Tuesday, May 20, 2008
printed in the Daily Herald
May 20, 2008
by Stan Lockhart and Marian Monnahan
Utah is a great state with strong representation. We are recognized regularly as a great place to raise a family, start a business and obtain a good job. While many states are in the midst of huge budget deficits, Utah has record surpluses. We've been named the best-managed state in the nation. We have a lot to be proud of, and much of the thanks should go to our Republican elected officials who hold fiscal responsibility at the forefront of their policy making.
Utah County specifically has also benefited from strong local leaders and citizens.
During the last few weeks, a couple of legislative candidates and their supporters have made claims that the Utah County Republican Party process is unfair. Now that conventions are over, we'd like to respond.
The county party is made up of over 1,200 delegates who attend one convention per year to nominate candidates, elect party officers and modify, if necessary, the party's rules, bylaws, platform and constitution. A central committee made up of a subset of about 600 delegates meets four times per year. Only these groups can change party documents.
Party rules haven't changed substantially in Utah County over the last 20 years or more, nor has the application of the rules, particularly in the areas that have been disputed. The Utah County Republican Party and the convention are staffed 100 percent by hundreds of volunteers -- good men and women who make a positive difference for the benefit of our county. These volunteers are people of high character and integrity, and we believe they acted in accordance with the rules to the best of their ability.
It has been suggested that party leadership is conspiring with volunteers to violate the rules. This just isn't true, and frankly, the internal party process would not allow for such acts.
In the weeks preceding a convention, there are many moving parts. A great deal of time is spent passing out copies of the rules and explaining them to both candidates and volunteers. All in the party work hard to follow the rules.
There is an appeals process within the party when a perceived mistake happens that allows a candidate's complaint to be heard. This process has worked well for decades. This year, claims have first been made in the media and then selectively at times to the party. Unfortunately, use of this tactic has spread rumor and innuendo -- unfairly maligning those they accuse.
The number of complaints to the media this year have been many, while those actually brought to the formal appeals process have been few. In each case, a sincere effort to accommodate the concerns of those making the complaints was made following established processes. Virtually anything -- from how delegates are elected and replaced, to where they must live, to how ballots have been counted -- may be appealed.
Within the party, volunteers familiar with the rules hear the complaints. The person who makes a complaint is allowed substantial time to make their case. The appeals body then discusses the complaint and the rules surrounding it. A decision, arrived at by using the rules and bylaws of the party as a foundation, is made.
In the current nominating process, the complaints have been found to be without merit.
Something positive has resulted from the complaints. A comprehensive review of party rules is now on the table. We also intend to review our volunteer training procedures and the process whereby the rules are discussed with candidates. Any ambiguities in the current rules that are clarified can only strengthen confidence and participation in the political process that is so important to our state.
A great deal of thanks are owed to the hundreds of volunteers who devote their time to the process of selecting Republican candidates for office, and we offer them our heartfelt appreciation.
• Stan Lockhart is a former Utah County Republican Party Chair and current Utah Republican Party Chair. Marian Monnahan is the current Utah County Republican Party Chair.
"No, this speech has never been delivered at a college or a university. It was written to protest the fact that such an invitation has never been offered! It has only been delivered on my radio show, printed in my book "The Terrible Truth About Liberals" and produced on a limited edition CD. The irony is that this commencement speech has been more widely distributed, and has been the subject of more comment than any commencement speech that actually has been delivered at any college or university in the past 50 years."
©Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003 by Neal Boortz. http://www.boortz.com
The Neal Boortz Commencement Speech
I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It's about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you'll have enough smoke blown your way today. And you can bet your tassels I'm not here to impress the faculty and administration.
You may not like much of what I have to say, and that's fine. You will remember it though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, it goes without saying, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees.
This gowned gaggle behind me is your faculty. You've heard the old saying that those who can - do. Those who can't - teach. That sounds deliciously insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.
By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn't mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private pilot's license many years ago, he said, 'Here, this is your ticket to learn.' The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.
Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so much. You want to help so much. After all, you're a compassionate and caring person, aren't you now? Well, isn't that just so extraordinarily special. Now, at this age, is as good a time as any to be a Liberal; as good a time as any to know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time, starting tomorrow, for the truth to set in. Over the next few years, as you begin to feel the cold breath of reality down your neck, things are going to start changing pretty fast .. including your own assessment of just how much you really know.
So here are the first assignments for your initial class in reality: Pay attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then compare the words of the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy conservatives. From the Left you will hear "I feel." From the Right you will hear "I think." From the Liberals you will hear references to groups --The Blacks, The Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less Fortunate. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.
That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives and Libertarians think -- and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the individual.
Liberals feel that their favored groups, have enforceable rights to the property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives (and Libertarians, myself among them I might add) think that individuals have the right to protect their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses.
In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, but your name. Your group identity is going away. Your recognition and appreciation of your individual identity starts now.
If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be a libertarian or a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms. They will welcome you, that is, so long as you haven't developed an individual identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group mentality you embraced during the past four years.
Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes. You're going to actually get a full time job! You're also going to get a lifelong work partner. This partner isn't going to help you do your job. This partner is just going to sit back and wait for payday. This partner doesn't want to share in your effort, just your earnings.
Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent; an agent representing a strange and diverse group of people. An agent for every teenager with an illegitimate child. An agent for a research scientist who wanted to make some cash answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth. An agent for some poor aging hippie who considers herself to be a meaningful and talented artist ... but who just can't manage to sell any of her artwork on the open market.
Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job skills; for every person who ignored all offered educational opportunities, dreaming of nothing more than a job at City Hall. An agent for tin-horn dictators in fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for multi-million-dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their overseas advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the unimaginable power of this agent's for their personal enrichment and benefit.
That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive Imperial Federal Government. Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power that you do not have. A power that no individual has, will have or should have. This agent has the legal power to use force – deadly force – to accomplish its goals.
