"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?" Thomas Jefferson
It’s been months since I posted here. Wish I could keep up better but time is very short so I’ll just get on with it.
For about the last month, we’ve been (and still are) witnessing a royal mess at our southern border. The crush of people coming through seems to have so overwhelmed the border patrol that we effectively have an open southern border and defacto amnesty not only for those already illegally in the United States but for the entire world as long as they can get to the Southern border.
The results of this free flow amount to an environment ripe for human trafficking, child rape and victimization, and a likely public health hazard (here too) as illegal immigrants are being transported and dropped of in various states (and let’s be honest – they ain’t showing up for their court dates). Obviously, the situation is being capitalized on by various criminal enterprises to more effectively funnel their own “products” and personnel into the US.
So who turned the magnet on that has Central Americans believing (and their media affirming) the welcome mat is out on the US southern border? Who gave them that idea and enabled all this? Nationally, it’s the usual suspects: the President, the majority of Democrats and plenty of Republicans (McCain, Grahamnesty etc), various amnesty groups, religious organizations, the US Chamber of Commerce, and a plethora of corporate welfare leaches, crony capitalists with their amoral lobbyists.
And how about on the local level?..In Utah, we have our enablers:
The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and it’s head, Lane Beatty. They’re the mastermind of the illegal labor/cheap labor at all costs unconstitutional Utah amnesty legislation (which is also hardly a favor to the illegal immigrants, in my estimation). They’re also the same group that sold it (and the Utah Compact sophistry) to the LDS Church to get them to lobby legislators for it’s passage. HB116 serves as an enticement that leads illegal immigrants to believe that they will be welcomed, defacto legalized, and provided for – it turns on the magnet locally. Of course, that legislation is so loused-up that implementation keeps getting delayed and the bill’s Godfather (Bramble) now plans on repealing it in a couple of years…if you trust the word of a died-in-the-wool Chicago-style politician. Meanwhile, the magnet with the promise of potential implementation stays on.
The LDS Church (at least Public Affairs) likes the Utah Compact. They intentionally continue to avoid differentiating legal and illegal immigrants, make special provisions for illegal immigrant missionaries and do so under the guise of “keeping families together”. From the get-go that line was always a farce and the current situation demonstrates this perfectly: 1. Children are leaving their families and being placed at risk and in the hands of predators to come over here under a false promise creating orphans and 2. Other children are coming here and ICE is trying to link them with family already here (ie: mom and/or dad ditched them at home when they illegally came into the US).
Better yet, a few Sundays ago I listened to a missionary report on teaching an illegal immigrant family that couldn’t be baptized because the father was still married to his first wife in Mexico (I think he left her with the kids too – so much for keeping that family together) because he couldn’t go back to get a divorce. Meanwhile he’d had children with his illegal immigrant girlfriend in the US. Well, the father died so the shack-up girlfriend wasn’t living in sin anymore and they were able to baptize the family (in the US). It was intimated that things worked out well because dad died (WTH?!). I wondered if I had somehow flipped on an LDS Jerry Springer episode!
Evidently, ditching children, shacking up and having more kids is not uncommon and is deserving of support and “prosecutorial discretion”. One wonders which family we should keep together…
Anyway, back to our list of local enablers:
Salt Lake City Police Chief Burbank, Radio Host Doug Wright, and Former AG Mark Shurtleff. Besides being amnesty shills who set up a sanctuary city (Burbank) and helped make Utah a sanctuary state, they also find illegal immigrant identity fraud funny.
Senator Curt Bramble (and HB116 supporters in the Legislature). See the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce section for details.
Paul Mero and The Sutherland Institute. Open borders folks who also supported HB116. I’m still not sure if their often inept political posturing isn’t actually a hindernace to the Utah amnesty push but they’re big amnesty proponents.
Senator Orrin Hatch – an early DREAM Act proponent (with his ousted compatriot, Bob Bennett who was outwardly supportive of amnesty). Hatch has been co-opted by the crony capitalists and high tech rich kids like Mark Zuckerberg (such as a traveling and monetary relationship ).
Governor Herbert’s lackluster leadership on this issue (especially E-Verify) and coziness with the Salt Lake Chamber, even heading to DC to do their bidding and, of course, signing Utah’s amnesty bill. Let’s also not forget the House and Senate leadership at that time (eg Speaker Becky Lockhart and and former Senate President, Michael Waddoups). Lockhart and others have also just doubled down to keep the orphan magnet flowing with a letter to congress to shove amnesty down our throats:
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, House Speaker Becky Lockhart, House Majority Leader Brad Dee and 23 other GOP legislators — joined by former U.S. Senator Jake Garn — signed the letter.
The other usual suspects – amnesty and race-focused groups, Tony Yapias, etc. etc.
I’m sure we can expect them all to step up and personally fund medical care, child and adult victim rape/abuse counseling, housing, transportation, resettlement (keeping families together, of course), and education for all the illegal immigrants entering thanks to their promises. Surely, they’ll continue to do so in perpetuity so as to avoid any costs to taxpayers and those supportive of actually obeying laws both personally and in business and to avoid employment-related identity theft by the illegal immigrants (and avoid child victims of this identity theft). Surely they’ll pay for the humanitarian crisis they’ve created and provide for the orphans they’ve created. Or are victims just collateral damage and enablers’ foreseeable mess something the rest of us are on the hook for?
