Andrew McCullough's Blog

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Latest on FLDS controversy

April 29, 2008

I have been asked a number of times why, if I don't want to be a Republican, I don't choose the other "major party", the Democrats. Frankly, I would probably rather have a Democrat in the White House than another Republican disaster, like the one who is there now. But I am not a Democrat, because they favor too much government interference into our lives, much like the Republicans do.

Today's newspapers reported that Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, has railed against the State of Utah for not being more aggressive with our southern Utah "polygs". He says he is a "cheerleader" for the overreaction of Texas authorities, and thinks it is time for the Federal government to get involved if Utah won't do more. Our current Utah Attorney General fired back that he has done a lot, and boasted of putting Warren Jeffs in prison for rape. Once again, the "major parties" are trying to outdo each other by being more aggressive at eroding our civil liberties. Shame on them both! Both men are active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS); and neither appear to be familiar with the history of their own church. The LDS Church came close to being totally wiped out by the fervor of Federal government agents trying to fight LDS polygamy in the late 1800's. The charges that were leveled against church leaders were as exaggerated and fanciful as some of those being leveled now.

Let me make it clear yet again that I do not condone child abuse or welfare fraud, or any of the other numerous possible violations by this group. But I do condone their freedom of religion and their right to Due Process of Law. The overreaction of the Texas authorities is to be protested, not cheered. And those who are cheerleaders for this can be counted on to push aside our constitutional rights the next time there is a "crisis".

Had enough? There is a choice, and now is the time to make it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

campaign contributions

April 26, 2008

Today's Salt Lake Tribune reported that last year our current Attorney General received $1.4 MILLION in campaign contributions. He has so much money, that the Tribune reported earlier this week that his campaign committee was the single largest contributor to the campaign of Senator Curtis Bramble, who today avoided a Republican Primary by obtaining 67% of the vote at the Utah County Republican Convention. Much of this came from corporations; and several of them did not report those contributions, as required by law. Who enforces this law? The Attorney General, of course; but does he? Not so far. He and the Lt. Governor's election office each seem to be saying it is the other guy's problem. Wow, and with that kind of money the Democratic candidate thinks she has a chance? Why not support real change, and at least make some waves?

So, here is what you do: You too can avoid campaign reporting of any kind by writing me a check of up to $50 today. (Any more, and I will have to report it, though you will not -- unless you are a big corporation). See my website at for instructions. And then get a friend or two to do the same. Can I match the stacks of money given to the current Attorney General? Of course not, but we can yet put a little spark into this campaign. Right now it looks like the Republican steamroller is out to flatten everyone. Want to put a monkey wrench into the gears? You can; and it is easy and cheap.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What a day!

April 19, 2008

Today the Utah Libertarian Party held its convention to choose both candiates for public office , and also party officers. Yes, I was nominated to run for Attorney Gnereral, so now it is official. I will do my best to change the tone of the debate, and to give the electorate a real choice between pholosophies of government. While the other two candidates will disagree about policies, and will tout their abilitites to efficiently run a large "law firm", doing the State's legal business, they will agree on most things. They will agree that the State should spend your money trying to increase the already bulging jail and prison populations. They will not acknowledge that we hold too many prisoners; and the financial and social costs are just too high. They may have some slight differences on their approach to "protecting children"; but they will both tell you that the kind of mass interference with families recently seen in Texas is probably necessary, and in the "best interests" of the children. They will tell you that the State must tolerate law enforcement officers who stretch thier authority to "get the bad guys"; they will tell you that the State has a legitimate interest in helping you decide for yourself what you can read and view in the privacy of your own home; and they will tell you that if the govenment "sneaks and peaks" into people's homes, they are only doing it to protect you and me from those same bad guys, who are just about everywhere.

Thankfully, there is another point of view -- that we can be both safe and free; and that we can reduce the terrible costs of law enforcement without sacrificing public safety. Please consider helping me spread this message.