You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you, introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move right on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla with a gun. It will sleep anywhere it wants to.
Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I'm sorry, there just isn't any way you can fire this agent of plunder, and you can't decrease it's share of your income. That power rests with him, not you.
So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Oh yes, I know it's a necessary evil, but it is dangerous nonetheless ... somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.
Now – let's address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as possible. These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail miserably out there in the real world.
First – that favorite buzz word of the media, government and academia: Diversity!
You have been taught that the real value of any group of people - be it a social group, an employee group, a management group, whatever - is based on diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on an individual's abilities or character, but on a person's identity and status as a member of a group. Yes – it's that liberal group identity thing again.
Within the great diversity movement group identification - be it racial, gender based, or some other minority status - means more than the individual's integrity, character or other qualifications.
Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement and excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work.
From this day on every single time you hear the word "diversity" you can rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you of every vestige of individuality you possess.
We also need to address this thing you seem to have about "rights." We have witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called "rights" in the last few decades, usually emanating from college campuses.
You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an education. You probably even have your own pet right - the right to a Beemer, for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan on downloading in a year or so.
Forget it. Forget those rights! I'll tell you what your rights are! You have a right to live free, and to whatever wealth you are able to produce with your labor. I'll also tell you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.
You may think, for instance, that you have a right to health care. After all, Hillary said so, didn't she? But you cannot receive health care unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life - to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his choice. You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person's life or to any portion thereof.
You may also think you have some "right" to a job; a job with a living wage, whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person compensate you with their money? I can't wait for you to point that one out for me in our Constitution. I sure would like to be a fly on the wall when some urban outdoorsmen (that would be "homeless person" for those of you who don't want to give these less fortunate people a romantic and adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your money.
The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are simply exercising one of theirs - the right to be imbeciles. Their being imbeciles didn't cost anyone else either property or time. It's their right, and they exercise it brilliantly.
By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase "less fortunate" a bit ago when I was talking about the urban outdoorsmen? That phrase is a favorite of the Left. Think about it, and you'll understand why.
To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, spaced out on drugs, unemployable, and generally miserable because he is "less fortunate" is to imply that a successful person - one with a job, a home and a future - is in that position because he or she was "fortunate." The dictionary says that fortunate means "having derived good from an unexpected place." There is nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also nothing unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol, and the street instead of education and personal responsibility.
If the Left can create the common perception that success and failure are simple matters of "fortune" or "luck," then it is easy to promote and justify their various income redistribution schemes. After all, we are just evening out the odds a little bit, aren't we?
This "success equals luck" idea the liberals like to push is seen everywhere. Democratic presidential candidate Richard Gephardt refers to high-achievers as "people who have won life's lottery." He wants you to believe they are making the big bucks because they are lucky; all they did was buy the right lottery ticket. What an insult this is to the man or woman who works that 60 hour week to provide for a family.
It's not luck, my friends. It's choice. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was in a book by Og Mandino, entitled "The Greatest Secret in the World." The lesson? Very simple: "Use wisely your power of choice."
That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He's there by choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made in his life. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to accept, especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something or other - victims of discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism, whatever. After all, nobody really wants to accept the blame for his or her position in life. Not when it is so much easier to point and say, "Look! He did this to me!" than it is to look into a mirror and say, "You ***! You did this to me!"
The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.
Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school. Whether or not to get pregnant. Whether or not to hit the bottle. Whether or not to keep this job you hate until you get another better-paying job. Whether or not to save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for that new car.
Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies with. Whose car to ride home in. Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read a book on investing. But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts. Each choice is a building block - some large, some small. But each one is a part of the structure of your life. If you make the right choices, or if you make more right choices than wrong ones, something absolutely terrible may happen to you. Something unthinkable. You, my friend, could become one of the hated, the evil, the ugly, the feared, the filthy, the successful, the rich.
Quite a few people have followed that tragic path.
The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of new businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions of paychecks home each week to the un-rich.
Second, the rich are a wonderful object of ridicule, distrust, and hatred. Few things are more valuable to a politician than the envy most Americans feel for the evil rich.
Envy is a powerful emotion. Even more powerful than the emotional minefield that surrounded Bill Clinton when he reviewed his last batch of White House interns. Politicians use envy to get votes and power. And they keep that power by promising the envious that the envied will be punished: "The rich will pay their fair share of taxes if I have anything to do with it.'
The truth is that the top 10% of income earners in this country pays almost 50% of all income taxes collected. I shudder to think what these job producers would be paying if our tax system were any more "fair."
You have heard, no doubt, that in America the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Interestingly enough, our government's own numbers show that many of the poor actually get richer, and that quite a few of the rich actually get poorer. But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain poor ... there's an explanation -- a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing the things that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things that make them poor.
Speaking of the poor, during your adult life you are going to hear an endless string of politicians bemoaning the plight of the poor in America. So, you need to know that under our government's definition of "poor" you can have a $5 million net worth, a $300,000 home and a new $90,000 Mercedes, all completely paid for. You can also have a maid, cook, and valet, and $1 million in your checking account, and you can still be officially defined by our government as "living in poverty." Now there's something you haven't seen on the evening news.
How does the government pull this one off? Very simple, really. To determine whether or not some poor soul is "living in poverty," the government measures one thing -- just one thing. Income. It doesn't matter one bit how much you have, how much you own, how many cars you drive or how big they are, whether or not your pool is heated, whether you winter in Aspen and spend the summers in the Bahamas, or how much is in your savings account. It only matters how much income you claim in that particular year. This means that if you take a one-year leave of absence from your high-paying job and decide to live off the money in your savings and checking accounts while you write the next great American novel, the government says you are 'living in poverty."
This isn't exactly what you had in mind when you heard these gloomy statistics, is it?
