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GOP Delegates Hold Confiscation Collaborators Accountable
(News for 5/10/04)

Summary: Your hard work over the last few months has paid off in a very significant way. Republican officials who supported attacks against innocent property owners have already paid a heavy price this election cycle.


1. Delegates Soundly Defeat Walker, Stephens, & Hellewell

2. Pro-Confiscation Senators Have a Rough Ride

3. Former Confiscation Collaborators Get the Boot

1. Delegates Soundly Defeat Walker, Stephens, & Hellewell

Read the results of Saturday's GOP state convention elections. The Salt Lake Tribune hit on the truth of the demise of not only Governor Walker, but several other ignominious public officials:

"…Other delegates were angry with the governor for signing legislation that returns the proceeds of assets seized in criminal cases to law enforcement agencies."

Governor Olene Walker
signed Senate Bill 175, which effectively gutted Initiative B (passed by 69% of Utah voters in 2000). Walker showed complete disregard for citizens, announcing her approval of the bill before the public had meaningful opportunity to review it. She also refused to consult with any citizens leading opposition to the legislation prior to signing it into law. Thanks to her actions, innocent Utah property owners will again be at the mercy of federal property confiscation (forfeiture) statutes that deny them basic due process and justice.
Note: For more information, read an analysis of SB 175 & Confiscation Statutes/Abuse by Mr. Arnold Gaunt, volunteer with Forfeiture Endangers American Rights, at the recent debate at BYU.  To learn more about this ongoing battle, see the Property Rights section of our Issues & Alerts page.

Walker’s defeat signals the end of the Michael Leavitt legacy of:

  • Gun control;
  • Higher taxes and spending;
  • Abuse of innocent parents and families;
  • Corporate welfare;
  • Preferential status of illegal aliens over Utah citizens;
  • Thought crimes;
  • Electronic voting fraud;
  • Government immunity for criminal behavior;
  • Government-run health care;
  • Abuse of the mentally ill;
  • Smart card privacy invasions and the Matrix program; and
  • Many other symptoms of abusive government.

In the words of Senate President Alma Mansell:

"I'm sad, because I like Olene a lot. But I think that she was carrying some of the baggage of 11 1/2 years in office. And I think this delegate group really preferred some changes."

For more information on this era of indecency and corruption, see Governor Leavitt’s Pink Slip Report.

House Speaker Marty Stephens portrayed himself as a constitutional statesman and champion of property rights and due process. In reality, despite his years of political experience and involvement, he failed to do what was required to stop SB 175, a cruel and insidious attack on your most fundamental rights. While Stephens voted no, he provided no meaningful leadership to stop the bill, abdicating his responsibility as House Republican leader to persuade and educate Republican House members on their constitutional duty to change their votes.

Rather than obstructing the passage of SB 175, he greased the skids. Under Speaker Stephens’ monarchial oversight, his appointees on the Rules Committee and House Judiciary Committee quickly and efficiently took action to move the bill from Rules, to Judiciary, back to Rules, and then to the house floor before the session ended.

If Stephens had obstructed the process (as he might claim), the bill would not have made it to the house floor except after a majority vote of the entire house had occurred to bring it there.

While less experienced observers might be fooled by Speaker Stephens' actions, those who have been on the receiving end of his nefarious political manipulations have a different understanding. Fortunately, the majority of state delegates were not deceived by Stephens’ shameless accommodation of the confiscation lobby at the expense of political integrity and the rights of citizens.

Stephens received a lifetime rating of only 4% from Accountability Utah. He is particularly infamous for using his near-dictatorial powers as Speaker to regularly manipulate, deceive, and undermine other house members and citizens.
Note: For more information on his corrupt administration and manipulation of SB 175 S2, see our Issue in Focus: "Rule By Monarchy: How the House Speaker Manipulates Your Representative".

Senator Parley Hellewell also portrayed himself as a constitutional statesman and leader, upholding the noble traditions and ideals of our American Republic. However, we can’t determine, from his record, whether he purposefully misrepresents himself to earn flattery from certain uncritical supporters, or can be better understood as nothing more than a benevolent mooncalf.

Hellewell received a -71% score on Accountability Utah’s 2003 Performance Report — the same score as his ultra-leftist colleague Democrat Senator Patrice Arent. In the 2004 session, he improved his performance slightly by tying leftist Democrat Senator Paula Julander’s -36% score. Despite his slight improvement, Hellewell, who has a lifetime score of -54% (tying Olene Walker), perhaps should not be content until he beats AFL-CIO President and Democrat Senator Ed Mayne’s lifetime score of -46%.

And it may well be that there is some competition now between Senators Mayne and Hellewell. Consistent with his votes on other issues, Hellewell voted for SB 175 on its second reading along with his like-minded fellow Senators Arent and Julander. On the third reading, however, both he and Senator Mayne changed their votes from yes to no.


2. Pro-Confiscation Senators Have a Rough Ride

Senate proponents of property confiscation without due process also received challenges:

Senator Chris Buttars, sponsor of SB 175, barely escaped a primary by two votes in the Salt Lake County Republican Party convention. His escape was made possible by "automatic delegates" who were added to the race by GOP county leaders to skew the results in his favor, and deny you an opportunity to have representation to protect your rights. Senator Buttars now faces a Democrat challenger who is opposed to the passage of SB 175.

Buttars has a lifetime score of -61%.  The only senators who have a worse lifetime score are leftist Democrats Patrice Arent, Gene Davis, and Karen Hale.

Senator Curt Bramble, the only senator in Utah County to vote for the final passage of SB 175, narrowly escaped a primary by five votes. Like Buttars, his escape was made possible by a reported 36 "automatic delegates" who were added to the race by GOP county leaders to skew the results in his favor — and deny you an opportunity to have representation to protect your rights.

These automatic delegates made up 16% of the 232 total delegates in that race (18.5 % of those who actually showed up to vote). Automatic delegate stacking is an assault on representation and political accountability and to those delegates who are legitimately elected by citizens at local neighborhood mass meetings. Of note, Senator Bramble’s wife conveniently serves as the Utah County GOP Secretary.


3. Former Confiscation Collaborators Get the Boot

Two former legislators and enemies of property rights were also defeated in their candidacy to return to the legislature:

Former House Speaker Mel Brown was conspicuously absent on two bills to expand property confiscation without due process in 1996 (SB 253) and 2000 (HB 173), and oversaw government largesse and corruption during his term as House Speaker.

Former Representative Byron Harward voted in 1996 to expand property confiscation without due process (SB 253) and, prior to being removed from office, had a dismal voting record on property rights and freedom in general.



Accountability Utah recipe: Take our information and opinion, research their information and opinion (if it is available), and then examine the law and draw your own conclusions.  If you have comments or suggestions, please email us at info@accountabilityutah.org.


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