So let’s keep enticing people to enter illegally with promises of amnesty, tax-subsidized in-state tuition, and free transportation to their final destination, among other programs. What could go wrong?
Last year, Kaysville residents successfully blocked the city from using its power department to overcharge them on power and pocket the excess money in city coffers. The same practice continues in other Utah cities with their own power generation departments (notably, Bountiful City).
Cities engaging in this behavior benefit in two ways. First, cities can, and do, falsely claim that they keep taxes low (power rate manipulation cloaks the true tax burden). Second, they avoid scrutiny from legally required truth-in-taxation hearings (instead, they just increase power rates or customer charges).
Now that Kaysville City can’t hide behind the power department, the uncomfortable truth of actual tax burden is emerging (Utah town proposes 102% property tax hike):
A proposal on the table in one Utah town could end up doubling property taxes. That proposal in Kaysville would increase property taxes by 102 percent.
City leaders say the tax hike is necessary to counter a ballot initiative last year, known as Prop 5.
In November, voters restricted Kaysville from using money from the city-owned power company for general fund expenses.
“There is no public process there, there is no transparency,” Gregory Frank, a supporter of Prop 5 told ABC 4 Utah’s Kim Johnson last April. “What we’re trying to do is keep Kaysville city from circumventing truth in taxation laws.”
Life became hectic…well, more hectic than normal…and I failed to find the time to get a final update on this year’s legislative outcome for Utah voters’ personal information protection (click here for background posts). Truthfully, I still have scant time but have a link article that sums up the political carve outs and slight improvement made when the bill did pass. It’s a baby step forward and some political cronies are still being rewarded:
The article covers last minute malarkey and partial protection for certain individuals afforded by the passed bill (the majority still must cough up information to the politically anointed to use as they see fit).
First, the good news. In stark contrast with former Lieutenant Governor Bell who demanded he be allowed to sell Utah voters’ information, Lt. Governor Cox has teamed with Utah’s County Clerks and penned letters to both the State House and Senate pleading to protect the information. The letters are available here (PDF): Letter to the Senate and Letter to the House.
This would come as welcome news to those who’ve fought to stop the practice as well as voters concerned with privacy and security. This includes domestic and child abuse victims, families hosting foster children, police officers, judges, LDS Church leadership, and the elderly (the list is easily sorted by age, providing an easy means for scammers to target granny and gramps).
Now the bad news. This year two bills have received good support (particularly, HB302 which passed with overwhelming support in the House). This year it appeared that voters’ sensitive information would finally get some protection. In past years similar bills have been opposed by both big political parties, the politcally-favored, and media. As such, Republican Party Chairman, James Evans, hit the panic button. I understand that during a closed lunch, he badgered State Senators into agreeing to take no action on either HB302 (Voting Records Amendments) nor the toothless/faux protection SB36. The bills are dead and the list will continue to be sold to whomever wants it.
Ironically, the online voter information makes it simple (combined with caucus attendance rule changes) to stuff the ballot box at either GOP or Dem. caucus meetings.
To sum, it appears that James Evans and the Utah Senate have decided that your right to vote may only be exercised if you divulge your personal information and voting history to their political machines, political consultants (like those who send you lame attack ads), and any individual/business or whatever that wants the voter list for whatever reason. They can ignore the potential for caucus voter fraud and are fine if you have to terminate your voter registration in order to protect your or your families security and/or privacy. But, hey, why should they worry – disenfranchised voters don’t vote, right?
Update: Please see Payday lenders get voters’ birth dates; voter safety in Lt. Governor’s hands for the conclusion of the 2014 voter protection battle.
HB302 was designed to allow you to control if your information from being released. Currently, the State (thanks to the Lieutenant Governor’s office and Herbert Administration) sells all voters’ information without informing you or giving you any choice in the matter. Despite years of warnings and citizens’ (and a few legislators) unsuccessful attempts to protect the information, the entire list was posted to the internet raising concerns of identity theft and raising awareness of sale.
The awareness sent alarm bells ringing for those concerned with their personal security such as LDS leadership, judges, police officers, victims of domestic abuse, county attorneys, and now custodial parents of foster children (transcribed from March 5, 2014 KSL Radio News):
[Reporter: Mary Richards]Families that adopt from foster care are very careful to protect their information, like their home address. This Utah father adopted some children from abusive situations, those families know his name and he knows the voter information is out there already.
[Father]The problem is being created as a result of the attention this whole situation has been given.
[Reporter] He says he would like to see the bills passed that would restrict access to the voter registration records or, at least, define more a penalty. He said victims of domestic violence or other crime would have the same concerns.
I stated “HB302 was designed to allow you to control…”. The bill was watered down and now is limited to those who designate a security concern to protect their information but also carries fines and penalties if the list is released (ie buyers have to treat your information with care, unlike the current standard of absolutely zero control/accountability*).