Do you need more convincing? Try this. The government's own statistics show that people who are said to be "living in poverty" spend more than $1.50 for each dollar of income they claim. Something is a bit fishy here. just remember all this the next time Peter Jennings puffs up and tells you about some hideous new poverty statistics.
And please remember this: The average person in this country described as "poor" has a higher standard of living than the average European. Not the average "poor" European, the average European.
Why has the government concocted this phony poverty scam? Because the government needs an excuse to grow and to expand its social welfare programs, which translates into an expansion of its power. If the government can convince you, in all your compassion,that the number of "poor" is increasing, it will have all the excuse it needs to sway an electorate suffering from the advanced stages of Obsessive-Compulsive Compassion Disorder.
Well, it looks like I'm about to be given the hook. The faculty looks a little angry. I'll bet they've already changed their minds about that honorary degree I was going to get.That's OK, though. I still have my Ph.D. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for Insensitivity Training. I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It's a trap. Think about it - the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be insensitive. Wallow too much in sensitivity and you'll be unable to deal with life, or the truth. So, get over it.
Now, before the dean has me shackled and hauled off, I have a few random thoughts.
- You need to register to vote, unless you are on welfare. If you are living off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and shutting up until you are on your own again. To the welfare class I say that we're taking care of you we would appreciate if if you would just stay out of our way so we can get the job done.
- When you do vote, your votes for the House and the Senate are more important than your vote for president. The House controls the purse strings, so concentrate your awareness there.
- Liars cannot be trusted, even when the liar is the president of the United States. If someone can't deal honestly with you, send them packing.
- Don't bow to the temptation to use the government as an instrument of plunder. If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned it -- to take their money by force for your own needs -- then it is certainly just as wrong for you to demand that the government step forward and do this dirty work for you.
- Don't look in other people's pockets. You have no business there. What they earn is theirs. What your earn is yours. Keep it that way. Nobody owes you anything, except to respect your privacy and your rights, and leave you the h** alone.
- Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers. Forty hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don't see highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five. The losers are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners drive home in the dark.
- Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection.
- Finally (and aren't you glad to hear that word), as Og Mandino wrote,
1. Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a rare and unique human being.
2. Use wisely your power of choice.
3. Go the extra mile ... drive home in the dark.
Oh, and put off buying a television set as long as you can.
Now, if you have any idea at all what's good for you, you will get the *** out of here and never come back.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Getting credentials - this wasn't too bad. They had the hallway, before we got into the gym, marked off into lanes so that we could get to the right area. My table was a little slow, there was an older gentleman checking us in. He accidentally picked up two name tags with mine and ripped them both (one part they keep, the other we wear around our necks). Hopefully the guy didn't have problems when he checked in.
Jim Bishoff spoke about the war, but we didn't get to see much of it, he started later than the paper I had stated and we needed to get to our Senate Caucus meeting.Our Senate Caucus meeting was a few buildings over. We got there with plenty of time to go. The House District that was having their caucus before us was running over so it was nice to meet up with other delegates and chat awhile.
As far as booths and campaign themes go I liked David Leavitt's the best. He had an over all theme of "Restore America's Promise." His colors were orange and blue and at his booth it was setup like a lemonade stand. My daughter happens to love the mini fan that came with his goodie bag. It spells out electric messages relating to David Leavitt and his campaign.
Now for some of the drama: Mike Ridgway. I know some might say enough said, but I don't know his history with Stan Lockhart or the party leadership. What I do know is that in his precinct caucus meeting he was elected to be a state delegate. Then the party wouldn't allow him to be a delegate. I find this completely absurd. I don't care how much you hate someone they shouldn't be allowed to take away your right to vote. Some guy tried to make a motion for the party to allow Mike to vote and Stan just steam rolled right over him.
We broke out into our congressional districts. We just stayed where we were.
We finally got to hear from Stone Fonua. I had no idea who he was, in fact I had thought he must of dropped out of the race. He seemed to only be there to promote his "Peacemaker Bill". I got a little worried when he started to show the signs (meaning hand signals) for his peacemaker stuff.
Joe Ferguson still talked about the North American Union. I believe him when he says that this is a treat to American. I just don't think that he went about it the right way. He seemed to be some what fanatical about it.David Leavitt had a video, but his speech was not the best I've heard. I really liked David Leavitt, but I guess some people who listened to him early on (even before filing for the office) and then hearing him more recently felt like he wasn't strong enough on the issues. They felt like he was more about good feelings. He dropped a bunch of balloons at the end of his speech. Unfortunately one large bag didn't get untied. I thought someone should have tried a little harder to get it down. What a waste of money for it to still be up there at the end. Perhaps that was on purpose. Maybe they were planning to drop it at the end if he won or was going to a primary.
Round 1: (Stone had 4 votes, Joe had 49 votes)
- David 220
- Chris 338
- Jason 469
This left David supporters wondering what to do.
- David 161 (lost 59 votes)
- Chris 356 (picked up 18 votes)
- Jason 529 (picked up 60 votes)
Now David is out of the race. Jason will need 60% of the votes for the final round (the number of votes he would need to win changed each round because fewer people voted in every round). Anything short of that means there will be a primary on June 24th.
I'm sitting next to a lady who is a Leavitt supporter. She was just up at the booths and David was talking to Chris saying he will now be supporting him. This lady said that she wondered how the Leavitt supporters will get to know this. 5 minutes later a bunch of kids (youth) wearing David Leavitt shirts were parading around on the bottom of the floor holding Chris Cannon signs high above their heads. Personally I thought it was brilliant. They got their message across whether I agreed with it or not. Now the sad thing is these poor kids were booed like you would not believe. They had to be asked twice by Stan Lockhart to leave. I could hardly tell what Stan was saying, so I'm sure those kids didn't know he was talking to them the first time. They also hung a banner from the balcony saying Leavitt supports Cannon. They were asked to remove this sign also.
