Andrew McCullough's Blog

Friday, September 19, 2014

Utah Family Magazine

My responses to questions sent from Utah Family Magazine. I do not know if the magazine has published them.

1. In relation to functions of the office for which you are running, what do you see as the 3 issues most pressing to families? How will you address those issues?

The state interferes with parents too often and too quickly.  I will work to make DCFS and other agencies more respectful of family ties and authority, and less likely to take children from the home or otherwise interfere with the family.  Only if a child is in real danger, the State should act

The state should try to keep families together when drugs or alcohol problems are present, emphasizing treatment over jail, which separates and destroys family units.  Addiction should be treated as a health problem, rather than a criminal one.   

The state should not impose its moral values on families which do not meet its definition of "traditional."  The state should not use mean spirited arguments to oppose the formation of family units (marriage) or to oppose adoptions into loving and supportive families.

2. How is your strategy different from those running against you?

I cannot speak for other candidates except to say that the present administration interferes far too quickly into very private family matters, and purports to impose an outdated moral code on "family values".  If I am elected, families will be more free to be who they are, and will not fear government interference.

3. What experience/qualifications do you possess that will help you in your efforts?

I have practiced law for over forty years, and have done much family law, including divorces, adoptions, juvenile court work and other work affecting families. I think I have gained a perspective that will help make some real changes in outlook in the relationship between the state and individual family units. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

The "Utah Debate Commission" poll for AG

Today the Utah Debate Commission published its poll results. They took a poll in August of the major races in Utah, and determined who they would invited to their televised debates, using the results. They have already sent some letters out to candidates telling them that they will not be invited, based on the results, even though those results were withheld until today.

The Debate Commission previously promised to publish the results by September 15. One can easily tell why they waited until 4:57 PM today to do it. The results show that only 53.5% of their sample voters are willing to commit to one of the "major party" candidates, and that the Democratic candidate has less than 13% support! Their website disclaims the poll as a predictor of the election results. Obviously! Over 31% of voters remain undecided, and there was a whopping 14.5% support for an alternative other than the two candidates who will appear at the debate. Since it is obvious that the voters want something other than the two "major party" candidates, why doesn't the Debate Commission invite everyone, so the voters can decide for themselves?

This is just laughable. The debate set a threshold designed to include only two candidates. KSL radio and TV have long used a threshold of 15% for their debates. It is a very good thing for the Democrat that they did not do that this year.

Join me in protesting this stupid "Debate Commission". I start from a decent base of support, over 5%. I need people to help my campaign with contributions; and I need people to put up signs, "share" the news on Facebook, and otherwise help spread the word. This could be the year of total embarrassment for the two "major parties". Now, wouldn't that be fun?

Read my previous blog posts to see my stands on the legal issues in this race. If you agree, do something to help.

"You have nothing to lose but your chains."

Candidate Party Affiliation Percentage Polled
Charles Stormont Democrat 12.6%
Gregory Hansen Constitution 3.9%
Leslie Curtis Independent American 5.3%
Sean Reyes Republican 40.9%
W. Andrew McCullough Libertarian 5.3%
Other 0.3%
Undecided 31.7%

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

League of Women Voters

I received a message from the League of Women Voters this past week that they had published their annual voter guide without a response from me to the three questions they had sent all five candidates for Utah Attorney General. Well, out of those five candidates, one did respond, so I have to assume they did send out the questions, though I have no record of having received them. Apparently, neither did Attorney General Reyes (or he chose to ignore them because he sees no need to engage in a campaign). shortly after that, I received a message from an individual voter asking me why I had not responded, and giving me the questions again. So, I am going to post my response here.

1. If elected, what is the single most important thing you would do to gain back the public's trust in the Attorney General's Office?

Answer: I still don't know if either of the two previous Attorneys General broke any laws. I would like to hope not, as I rather like Mark Shurtleff as a person. He has always been friendly and decent with me. Nevertheless, he and his successor left the impression that they had favors for sale in return for large campaign contributions and/or vacations, use of expensive cars and airplanes, etc. Pictures of Mr. Shurtleff in the private jet and the Lamborghini car owned by a businessman who was under suspicion for illegal business practices were everywhere on the internet. I have no favors for sale, and I will not have my photo taken showing "conspicuous consumption". It is not my thing. If I am elected, I will strive to treat all those I deal with with equal fairness. My approach to prosecution will not be as aggressive as some. I have little interest in putting people in jail for being sick (using drugs) and engaging in other activity which essentially is none of the State's business. But I will deal firmly and fairly with those who hurt and abuse others. It will not matter if they are "party faithful" or other privileged people. If the law is too harsh, we will work to make it lees so. As one might expect, I have no large contributors, so I owe nobody any favors. That will not change.

2. Do you think the Attorney General's office has a responsibility to advise the Utah State Legislature and/or the Governor's office against lawsuits posing a great financial burden to Utah's tax payers? Please explain your position.

Answer: In Utah, as in many other states, the Attorney General represents the interests of the people, not the Governor. I intend to take that responsibility seriously. I will not defend the unlawful actions of State employees; and I will not encourage the State to believe that it should throw great resources into lost causes. It is certainly the responsibility of the Attorney General to defend a law passed by the Legislature. But endless appeals and the use of mean spirited and untenable arguments are neither necessary nor appropriate. Specifically, I would do my best to end the State's defense of the prohibition of same sex marriage. After the appeal to the Tenth Circuit, the Attorney General has certainly done his duty. Anything further is not only a waste of resources, it is an insult to many citizens of the state who do not march in lockstep with the majority on this very personal question.

3. What solutions will you pursue to prevent fraud/abuse in issues such as payday lending and business opportunity enterprises (Biz-Ops), as well as to combat identity theft.

Answer: There is nothing inherently unlawful or fraudulent about the payday lending business or those businesses which "sell" business opportunities. Obviously, if they do engage in unlawful or fraudulent practices, they should be prosecuted and shut down to protect our citizens from their practices. I have personal concerns about payday lenders. There seem to be so many of them, and they appear to make such high profits. Certainly, they must be fair and honest with their customers, who tend to be those who can not afford the high interest rates that they are charged. I am not sure the answer is to prohibit or tightly regulate them. Utah previously had a usury statute, which was repealed by the legislature. Perhaps these enterprises fulfill a real need. But I am certainly open to looking carefully at their practices and doing what is necessary to stop abusive practices. For one thing, I will take no large campaign contributions from them, and I will owe them no loyalty when complaints come in that need to be reviewed.

If you agree with my positions, tell a friend. This is not a campaign that will spend large amounts of money. I need those who like what I stand for to pass the word.
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