Oh, and one additional thing. I was also elected State Chair of the Libertarian Party today, for the next year. Mostly, I think, because nobody else wanted it. And yes, "Super Dell" Schanze is our candidate for governor. Give him a chance, he grows on you. And watch for an exciting Libertarian candidate for President as well. More on that soon.

Please see my werbsite at to help out my campaign.
Please see the party website (soon to be revamped and made easier to use) at

Saturday, April 12, 2008

More on polygamy controversy

April 12, 2008 -- Since my last blog entry only four days ago, the ongoing controversy over the raids on the Texas ranch owned by the FLDS Church has spilled over into Utah politics. The Deseret Morning News reported on April 10 that the current Utah Attorney General had obtained 80 search warrants in 2006 to search for DNA evidence of incest in the Kingston group of polygamists, but backed off long enough so those who were at risk disappeared.

The Salt Lake Tribune today reported on a debate yesterday between Congressman Cannon and his Republican opponents, in which polygamy was discussed. While Cannon is concerned that Texas authorities went too far in their recent raids, by taking into custody over 400 children, (duh!), his main opponent, David Leavitt says that polygamists must be diligently prosecuted. He is the one who, as Juab County Attorney, prosecuted Tom Green, and put him in prison for having several wives. He was promptly defeated for reelection. Rather than hearing the message, he is now bringing his crusade to the congressional race. He says this must be done to defend the institution of marriage against those who would use any leniency to promote gay marriage. Well, if there is any doubt that there is a strong current in Utah for instituting a theocracy, this should help erode that doubt. Our current Attorney General actually received an award from the Equality Utah political action committee for bucking his party's anti-gay bias, and defending the basic dignity of gay people. But, he only stands out as a moderate within his very socially conservative party, and is still socially to the right of those who think the government has no business in our bedrooms.

The Tribune story on the congressional debate reminds us that there are very strong oppressive forces in the majority party, bent on eliminating any signs of tolerance of those who don't quite fit into with the "family values" movement. Once again, those of us who insist on the right to live our lives as we choose, are under seige. If you haven't yet decided to make your own voice be heard, the time is running out. This election year gives us a great chance to be heard. If you wait until after the election, it will be too late.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Child welfare

Today an old friend called me out of concern, after the Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) came to visit her. They were investigating a complaint of possible child abuse. I do not think they will find any evidence of such a thing there. But this incident, and perhaps even more, the drama that is unfolding among the FLDS community in Texas, prompts me to write about my own concerns of State involvement in the family. After many years of practicing law, it has become very apparent to me that the State (and not just Utah) is a little "trigger happy" about intervening in family matters, and removing children from the home. The headline in today's Salt Lake Tribune tells us that over 400 people have been removed from the FLDS community in Texas. And the subheading, quotes a State official that, while the removals are traumatic for the children, this is "in their best interest". Some of the stories of child abuse coming from this community would cause anyone concern. But the State of Texas has come in with SWAT teams, and hordes of police; and they have brought ambulances in anticipation of having to resort to violence to get into the FLDS Temple, and other sacred buildings. I am not any happier than anyone else about claims of child abuse; but my own experience has tausght me that State inteference with the family is its own form of child abuse.

Many of us remember the massive legal fight that the Utah Attorney General's offce had a few years ago over their move to take a young boy from his fmaily in order to forcibly medicate him. The family resisted, he was not forced to undergo the tratment, and he is doing fine. Our current Attorney General, in his candidate statement on the Salt Lake Tribune Politics webpage touts his efforts to protect children, and asks for four more years to do so. Unfortunately, those efforts sometimes include unfair and inappropriate interference with families. If you want the government to spend less time spying on you and interfering with your family, let's not give him four more years.

Monday, April 07, 2008

More news coverage

This morning another article was published on my candidacy by a website which features news on State attorneys general. Not too bad, I think. Read it and forward it to your friends. Have been very busy lately, but will take time to write a more lengthy blog entry sometime this week. The establishment is up to no good as usual, and lots to say.

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