This is where I wonder what the rules really are. Earlier in the day people were passing out literature on the floor and they were told to leave, since it was against the rules for them to be there. In fact, Stan even threatened each campaign if their stuff was being passed on the floor. Now to have Leavitt's campaign come in and show signs isn't any different then what was already in there. Candidate signs and banners were already hanging all over the place. Delegates themselves are wearing candidate t-shirts, button, pins, stickers, etc. How is the advertising Leavitt's campaign was doing any different than what was already being done?Wait it's not over yet! 5 minutes after the banner was asked to be removed and the kids were told to leave, Chris and David are down on the floor walking the sideline together. David is waving and Chris is shaking people's hands. Again the booing starts. Stan is trying to get control. Telling people to be nice. There are calls out from the crowd about "statesmanship." Oh boy!
Another grand distraction was while someone was at the side mic you hear this yelling. At first it seemed like they were not wanting to let the guy talk, but they were actually calling for a medic. We are not sure what happened, but some guy who was on the side in the stands was down. A bunch of doctors from the crowd ran over. They had to get an ambulance. I'm told he was actually able to walk out with support. We had to vote to accept his ballot, which he had already filled (punched) out. I hope that he is O.K.
Another funny moment came from when Stan Lockhart was talking on behalf on one of the amendments. You were given 1 minute to present it, 5 minutes for debate, and 1 minute to vote on it. Stan talked for his one minute and was told times up and he tried to keep going. He wanted special permission to keep talking about it, but wouldn't grant that for other people. You can only imagine the crowds reaction. Even though he kept trying to talk he was completely out of order and wasn't officially allowed to continue.
There was one vote where they actually had to take a count of all the delegates (yes all 3000+). It was crazy. If we were in favor of the motion we had to stand while holding our credentials up until we were counted. They had people in orange safety vests that were designated counters incase the motion was called for a count. Then the same thing happened with those that opposed. They started to count us before when someone had motioned that maybe we didn't have enough delegates for a quorum. You have to have a certain % present to vote on amendments, resolutions and platform changes. But had decided against it because of how long it takes.
They had a small debate whether we were electing 24 or 27 national delegates (seriously, don't they double check these things). They also made us write in a guys name, because he was not on the list (he did become a delegate, but I think because people voted for him because they thought that maybe he was left off on purpose).
I think that the best speech was given by Cristy Henshaw. She was running for National Committeewoman.Bob Bennett got to speak earlier than planned so that he could catch a flight so he could be with his wife on Mother's Day.
The meeting adjourned, but we waited to hear the results of the race with Chris and Jason.Round 3
- Chris 391 (40.99%)
- Jason 563 (59.01%)
I guess I should mention the few party business things we did get to. We passed a constitution amendment to allow precinct chairs to appoint delegates if the delegate dies, resigns or is disqualified. The next constitution amendment is the one that they had to count all the "I's" and "Nay's." It had to do with our electors and having a proportionate allocation of national delegate votes for presidential candidates. It did not pass (I's 806, Nay's 1082). The last one we discussed was a bylaw amendment that would release our national delegation if the presidential candidate if the said candidate ceases to be a candidate or for any other reason releases the delegates. This motion was tabled indefinitely.
Governor of the State of Utah
- Jon Huntsman: 2271 votes (77.48 percent) He wins. No Primary.
- Chuck Smith: 660 votes (22.52 percent)
Mark L. Shurtleff: by acclaimation
State Treasurer - This race will go to a primary election on June 24th.
- Richard Ellis: 1235 votes (41.78 percent)
- Mark Walker: 1721 (58.22 percent)
Auston Johnson: by acclaimation
- Bruce Hough: 1373 (48.12 percent) He is the new National Committeeman.
- Don Guymon: 1203 (42.17 percent)
- Adam Peeples: 94 votes (3.29 percent)
- Mike Ridgway: 183 (6.41 percent)
- Christy Henshaw: 1115 (38.51 percent)
- Enid Greene Mickelsen: 1780 (61.49 percent) She is the new National Committeewoman.
Presidential Electors (representatives in the electoral college)
- Mark Shurtleff - At Large
- Enid Greene Mickelsen - At Large
- Scott Simpson - CD1
- Richard Snelgrove - CD2
- Stan Lockhart - CD3
For my district, the first order of business was the Senate 13 caucus at 9:a.m. So after we got our credentials we spent the time checking out the candidates booths, eating, visiting the suites and hospitality rooms, and listening to part of the Military speech at the Shurleff/Leavitt suite.
We got to the Senate Caucus, but the House Caucus that was before was going overtime so we just hung out and chatted with other delegates.
In the Senate Caucus, we got to hear J. Lane Henderson and Mark Madsen. Then after the viewing of empty ballot boxes and some instructions from the Election Judge we were able to place our vote and head over to the main meeting.
Next we split into our Congressional Districts. We stayed where we were for ours. Here we listened to the candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives (Stone Fonua, Joe Ferguson, David Leavitt, Jason Chaffetz, and Chris Cannon. We then had to go back up to the level where the candidate booths were and head to the balloting section to place our ballots in the boxes.
After this the general session resumed. We were introduced to the "I can" campaign. We heard from our National Commiteeman, Fred Lampropolous. Then we heard from the candidates running for governor, treasurer, National Committeeman, and National Committeewoman. In there somewhere we received the results of our Senate 13 race. Mark Madsen received 97 votes (70%) and J. Lane Henderson received 41 votes. We also received the results for our first round with the U. S. House of Representatives (Stone 4, Joe 49, David 220, Chris 338, and Jason 469). Then we placed our votes for the state races, national committee people, national delegates, alternate national delegates, and the elector delegates. We also were to place our second round ballots for U. S. House (Stone and Joe were removed from the balloting because they had the fewest votes).
