Tuesday, February 26, 2008

PIG --Soooie!!! (2), 56% of House on the take, + gifts, improper use of campaign donations and more

The first figure is the conservative amount of monies taken from the Realtor, Developer, and Real Estate Finance special interests in 2006.

The second larger figure is the Total 2006 amount contributed by "special interests".

And the last two digit number (1-39) is a footnote which corresponds to notes which reveal additional special interest money given in the form of Jazz & concert tickets, meals, junkets (trips), green fees, etc.

Representatives:

Douglas Aagard* $4,050 $12,951
Sheryl Allen 3,300 37,829
Sylvia Anderson 3,500 30,560
Roger Barrus* 3,400 8,601
Ralph Becker* (D) 6,000 32,748
Ron Bigelow 5,000 37,101
Jim Bird 1,800 23,076
Jackie Biskupski (D) 5,000 48,412
Demar Bowman 2,550 13,351 (14)
Mel Brown 3,500 28,621
Gregg Buxton* 5,850 16,626
David Clark** 15,602 68,092 (15)
Stephen Clark* 3,950 18,501
Tim Cosgrove (D) 2,300 24,928 (34)
Greg Curtis** 52,366 309,129 (16)
Brad Daw* 4,400 15,551
Brad Dee** 10,719 50,385 (17)
Glenn Donnelson* 1,600 6,902
John Dougall* 4,800 16,541
Jack Draxler* 3,350 12,676 (18)
Carl Duckworth* (D) 5,823 22,657
James Dunnigan* 8,100 31,505
Ben Ferry 3,450 23,226
Janice Fisher (D) 750 16,834
Julie Fisher 2,800 14,600 (19)
Lorie Fowlke* 3,900 10,325
Craig Frank* 4,100 17,790
Gage Froerer* 14,500 47,199
Kevin Garn* 3,950 13,626
Kerry Gibson* 4,893 22,788
James Gowans (D) 2,333 24,347
Keith Grover* 4,250 17,745
Neil Hansen (D) 3,574 20,485 (20)
Wayne Harper 1,800 11,450
Lynn Hemmingway(D) 1,050 25,805
Neil Hendrickson* (D) 4,006 15,307 (21)
Christopher Herrod* (appointed mid-term)
Kory Holdaway* 4,000 18,541
Gregory Hughes* 10,650 42,469
Fred Hunsaker* 3,600 15,267
Eric Hutchings 3,800 19,765 (22)
Christine Johnson* (D) 2,250 45,100
Brad King (D) 2,250 14,251
Todd Kiser 4,650 23,666 (23)
Bradley Last* 6,000 24,801
David Litvack (D) 4,572 29,638
Rebecca Lockhart* 10,300 43,111 (24)
Steven Mascaro 2,500 21,900 (25)
John Mathis 0 100
Roz McGee (D) 6,250 42,295
Kay McIff* 2,300 11,421
Ronda Menlove 4,800 24,975 (26)
Karen Morgan* (D) 7,848 36,188 (27)
Michael Morley* 7,150 21,301 (28)
Carol Moss (D) 1,800 20,868
P. Neuenschwander* 7,324 35,537
Merlynn Newbold 2,800 17,050
Michael Noel 3,300 16,926 (29)
Curtis Oda* 7,000 28,829 (30)
Patrick Painter* 3,600 13,166
Paul Ray* 5,500 19,336 (33)
Phil Riesen (D) 1,750 45,897
Stephen Sandstrom 2,250 46,072
Jen Seelig (D) 2,400 26,453
Lou Shrutliff*(D) 5,590 25,039
Gordon Snow* 7,400 19,776
Ken Sumsion 2,800 22,538
Aaron Tilton 3,300 18,572
Stephen Urquart** 12,000 63,726 (31)
Mark Walker* 10,000 49,241
Mark Wheatley (D) 1,300 19,050
Richard Wheeler 3,800 20,351
Larry Wiley* (D) 5,050 24,402
Carl Wimmer** 5,500 51,585 (32)
Scott Wyatt* 3,850 9,496

41 of 75, or 56% of our House of Representatives receives more than 20% of campaign funds from Realtor/developers, construction, real estate finance special interests.

