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Two Utah lawmakers have ties to nuclear plant

But Tilton and Noel see no conflict of interest

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  • David Schantz
    Oct. 16, 2007 2:31 a.m.

    Maybe I have a sick sense of humor. I read the head line, "Two state lawmakers tied to nuclear plant" and imagined two sleazy looking gents tied to a smoke stack. Lawmakers should not be allowed to vote on legislation that they will profit from.

    God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

  • SJ Bobkins
    Oct. 16, 2007 2:52 a.m.

    I'm a conservative Republican. Following the company line has been pretty easy until it has become obvious that my party has been hijacked by those who haven't my interest or that of other people at heart.
    To see that two representatives are owned by nuclear interests isn't a surprise. Nor would it be surprising that others are owned by leading banks, Qwest, coal powered interests either. It's difficult to admit to being a pawn under those who have taken my party away from it's roots. I suspect that many Utahans are facing the same issue. It could be the James Dobson's of the world who feel so power mad that they have the "right" to decide my parties presidential candidate based only upon their being evangelical, for school prayer and against all forms of abortion, or the oil, coal, and power companies who have written the Republican platform on environmental affairs, it's all bad. We need to take the party back, pay attention to people, the air they breathe, the dishonest companies they have to deal with, and the future of the planet along with the future of our children and their children.

  • Chuck L
    Oct. 16, 2007 5:59 a.m.

    I find it strange that our elected officials deny any conflict of interest when anyone with even a modicum of common sense would find otherwise. It begs the question, are these individuals really that blind, or are they are as devious as they appear? Kind of reminids me of the whole sordid Larry Craig mess. If a big enough lie is told long enough and loud enough, politicians seem to believe that we will believe it. The sad thing is that we usually do.

  • ED
    Oct. 16, 2007 6:34 a.m.

    I am just amazed at the audacity of some of our state legislators. They serve on committees that deal with issues such as nuclear power and education and they are the same ones who stand to profit from power plants and charter schools. And, no one says anything because of????

  • Larry
    Oct. 16, 2007 6:35 a.m.

    Looks like the Fox is once again watching the Hen house !!
    Where have ethics in Utah politics gone!
    That is what happens when one party is totally in control!

    Wake Up Utah!

  • Dixie Dan
    Oct. 16, 2007 6:50 a.m.

    Does anyone ever have a conflict of interest in the legislature for the state of Utah? Apparently not as it is business as usual.

  • Nick
    Oct. 16, 2007 6:51 a.m.

    It's called "conflict of interest." They should recuse themselves from any meetings or votes even remotely relating to nuclear plants in Utah. If they don't, they should be investigated for ethics violation.

  • JRM
    Oct. 16, 2007 7:13 a.m.

    "I really don't have a conflict of interest, because I'm not a regulated utility." He's got that right: not regulated (read he's out of control) and not a utility (read he's no use whatsoever). Corruption is corruption is corruption. Stop lining your pockets and serve the public good!

  • Gretzky
    Oct. 16, 2007 7:17 a.m.

    So what? multiple lawmakers are tied to Intermountain Health Scare...no difference. then you wonder why in Utah the rich get richer and the poor get the picture when their down so low...nothing really matters....etc etc
    signed,
    Midnight Oil

  • Dave
    Oct. 16, 2007 7:17 a.m.

    Conflicts of interest should not be allowed, all of our legislatures should come from pioneer park.

  • JDM
    Oct. 16, 2007 7:24 a.m.

    It's time to revisit the ethic rules followed by legislators. How these two can say with straight faces that they don't have conflict of interest is beyond me.

  • To Bobkins
    Oct. 16, 2007 7:43 a.m.

    You should realize this IS the republican party. The party line is big business. If you think this is wrong, you have been voting for the wrong people all the time.

  • Thomas J.
    Oct. 16, 2007 7:48 a.m.

    Folks we have what is called a citizen legislature, which generally means this is not their full-time job. Everyone up there can potentially be accused of a conflict. Is a teacher or staff employed by a school distrcit in conflict for sitting on the education committee? The list is never ending. It is only a conflict if the individual makes it one. I am not prepared to always assume there is a conflict simply because the media wishes to create one and pile on the legislature at every opportunity.

  • Curt
    Oct. 16, 2007 7:59 a.m.

    When will we say that enough is enough? First they made a killing with the banks, then IHC, then the charter schools. Now they will profit from making us all less safe. Good heavens, these guys have got to go!