We came back and listened to Senator Bob Bennett, Senator Orrin Hatch, Patty Johnson and Mark Shurtleff. We had an acclamation of candidates. Then we started in with the party business. Starting with the 2 constitution amendments and 1 bylaw amendment. Somewhere in there we were given the results of the ballots. Winners without a primary were: Jon Huntsman, Jr. for governor, Bruce Hough for National Committeeman, and Enid Greene Mickelsen for National Committeewoman. We were told to go to the state website to see all the elected national delegates, alternates and electors. The results of our District's U.S. House race were: David 161, Jason 529, and Chris 356.
We then placed our third round votes for the U.S. House (David was removed because he had the fewest votes). We came back and a motion was made to adjourn the meeting even though we hadn't finished with the party business (9 resolutions and 4 platform changes). Motion was passed and meeting was adjourned.
This is my basic rundown of what happened.
State Treasurer Candidates:
- Richard Ellis
- Mark Walker
U.S. House Candidates:
- Chris Cannon
- Jason Chaffetz
I'll give a run down of the State Convention as soon as I can.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
WHY RUNNING? He wants to make a difference in the political arena.
CAMPAIGN & DONATIONS: He says that their is a network inside the machine as people have often said. He decided not to accept any campaign donations so that he doesn't owe anyone anything. Then while Mark Madsen was speaking at the county convention, someone threw a wadded up piece of paper to Lane. He opened it up and inside was $5. He didn't know who the $ came from and therefore couldn't give it back. So on his campaign donations he has $5 listed.
COUNTY CONVENTION: He was most hurt by the question asked from the lady from Eagle Mountain, regarding integrity in office. When he became major he had 5 objectives. He was able to accomplish all 5 of them, before his term was up. He gave the people of Salem ownership in their city that they have never had before.
$$$: He is the lowest paid mayor in the state. He doesn't feel that you should be overpaid for your office to serve the people. He feels that campaign donations (millions of dollars) should be put to better use for our economy.
POLICY: He has an open door policy. He invites all to talk to him about their issues and concerns. He likes to make things better than how he found it.
MADSEN'S LETTER: Senator Madsen sent out a letter to all the delegates attacking Lane. Madsen attacked his authenticity of being a republican and that he had special interests. He is a republican through and through and is not soft to democrats. There was a letter written by one of the residents of Salem in support of Lane. This lady happens to be a democrat and Mark thinks that's a horrible thing. Lane did not know at the time that she was a democrat. She was just being kind and trying to help. (Besides, don't we like it when democrats support our republican candidates?) He had 12 groups and around 100 individuals contact him and want to give him $ for his campaign. He turned them all down. He does not have special interests.
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: He says the state has to take action. He thinks we all should carry our own weight. He lived in Italy for 5 years. He and his wife were there 4 months before their kids could join them legally. That's the way they did it because that was the legal way to do it. While there they contributed to their society, didn't take from it.
VOUCHERS: He disagrees with vouchers and open enrollment. He says that the private sector should remain private. He is not against vouchers in principle, but against private businesses getting a government check. He says that he is for free choice in education. He is against open enrollment in that schools can then recruit students and athletes that would give a school an unfair advantage.
SALEM TRAIL SYSTEM: Lane has been working with other cities and CW management for quite some time to get the Salem Trail System, a trail that connects 3 cities. To fund this they needed to get grants. Chris McCandless from CW Management drafted a letter to try and get a grant from the Lee Ray McCallister Fund. Senator Madsen in turn signed this letter, taking credit for getting the trail system. He in fact did not write the letter, he was just asked to sign it in hopes that it would help get the grant.
UEA: Madsen also accuses him of being a UEA delegate. Lane again says that he is not being carried by special interest groups. However Madsen is carrying the banner of special interests. Madsen has a bill that would allow 18 year olds to carry concealed weapons. Lane doesn't feel that they should be able to. Most of Madsen's contributions come from PAC.
DISTRICTING: He would like to see more uniform districting. Right now district 13 is in Tooele and Utah counties.
GRASSROOTS: Only way we are going to get control of our government is by starting in the grassroots.
TERM LIMITS: He is in favor of term limits for politicians. That way you have more fresh ideas and people aren't tied in with anyone. Let's stand up for something. They should also prohibit the amount of $ politicians can take. The role of government is to let the people know what is going on. He wants to see transparency.
PROPERTY: Never wants to condemn (eminent domain) people's property. People have the right to their land. When Salem city needed landed they bought it from different property owners. Originally one owner received more money than the other for the same amount of land. As mayor, Lane did not feel this was right and asked the city council to make it even amounts and they did.
PRIVATE SECTOR: He wants to keep government out of the private sector. As a private business owner, he doesn't think that the government has a right to compete against him, especially not at the tax payers expense.
OTHER: He wants to make everyone around him look good. He likes to give credit to the people it belongs to. He says he's a worker. He get in and gets it done. He doesn't believe we should just always be entitled. He wants to give government back to the people. One way he will do this by listening to the people and by responding to every letter and email he receives.
P.S. He says that if you haven't seen it before you need to come see the Salem Pond at Christmas time. It's called Pond Town Christmas. They float lit Christmas trees out on the pond.
Monday, May 5, 2008
? What congressional caucuses would you like to join?
JOE- He would like to consult with Representative Ron Paul and would like to do all that he can to stop the NAU.
JASON- Visit http://www.reagan21.org/, Immigration Reform, Conservative, Law Enforcement, and National Guard.
DAVID - Western, Conservative, Reagan 21, Fiscal Responsibility
CHRIS - Chair Western, Land & Energy, I didn't catch the last one but it had to do with the public and nutrition supp and meth prevention programs.
? What are your top 3 legislative priorities?