*combined contributions which include 20% or more including the candidate if that candidate is in the Real Estate/Development business.
** Based upon taking more than $50,000 a year over an above pay and benefits, per diem, mileage, and lodging during regular sessions and interim work sessions, for a volunteer public service job.

Legislators are paid for the days they are in session (45 days). The Compensation Committee elected to set up pay such that income tax deductions are maximized. In addition to paid days ($130) which can include extra days in “Interim sessions” they receive mileage ( .45 per mile) and per diem ($54/day) for meals, plus lodging ($94/night) even though 70% of them drive home most nights of the 45-day session.

The Gift Taking Story:

The “gifting” shown below is either money they spent from the “campaign funds” or additional “gifts” they accepted from special interests/lobbyists. You should notice in many instances our legislators have very different ethical standards when it comes to spending “free money”. Money given them by special interests which have expectations and who have invested in them with these expectations. The legislator’s rationalizations are almost humorous if not sadly true.

“One simple set of facts — not accusations — makes my point: In 2007, Utah's 104 part-time legislators took in a total of $250,000 in gifts from registered lobbyists — who, by a law I'm sure many lawmakers regret ever passing, requires lobbyists to list how much they spend on legislators.
In some other states, or even Congress, such gift-taking might be called "legalized bribery" — as indeed it has been called in Congress. But not in Utah. In Utah, it is the cost born by many lobbyists (although certainly not all) in trying to influence the Legislature.” Deseret News, 22 Feb. 08.

You should be able to see who your legislators are, what they are taking in and then decide for yourselves whether an incumbent or challenger should get your vote.

In summary, legislators spent at least $22,000 on cameras, TVs and computers which can be used for both campaign and personal use.
-At least $26,750 to put relatives on payrolls.
-$1,125 of campaign funds to park their vehicles.
-at minimum $13,500 to join or pay dues to a variety of political and civic groups.
-$48,200 to charities which could help build good will; fund for Crandall Canyon Mine disaster victims ($3,100),; Boy & Girls Clubs ($2,675);, Boy Scouts ($800); Human Rights Campaign ($700); schools, junior livestock shows, environmental groups and service organizations.
They gave a minimum of $81,600 to each other and political groups or parties.

40 of 55 (72%) of Republicans voted against lobbyists naming lawmakers who accept meals valued at less than $50. 20 Democrats voted for the measure apparently.

Friends and neighbors,

This "ethical absenteeism" has turned me into a Democrat...at least a Utah Democrat, meaning a very moderate fiscally conservative and responsible Democrat. The GOP Elephants have forgotten and therefore lost their way - except to the bank. One must ask themselves "If they can not run an efficient and fiscally responsbile, accountable and efficient campaign, how on earth do we expect them to run a fiscally responsible, accountable and efficient State government?"

