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My view: The problem of Utah's one-party rule

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  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 27, 2013 6:09 a.m.

    "The bigger question we should be asking is Utah guilty of being too Republican? "

    Answer - NO. This is not merely a Utah problem. It is a national problem.

    And it is by design. Our politics have become more polarized than ever before.

    Most people operate politically on "us vs them".
    Regardless of what "them" does, we must find fault, first and foremost. Anything OTHER than fault is unacceptable. Just ask Chris Christie.

    And it is the same on both the R and D side. Both sides do good and bad. Elected officials on both sides do things we like and things we don't. Unfortunately, we accept our own bad and find away to condemn "their" good.

    Our politics used to be driven by our ideology. Now, our ideology is driven by our politics.

    We would be much better off it the "us vs them" were Americans against our politicians.

    Good luck with that.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 27, 2013 6:30 a.m.

    If we have to have parties (and there is a lot to argue against them) then I think the best govt. is 51% vs 49%. Whichever side is in power sits precariously and knows that any shenanigans that are uncovered will give the next election to the other party.

    Such a balance also highlights the need for compromise and to treat the party out of power fairly (knowing that it could well be your party out of power after the next election cycle).

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    Utah is a victim of it's own intolerance and lack of diversity.
    The results to Society and the individual is stripping of free agency of freedom of choice.

    Must... vote... for... the... "R"...
    [or else].

    BTW - One Party systems are the fertile grounds for Totalitarian States.
    The USSR, the Taliban, Nazi Germany, North Korea, Cuba...etc.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    Aug. 27, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    Sorry Mr. Cramer, I don't get the premise of your article. You point to one person's problems and then try to extrapolate that into a party issue? So if the Attorney General had been a Democrat this wouldn't have happened? Or because he's a Republican, he's not being investigated thoroughly enough? Huh? By the way, I happen to generally agree with what you're saying regarding one party rule, abuse can and does happen when one party rules too long (look no further than Detroit) particularly if that party is a party of numbskulls but you're reasoning in this article is faulty. P.S. Utah has been dominantly Republican rule for many years and what has resulted? We are constantly voted the best run state in the union, we have extremely low unemployment compared to other States, businesses move here to get away from unfriendly business laws in their own state, we are a right to work state, our cities are clean and and relatively safe. Sounds horrible.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    @Bifftacular
    There is one reason for this (and it has nothing to do with politicians) and every thing to do with the owner of this paper. During the recession what other city had a 2 billion construction project going in their city center? What other city had a major employer that doesn't lay people off nearly as much as the rest of the corporate world did(SLC) over the years the LDS church has pumped billions upon billions into Utahs economy. Most states would be better off if that happened to them. The LDS church's money props up the legislator and allows them to look like they are doing a much better job than they really are.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    Let's be honest, Gayle Ruzika is the only ruler in Utah.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    Aug. 27, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    Noodle, thanks for making my point. The church's project did help the State - no question. And quess what, the majority oy those people are Republicans. You can't separate the two. The church is damned if they do and damned if they don't. They were criticized severely for the project and now you're saying the project is the sole reason Utah is a good state to live in. I don't know if I should laugh or what.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    I see the DN hired LDS?lib as their moderator again as my prior comment that says nothing more than what LDS?lib said was rejected.

    LDS?lib,
    you agree then that all the solid blue states can be called totalitarian, since they are ruled by one party?

    must.. criticize... everything... conservative.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    @Biff
    While many LDS legislators would believe what you say I actually take what the LDS church says about these projects at face value. And what they've said is that they don't want their world headquarters next to a run down dump of a city center, so they spent the money to make it really nice. Which helped the economy, they were also a very stable institution finacially, and didn't have to make deep employment cuts during the recession. That's not the legislator, that's not republicans(LDS church will is non partisan, ask them) that's money from democrats and republicans and independents and communists and anyone inbetween, put into a pot, and spent by the LDS church. As much as you would like to think it, the LDS church isn't an arm of the republican party. In fact, that thinking is exactly what the letter is railing against.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    I tend to agree with what the letter writer is saying. But like was pointed out... it's not just a Utah problem. There are other one-party States (many of them blue). But voting party line is always a bad idea in my book. I've never voted straight ticket and don't know anybody who has.