  • MFM Ufah Countty Resident
    Oct. 16, 2007 8:05 a.m.

    Party politics my foot! Conflict of interest?! Jim Dobson??? Look, we need people in politics who do have ideas that are in the best interest of people. Nuclear power plants are what we need in the country. They are safe, clean for the environment. The Europeans use nuclear power with no problems. Come on! All you people who howl about wind power and all this other bunk need to wake-up. I'm hoping projects like this one go forward! Also we need to drill for more off-shore and An-war Alaska oil, and clean up the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and anywhere else fascist Muslim radicals who are causing the world-wide problems and threats to democracy. Go Bush, Dobson and all the people who have any backbone in this country!

  • Nick
    Oct. 16, 2007 8:27 a.m.

    MFM, whether or not we "need" nuclear power plants isn't the issue. It's legislators who's personal finances are tied to business interests their legislation (or lack thereof) effects.

    These guys have as clear-cut a case of conflict of interest as you're likely to see. The claim that "Well, IHC does it, too" doesn't make me feel any better. Legislators with business ties to the businesses they're regulating should decide where they want to sit in life - the corporate board room or the the Capitol building. They shouldn't be able to do both. As for school teachers serving on the legislature, they should also recuse themselves from any vote involving decisions that may personally enrich them.

  • Jerry
    Oct. 16, 2007 8:36 a.m.

    Typical political response when they caugt get with their hand in the cookie jar. First, there is no cookie jar. Second, Well ok there is a cookie jar but no cookies in it. Third, Well ok there are cookies but I did not take one. Forth, Well ok I did take one but they are small. Where does the justification end?

  • sob
    Oct. 16, 2007 8:45 a.m.

    what is everybody so upset about
    america has the best government money can buy.

  • brent
    Oct. 16, 2007 9:10 a.m.

    So why bring up this subject just with nuclear power? Every politician takes contributions/bribes from some organization with the expectation that they will be repaid in some way. Transparency in election contributions would help. Especially in contributions from trial lawyers and unions. Politicians aren't monks from a monastery. They all have involvement with some business or industry. And speaking of conflict of interests, you wonder if the coal industry has some control over the media.

  • Populist
    Oct. 16, 2007 9:17 a.m.

    The Republican party stands for big business and money. Unfortunately, the party has been high jacked by the likes of Dr. Dobson, Tony Perkins, Will Perkins, and last but not least Ted Haggard.

  • Same story, different day
    Oct. 16, 2007 9:18 a.m.

    Surprise, surprise! Someone in the legislature has a conflict of interest!

  • Mary
    Oct. 16, 2007 9:21 a.m.

    I still can't stop laughing.....the headline in this story has me laughing hysterically. How many more lawmakers can we "TIE" to a nuclear plant? Can we TIE the entire senate and legislature to a nuclar plant? I'll supply the rope!!!!!!!

  • Yo Momma
    Oct. 16, 2007 9:22 a.m.

    Isn't it strange that the two dudes caught in this mess are republicans? It's very strange to me. I thought the republican party had a monopoly on ethical values. This is upsetting. It's turning my whole world upside down:(

  • Taylor
    Oct. 16, 2007 11:01 a.m.

    These guys are tiny compared to what is (and has been) going on in Washington D.C. for the last 60 years. We should throw the bandits out, the trouble is, who ever we replace them with will be converted and sucked in to the grungy pit called D.C.
    I totally approve however, of building a nuclear power plant, it seems to be the only viable alternative with which we can clean up our air.

  • Ted
    Oct. 16, 2007 11:46 a.m.

    Every election we are told how so-n-so is going to clean everything up and then...........very little happens or it gets worse. How sad. The voters deserve much better!

  • Devon
    Oct. 16, 2007 11:55 a.m.

    Does anyone remeber the days when we could trust our Republican leaders. That memory is fading fast. I listened to a young Democratic leader the other night on the radio. He sounded like a Utahn. He promoted unity, and he actually understood ethics, and seemed to understand that our tax dollars belong to the taxpayers.

    I'm sending this young man a check along with a letter asking him to run for the legislature, or even better, congress. I will also send my Republican endorsement.

  • Stewardship?
    Oct. 16, 2007 12:21 p.m.