The bill now has carve-outs for some political cronies and lobbyists (campaign consultants, political parties, the media among others). However they would have to protect the information and be accountable for disclosure.
That has disappointed me as I don’t believe anyone (except for election fraud oversight) has any entitlement to my personal and voting information. A Constitutional right shouldn’t be contingent on some favored group’s desires. However, it is a (small) step forward and still better than the pointless SB36. Please contact your Representative and Senator and ask them to only support HB302 and not water it down at all nor make it a SB36 clone. It is imperative that they hear from you as powerful lobbyists and party insiders (see below) are out to kill the bill which has a Senate sponsor in need of a commitment intervention.
Most telling in this is the media lobbyist (Pignanelli) is still fighting the bill – they don’t seem to want any accountability with the peoples’ personal information but would crucify you in their publications for data breaches…go figure. The political parties (GOP and Dem) and lobbyists/consultants may also not be too happy with actually having to care for the information as both parties have fought tooth-and-nail to stop voter protection bill.
*Favored political groups (ie those with lobbyists and donations) can do whatever with the information, but similar personal information held by regular business must be cared for and is subject to fines. It’s cronyism pure and simple.
UPDATE: I am now aware that another serious issue has arisen regarding the voter list going online. I will not go into detail (for obvious reasons) but with everyone’s information online, it is now extremely easy for anyone to stuff the ballot box at GOP caucus meetings.
Utah Voter Personal Privacy And Security Begone, Courtesy Of The Herbert Administration And The Legislature
When the personal information of every registered voter in Utah was posted to the internet at utvoters.com, it caused a stir. Now the list, which is sold (for $1050) by the Herbert Administration, is also available at a new site. Better yet, unlike utvoters.com, the new site does not have a mechanism to remove your personal voting information (including date of birth). The site is also easier to search for individuals or other defining characteristics.
Want to know and LDS leader’s political affiliation and home address? Go for it. Want to get a police officer’s address or a judge’s address and personal information? Too easy. Hey, want to get their voting family’s information? No worries. How about, the new address of that domestic abuse victim with a restraining order…or the adoptive parents of the child you gave up…or a child abuse victim…etc, etc, etc.
The fact of the matter is, the website is not to blame. They posted information that the Herbert (and Huntsman) administration sells. They’ve been warned about this for years and erstwhile Lt. Governor Bell fought hard to keep the cash a-comin’ (while removing his and Herbert’s information). Political parties (GOP and Democrat) along with political campaign consultants and media allies have also fought to ensure your right to vote is subordinate to their activities. In Utah, your choice is to relinquish your right to vote or give these cronies all your information. Now, pols like Senator Karen Mayne are “shocked…shocked!” that the information is online.
Mayne’s kabuki response was to draft a bill that has contains juicy exceptions for the aforementioned cronies that ultimately would virtually ensure your information would still end up online. Fortunately, Representatives Edwards and Perry take this seriously and have a bill (HB302) that allows you to opt out of having your personal and voting information spread around. You’ll never guess which bill the political insiders are trying to kill (and Senators are poised to accommodate). You need to put pressure on legislators to protect your right to vote. Please contact your Senator and Representative. Ask them to support HB302 (Voting Records Amendments) and allow you to opt out of the information peddling.
Last week, I gave the ‘hokey pokey award’ to Senator Bramble on HB116. Senator Valentine earns the Hot ‘N Cold Award this week.
On Friday, Valentine dropped his sponsorship of HB302 which would allow you to keep you personal information and voting history private and off the internet for all to see. This divulged information includes that of domestic violence victims who have security concerns as well as LDS Church officials, police officers, judges, and their families.
The bill sounds like a no-brainer, right? It should be but political parties (Republican and Democrat), political consultants, Lexis-Nexis, and the media decided they’re entitled to your personal information and that entitlement trumps your right to vote. The forced disclosure has also been facilitated by past and current Lieutenant Governors (and the Herbert/Huntsman administrations). They’ve fought tooth-and-nail to make your right to vote contingent on their “entitlement”.
Valentine got a case of cold feet and caved into political party pressure on Friday. Later that day, he hokey-pokeyed and decided to sponsor it again. The question is why?
My guess is the parties panicked when they realized someone else would sponsor the bill and told Valentine to control and change the bill to be like SB36 which does absolutely nothing and virtually guarantees the voter list will be posted to the internet again (ie tries to pull the wool over voters’ eyes). Don’t fall for the shtick. Contact Senator Valentine and politely, but firmly, ask him to sponsor the bill with no changes and contact your Senator asking them to support the HB302 as it stands (let them know you’re not fooled by SB36).
Update (3/10): Valentine was a no-show for the Senate hearing on HB302 leaving the battle to Rep. Edwards, Sen. Weiler, and citizens that managed to counter elite lobbyists’ arguments and getting the watered-down bill out of committee. I have heard Valentine was in an important budget meeting but he also seemed not to have informed the bill’s sponsor (Edwards) that he wouldn’t show, leaving her on her own to present the bill.