JASON- Fiscal Discipline is his signature issue, Education, and Immigration. He says English should be made our official language. He says that focus determines reality and he doesn't think that Chris Cannon is focused on the right things.
DAVID- He says that we have short and long term crisis. The short term ones are caused by the neglect of the long term ones. 1) Federal spending under control. 2) Figure out how to change foreign energy dependency. 3) Get a grip on Medicare and health care.
CHRIS- 1) http://www.endfeded.org/ - get rid of the Dept. of Education, 4 million teachers want to repeal the No Child Left Behind Act. 2) Energy - give the President the authority to override and allow states to produce oil, other energy sources, etc. 3) Make internet free of government regulation - complete transparency of government.
JOE- Stop the NAU - NAU is going forward in the Executive Branch of our federal government, mostly through commerce. He says it decimates our National Security and our ability to control immigration.
*** As a side note Jason and Chris (David may have also I can't remember) both recognize the NAU as a huge threat. It is not a conspiracy theory. It is something that should be taken very seriously. It is the plan that is already been in the works, to make a North American Union. This would take away our borders with both Canada and Mexico. We would have one currency between the 3 nations. There are so many problems that can and will happen if this becomes the case. ***
? Rate yourself from 1-10. 1 being very liberal and 10 being very conservative.
? What are your views on the state of economy and your remedies for it?
CHRIS- He says the root of the problem is the misunderstanding of debt structure. A big chunk of our nation's debt is what they call "pretend debt". It's money that they say we owe to our own Social Security system. The democrats say that Social Security won't be a problem until 2037, Chris says it will be sooner. He said to read the book BOOMSDAY by Christopher Buckley. He says we spend 1/2 trillion dollars a year on oil from other countries. We have 150 billion barrels of oil here in Utah (from oil shale). We need to spend less in government. There are 2 teams in government: the Socialists (liberals) & Constitutionalists (conservatives).
JOE- The value of $ is going down because of our excessive spending and that the government just keeps creating more money. He says to take your economy stimulus rebate and buy $500 in food. He says in a year from now food will be more expensive and it would be a good investment on your money. He says businesses are over regulated. He says the Federal government is not governing us they are ruling us. We need to reduce the regulatory load by the government.
JASON - The constitution gives us the proper role of government. We are in a "Nanny State" - wanting social things for free. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Until we get spending under control we are damaging food and energy. He says we don't need another attorney in Washington, we have 178 of them. He says that Salt Lake City should not be getting money ($300,000 for historic buildings - Gardner Village - earmark done by Chris Cannon) from the federal government. If the people of Salt Lake want to fix it up they should pay for it, not all the American people. http://www.earmarkpledge.com/
DAVID- Our economy is the result of a country that wants a quick fix now. We need to spend less than we earn and we need to save money. We need to get ourselves and our government out of debt. We need to return to our core American values. We need to have the capacity to fail or we will never be free. We need to know that this is going to hurt bad, but it's not the government’s role to do this. The government will change.
? IMMIGRATION - What essential laws, programs, and changes to we need to stop and solve our immigration problems?
JOE- It's not the laws that need to change; it's the attitude of our president and congressmen. Stop "coyotes" picking up illegals in Suburbans and trucks and driving them to the US. If they need food give them a shovel and a pack of seeds.
JASON- The policy and the law are not the same in this country. Stats quo is that it's OK because it's good for business. Shame on us. All men and women are created equally. He says that we need to fix legal immigration, reject amnesty, lock down the borders, enforce visas (40% of those here on non working visas, like tourist visas, are not leaving), and that the 14th amendment "birthright" is wrong.
DAVID- He says he disagrees with Chris, saying you can't have a line unless you round up 15-20 million people and take names. We must secure our borders. He says that for 3 years he stood alone with his decision to protect women and children from the abuses that go on through polygamy. He had to have round the clock police protection and his wife had to wear a bullet proof vest, because of all the treats. He is not afraid to take on big issues and stand alone if he needs to. He's in favor of temporary visa cards (through the private sector), send them home, get a normal visa and come back all within a few weeks.
CHRIS- When the Legislative and Executive branches fowl up the Judicial Branch has to get involved. He says that illegal immigration is like a cancer. America is different than every other country because of our "Rule of Law." We must have 100% enforcement of our current laws.
? Is there an advantage with seniority?
JASON- Seniority doesn't equal influence. You need to be able to move the entire body (congress). Senator Hatch in February said that immigration was not going to come up because it is an election year. He says that he will use his time and talents to build relationships and to be focused.
DAVID- Seniority gives you influence perhaps in the committee you reside or rank over, it is not a right a congressman has. You need to replace seniority in a time when seniority means the least, which is in the first year of the minority (which is now).
CHRIS- In 10 years America will not be America as we know it if Socialists run the next 10 years. At this rate we will have $4-5 gallon for gas by the end of the year. We need to get congress back this year. He plans on chairing 2 committees that he is not the senior member of. He is doing it because he is effective.
JOE- Seniority has its advantages. Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy have seniority! CAFDA passed because Chris voted for it. A freshman congressman would of voted No.
***Chris and Joe had a few exchanges at this point, since I don't have it down exactly I'm choosing to omit it all together***
? What the reasons for escalating cost of food and fuel?
DAVID- In 1929 every major world market failed. By 1933 every major world market had recovered except for the United States. It wasn't until 1950 that the U.S. market recovered. This was because our government intervened with our markets and they still are. They subsidized corn for ethanol. We are oil dependant upon our enemies and those enemies can determine the price we pay. We need to reduce environmental regulations so we drill in ANWR, Florida, etc.
CHRIS- Prices of rice, pork, barley, etc. are skyrocketing. The value of dollar is down for buying oil. We have the ability to buy oil for less than $20 a barrel from oil shale production on school trust lands. We could produce millions of barrels a day from Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. We need to allow the president to override the 2 year wait for permits. We need to stop funding them (foreign oil).
