Andrew McCullough's Blog

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More political fun

April 28, 2009

Friday this week is Law Day, traditionally the day Americans of the legal profession celebrate the "rule of law". It is also the day that is set aside for the Utah Attorney General to have a major fund raiser for his political action committee. This year he has invited the Utah football coach to talk about the wonderful year his team had last year, and presumably to invite commiseration about having lost the national championship because of the bowl matchups. As many people no doubt remember, the current Attorney General has been threatening to "investigate" the BCS championship system for possible violations of anti-trust laws. This week the newspapers tell us that he is not yet "investigating", but is still looking into whether to investigate. That, it seems to me, is pretty confusing, but it apparently is enough to bring out a big crowd to his event, at $300 per plate. I sure hope the food is good.

The question that has kept me guessing is what this fund raising effort is for. The Attorney General has announced that he is not running for re-election; and there is some chance he may run for the Senate next year. But then, there is also Utah's strange campaign law which allows him to vaguely raise huge amounts of money for political purposes, and then later declare it as income and just keep it. What a deal! And there are still stories making the rounds about huge contributions from those who are seeking favors. All perfectly legal, and yet somehow just slightly slimy. Well, the Republicans seem to have mor money than they need -- perhaps it is from government bailout money, which they so vocally oppose.

Yesterday, I received a letter from a lady in Pennsylvania, addressing me as a fellow conservative, and calling on me and like-minded religious people to help throw Senator Arlen Spector right out of the Republican party, for being so liberal. Well, she got her wish, and so very quickly. Senator Spector apparently realized that the Republican Party in his state has moved far to the right, and no longer tolerates "moderates" or liberals. So, today he became a Democrat, just about totally sealing the power of the Democratic Party in Washington. Some in my own Libertarian Party have joined the wailing that the "socialists" have taken over completely, and that all is lost. Personally, I think that the Republican Party, with their drive to become the "pure" conservative party in the United States, has alienated far too many people. As a former Republican who long ago felt squeezed out by the religious right, I have a strong impulse to just gloat. There is little doubt that civil liberties under the Democrats will enjoy a resurgence. Sadly, however, the war on drugs will go on, and jails and prisons will remain full.

But, lest anyone think otherwise, I am not a Democrat. This week I read that the Federal government is likely to become the majority stockholder of General Motors. As a Ford stockholder, I am not happy that we will have to compete against the government. That is not the way the capitalist system is supposed to work. And yes, taxes are too high, and the government is too big. But those who think that a return to Republican control will help have short memories, or are just naive. It really is about time that our little Libertarian Party be given some attention, and that people wean themselves from the "two party system". What a mess we are in, and both "major" parties are to blame. See our website at and see what you can do to help force real change. Now if we Libertarians can just keep from trying to kill each other!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Loss of a "friend"

April 13, 2009

On a wall in a back office in my law office is a photo of Marilyn Chambers, endorsed "To Andy with Lust". The photo was done for me when Marilyn ran for Vice President on the "Personal Choice" ticket in 2004. It is a treasured memento from someone I always wanted to meet, and now never will. Marilyn was found dead in her home last night, of unknown causes, at age 56.

Marilyn was a high fashion model in the 70's and was featured on the front of the box of Ivory Snow detergent, holding a baby. That photo was quickly removed when it was found that she had starred in one of America's first mass appeal porn movies, "Behind the Green Door". She starred in a number of other porn movies, and did some mainstream stage and movie acting as well. As an attorney who champions free speech, she was a hero -- someone who was a pioneer in the effort to topple outdated censorship laws, and to allow Americans to enjoy watching whatever entertainment they felt appropriate without government interference.

I feel as though I lost a friend, and I am sad. Thank you, Marilyn for what you did for our freedom. You will be missed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Criminally different, and other thoughts

April 12, 2009

It has been a while since I added to this blog, so there are a few things that I would like to mention.

I go down to watch spring baseball every March, in Phoenix. It gets my spring started, and it is always great fun. Besides the baseball, there is a spring traditional music festival where I spend as much time as possible. But every time I go there, the local news has stories about the Maricopa County Sheriff. "Sheriff Joe" as people call him has many who think his "get tough" approach is what the country needs. And many others, like me, wonder why this two bit bully, who has built a "tent city" to house prisoners, keeps getting elected. This year, under the heading "Criminally Brown", was a story about his harassment of local Yacqui Indians, who happen to look like Mexicans, and share Spanish surnames. Unfortunately, the small town of Guadalupe, surrounded on three sides by the City of Tempe, has had to contract with the Sheriff for police services, after failing to reach an agreement with Tempe for those services. They, however, pay a high price in the rough treatment their citizens get at the hands of Sheriff's deputies who are hunting "illegals". The article mentions a small group who are raising funds to fight back when their people are wrongfully arrested in what appears to be misguided efforts to "round up the illegals". I went out one Saturday morning to find these people and missed them. Next time, Andrew.

Here in Utah, a new law goes into effect in July which encourages, but does not require, local police forces to cross-deputize their officers as immigration officers, to help in the round up. This past week, Salt Lake City and Park City opted out. Hopefully many others will do the same. The Salt Lake City Police Chief rightfully pointed out (as has our Attorney general) that cross-deputizing will instill fear in the immigrant community, and that all cooperation with the police on other issues will cease. That is counter-productive. Now, the House sponsor of the new law has threatened "retribution" on those who do not sign up. There are claims made that the immigrant community accounts for more than its share of crimes; but the statistics show this is not true. Yes, we need to control our borders, but we have not vigorously enforced immigration laws because we need this migrant labor to do so many things that our won citizens will not do. Like the stupid "war on drugs", the effort to use criminal laws to round people up for deportation is doomed to fail. One of these days, we will arrive at a sensible "guest worker" policy. Of course, in Utah, we like to round up those who are different in more ways than just race or ethnicity. Those who dress or wear their hair differently are stopped by police for investigation. And heaven help them if the police make them "nervous", as police are trained to look for this as a sign of "guilt". Watch for the upcoming story of a black man who has been repeatedly arrested, apparently just for being black in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Our esteemed Attorney General seems to be getting ready to run for the Senate next year. Senator Bennett is getting old, and there are those who think his time is up. This week's Salt Lake Weekly had an interesting lead story on the Attorney General's potent fund-raising operation, and how it may be used to funnel money into a Senate campaign and avoid Federal contribution limits. Read it and decide whether these things make you nervous. People keep asking me whether I will run for Attorney General again. Probably not. I am getting old too, and small parties suffer from a lack of money and recognition. But, I certainly intend to keep giving an alternative point of view and encouraging others to get involved.

And, in that vein, let me remind my readers of two upcoming events. the Utah Libertarian Party will hold its convention, and elect its officers, on May 16. All are welcome. See for details. That same evening, the ACLU of Utah will hold its annual dinner. The cost for this is $100, and I am hoping to fill a table of ten. Contact me at for ticket information. get involved, and help us stop the oppression.
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