    I think most people realize if they vote straight ticket they are voting blindly. But I also understand that it's really hard to get REAL information on individual candidates (where we don't have time to go to our caucus meetings or listen to debates, so all we get to base your decision on is the artfully created infomercials with very skewed info and all the radio and television commercials that are not based on reality we get bombarded with).

    We should not vote straight ticket (for either side). But we should also know the candidates. I know... that's asking a lot.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    I guess it is ok for Detroit, Los Angeles, etc. to have Democratic control for 50+ years. Utah is doing pretty good, it could be better. Putting more Democrats here would not help.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    I can't even talk about republican's and democrats anymore. If you want to talk about that, I've risen above their discourse and will only talk about real issues. That being said I completely agree with the author.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 27, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" the sad thing about your rants is the fact that what you state that you most hate about Utah or Conservatives or the GOP is usually something you or liberals are guilty of.

    You say that in Utah people feel pressure to vote Democrat, yet if you look at what the government was involved in last Presidential election, the Democrats were doing everything in their power to not just put pressure on people to vote democrat, but to eliminate all opposition to democrat causes.

    If Utah is so bad, how do you explain the fact that it has been getting national recognition for how well the state is run, how business friendly it is, and how many of its cities are the best places to raise kids. Yes we know you hate it here and you don't like the LDS culture that has developed here, but apparently it works, and we receive many praises for the freedoms that Utah has held onto.

    Do you want Utah to become like Democrat dominated Chicago or Detroit? Why destroy something that works for freedom just to have liberals elected?

  • Samson01 S. Jordan, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    "Utah is a victim of it's own intolerance and lack of diversity.
    The results to Society and the individual is stripping of free agency of freedom of choice."

    Well...We are only the number one run state in the US. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates.

    I missed the mandate that took away my free-agency. Was that last legislative session?

    What exactly are the consequences of our supposed intolerance and lack of diversity? I guess I missed that one too.

    Should I cancel my trip to California this fall? My kids are going to college right now. Are they in approved courses of study? Which ones are those?

    Just checking....

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 2:10 p.m.

    Did Mr.Cramer know something about John Swallow before the election that the rest of us didn't know?

    I'm still not sure from his opinion piece why one-party rule has been so bad for Utah; just that we voters are bad for voting Republican. It seems to me that the state is run pretty well and that we have one of the top economies in the nation.

    It's evident why one-party rule is a disaster in California, Illinois, New York etc. They are all bankrupt, but not one-party Utah, run by Republicans.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    Ah, the "diversity" card. In my not so humble opinion, diversity is not a positive unless those from a diverse background pull together for a common goal. Otherwise all you have is confusion. It is my understanding that when the ancient nations conquered other peoples and took them to live in their homeland to avoid the conquered peoples from organizing and revolting, the conquered peoples altered the society and culture of the conquering nation until it was, in turn, overrun by another more organized, and united peoples. The conquerors had become diffuse and unfocused.

    It is rich to have the upper class either in location, education (as they suppose) or status in society, preach to the rest of us how "good" it is to have multicultural neighborhoods, multilingual schools and societies all the while they sit cocooned by zone and income in a rather uniform, mono-linguistic world.

    I think the good doctor is upset that his view of the world, state and society is not taken as prescribed. Politics is a contact sport, at least for egos. And I really don't see the present Democratic party compromising on anything, hence recalcitrance on the part of the opposition.

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    The idea that we need to become more liberal to be a better state is ridiculous. Democrats never complain about 1-party rule in Democratic controlled states and cities, even though those places are the most poorly run. It is not just Chicago and Detroit, but look at all the most dangerous cities in America. Which one is run by Republicans. Look at the cities and states in the most financial trouble, the vast majority are controlled by one party, democrats.

    It is true that the LDS Church is a large contributor to Utah's economy, but much of this is to the chagrin of most Democrats. They don't lie, the Church, and would be happy to see it leave town. And the overwhelming majority of the church Members are Republicans, or vote Republican. The idea that Mormons only vote Republican because they don't understand their own Church's doctrine is stupid. Conference talks are very morally Conservative.

