Andrew McCullough's Blog

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Recent News

September 11, 2010

First of all, nothing written on this particular day would be complete without mention of that tragic day 9 years ago, which I remember so clearly. I cried for days, perhaps partly because I know the area well, and have friends who live very close to the scene. I applaud the nation's "coming together" as a result of that day. But there has been so much anger and fear. The so-called "Patriot Act" quickly passed in reaction, is a terrible piece of legislation which has made me fear my government more than the "enemy". I hope we will eventually realize that constant paranoia is not the answer to this outrage.

I am going to keep this rather short, as I will include links that I hope you will read, if you have not. The first is an article from Friday's Deseret News about the large political contributions coming into the Governor from those who have State contracts. While I have no reason to doubt the Governor's honesty, I am a little perplexed that he seems not to understand why people would even question these transactions. One of the perks of the office, I guess. Ihave no contracts to hand out, and so my campaign treasury is very small. Read it and come to your own conclusions.

The second link I want to insert here is to an article in this week's Salt Lake City Weekly about "Super Trooper" Lisa Steed. The article opens with her using her stun gun on a surprised and frightened motorist almost at the beginning of a stop for a suspected drunk driving incident. The motorist's blood alcohol level turns out to be well within the legal limit. The thing that bothers me is that the Highway Patrol has not expressed its displeasure with her tactics, which I think are brutish and irresponsible. If I were elected Governor, requiring law enforcement to be more responsive to the public would be high on my agenda. And an incident like this would result in discipline. If you agree, vote Libertarian.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

"Third Party" politics

September 5, 2010

In response to my last blog, of September 2, I received the following comment. Rather than just publish it as a comment, I decided to make it the subject of a new blog:

"You must have two parties before you can have three. Sure wish you would work with Utah Democrats who have the best ideas and stop wasting time and money on a less than 2 percent party."

There is so much to say in response, I almost don't know where to start. Let me start by saying that 2% is the threshold to become a political party in Utah. If my party was a "less than 2 percent party", we would not be on the ballot, and there would be nothing to discuss. I received 4% of the vote for Attorney General in 2008; and our candidate for State Auditor received 6%. We are growing and getting stronger, as shown by a steady stream of people wanting more information on the party, and a doubling of the number of dues paying members. We think we have a message, and we will continue to try and get it out to the best of our ability.

Libertarians come in all stripes. Personally I would likely vote Democratic in many races if there were only the two "major party" candidates running. A majority of Libertarians would vote Republican, so nothing would be gained by the Democrats by our demise. Libertarians do not like government interference in their lives. Many of us are particularly upset about the "tax and spend" policies of the "major" parties. Since neither will stop their pandering to special interests, we prefer not to endorse either. While Democrats tend to support more personal freedom, they are big tax and spend advocates. Republicans might be more fiscally conservative, but they play to the politics of fear and oppression. We are not interested in either alternative. We prefer the third, and most logical, alternative: Leave us alone all the time, even if we do things you don't approve of.

As Eugene Debs, the longtime head of the U.S. Socialist Party, said: third parties are not there to win elections. We are there to change the nature of the debate and to pull the others kicking and screaming, into new ideas. That is why we are here; and it is important that we are. Very few "major party" politicians would DARE endorse gay marriage in Utah, but why not? Does equal treatment for those who are different than you really harm you? What about the "war on drugs", which is really a war on young people who don't follow the rules that their elders have decreed for personal behavior? Would any Democrat who wants to get elected say that we are losing this war, that it is costing too much, and that it is turning a whole generation of young people into criminals? No, but it needs to be said, so we say it. And history is on our side. Gay marriage and legalization of marijuana is coming, and nobody is going to stop it. What about censorship? Even our Utah Attorney General refuses to get into the battle that California has started, over "violent video games". Another loser for those who want to control what others see and do. But even a "liberal" state like California cannot resist the temptation to try. And, lest we think out AG is enlightened, he went to the legislature this year to get new power to issue subpoenas for cell phone and e-mail records, without a warrant. Big brother is truly watching; and we are the ones sounding the alarm.

In Utah this year, we have candidates in Utah, Davis, Uintah and Iron counties for offices which the Democrats are not contesting. As a Utah County resident, I often find the ballot listing only Republican candidates for office. We are giving many people who would not otherwise have one an actual choice at the ballot box. What a breath of fresh air.

Should we shut down and let the weak Democratic Party battle the one party system on its own? Absolutely not. And who is to say that we won't eventually become Utah's second party? Why not "think outside of the box" and help us continue to grow?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Governor's race

September 2, 2010

Traditionally, the Labor day weekend is the official start of the real election campaign in this country. As a candidate for Governor this year, I am ramping up my little campaign. Yard signs and bumper stickers are now available at my campaign office in Midvale. they will shortly be available around the state. Fliers are also in production, and advertising will start soon as well. If you would like to see some real change in Utah, please consider a contribution or other help.

Many people think that voting for a "third party" candidate is a wasted vote. In Utah, unfortunately there is really only one party. A recent Rasmussen poll had Governor Herbert at 60%, Mayor Corroon at 29%, and "some other candidate" at 2%. If you vote Democratic in this race, your vote is wasted. If you vote to help build the Libertarian Party into a real force in Utah politics, you will be accomplishing something.

Back in May, I wrote a blog here about immigration and the move among Republicans to repeal the part of the 14th Amendment that makes all persons born in the United States citizens. As my old friend Enid Greene pointed out the other day on the Doug Wright show, there is not going to be a repeal. So, deal with it. Governor Herbert has recently joined the "repeal" crowd; and it will do neither him nor them any good. Please go back and read that blog, and pass it on to a friend.

Governor Herbert also recently took Mayor Corroon to task for his statement that Utah schools need more math and science classes. All the experts agree on that; but Governor Herbert says that might hurt LDS Seminary (not that he wants to "play the religion card"). Shame on him. As a Libertarian, I suggest that those who think there is not enough religion in schools consider private schools or home schooling. But it is not the state's job to protect LDS religious education in this State (and I am a BYU grad).

When a previous candidate for State Senate was disqualified recently, the Republicans turned to the State Log Cabin Club president to fill in. For those unfamiliar, this is the organization for "gay Republicans". This seat is one of the few safe Democratic seats in the senate; and this person is a sacrificial lamb -- apparently in an attempt to show people that the GOP is not as narrow minded as everyone knows they are. I'm sorry guys, but there is no room in that party for gays. Those who support conservative fiscal policies and who are gay need to learn that and join our party. We really do not care who you have sex with (so long as it is between consenting adults). In the meantime "Equality Utah", the gay political action committee, supports only Democrats. We are the only party dedicated to real freedom; and it is time for those who are disenfranchised by the "major parties" to join with us. We are growing rapidly; and we will be heard from. Help us rise up against the "one-party system" and bring real change to Utah.
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