D-Bell

1. Senate Majority Leader Bramble, R-Provo accepted dinner cruise and accepted the most disclosed gifts of any legislator last year – worth $1,170. “What I took last year in gifts was fully disclosed. We have transparency. We discuss this every year…and the feeling of the Legislature is that we have adequate disclosure.” $846 in meals; $200 in Utah Blaze tickets; $05 for a Great Salt Lake cruise; and $29 in Utah Jazz tickets. (Bramble had hundreds of dollars in Jazz tickets from Lockhart before Bramble paid Lockhart back for those events.) He went on a Great Salt Lake cruise ($107). $4,475 taken from lobbyists in gifts valued at more than $50 a day.
2. Senator Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, bought $149 in clothes with campaign funds and also had his car repaired ($2,500). He also spent $214 to a car dealer to “upgrade OnStar”. He spent $5,243 on personal expenses.
3. Senate Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich, D-Price, took $1,083 in expensive tickets, meals and other items valued at more than $50. $6,777 in gifts costing greater than $50, and a $1,700 round trip to Florida to “look at a special interest’s privatization efforts. And then took in a lobbyists paid round of golf.
4. Sen. Dan Eastman, R – Bountiful, $500 for Jazz front row seat. But claims he paid Stokes for the ticket.
5. Sen. Brent Goodfellow, R-West Valley, gave himself $50 every couple of months for “gasoline use” in driving around his Salt Lake County-based district. Also used campaign funds to pay for passports or visas $120.
6. Sen. Patricia Jones, D-Holladay, accepted four tickets @ $97/ticket ($388) and vowed to reimburse Blue Cross and Blue Shield lobbyist Jennifer Cannaday.
7. Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Lehi, had a long list of interesting campaign expenditures, including some big money for baby-sitting, attending sports events and maybe helping relatives. Paid his brother to run $12,000. $4,540 on baby-sitters and nannies. $97 for membership in and neckties by Accuracy in Media. $79 on family meals and parking for family events at the theater, planetarium and museums. And he spent $589 on a digital camera. $37 for a Utah Valley University shirt. All from “campaign funds”.
8. Sen. Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, paid himself $30,500 for loans to earlier campaign.
9. Sen. Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake City, accepted two $97 ($194) concert tickets. He also spent $6,972 on personal expenses. He said he paid for conferences he attended that had to do with his legislative work.
10. Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, also accepted two $97 ($194) concert tickets. “The good Senator from Draper went on a nine-minute rant about how bad and evil the media was on reporting on lobbyists’ gifts, and how appropriate it was that lawmakers take dinners and Jazz tickets to ease the pain of being away from hearth, home and family.” YGBSM!
11. Senate President John Valentine, R-Orem, raised the most in “campaign contributions” during 2007, the off-year, from special interests at $78,641. “legislators used at least $108,500 for travel, much of it outside of Utah to places such as China, by Senate President John Valentine and U. S. sites including Alaska; Orlando, Fla.; San Francisco,: Nashville, Tenn.; san Diego, Calif.; Boston; Savannah, Ga.; Chicago; Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Seattle; and Washington, D.C. He paid for passports and visas and other gifts worth $849, fifth on the taking rankings behind Clark, Dmitrich, and Bramble. Valentine said he considers eating a meal on a lobbyist’s “dime” is part of doing his legislative work because he is giving his time to the lobbyist.
12. Sen. Darin Peterson, R-Nephi, accepted a cruise on the Great Salt Lake from lobbyists ($107).
13. Sen. Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville spent $85 on either a wedding gift or birth.
14. Rep. Bud Bowman, R-Cedar City, spent $60 on dry cleaning another $49 for shirts.
15. Rep. House Majority Leader David Clark, R-Santa Clara, says no legislator runs or serves believing he’ll make money. Instead, it costs legislators to serve. Clark ranked fourth in overall gift receiving at $862. Clark was also mentioned for travel expenses to Germany and U.S. sites including Alaska; Orlando, Fla.; San Francisco; Nashville, Tenn.; San Diego, Calif.; Boston; Savannah, Ga.; Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.
16. House Speaker Rep. Greg Curtis gave a $50 gift for either a birth or wedding. Curtis also accepted wedding gift to daughter for $83.77 from CEO of Utah Realtor Assoc., Kyler.
17. Rep. Brad Dee, R-Ogden received four $97 tickets ($388) for a concert.
18. Rep. Jack Draxler, R-North Logan gave himself $6,300 in cash from campaign funds for what he simply listed as “income”. Draxler said he earns “substantially more” each day as a self-employed appraiser than he does as a legislator. That $6,300 is actually reimbursement for lost wages during his legislative work, he said. And he accepted $235 in Utah State football tickets.
19. Rep. Julie Fisher, R-Fruit Heights, paid herself for loans ($100).