    It is fool hearty for Democrats to expect Utahns to vote for them just for the sake of a more balanced political scene. Really, who votes for a philosophy they disagree with in the name of balance? No one intelligent.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    Noodle, I still don't understand your point. Yup, the downtown project helped the economy - we agree there. But Utah's economy was relatively good before that and it will be after as well. Why? Because we have been a very well run state. What does what you're saying have to do with the author's point that scandals like Swallow can be attributed to the rule of the Republican party in Utah? Are you agreeing with the author or not? If not, what is your suggestion?

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 5:10 p.m.

    @WhatisTucket
    But you fail to mention failed republican policies in Mississippi, Alabama and West Virginia. The fact is there are many states where one party has been in charge for a long time, and most of them aren't doing well, whether it's Republicans or Democrats that have been in charge. There is one difference between California, Alabama, Mississippi and Utah. Those states don't have churches that put an amount 3.5x larger than the states GDP into the economy, for 5 straight years, in the worst recession since the 1920's. That's what got Utah through better than these other states, not Republicans, not Democrats. It's purely because of the $$$, City Creek was basically a private stimulus package, courtesy of the LDS church. I'm not LDS, I don't agree with them often on social issues. But lets not give the Legislator credit for what the LDS church did.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 27, 2013 5:45 p.m.

    Of Utah largest 15 employers in 2011, 11 were either State or Federal institutions.

    Something to keep that in mind next time you call for smaller government.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 6:17 p.m.

    Personally, if if you find yourself voting heavily for one party or the other, I suggest you vote for the other party when it comes to Auditor, and/or Attorney-General. I do.

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 6:33 p.m.

    JoeBlow- I can't believe you are advocating for big government in order to create jobs. You know you can create jobs by having taxpayers pat people to dig holes and then just fill them back up. All the jobs "created" by the government are paid for by taking money out of other industries that actually produce something of value. Every dime I pay in taxes to create government jobs could have been used to buy a car or other goods, which creates jobs. The private sector happens to be more efficient at this than the government.
    I believe some of the few places the government should be involved is in protecting the citizens through police and military, probably fire protection in some areas, k-12 education, and some infrastructure including roads and bridges.

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 8:00 p.m.

    Noodlekaboodle-
    The legislature deserves some credit, as do the other local politicians. If you ever lived in another state or community outside of Utah where the LDS Church has wanted to build anything, you would see how much grief and pushback they get. Even the former mayor of SLC, Rocky Anderson, gave the Church grief over everything. Just look back at the Main Street Plaza controversy, and how he wanted to prevent the skywalk over Main Street at City Creek, an important addition.
    The truth is, I feel that voting for more Democrats would make it harder for the Church to complete such projects as most Democrats, even in Utah, like to oppose the Church on so many issues, just to oppose the Church.
    So in essence, if you are LDS, voting for Democrats often times can equal voting against the Church.

    By the way, why hasn't SLC had a Republican Mayor since 1974, almost 40 years? Isn't that 1-party rule? We have had a Democratic governor as recently as 1985. Even Utah County elected Rep Orton-D, as recent as 1994. So which place is more politically one sided, SLC, or the State of Utah?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 27, 2013 8:05 p.m.

    "I can't believe you are advocating for big government in order to create jobs."

    Not advocating for it. Just pointing out the reality. Try closing Hill AFB, or any other one for that matter.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 1:09 a.m.

    John Swallow won for several reasons. One, he managed to make it to the primary. Both candidates were bashing each other, or it appeared that way and the voters ignored the mud.
    Two, his democratic candidate was from Ogden, where the police seem to had more slack than West Valley, with no Sim Gill to provide check because the DA or equiv. in Ogden just seemed to egg it on.

    It it had been John Swallow and Sim Gill, we might have seen a different result.

    I hope both parties put for better candidates for AG in 2014 or 2016 depending on what happens.

    You also forget that many bills are decided in the Utah House by one or two votes. Clearly it isn't party. You should realize both sides have good ideas.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 6:41 a.m.

    @lost in DC
    West Jordan, UT

    LDS?lib,
    you agree then that all the solid blue states can be called totalitarian, since they are ruled by one party?

    must.. criticize... everything... conservative.
    10:18 a.m. Aug. 27, 2013

    ============

    I never said that - you implied it, and assumed it - and you are wrong.