    Let's just keep throwing more into the air and expect our grandchildren not to have to pay. Already the mtn lakes have signs in colorado which blames other states for the high mercury content on coal powered electrical plants..the workers don't live as long ..uranium mining is going strong south of moab...spent uranium trucks with strange writings on the side pass through towns along their way to the mill in white mesa..but what we see can't hurt us...but we forget the deer, elk, water,plants stuff that god gave go into the chain of life. To say that there is no connection is like saying global warming is a hype..look at georgia, florida, the southeast then think about different prophesies not neccessarily of just one people but it all coincides about the fate of man. Utah is too beautiful to become a toxic waste dump just for money and is becomming a place where one has to be aware of the water one drinks. All things are connected and the truth will be in our grandchildren of what we left behind for them...because they did't have a say in the matter.

  • X-Man
    Oct. 16, 2007 12:58 p.m.

    Before we go nuclear, I think we should have a plan on where to ship the byproducts. I do not want to store it in my back yard, and if NV never does get the facility, where is it going to go?

    As to the conflict of interest, I think it needs to not be so vague, and should be clarified. If only saying I have a conflict of interest clears him to vote, we should be able to see clearly his interest.

  • Mark
    Oct. 16, 2007 1:58 p.m.

    Bottom line: the two legislators need to be thrown off the committee.... ASAP!

  • John
    Oct. 16, 2007 2:04 p.m.

    There is no real conflict of interest law in this state, too bad for that kind of behavior in most other states they would be thrown out of office.
    And so it goes

  • Nuke
    Oct. 16, 2007 2:08 p.m.

    Right now there is a technology to recycle the spent nuclear fuel rods. The technology hasn't been licensed yet in the united states, but it has been used in Europe. When this technology is licensed in the United States, there will no longer be a need to store high level radioactive waste.

    Nuclear power is the cleanest most efficient power. It is soon to be the best economical source of power. The problems with the nuclear reactors from three mile island have been fixed, where there isn't a chance for an operator error and a melt down.

    I support any legislator who would also see the need to provide clean efficient power for the future.

  • Ken Baguley
    Oct. 16, 2007 2:58 p.m.

    Let's knock off the chit chat and alledgings and get on with it. The sooner we have the power plants in operation, the less we need foreign oil...Now that should be our focus...The man's conflict can be a boon to the expediting the power we need. Leave him alone...

  • Jazz Fan Slapper
    Oct. 16, 2007 3:40 p.m.

    I wonder if Ralph Pecker ever recused himself when he voted on things such as the quality growth act, a bill that deals with his industry -- land use planning.

  • Nuclear Vet
    Oct. 16, 2007 3:58 p.m.

    After working at many Nuclear Power Plants in the US and around the world for eleven years I would not hesitate to live right next door to a US operated plant. Any new plant will have a newer passive design to replace the 1950's design which all US plants now use. If the US decides to build a fuel reprocessing plant we would not have the high-level waste problem.
    Everyone wants power but they don't want a plant in their back yard. Coal is not the answer. Wind and solar are still a few decades away from generating the levels of power that we need.

  • Sad Commentary
    Oct. 16, 2007 4:40 p.m.

    There is never a conflict of interest except when the conflict of interest is denied. Look at IHC and for profit hospitals, Rep Craig and Salt Lake Real, Republican legislators and vouchers, waste dumps and Republican lobbyists and legislators, flat tax and Republicans, Republican bankers and credit unions, Republican legislators and a starved education system (blame the teaches union), and now 2 R's and nuclear power plants. No conflicts? Please!

  • the USA can fix it!
    Oct. 16, 2007 5:57 p.m.

    I worked with a Nuclear plant also ...sorry but if a earth quake hits ...you don't have to worry about who's next door..just common sense for the future generations..not always $$$$$$$$ jobs..and i don't need or want power. And we are a fix it society , like we fixed Katrina! So keep the nuke out of utah as i am forming a strong coalition against it! Again materialism is not the answer nor nuke power for sure.

  • Peep Stoner
    Oct. 16, 2007 6:29 p.m.

    Typical Utah crooked pols. They get away with it because Utahans are so accustomed to believing what they're told by those in "authority"...as in "general authority"...

  • Conservative Guy
    Oct. 16, 2007 8:58 p.m.

    Big surprise that a citizen's legislature has conflicts of interest. That is precisely what makes it work. These guys have an interest and expertise in an area. It shouldn't surprise you that guys with a background in construction run bills and sit on committees that regulate construction, or people that sell health insurance run bills on health insurance. Remember, they are just one vote...not dictators. If you don't like it run against them and serve yourself. I for one would like to see some courageous legislators come forward and create an environment that allows for the safe use of nuclear power. It doesn't warm the planet, doesn't support terrorists in the Middle East or neo-dictators in Russia. Given the constant drivel of liberal opposition to anything technology or especially nuclear it is pretty tough to stand-up against the "politically correct" class. I say, "Give nuclear a chance." Bravo to Rep Tilton and Noel.