JOE- Buy food, gold and silver. He believes the price of gas is manipulated - some people are getting really rich. Gas was $1.50/gallon before Katrina. The Federal government is our greatest enemy in producing our own fuel.
*** There was some banter between Joe & Chris over Hal Burton ***
JASON- We should let free markets extract resources. The proper role of government is to get out of the way. The proper role of government is not to pick winners and losers. He is pro nuclear. There are 104 nuclear power plants in the United States, we need the 105th in Utah. It's not Homer Simpsons running these plants. "Note to Jon Huntsman, Global Warming is a farce!"
? We need unity in our Republican party; do you support the Republican platform?
CHRIS - He says that the State and county platforms are very clear. He says unity means helping get the right people elected.
JOE - National level doesn't reflect our values.
JASON - Believes 100% He converted to the Republican Party 20 years ago. In 2006, not one democrat at the National level lost. Some where Republicans lost our way. They abandoned their conservative principles. Starting point needs to be watch dog of the President not a lap dog.
***Chris jumps in with he thinks he's a watch dog and some remarks about Jason not running against Jim Matheson. Jason said he'd like to get rid of both of you (Chris & Jim).
DAVID - A real leader has a vision of this is where to go. He says he will stand up and articulate that. In 1776, our freedoms didn't come from a king, but from God. They won their freedom because God make them free. We need to return to the understanding that we are not a religious nation, but a believing nation. We need to return to public belief in God or we will lose this country.
? What are your thought on the Federal Mortgage Crisis?
JOE - No answer, he yields his time.
JASON - (They informed us that this meeting would go longer and I needed to make some arrangements for my kids, so I was unable to hear Jason's answer)
DAVID - Sub prime crisis came because we lived beyond our means. We don't need more and more and more, and the government doesn't either.
CHRIS - The mortgage crisis was created with the new tools (derivatives), lower cost, cheaper $ and easier loans. There was fraud and misappraisals.
? What do you think of the FAIR TAX?
JASON- Wipe the slate clean. Tax consumption instead of production is the right way to go. Devils in the details how to get there.
DAVID- Socialistic system. 5% pay 45-50% of the tax bill. Fair tax is national sales tax consumption not income tax.
CHRIS - It adds 30% on to the price of goods. It's too much. Everyone pays the same thing. We need to reduce spending, have simplicity in tax code, flat tax and then a fair tax.
JOE - 2 problems: tax paid, then collected. Taxes is Marxism it's first mentioned in the Communist Manifesto. He is suspicious of politicians calling for a fair tax.
? What of the Social Security and Medicare financial disasters?
DAVID - We need to draw a line 50 years + the government should underwrite their social security. Under 50 years old they need to pay into a pension. Medicare in an entitlement. WE need to move it form government to the private sector.
CHRIS - Answer is market solution. Let people contribute into personal 401ks
JOE - No easy solution. We've been robbed. The people in charge of this would be put in jail if they were in the private sector. We need to reduce medicare we cannot continue to fund it.
JASON - We need a paradigm shift, people need to take more care of themselves. If we take 100% personal ownership in these programs we will deal with it differently.
? 25 states own 80-90% of their land. 65% of Utah is owned by the Federal Government. What will you do to help return that land to Utah?
CHRIS - The BLM doesn't even know the exact % of Utah it owns. The federal government has an obligation to give it back to the state. The federal government is a bad tenant of the land. We would be better stewards.
JOE - Sam Houston was smarter than Brigham Young. Sam retained all their land. BLM doesn't even pay taxes on their land.
JASON - Turn the land back over to the states. Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument - the republicans failed to overturn it. The time to do it was years ago.
DAVID - Utah should own Utah's lands. ...broken, fighting, backbiting, not every Republican idea is from God, and every Democratic idea is from the devil. We have to work together.
? What about our constant state of war?
JOE - Never mentioned $ Wars are political decisions. Wars are driven by money. Iraq, money factors in somehow or another. Money is the mother's milk of politics.
JASON - He liked what Bush said before he was president, " We shouldn't be in the business of nation building and being the world's policemen." We need to take care of our troops. He'd like to bring the troops home, not immediately. He would leave that up to the general to decide when.
DAVID - It is pass time to debate, we went. We need to stay there until we've achieved the Iraq objectives. We need to support our troops. We need to protect American soil. Since 1776- yesterday, millions of Americans have died for us.
CHRIS - There are organized groups of people that are trying to destroy our society. We have to deal with Iraq.
JOE - Our country started from resisting tyranny and the ruling elite. The constitution is formula for success. Socialism and Marxism is failure. Every major problem comes from violation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
JASON - Thanks Provo, Ivan, wife and son. I will make you proud. I will work hard.
DAVID - There may not be 7 hairs difference philosophically between us four. The difference is in style. I didn't need to tear down another candidate to get to his level. We need good statesmanship. United we stand, divided we fall. We will stick to high ground and be civilized.
CHRIS - This has been the most interesting debate and campaign. He's on the far right of congress. What David is suggesting in Washington is already happening with him.
BIGGEST APPLAUSE: When Jason said, "Note to Jon Huntsman, Global Warming is a farce." and David said, "We need to get back our public belief in God."
Thursday, May 1, 2008
- 1 proposed Republican Party Constitution amendment
- 1 proposed Bylaw amendment
- 9 resolutions
- 4 platform changes
These can be viewed at: http://home.utgop.org/page.php?page_id=6
There are some big issues addressed in some of these proposed changes. Please read through them and let us know what you think.
Senate District 13 Caucus -
LANE HENDERSON: Wants to help change some state involved programs. He believes in small towns. He wants to bring small town to the big city. He has an open door policy. He may be new, but he is happy to learn. If you don't agree with him, he hopes that you will sit down and discuss it with him. He is running so that we can have a choice, and because there are platform issues that he doesn't agree with his opponent. They are: Education and Immigration. Education - He is not in favor of vouchers. He says the government should not be involved with private businesses and that they shouldn't compete with the state. Immigration - It is a federal issue, but now it's a state issue because the federal government has not done a good job.
