Andrew McCullough's Blog

Friday, February 27, 2009

Family values

February 27, 2009

This morning I read a Paul Rolly column in the Salt Lake Tribune from last Sunday that I should have seen earlier. It was about Evan Twede, a conservative Republican who has worked professionally on campaigns for many years. Recently he has decided to leave the party, even though that is how he has made his living. The problem is that he has a gay son, and he no longer can work within the party that has brought us Chris Buttars and the legion of other homophobes who have great power and influence in our State. It reminded me of my own disaffection from the Party where I served as Young Republican treasurer for Utah for four years. My former party, which used to stand against too much government, now stands for government interference in areas of our lives where government simply does not belong. I realised several years ago that I could no longer support the party that has been taken over by the religious right. The last eight years of the "reign of terror" presided over by George W. Bush only made me more determined to fight back.

So, here I am, the Utah Chair of the Libertarian Party. We are still small but we are growing. Our recent entry into Facebook has brought us hundreds of new friends. Last night our monthly Salt Lake County social event attracted the largest crowd in a long time.

To those who were once Republicans, but who can no longer stand the intolerance, and who no longer can stand the fear mongering, there is an alternative. If you are a fiscal conservative, your natural home is the Libertarian Party. We welcome you with open arms, and assure you that we will not preach to you about matters that are intensely personal to you. Please see our website at, and consider getting involved. Join us on our new Facebook page, and at our socials. Join us in telling the government that you no longer wish to live in fear, and that you no longer can tolerate the intolerant. "You have nothing to lose but your chains."

Friday, February 20, 2009

So much to talk about

February 20, 2009

There is indeed so much to talk about lately, it is hard to know where to begin. Today former Utah Senate President John Valentine was vindicated in his decision last year to remove Senator Buttars as chair of the Judiciary committee. That was for insensitive remarks that brought several calls for his resignation from the Senate. Buttars reacted by getting together with some of his conservative friends in the Senate and overthrowing Valentine. He was promptly restored to his chairmanship. Well, today the new Senate President removed him again for more insensitive, and downright mean-spritied comments, particularly about gays. This time it brought a rebuke from the LDS Church, something that happens only on very rare occasions. I think the Senate President did the right thing. Senator Butttars refuses to see what he has done wrong. And, of course, he speaks for many like him who think that society is going to the dogs, and must be shielded from immorality. As the Church said, however, the debate should be civil and respectful, something that Buttars does not seem to understand. Perhaps next time will be the time when the voters in his district get embarrassed enough to bring in someone new.

Our State Attorney General has been in the news, with his calls to cut back on criminal appeal rights, and the Salt Lake Tribune pointed out this week that the AG's efforts to cut the time necessary for an execution amount to improper interference by the legislature in the entire legal process. See my website, under articles and briefs, for the Tribune editorial, and my own efforts to obtain compensation for someone wrongfully imprisoned. Personally, I am scared to death over the possibility of executing an innocent person; and there are undoubted examples of that in our history.

I must have a short say about the government efforts to prop up our economy. While I am not a pure Libertarian who thinks all government intervetnion is wrong, I do worry that we have spent so much money, which has to be borrowed, without knowing it will help. And, of course, it increases the size of government, something that I always think is the wrong direction. This week I finally started reading Ayn Rand's book on the hopelessness of such intervention, "Atlas Shrugged". I will report more on this when and if I get through its 1100 pages.

And I also must comment on the passing today of Larry H. Miller. A devout member of the LDS Church who also had his tussles with gay rights, he seemed to be willing to engage in dialogue and try and accommodate the views of others. Mostly, he brought Utah great entertainment, and he will be missed by all.

Please remember to check off the Libertarian Party box when you do your Utah Income tax return; and ask your friends to do the same. Utah needs a new voice, and we will work hard to supply it. I look forward to the days of more freedom, but it will not come without your help.
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