20. Rep. Neil Hansen, D-Ogden, went on the Great Salt Lake cruise ($107).
21. Rep. Neal Hendrickson, D-West Valley, spent $185 on dry cleaning or cleaning and $75 for a sports coat.
22. Rep. Hutchings spent $61 in dress shirts from Mervyn’s and $120 for shirts and $365 for suits and shirts say it was a “50-50 match with personal funds”.
23. Rep. Todd Kiser, R-Sandy, spent $70 on a freeway HOV-lane pass and a new suit at the Mr. Mac sale $169 and he also paid $90 for special legislative shirts from the legislature’s “third House” operation. Another $59 on “candy for Halloween”. He spent another $170 on weddings or births gifts. $558 from “campaign donations”.
24. Rep. Rebecca Lockhart, R-Provo, gave $5,000 to her husband, Stan Lockhart, for his successful campaign to become chairman of the Utah Republican Party. Of course the Utah County Republican Party just had contributed the same $5,000 to her “campaign” prior. Golf green fees fro Utah Realtor Assoc. Kyler $88.86.
25. Rep. Steve Mascara, R-West Jordan, repaid himself $2,500 for a loan he made to his campaign. And also $814 for “auto expenses” at car repair shops or dealerships.
26. Rep. Ronda Menlove, R-Garland, went on the Great Salt Lake cruise ($107).
27. Rep. Karen Morgan, D-Cottonwood Heights, spent $40 of campaign money toward a passport.
28. Rep. Mike Morley, R-Spanish Fork, used campaign funds to pay a $10 “parking ticket” to Salt Lake City.
29. Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, spent $68 on dry cleaning; uses his campaign account to
pay for gasoline used to drive around his eight-county district although he receives mileage reimbursements for travel to Salt Lake City. He spent $3,600 in partial rent for a Salt Lake apartment last year. And another $656 for “rent paid for part of session” in Salt Lake City. He gets $90 a day for hotel stays. He also uses campaign funds to pay for cleaning his suits and shirts.
30. Rep. Curtis Oda, R-Clearfield, spent $443 for “legislative shirts”, $364 at Nordstrom for his wife’s dress fro swearing-in ceremony; $101 expense for a dress for a ball; $177 at Macy’s for a suit for her; $211 at New York Lerner went for “event clothes” for his wife; and $21 at Forever Young to buy her some Western boots. Oda spent $21 at Ream’s on his Western boots. And he spent $32 on dry cleaning or laundry. Let’s see $1,317 for his wife’s clothes and $54 bucks on himself. And he gave $144 to others for gifts. And then spent $50 on a class for concealed weapons class and $63 for “snacks” and another $20 for “pens & pads for legislative CCW class” plus another $156 to the instructor. Dinner from Utah Realtor Assoc. Kyler in Boston, $85.00.
31. Rep. Steve Urquhart, R-St George, spent $48 to rent a tuxedo and $81 on dry cleaning/laundry. Accepted $85.00 dinner in Boston from Chris Kyler, Utah Realtor Association CEO.
32. Rep. Carl Wimmer, R- Herriman, paid himself $1,200 and his wife $1,000 for campaign/delegate organization work.” He then spent $528 at Mr. Mac for suits.
33. Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, spent $103 on cleaning expenses.
34. Rep Tim Cosgrove (D)-Murray, accepted dinner for two in Boston from Utah Realtor Assoc. Chris Kyler CEO lobbyist for ($170).
35. Sen. John Hickman R-Washington Co., spent $7,592 on personal uses.
36. Sen. Scott McCoy (D)-Salt Lake County, spent $7,240 on personal uses including paying himself back some money he contributed to his own campaign.
37. Sen. Peter Knudson R-Box Elder, Cache, Toole Counties, spent $1,341 for personal uses.
38. Sen. Scott Jenkins R-Weber County, spent $1,608 on personal uses.
The above is only the tip of an iceberg and hundreds of thousands go unaccounted for.
39. Sen. John Hickman R- Washington County, spent $7,592 of his “campaign funds for personal use.
40. Sen. John Greiner R- Weber County, Ogden, is a quadruple dipper from the public trough. He is actually retired from the police force with full benefits. He is also current Police Chief with big salary. He is also retired from the Army Reserve with pension and he is drawing salary from his State Senate Seat. All of which makes him perhaps the biggest sucker attached to the public tit in Utah.

3 comments:

fern said...

Mr. Bell

You do a great public service with your extensive research into this corruption. Please keep going, and good luck in your efforts to educate the public about the truth in the Utah Legislature. I had no idea of the huge ethical problem with our Utah politicians. It is very disappointing.

Minor Machman said...

Thank you "Fern". This research has taken at least three weeks and I was thinking "Why bother", "No one reads the blog anyway. So why am I continuing to try to let the people know the real truth about our sad situation. It depresses me to have to report it. And it is taking away the joys of my retirement years."

Then one person seems to step up and encourage me. So I thank you for commenting and offering your encouragement.

edentribe said...

Machman,
I hope you can find some joy in disclosing the idiocy in our legislature. I also appreciate it and will help to spread the knowledge. It's very important--thank you.