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden.

Statistics show that Utah already has a high compliance rate with wearing seatbelts.


National studies find that about half the people killed in traffic accidents while not wearing seat belts would survive if they buckled up, Hull said. States that adopt laws allowing traffic stops for seat belts reduce traffic fatalities by anywhere from 7 percent to 11 percent, he said.

The lives saved by such a law in Utah could be on the low end because of the state’s already-high compliance rate.

While many feel that wearing seatbelts is a matter of common sense, and while the extra million dollars would help with the current budget situation, most legislators are reluctant to even enter a bill for a primary seatbelt law due to the "meddlesome-ness" of many laws already.

Kudos to legislators for not taking the seat belt laws any further.  Doing so would cross the line of individual rights.

The Buttars Saga: How Utah Looks to the Rest of the Nation

First he bumbled.  Then he was ousted from two legisltative committees.  Then he refused to apologize.

More than 15,000 e-mails were sent to Utah Senate President Michael Waddoups (R) demanding that he condemn Buttars’s remarks. Waddoups said he kicked Buttars off the Senate Judiciary Committee primarily as a way to draw attention away from him. Buttars said he would not issue an apology.

(Washington post "Around the Nation")

Senator Chris Buttars continues to embarass and make a mockery of Utah nationwide with his words and actions.

Utah lawmaker’s gay comments cost him chairmanship

Buttars:  "I Don’t Have Anything to Apologize For."(Salt Lake Tribune)

Buttars Loses Chairmanship Over Remarks (Deseret News)
Utah Legislator Ousted from Panel for Remarks (Washington Post)

Google News Results

And now there is a rally planned in West Jordan on Saturday, February 28th at 1:00p.m. (place tbd) to rally against Buttars’ recent statements.

Buttars and his supporters are crying "free speech".  Opponents are demanding responsibility, fairness, and ethical behavior of legislators, including responsible free speech in the public’s eye.  Buttars is not providing a model of responsible leadership.  Indeed, he is painting a rather foolish picture of Utah to the rest of the Nation.

(Cross posted from Utah Legislature Watch)

Bumbling Buttars

Utah Senator Chris Buttars continues to blunder.  On the heels of the defeat of the Common Ground Initiative bills, which would have afforded benefits to domestic partners, Buttars, in an interview with documentary filmmaker Reed Cowan, openly made the statement that the gay rights movement is “probably the greatest threat to America.”  Quoted in the media:

Sen. Chris Buttars believes gays and lesbians are "the greatest threat to America going down," comparing members of the LGBT community to radical Muslims.

"I believe they will destroy the foundation of the American society," the West Jordan Republican said in a recent interview with documentary filmmaker Reed Cowan. "In my mind, it’s the beginning of the end. … Sodom and Gomorrah was localized. This is worldwide."

It’s all over the news media and blogosphere such as:

Salt Lake Tribune

Deseret News

One Utah

On Top Magazine

True Logic

Agree to Disagree

This is not the first time Buttars has bumbled. The NAACP called for Buttars’ resignation last year for comments he made about a controversial bill. "This baby is black, I’ll tell you," he said. "This is a dark and ugly thing."

Salt Lake Tribune:

Gay-rights activist Jacob Whipple, founder of the All For One Initiative, called for Buttars’ resignation from the Senate, urging supporters of the LGBT community to e-mail Buttars and Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville.

"He basically labeled my community as virtually the devil incarnate," Whipple said. "I don’t think that he represents Utah any more. … Saying something so hurtful has no place on the Hill."

(Cross-posted from Utah Legislature Watch)

Utah media

Yesterday Cynthia McKinney filed for President of the United States in Utah. (See my post below.) Tons of press releases were distributed to all Utah Media, along with follow up reminders. Invitations were sent out to select media outlets to interview her Tuesday night.

Not only were there no responses to the chance to interview this amazing woman, only two camera technicians – Fox 13 and Channel 2 KUTV – and one reporter from KCPW showed up to cover this historic event. Not one newspaper appeared to cover this.

We were told by the camera technicians (they couldn’t even send reporters!) that the coverage would be aired and Fox13 said it would be on their website as well. I heard that there was a clip on channel 2 during the day, but I have not seen any video at all on the internet.

How very sad for Utahns to be deprived of this news.

Meanwhile, the big headline news on the front page of Utah newspapers this week was – no, not Hurrican Gustav or the RNC (although they had their places on the front page), or the plight of our health care or education systems in the U.S., or the travesty of strip mining our mountains in the west – it was (drum roll please)…..

Jessica Robinson from Sandy, Utah winning one million dollars on “Deal or No Deal”.

Now THAT’S news worthy of a flashy front page spread!

I hope that our blogging community will help spread the word about Cynthia McKinney running for President. I will be posting as much as I can, including showings of her award winning film (in Sundance) “American Blackout”.

Utah Legislature set to open Monday

Although I’ve had this on my links list for quite some time, be sure to regularly check out my Political Resources List to keep tabs on Utah issues. The Utah Legislature opens Monday, January 16th and you will want to keep tabs on what is happening on Capitol Hill. I have included the bill tracking link on that resources page as well.

The Green Party of Utah has organized a “Rally for Legislative Justice” for that day during the lunch hour, noon to 1pm, to “welcome back” our Utah legislators and remind them to listen to their constituents. There will be leaflets with information, cheerleaders and lots of positive energy and enthusiasm!

Hope to see lots of folks there on Monday!