  • Rural Utahn
    Oct. 16, 2007 9:48 p.m.

    Who do these people work for? Certainly not us! Whether it's vouchers, regulating Energy Solutions, or nuclear power plants it's obvious that the only time these legislators pay attention to the citizens is when they need their votes. After that the lobbyists run them....and they sell us out cheaply to boot.

  • James
    Oct. 16, 2007 9:57 p.m.

    Conservative Guy, right on for your attitude. This is the very attitude of 'damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.' History should note that the Admiral who uttered those words had his ship sunk by one of those torpedoes.

    We should not confuse the issue. It is two fold: The first, good policy. The second, legislators using the power of their office to promote their personal financial interest.

    While it is true that conflicts will always take place in a part-time legislator clearly these two have stepped over the line. I think of Rep Dave Cox, a teacher who refused to sit on Education Standing or Appropriations because he wanted to minmize the apprearance of evil. And it should be noted that the attempt to split Jordan District in half is a direct result of Rep Cox. He handled it honorably.

    These two chaired the committee overseeing their conflict of interest. And having a decent clue how this stuff works, they went out of their way to do it. Tilton has enough seniority that in order for him to be the Vice Chair he had to request giving up a chairmanship. He flat out went out of his way on this.

  • BN
    Oct. 16, 2007 9:56 p.m.

    Wow! This is an outrageous breach of trust on the part of our elected officials.

    We do have a "citizen legislature" and many representatives also get campaign contributions or lobby for businesses. HOWEVER, Rep. Tilton is the CEO of a company that wants to build a nuclear power plant in Utah, sat on a committee charged with figuring out what power sources Utah should use for months, and did not reveal his personal involvement in the subject until last Friday!!!

    This is such an obvious conflict that all voters and citizens of Utah should be appalled. Even our legislators should see it for what it is -- corruption!

  • jill l.
    Oct. 16, 2007 9:59 p.m.

    Greg Curtis step up and do the right thing. If it looks unethical to have these two legislators on the committee,then show the citizens of Utah that any conflict of this nature exempts you from being involved. Send a message to all the legislators that conflicts will come up with the nature of their business, but be in the right at all times and never comprise the trust our citizens put you in. Does that sound squeaky clean? It is the way it should be. No double standards.

  • James
    Oct. 16, 2007 10:03 p.m.

    And if Rep Tilton was not offered a chairmanship at this point, it demonstrates incompetence. In either case, he is flat out wrong.

    I remember when he was first elected he bragged about his knowledge of electic regulation. He was told to go out of his way to avoid a conflict of interest. He blew that one off for certain.

    And his statement that he is not a regulated utility is the exact same logic and arrogance of Al Gore when he was caught with legal but clearly unethical fund raising. His comment was "there is no regulating authority." The Gore case boiled down to it was likely illegal but had not been challenged in court up to that point, so basically no regulating authority established by court precedence.

    Both Rep Noel and Tilton need to resign from that committee immediately. If they do not they need to get blogged into just flat out resigning from the legislature.

    I support Nuc power. This is so blatant and over the bounds of decent/statesmanship that it alone stands to kill any chance of opening one of these plants.

    They are wrong. Period.

    And I am a conservative Republican with a track record.

  • Tired of Utah's liars and cheats
    Oct. 16, 2007 10:15 p.m.

    I think the words 'honest leadership' are an oxymoron here in Utah. I have never met more dishonest and sneaky business practices here. Our legislature needs an ethics OVERHAUL! Can SOMEONE stand up and please define 'conflict of interest' for our state government.

    What are we teaching our children?!?! They don't see anything wrong in copying their leadershipby lying and cheating. 'The end justifies the means...'type behavior will catch up to us in future generations.

    Secondly, where is all the WATER going to come from to run this nuclear plant? Why can't we develop more WIND and SUN energy solutions? WIND and the SUN is plentiful here and are FREE. Coal, natural gas, fossil fuels in general are NOT (the brother-in-law network owns them).

