Monday, February 25, 2008

Whoooooooo-PIG! Soooie!! That is how we call the hawgs in Razorback Country.

Gentle readers I bid you greetings,

This is the first of two posts which attempts to answer the important question,"So Machman, who should we keep of the incumbents?" I can not tell you, nor will I try. But I will provide data taken from "followthemoney.org" for 2006 for campaign contributions indicators. I will suggest that the "campaign" contributions in 2007/2008 will very likely more than double these 2006 figures.

And I have researched using the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret Morning News articles and "numbered footnotes" to allow you great readers an opportunity to see who is "on the take and who is on the double take". Then, if you agree with me that such is corruption and graft, immoral and disgusting, you can jot down a few notes or print for reference during the upcoming caucuses, delegate selections, and candidate nominations. You can share them with your neighbors and spread the word and thus make a significant statement and difference as we select hopefully some more ethical candidates for office.

A friend from Bountiful suggests these are all just "good people caught up in a bad system". And he may be right. But if the system is bad why have they continuously refused to reform the system? Why do so many continue to take and take so much without sending the donations back? No, Ron...these who rationalize taking with both hands are corrupt and need to be replaced this November... Pure and simple. There can simply be no excuse for Utah being the laughing stock of the entire United States due to lax campaign and ethics laws.

It is up to you and your friends, neighbors and family members to help resolve this disgusting situation in our state legislature. I report....you decide, if you want these Cretans representing you in any way. And frankly if you do...you will deserve everything you get. Higher and higher property taxes, more and more development friendly legislation at the expense of citizens, more graft and corruption by the Realtor Association and its poodle law firms, more non solutions to problems, more legal abuse and the weakest fraud legislation in the entire Country, more waisted time on fluff resolutions while serious problems remain unaddressed. You will have earned exactly what you will get.

May I suggest you consider candidates who have character, integrity, and who believe that this whole money grubbing situation is simply dishonorable and disgusting. And an embarrassment to our State. May I suggest you consider voting against incumbents who have shown disregard for common sense ethical behavior and who have not delivered on promises for change so desperately needed especially now. Please use your "free agency" and your own judgment and reject these conflicted legislators who would not know a Conflict of Interest if it bit them in the arse.

Namaste,

D-Bell
( I apologise for the formating problem but this blog stuff doesn't seem to allow correct columns so you have to use your mind to figure it out... BEAK!)
The “campaign contribution” story (2006 data):

Real Estate, Inv., Total 2006 Other “perks”, Jazz
Developer, Const. “Campaign” & concert tickets,
Contributions Contributions meals, green fees, etc.
Senators:
Gregg Bell $ 993 $ 8,568
Curt Bramble* 11,250 49,866 (1)
Chris Buttars 0 35,931 (2)
Alan Christensen* 1,500 3,600
Gene Davis**(D) 11,200 81,439
Margaret Dayton** 10,019 63,644
Mike Dmitrich*(D) 7,750 24,432 (3)
Dan Eastman* 3,050 8,850 (4)
Fred Fife (D) 0 0
B. Goodfellow** (D) 7,000 57,175 (5)
Jon Greiner** 13,000 93,951
(40)
John Hickman* 4,700 7,450 (39)
Lyle Hillyard 500 2,150
Scott Jenkins* 2,000 4,675 (38)
Patricia Jones**(D) 24,146 129,141 (6)
Sheldon Killpack** 20,500 93,452
Peter Knudson** 11,250 53,769
(37)
Mark Madsen 2,000 25,800 (7)
Ed Mayne (D) deceased 7,500 43,097
Scott McCoy**(D) 2,549 123,888 36
W. Niederhauser** 164,500 253,640
(8)
Darin Peterson 5,600 40,051 (12)
Ross Romero**(D) 5,850 90,850 (9)
Howard Stephenson** 5,500 52,804
(10)
Dennis Stowell 6,500 35,551
John Valentine** 15,000 135,088 (11)
Kevin Van Tassell* 17,460 78,126
Michael Waddoups* 6,950 21,990 (13)
Carlene Walker 650 4,450

17 of 29, more than 58% of Senate received more than 20% of campaign funds from the Realtor/Developer, Construction, Real Estate Finance special interest groups based only on 2006 public information.
We will not know about 2008 for another year. although last year, lobbyists and special interests doled out $279,000 in giveaways. These moneybags gave another $827,000 in campaign donations, according to a Deseret Morning News analysis.

*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

Gifts less than $50 are not accounted for anywhere and legislators can spend their campaign cash however they choose.

Tomorrow it will be the Representative's turn and a detailing of the gifts as per the numbered footnotes.

4 comments:

Jeremy said...

You have gone to a lot of work here. Thank you.

I just have a couple questions about your chart because I want to correctly use the information you have provided.

Each politician who is on the take is listed with 2 or 3 numbers behind his name. What does each number represent? I think your statement at the top of the list is the legend but I'm not sure how it should break down.

What does each number to the right of each politician represent?

Minor Machman said...

Jeremy Good question! The Blog software screws up the columns everytime I try.

First number is the amount which the legislator accepted from the Realtor Association, Developers, or the Bankers special interests who invest in Real Estate.

The second (larger number) is the total they had accepted as "campaign contributions" from special interests.

The last number (single or double digit number; 1 to 40) is a footnote which ties to notes taken from news accounts which reveil either the value of gifts they have taken from lobbyists for special interests, in excess of the campaign contributions from special interests, or in some instances improper use of campaign contributions such as personal uses and these are explained. The Post today will include the footnotes.

Sorry for the format mess but there is nothing I can do about it given the software limitations of the feedblitz.

ozboy said...

Machman

Maybe you ought to consider changing your blog host. I know the Ogden Valley blog is hosted by this "feedbiz" outfit and their site has been frozen and inoperable for a couple of days now. Besides, the "Feedbiz" logo and name that pops up is kind of confusing, distracting and misleading. People may be inclined to not even look at your site assuming it is some Farm supply store.

You also might want to consider putting the listing of pigs and their take at the trough in a separate attachment and link it to the blog. This might allow you to lay it out so it makes sense. It is a shame to have all that excellent research be for nothing if your readers can't understand it.

Valley said...

Ozboy, we just changed the Feedblitz settings so only the first 600 characters will be included in the "feed." "Teaser" text if you will.

From there, click on the title link within the email to be directed to the Utah Wingmen web site.