Andrew McCullough's Blog

Saturday, March 13, 2010

More family values news from the legislature

March 13, 2010

I spent a couple of hours at the Utah Legislature on its last day, Thursday. I was attempting to convince them not to pass a new law aimed at making it nearly impossible to continue operating escort services in this State. These businesses, whatever you may think of them, are legal, licensed and closely regulated. In Salt Lake City, for instance, and agency must pay a license fee of $1000; and each escort must pay $750 per year. This fee includes a background check to make sure that people in the business do not have serious criminal records. As of today, an escort licensed in Salt Lake City may go to an appointment in Murray without obtaining a similar license, and another background check. Starting in May, the 16 entities in the Salt Lake Valley who require such licenses will be able to demand fees from everyone who does any business in their city. Obviously, this is done "for purposes of harassment", and will be nearly impossible to comply with. This bill was introduced by a Democrat, and passed with unanimous support of his party as well as most Republicans. Another example of protecting "family values" in our "pretty, great state". Needless to say, the big winner is likely to be me, who will have to fight this new law in court for the next couple of years, as I have been doing with the "sin tax" passed to harass my clients back in 2004. Oh well, another year in Utah.

And then, only a few hours later, came the bombshell. Yet another high ranking "family values" legislator, is in trouble for his private conduct. This time, Representative Garn, the House Majority leader, paid out $150,000 to a young girl with whom he had gone nude hot-tubbing, when he was at least 28 and she was only 15. No sex, but highly inappropriate. And now, a couple of days later he, following the lead of Senator Killpack (see my last blog entry in January), has resigned. And as with Senator Killpack, I view it with some mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is yet another example of Utah legislators telling us how to lead our lives, when they cannot manage their own. On the other hand, it was a long time ago, and he made reparations. Once again, I cannot help but wonder whether, now that his secret is known, he might have been counted on to be more compassionate to others who do not "march to the beat of the same drummer". We will never know, because now he is gone. No, I do not approve of what he did. The law presumes that a young person cannot reasonably make such decisions; and it is up to the more mature person to stop things before they get out of hand. Shame on him. But, hasn't he paid enough for something that happened so long ago?

Anyhow, this next week is the time for those who would like to run for public office this year to file with the County Clerk or the State Elections Office. We need more people to file for office as Libertarians, and to publicly announce that they will support more freedom for everyone. See our website at if you would like to help. Obviously, there is much to do.


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