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Take Our "Who is the Bigger Dummy?" Challenge!
(News for 9/12/04)

Update for 12/22/04: Did common law marriages even exist in Utah prior to Amendment 3?  Sen. Chris Buttars, the sponsor of Amendment 3, took a stab at this question on public radio. Let's put it this way: If Buttars thinks Shurtleff has no understanding of the law, we are really in trouble.  See Buttar's Flounders Quote.
Note: Common law marriages were included in state statute in 1987.  See Utah State Statute  30-1-4.5. "Validity of marriage not solemnized".

Original News Story Below

Summary: Contestant A is General Mark Shurtleff, lobbyist for SB 175, the confiscation bill that destroyed Citizens Initiative B and your property rights. Contestant B is Senator Chris Buttars, sponsor of SB 175, who has just publicly acknowledged that General Shurtleff has no clue regarding the U.S. Constitution. See if you can identify the bigger dummy.


1. Sen. Buttars Denounces General Shurtleff

2. But Wait… Buttars Ran Shurtleff's Confiscation Bill!

3. Recent Case of Federal Confiscation Abuse in Salt Lake

4. Take the Dummy Challenge!


1. Sen. Buttars Denounces General Shurtleff

Sen. Chris Buttars recently denounced Gen. Mark Shurtleff's abilities to comprehend the U.S. Constitution. In an interview with Ozwald Balfour on KTKK AM 630, Sen. Buttars stated:

"I think that anything this prominent [the upcoming marriage amendment] will be challenged legally and it will be my suggestion that we have independent outside counsel who is really into constitutional law. Mark Shurtleff isn't."

There are many years of evidence that General Shurtleff is an enemy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Shurtleff has recently gotten Buttars dander up by vaguely opposing parts (apparently not all) of Constitutional Amendment 3.
Note: For more information on General Shurtleff's horrible track record, see just about every issue on our Issues & Alerts page, or look his name up on our Search page.

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2. But Wait… Buttars Ran Shurtleff’s Confiscation Bill!

Hold the show, however. Last session, Sen. Buttars was the water boy for General Shurtleff’s confiscation bill, SB 175, that gutted Citizen’s Initiative B and destroyed private property rights. See a detailed analysis of this horrific, unconstitutional attack on your rights and also see how your legislators voted in our 2004 Legislative Performance Report.

Buttars was clearly the water boy for Shurtleff, and admitted to Accountability Utah volunteers that he was running the bill for Lyle Hillyard, who abandoned the bill after citizens politically thrashed him. Lyle Hillyard ran the bill for Sen. John Valentine, who likewise abandoned the bill after citizens pressured him in a town meeting held in his district. Throughout this shameful display of musical sponsors, Shurtleff was there guiding the bill and the entire process, finding one sucker after another to run his bill.

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3. Recent Case of Federal Confiscation Abuse in Salt Lake

To all those who doubt the insidious nature of federal forfeiture statutes, strike up a conversation with Salt Lake business owner Matthew Ryan Smith. Smith, a glassblower and artist, was on his way to an antique show in Seattle to attend art festivals and obtain gems, minerals, glass supplies, and art. He was carrying $26,000 for that purpose.

Smith's money was confiscated by federal thugs at the Salt Lake airport, his car was searched without his permission, and he was detained and harassed for several hours. According to court documents, a DEA agent told an incensed Smith over the phone:

''If you're going to play hard with me, I'm going to come and seize your money… It'll take your lawyer at least a year to get it back.''

Smith got his money back, but apparently after spending $20,000 in legal fees. (Bonus question: How many other folks do you know who could afford the time, anguish, and money to risk a court fight like this?)

Smith was never charged with a crime, never had a jury trial, and had to fight the very abuses outlined in our aforementioned analysis of SB 175 and federal forfeiture statutes.
Source: "Traveler sues over seizure of cash in airport search," Associated Press, Salt Lake Tribune, Sep. 7, 2004.

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4. Take the Dummy Challenge!

So, who is the bigger dummy? The drafter and lobbyist of an unconstitutional attack on your property rights, General Shurtleff, or the sponsor of that attack, Sen. Chris Buttars, who only now seems to realize that General Shurtleff is constitutionally challenged? Give us your answer at info@accountabilityutah.org.


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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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