This past week, I had an interesting encounter. I was in a meeting where one of our local politicians was in attendance, giving a report on this individuals responsibilities. During this individuals time, it was discussed how this individual strongly disliked referendums put on the ballot by the people.
Specifically, this individual did not like that these bills did not go through the legislative process. That these bills did not allow for legislative input or compromise.
After the meeting, I approached this individual about donations this individual had made to candidates in the St. George City Council race. I brought up the amount that has been spent up through October 24, and that these donations went primarily to the incumbents. My tone was not accusatory, but was leading to a discussion I was hoping to have with this individual.
This individual instantly snapped back, “good”, and “I can donate to who I want to”. I calmly acknowledged this individual had every right to donate to whomever they wanted to. Due to the confrontational response, I knew I would not be able to lead the discussion to my real purpose, and ended the encounter.
Where I was trying to lead the discussion to was to get their input as to why. Why did this individual feel those he donated to were worthy not only of this individuals vote, but financial support in this race? While I did not get to the question, the response, coupled with the comments during the presentation told me exactly what I was searching for.
I’ve lived in Southern Utah for over 30 years. While my family has been in this area since the early 70’s, we are not one of the founding families. I’ve discussed before how these founding families are often part of the “Good ‘Ol Boys”, a collection of individuals who’s roots go back to the founding of this area. Quite often you see these individuals, and their companies get preferential treatment in this area.
This politician is definitely part of this group. This politician also has the view, based upon the presentation, and similar statements I have heard first hand, that there should be a ruling class that tells us plebeians how we should live our lives. The why would be to keep power consolidated so certain families can continue to earn off the back of the taxpayer.
When I’m asked who I’m voting for in this election, I tell them Brad Bennett and Paula Smith. I also tell them why. I tell them (and you) that these two understand the Constitution of the United States, that if elected, will judge all votes upon the rights given to all people through this document. They understand what has made Southern Utah great, and the dangerous road we are currently on, pushing us to lose that identity. They understand that what really separates the United States from all other governments on earth is that the power of the government should come from the people, and there should always be transparency in what the government is doing. They also believe in having a true, open and clear balanced budget.
To those that have not yet sent in their ballots. To those who may still be on the fence. I urge you, become informed on the candidates. Become informed on the what has happened in the city over the last few years. I urge you to vote for the why. There are many nice people in this race. This isn’t high school. Don’t vote for someone just because they are nice. Vote for those you believe will be the most effective leaders. Vote for those that will protect St. George.