    A single Party political system festers corruption.
    You guys on the right choose to call it Chicago politics,
    A single Party system on the right is no different -- CORRUPTION.

    And this little fiasco with Utah AG John Swallow is classic example of it.

    Mote and Beam shall we say...

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 28, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" are you saying that states that are controlled entirely by Democrats are not full of corruption and border on totalitarian?

    Chicago politics does not have to do with one party rule, but by massive corruption where politicians end their political careers because of jail time.

    Just look at the John Swallow situation. The Republicans have investigated him, and are the ones that are working through impeachment process.

    When was the last time Democrats did that to one of their own?

    Tell us, if you lived in Seattle, or Michigan would you complain about the Democrats running everything and how everybody only votes Democrat?

  • dave Park City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    The problem in dealing with extremists is they only see black and white. The responses are telling.

    Dr. Cramer never said that he wanted a majority Democrat. He did not come close to hinting anything of the sort.

    To throw out the weary talking points that Utah is the number one run state and has low unemployment is weak. Many dysfunctional families have their finances in order. What you see on a ledger is different than what you see in real life.

    The low unemployment is easy. Low wages and regulation. Both of these are unsustainable. You have a working class that qualifies for food stamps. Companies have a choice, China, Mexico or Utah. All of those places pay low wages and have very little regulation. Nice company we keep....

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    Joe Blow- The Military is not the majority of the Government, not even close. But I think getting rid of our IRS and going to a simplified tax code that didn't require them would improve the economy greatly, and save a ton of money. The Majority of government employees are not needed, and we would be better off to get rid of them.

    LDS Lib- as Mentioned by Red Shirt, Republicans try to get rid of the corrupt, Democrats usually do not. How long did it take for a prominent Dem to call for Filner's resignation in San Diego after it was clear he was sexually harassing women? What have Dems done to clean up Chicago, or Detroit, or New Jersey? What Dems were calling for John Corzine to go to prison? Rod Blagojevich tried to sell a Senate Seat, not to mention Jesse Jackson Jr, who many Dems supported long after his issues came up. The Dem Mayor of Pittsburgh is in trouble as well. Republicans are doing something about Swallow, unfortunately Dems believe decisions should be made based on what the SL Trib reports alone without a thorough investigation to verify the facts.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 28, 2013 9:17 p.m.

    "The Military is not the majority of the Government, not even close."

    No, it is not more than 50% of the govt. But it is substantial.

    In fact, the American Department of Defense is the largest employer in the world.
    It employes 1% of Americans.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 6:15 p.m.

    For being "highly educated" a lot of people seem unable to think very well.

  • Samson01 S. Jordan, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    "To throw out the weary talking points that Utah is the number one run state and has low unemployment is weak. Many dysfunctional families have their finances in order. What you see on a ledger is different than what you see in real life.

    The low unemployment is easy. Low wages and regulation. Both of these are unsustainable...."

    Yes I can see why the talking points are weary...they just don't support your narrative and so we just wave our hand and dismiss them.

    But...

    The fact remains and looms large.

    Your statement "The low unemployment is easy. " Maybe you should call the white house and let Pres. Obama in on your secret.

  • dave Park City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    Samson01
    S. Jordan, UT

    Low unemployment is easy. Pay low wages and hire more people. It is unsustainable in that employees qualify for public assistance.

    If you want to talk about underemployed then you may have a point..

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    People should never vote for something different just for the sake of diversity. Anything alternative to the current status quo has to have something better to offer, regardless of the parties involved.

    Not until Democrats can offer better solutions and better ideas in Utah should anyone even consider voting for them. It's ludicrous for anyone to vote for them (or anyone else) for any other reason. In other words, diversity... in and of itself... is not always better.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Sept. 21, 2013 5:55 p.m.

    "To punch a straight ticket is worse than an unhealthy allegiance to some brand of toothpaste. We in Utah are smarter than that." Apparently the Utah GOP doesn't think you are smart enough to choose the right candidates. We know the Utah Democrat Party is controlled by a very small group and they will not support a Primary system. The Utah voters don't care about them because they are Democrats but surely they are smart enough to choose their own Republican candidates.