Thursday, July 1, 2010

State Senator Loyalty

The head of the Utah Taxpayers Association is Mr. Howard Stephenson. He is a state senator for district 11 (Salt Lake County). His role as a senator is to represent his constituency in the state senate and to enact legislation in our behalf. This is only a part time role and most, if not all, state senators have other full time employment. As a state senator, he receives $28,308 (see in pay and benefits. It can be assumed that as the top dog at UTA, he is paid significantly more than that from the UTA (perhaps many hundreds of thousands annually or more). It's anyone's guess how much that is, because it is not public information.

Now, it's one thing to make a lot of money as a businessman, an entrepreneur, an investor, or another politically agnostic profession. However, the UTA has a stated political agenda. Obviously, this presents some form of conflict of interest in that he is likely to promote the agenda of his employer over that of his constituents. It would be illegal for him to take money directly from lobbyists, companies, or other entities trying to push an agenda through the legislature. However, there is nothing illegal about doing this if the form of payment is a salary from your employer, even when your employer publicly pushes an agenda. Despite being legal, it is highly unethical, and it is surprising that there is not legislation prohibiting this. Oh wait, these are the legislators we're talking about. Perhaps that explains it.

1 comment:

  1. I had the chance to meet with this guy and his toady Rep. Craig Frank a few years ago. Rep Craig Frank does a good job of talking like he believes in Democracy while suggesting other countries are not (long story but ask him what I mean by that). Fortunately I like to read and buy the best books around. It's unfortunate to see that other countries around are more democratic than we are.

    And I didn't appreciate Rep. Craig Frank's comment asking me what I really use the internet for when Concast terminated my families accounts in 2007. That was highly inappropriate but entirely expected from a professional politician.

    Someday there will be an accounting. I don't have a clue how it will happen but all politicians who are not for the people will find themselves in a sad state. I believe in Karma (or whatever you want to call it). But it does come around.

    And Senator Stephenson is a big disappointment. The people he needs to listen to are people like me who have something to say. Rather than standing respectfully to remind him of his oath and obligation as a Senator.

    America cannot compete with a crappy Internet. And especially an Internet controlled by private interest. It's a move backwards when we have to purchase what we need from the general store owned and operated by the company (history repeating itself).

    And the hands off approach and letting companies do what they want ... how's that going for you guys anyway? Yeah I've spoken with two lawyers about my particular situation. The TOS are written so broadly that it's not worth going to court over. Not likely to go in the proper direction. So that leaves us with speaking with our politicians who do nothing positive but play the music written for them by the incumbents.

    These men should be ashamed of themselves.