MARK MADSEN: He has enjoyed his 4 years in office. He is running because he made a two term commitment. He enjoys a challenger. He says to look at his record and yes, there are votes he wishes he could take back. He upholds the Republican platform. He says it's more important for society the less the government is involved. Education - He says that vouchers reduce government, it minimized government control. He says that homeschooling in Utah has the best laws in the nation.
GENERAL SESSION -
1115 delegates in attendance = 92%
Regan Award was given to Brian E. Thompson
Keep Utah County the Republican County of the U.S.A.
ORRIN HATCH: John McCain is correct when he says we need to improve such problems like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. He says McCain is a tough guy and won't allow us to be defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan. He says that many of us might have our reservations about John McCain, but there is 1 reason that it is very important that we as Republicans support him and that is that he will have the responsibility to appoint Judges to the Supreme Court. If not, for any other reason that is why we need to vote for him. The Supreme Court represents the 3rd branch of government and we need a Republican to select the Judges. He also mentioned that he has been a Senator for 32 years.
BOB BENNETT: He gave a history of how Utah use to be a democratic state and our first Republican break came in Utah County in 1946. Arthur Watkins, a lawyer from Orem, won the U.S. Senate seat. He says he is determined to keep all the top seats and the key to that is Utah County. He says that we shouldn't be complacent and disappointed. This is not a year to let down. Utah County can rise up and be the dominating force for Republican victory.
CHRIS CANNON: Asked how many would like to see Mitt Romney as the Vice Presidential running mate (overwhelming yes response). He says the Democrats have 2 major problems. 1) Tax cuts 2) Price of gas. He says that by November the price could pass $4-$4.50 per gallon. He says that we have trillions of gallons of oil in our shale. We need to be allowed to develop it. If we continue to get gas from corn, then people around the world will starve. We need to retake Congress.
GARY HERBERT: He says that it's important that we get together. We need to hear from you. We need to fund Education and Transportation ($16-$20 billion). We need to grow our economy. Teacher increases were $4200 + $1000 bonus for some. We have increased transportation projects 10 fold, 205 projects around the state. 3 weeks ago a report in Washington said that Utah was the best managed state in America. He quoted Lavell Edwards saying, "You don't change the quarterback on a winning team."
MARK SHURTLEFF: He strongly believes in the Declaration of Independence. He believes that government owes it's just cause to those they govern. We are safer now then a few years ago. In 2000 they busted 267 meth labs, so far in 2008 only 3. There are now more pedophiles in prison. Story about Playboy representative (listed at end under biggest applause).
MERRIL COOK: He says that Jim Matheson's time is numbered. He says there should be limits on spending. There should also be limits on tax limitation and tax reform.
KENNETH GRAY: We need to address our oil and education needs. We don't need to raise taxes, we need to be able to use our federal lands. There is enough oil shale in Utah to produce oil that could last the United States for at least 3 centuries. We could bring the price of oil down to $15 a barrel. He wrote a book THE ROCK THAT BURNS (it's a political novel, murder mystery, dealing with oil shale, not bad!).
BRIAN JENKINS: Freedom is what we are here about. When the U.S. was formed we fought over trade. We need to get back to principles.
BILL DEW: He is running for the future of the children. Economy, immigration, war in Iraq, public lands are all big issues. He put $250,000 of his own money in his campaign and will add another $250,000. He says that he is the man that can help Jim (Matheson) sleep like a baby - slept 2 hours, cried 1 hour! Sweet dreams, Jim!
DONALD FERGUSON: We the people - government haven’t been representing the people. "This message approved by Donald Ferguson!" We need to stand up and be vocal. Our standards, ethics and way of life need to be protected. "I am an American. Officials in Washington have forgotten that."
DAVID LEAVITT: We have a U.S. Financial crisis. We need to stop pointing fingers at the democrats. He says there is no shame in acknowledging that something is wrong only in continuing in doing something wrong. We need to return and receive trust. We need to change players in Washington. Government should only be here to protect our freedoms.
JASON CHAFFETZ: (He talked way too fast for me to get most of it down!!!) He said that earmarks are wrong for Utah and the U.S. He said that we need to repeal the No Child Left Behind. He thinks that we should not have a Department of Education. We need to fix immigration and reject amnesty. We need to tap into the assets in our own backyard. English should be the official language of the United States.
JOE "NPC" FERGUSON: He says that the North American Union is a real treat. He asked if we have the will to save America. We need to protect ourselves from the domestic enemies of the Constitution.
CHUCK SMITH: He says that less government is a more efficient government. We need to work to get schools out of welfare. He says we keep people subjected when we put them on welfare.
RICHARD ELLIS: He says he has real hands on experience (running for state treasurer). He has a 22 year career in public and private sectors. He deals with cash management. Says $480 million were raised on Wall Street not taxes.
MARK WALKER: He says there are 3 reasons he is qualified. 1) He has worked in the private sector. He managed all public accounts (cities, gov.'t, etc.) through Zion's bank. He says that private sector always out performs the public sector (investment money). 2) He has legislative experience. 3) He is firmly grounded in Republican values and principles. He stands by his values and doesn't move to the left.
BIGGEST APPLAUSE: There were two instances that I would say received the biggest applause. The first was from Mark Shurtleff. He related a story about how a Playboy representative called Mark and wanted to challenge Utah's law about it being harmful to a 15 year old to view their magazine. Mark invited the lawyer to come to Utah, give a 15 year old his magazine. Mark will arrest him and he can be the test case! The second was when Jason Chaffetz said that English should be the Official Language of the United States.