    ...Real estate scams and agents that are legislative representatives that pad their own interests or their fellow church member...Vouchers, charter schools, private school management companies that line the pockets of voted officials or are owned by officials...Obscene propery tax measures with no real justification and are led by the legisltive/real estate business tycoons, etc.

    Please, will a real leader - PLEASE STAND UP here in Utah and do an overhaul in the ethics department.

  • Moose on the Loose
    Oct. 16, 2007 10:33 p.m.

    Noel and Tilton have an obvious conflict of interest here. It is a no brainer that they should recuse themselves from any public debate or voting on the nuclear issue. Anything less makes a mockery out of our democracy.

  • Priceless
    Oct. 17, 2007 12:32 a.m.

    Have the equity group make annual payments until construction starts = $100,000

    Have the equity group pay annual payments once power generation begins = $1 million

    Watch the voters that elected them let them get away with lining their pockets = priceless

    There are some things money cant buy but NOT Utah Legislators

  • court allred
    Oct. 17, 2007 8:03 a.m.

    this is obviously a conflict of interest. please tell me the paper is going to make sure these men are not able to vote or pass laws related to nuclear reactors. oh wait. the paper is religiously affiliated, which means they believe the second coming of christ will come before the earth suffers from global warming...so why not profit from it, right? sick, sick, sick.

  • Lynn
    Oct. 17, 2007 9:46 a.m.

    Shame, Tilton and Noel.

  • Brenda Robinson
    Oct. 17, 2007 12:28 p.m.


    Of course I appose a nuclear Power reactor to be built in Utah. But if what I've read is true, it makes me more concerned. (That is, if money is the motivating factor). It's just not safe, and we don't need this here. There's got to be somewhere they can build it if they need to, where it would be out of the way from humans and can't affect anyone in a harmful way. I sincerely hope this never happens here.

  • Linda Q T
    Oct. 18, 2007 2:03 p.m.

    Obvious conflict of interest! Also ...

    How can a nuclear power plant be a consideration here? This area is No. 2 behind the San Andreas fault and we are far over due for an earthquake. If that isn't enough of a reason ...

    The article mentioned large quantities of water are needed. This area is semi-arid: basically a desert! So where would this vast water supply come from? And do we really want to use our water resources for cooling a nuclear power plant?

  • Sandy
    Oct. 18, 2007 4:08 p.m.

    These two people take things for granted, they have eyes that don't see, they have ears that don't hear, they don't see the big picture. It's hard to tell someone that don't hear, we don't need this type of nuclear power plant in Utah. Water is a blessed resource. Nothing good will come out of this deal.

  • Ann K
    Oct. 18, 2007 4:16 p.m.

    The strange thing about republican representatives is they believe that the public is stupid. What is needed is honest discussion regrading eliminating Utah's bad air and other toxic pollution by using sustainable energy. Anyone who believes or thinks nuclear power will help in cleaning up the environmental hazards and/or pollution are just as naive as the various republician representatives who are suggesting such nonsense.

  • Markus Maleek
    Oct. 19, 2007 12:27 a.m.

    Obvious conflict of interest. Good job in publishing the story. Please do not let these crooks off the hook.

    As for going nuke, can't you republicans and your big business buddies just put the plant and the waste in one of the many 3rd world countries you are currently milking?

    Regarding some of the comments above about the republican party having been coopted..... It has given me great hope to see so many of my republican friends have their eyes opened over the last 6 years. The party of morals has turned out to be exactly the opposite of what it claimed to be.

    I don't believe the Democrats are perfect either, but at least they don't try to fool into thinking they are the party that God endorses.

    No, I'm not a democrat. I vote for the person I think will best represent my interests, regardless of thier party affiliation.

  • Liviu
    Jan. 15, 2008 1:06 p.m.

    Like it or not, the Nuclear Power has the chances of being the most ecologic power production technology. At its physical limit 1 GwDay tahes 2.2 lb of Pu or 235U, requires 100 tones of mining, and may give 4 lb/day irradiate dtructural material (the reactor structure - removed a 30 y once).
    Unfortunatelly, US is seized in 1950 technology that pin-heads know to do it preaty well, and ignore any progress...but little steps made by prefered persons. That is why the US nuclear is in trouble - being obsolete is 1000 times over the above physical limits. New emphasis on research and development have to be honestly taken.
    The GNEP (translated for real Goofy Nuclear Energy Partnership) due to short predestinated money and harsh conditions has no chances to improve this in the next 100 years but to keep on profit some nephews...Is US able to make the nuclear-ecologic renaisance ?