Saturday, September 22, 2012
Representative Brad Daw has always been wonderful at keeping his constituents updated. Here is his latest report from Wednesday's Interim Session of the Utah House.
This week was interim day at the Capitol. If you would like to get a full rundown from all the committees you can take a look at the Interim Highlights.
Three items I have been working on made news headlines this week. The first was dealing with speed limits.
Higher Speed Limits
I chaired the Transportation Committee and we had a discussion about the 80 MPH study areas on the way to St. George. The report from UDOT indicated that traffic accidents related to speed had not increased by raising the speed limit and that the average speed of traffic had only gone up 2 MPH. So the net result was not cars going a lot faster but more cars in compliance with the speed limit law. This prompted the committee to move ahead with converting the study areas to full fledged 80 MPH zones. For more details you can read the news report here.
More Hard Times For UTOPIA
The revenue and tax committee reviewed the audit of UTOPIA that I called for last year. Prior to the audit, the Senate chair of the committee wrote this editorial blasting UTOPIA's response to the audit. Things for UTOPIA did not improve in the committee meeting itself. Many members of the committee were very critical of UTOPIA and various ways of stopping the flow of taxpayer dollars to finance UTOPIA's ever increasing debt were discussed. You can read a report from the committee here.
Smoking in the Car
In Health and Human Services committee we heard the annual bill banning smoking in the car when kids 15 or younger are present. This was presented along with dire predictions of health risks if we continued to ignore this terrible plague. They carefully avoided mentioning that any kid with smoking parents is going to get exposed to far more second hand smoke at home than they ever will in a car. And that, for me was the problem. If we start stepping into private property to ban a legal if disgusting activity because the private property is a car then just how close are we to stepping into people's homes to do the same thing? In the past, I have been joined by other colleagues in voting against this bill that is far more symbolic than substantial, but this year I was the lone no vote. Here is a write up on the bill. Any comments on these or any other topic are always welcome.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Lee Opposes Nomination of Hurwitz to Ninth Circuit Court
Today, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) shared the following statement in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding Andrew Hurwitz, President Obama's nominee to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals:
"I oppose the nomination of Andrew Hurwitz based on concerns I have with his constitutional jurisprudence. In a 2002 New York Law School Law Review article, Mr. Hurwitz in effect took credit for helping develop the legal architecture for Roe v. Wade. Mr. Hurwitz served as law clerk to then-Judge Jon Newman at a time that Judge Newman issued an opinion that Mr. Hurwitz asserts played an important role in developing the legal framework used to justify Roe v. Wade. Far from deflecting credit from himself as the clerk in chambers during that time, as I believe a former clerk should, Mr. Hurwitz recounted that, in a subsequent interview for a subsequent clerkship, a Supreme Court justice had “jokingly referred” to him as “the clerk who wrote the Newman opinion.”
"Mr. Hurwitz has asserted that his law review article was descriptive and did not express his personal opinion as to the merits of Roe v. Wade, but to anyone who has reviewed Mr. Hurwitz’s article and the laudatory tone with which it discusses that Supreme Court opinion,this response is simply not credible. Mr. Hurwitz specifically praised Judge Neuman’s “careful and meticulous analysis of the constitutional issues,” calling that analysis “striking, even in the hindsight of thirty years.”
"Mr. Hurwtiz cannot have it both ways. He cannot seek credit for his role developing a jurisprudence that is completely unmoored from the Constitution and that has fundamentally disrespected human life, and then later claim that he was only retelling a story as an outside observer. There is growing consensus among legal experts and scholars, both conservative and liberal, that Roe was a deficient opinion that lacks any legitimate legal reasoning in support of its holding.
"Mr. Hurwitz’s willful failure to recognize the grave deficiencies of the Roe opinion, and his self-promotion for playing a part in such an unfortunate event in this country’s judicial history, casts an unacceptable degree of doubt on his capability to serve in the role of a federal appellate judge.
"Prior to President Obama’s unconstitutional “recess” appointments, I gave his judicial nominees great deference. Both in the Judiciary Committee and on the Senate floor, I have voted in favor of the vast majority of the President’s nominees, including many with whom I fundamentally disagree. But I can do so no more. There is and must be a new standard for the President’s judicial nominations. A standard under which a problematic and controversial nominee such as Mr. Hurwitz cannot receive my support."
A video of Senator Lee's remarks can be viewed here.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
On January 28,2012 we attended our quarterly Central Committee Meeting. Everyone who is elected as a Precinct Chair or Vice Chair comprises the body of this meeting. It is where we vote on issues critical to the county party, prepare for elections, caucuses, have district elections, etc. I ran for Leg 60 Chair and won.
My vision for our district is threefold. I very want to unite a district that has become quite divisive. Regardless of which side we are in the issues, in my opinion, when we come together as a district we must focus on spreading the Republican message, registering voters and getting out the vote, and supporting our candidates and elected officials.
On March 15th we will hold the statewide caucuses for the Republican Party. At each of these caucuses new precinct officers will be elected: Precinct Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary/Treasurer as well as state and county delegates. It is our goal to get every voting Republican in Legislative District 60 to the caucus. Here, patterned after the representational government our Founding Fathers gave us, we elect those who will meet with candidates, research them and the issues, and whittle the Republican field down to one candidate who will represent us in November.
We face a historic time in America and are in the battle for her very soul. It is my hope that we can have record turnouts at our caucuses and at the polls. It is one of my strongest beliefs that in order to salvage our nation, we must begin at home. Our political home begins in District 60 of Utah County's Republican Party. I look forward to working with everyone.
Because I am now the Leg Chair, I will not be able to conduct our March 15 Caucus. Robin Devey, who is my vice-chair, will conduct that night. It has been an honor to serve the Orem 28th Precinct for all these years. I intend to remain active and will be seeking a state delegate position so that I may continue to represent you. Thanks for your confidence all these years. I am certain I am leaving you in very competent hands.
Leg 60 Chair