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Utah Senate Attacks Your

Property Rights & Initiative B!

(News Item 1 for 10/26/03)

Summary: Despite ample citizen warning and outrage, the state senate unanimously confirmed radical anti-property zealot Derek Pullan to become a fourth district court judge.


1. Senate Disregards Pullan's Marxist Opposition to Your Right to Own Property

2. Sen. Howard Stephenson Defends Pullan as a "Remarkable Nominee"

3. AU Updated Performance Report Reflects Pullan Confirmation

4. Why Not Congratulate Your Senator?


1. Senate Disregards Pullan's Marxist Opposition to Your Right to Own Property

In our original July 29 alert on Derek Pullan's judicial nomination by Governor Leavitt, we presented Pullan's aggressive attacks on your property rights, specifically his support of property confiscation (forfeiture) without due process.

To recap, Pullan, who moves to the judiciary from his position as Wasatch County Attorney, led the effort of the private property confiscation lobby to repeal a resolution overwhelmingly passed at the Republican Convention in 1998. This resolution resolved that forfeiture should be allowed only if (1) the property owner is convicted of related criminal wrongdoing, (2) full due process is restored, and (3) forfeiture proceeds are directed to the General Fund or preferably the Crime Victims Reparation Fund.

Without prior notice, Pullan was given an opportunity to convince the Republican Party Central Committee to support repeal of the convention resolution. Pullan sought to replace the resolution approved by the delegates with a resolution written on behalf of property confiscators.

Pullan's resolution was written prior to the innocent owner safeguards enacted in Initiative B, passed by 69 percent of the voters in 2000. In the resolution Pullan insists that:

"...Existing constitutional provisions, statutes, and rules of civil procedure protect the property rights of the 'innocent owner' who is unaware that his or her property is being used in furtherance of criminal activity."

"...The Utah Republican Party, by and through its Central Committee, hereby acknowledges that local law enforcement agencies are best able to allocate forfeited property and proceeds in accordance with law enforcement needs."

As we have outlined in many previous alerts, such was not the case. Prior to Initiative B, innocent owners could easily have their property confiscated by profit hungry confiscation squads. In fact, the Supreme Court in at least one case found the conduct of the confiscators to be unlawful by a 5-0 vote. It is despicable that Pullan, whose office profited from forfeiture revenue, could hold to such a menacing position.
See our Property Rights section for details on Initiative B and subsequent efforts to destroy it.

Rather than deny Pullan's nomination, the Senate has acted to further poison our courts. Pullan will now have virtually unchecked power to harass and destroy innocent owners and to further his unconstitutional, anti-property positions.


2. Sen. Howard Stephenson Defends Pullan as a "Remarkable Nominee"

Sen. Howard Stephenson, President of the Utah Taxpayers Association, wrote in a recent article, that Pullan was a "remarkable nominee."  Then, incredibly, Stephenson goes on to admit:

"There were many in the public who said he [Pullan] should not be confirmed because of his advocacy for the state GOP central committee to overturn a resolution passed at the state convention in 1998. The resolution encouraged protection of private property rights by restricting the use of asset forfeiture for those accused of a crime. Two years later Initiative B, which was opposed by Pullan and most law enforcement agencies, was enacted by voters with a nearly 70% favorable vote. Now Pullan may face judicial decisions about enforcement of a law he opposed."

So, why did Stephenson vote for him?  Because Pullan promised the senators that:

"He would be bound to enforce the law, regardless of his own opinions."

Oh really?  And what of the oath Pullan took as Wasatch County Attorney to uphold the constitutions of America and Utah?  If he is willing to trash those documents as an elected officer, why should anyone believe that he will do no less as a judge with virtual lifetime tenure?  Given the opportunity to legislate from the bench, which law should we reasonably expect Pullan will uphold?  The law of the land or Pullan's law?

If you would like to sell Sen. Stephenson some beachfront property in Kansas, now is the time.  Contact him at:

Sen. Howard Stephenson, Republican
Home: 801-576-1022
Work: 801-972-8814
E-mail: howard@utahtaxpayers.org

Note: For more information on the growing betrayal of Stephenson and the Utah Taxpayers Association, see "Why Are Utah Republican Legislators and the Utah Taxpayers Association Supporting Harmful Tax Increases?" put out by the national Americans for Tax Reform.


3. AU Updated Performance Report Reflects Pullan Confirmation

Because of the serious nature of this betrayal, Accountability Utah has updated this year's Legislative Performance Report to reflect this confirmation vote.  Read the new report.
Note: This report is in .pdf format.  Download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat.  Reports are ideally designed to be self-mailers, and to be printed outófront and backóon two 11" x 17" pages.  This updated report contains an additional, free-floating insert.  See instructions for exact layout.

Accountability Utah will also keep a history on Pullan's judicial decisions.  Citizens who go before his court, or who attend his court, are encouraged to report on any property rights abuses they witness to info@accountabilityutah.org.

If anyone would like to help us track Pullan and other rotten judges, please contact us.


4. Why Not Congratulate Your Senator?

Your senators seem to think that your private property rights are unimportant.  Not one of them felt the need to oppose Derek Pullan's nomination.  Why not express your appreciation to them?

If you need help finding your senator, visit our elected official contact page.  Please feel free to share any interactions you have with us at info@accountabilityutah.org.





If you have comments or suggestions, please email us at info@accountabilityutah.org.


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