The Utah Legislative Score Card and the Money Behind CMV/SB54

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Author’s Note: Beginning early in 2013, I began researching and posting as much information as possible about the caucus challenge, the legal threat from a network of party bosses and behind-the-scenes movers and shapers that most of us hard-working grassroots Republicans never see.  This report could result in personal and professional suicide, but it is truthful.  I know several of these people.  Some have helped with charitable causes for which I’ve raised money. Some are family friends and neighbors…and some, even clients.  

I must express my sincere appreciation to them for all the good they have done.  I believe that what happens is that this network comes together routinely for these charitable causes or they know each other through business dealings.  They may get a call from one of these trusted friends for an issue to support, such as this.  I truly believe that in most instances, they do it out of trust and respect for that friend, rather than investigating the issue itself and having the courage to tell their friend they disagree.  This is a tough one.  

What I do know is this:  I have never seen the following donors in our working coalitions at the capitol.  I have tried to contact several of them, as a candidate and as a fundraiser for some conservative causes in which I’ve been involved.  But their contributions have bought the polls and the publicity to brand this cause they support “mainstream,” when it is not.  For most of them, if they understood the constitutional issues at stake, I do not believe they would have supported CMV.  Either knowingly or unknowingly, they undermine the conservative – and constitutional – message by branding it “extremist.”

I also know that, no more than Ronald Reagan, I am not an extremist.  I am a Reagan conservative.  In context, the founders of this nation were the extremists of their day.  We are now working to conserve (restore) their ideal for this nation, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

This network of wealthy business leaders may not even realize that their money is being channeled by a like-minded network of political strategists – once called the “Rockefeller Wing” – which is the same mindset that also branded Reagan a “right-wing extremist” years ago.  Have you noticed that in Utah Republican politics there are only “right-wing extremists” and “mainstream?”  These shrewd strategists- along with their media mouthpiece, Doug Wright, have deceived many of these good donors.

I truly believe that if I could have a few minutes of these good business people, to explain the dilemma, they might have a different perspective.

The funding does impact the outcome.  The voting records of our state legislature, as rated by a Reagan conservative group, are revealing. Here is what you will see. Surprised?

You will find that several legislators that ranked very low, or as voting most of the time with Democrats, are among those squirming about the lawsuit and stumping for SB54, claiming it’s a “compromise.”  (The irony is that they were elected in a caucus system that CMV/SB54 claims produces “extremists.”)

NO! CMV/SB54 is not a compromise. The culprits simply do not want to be held accountable to a standard within the Republican party, its platform.

As I’ve written, SBB54 created a dual track, which is exactly what the CMV legal brief demands.

It’s important that the county delegates  statewide re-elect the State Central Committee members who are deeply involved in the caucus defense. We need institutional memory during this time.  They are the ones that understand the current lawsuit, and what we must do to defend the Republican Party’s First Amendment right to assemble, define its rules and qualifications of membership and who will be allowed to represent the party on the primary and general election ballots.

Take it from one who has lived in a dual track state, Connecticut – the very state that CMV cited it wants Utah to duplicate. Here is the current list of donors and relationships.

Disclaimer: Most of these business leaders are very good people. I have worked with some of them on worthy charitable causes. The problem is real: they are not involved in the political process within the party. Therefore, they understandably lean upon the opinions of those with whom they network who are sadly trying to create a power structure that undermines the little guys – you and me – and the constitutional republican system.

According to a recent disclosure statement, here’s the CMV/SB54 Donor List

Who’s Who Behind the Money:

CMV is actually a political issues committee called the “Alliance for Good Government.” Its financial disclosure shows over $1 million raised and spent for CMV/SB 54 from the political establishment, the rich and famous, big business and special interests – from both sides of the aisle.

CMV Directors: Maura Carabello, Rich McKeown, LaVarr Webb.
This is the Leavitt campaign team. Carabello was a Leavitt staffer and a pro-gun control activist. Webb was Leavitt’s campaign manager. Carabello is the managing partner in Webb’s media/PR firm Exoro, also Leavitt’s political consultants.

Political
Hatch Election Campaign: $ 50,000
An incumbent that knows the value of name ID in a Primary and how much easier it is for delegates to get rid of bad incumbents. Hatch had to work extra hard to raise millions after his establishment friend Bob Bennett got axed by Mike Lee, with a little help from Tim Bridgewater and yours truly, who “also ran.” His campaign manager, former party chairman Dave Hansen, was all pro-caucus when he was party chair. What happened? Money happened.

Mike Leavitt: $ 25,000
The CMV/SB54 poster boy, former governor and Secretary of Health and Human Services. What was it that he did to prevent the HHS from growing when he was in Washington D.C?

Can anyone spell Medicare Part D? Wait! There’s more: Not only did he oversee the roll out of another socialist medical program from Washington DC, he “opposed” the ACA, and now runs Leavitt Partners, a consulting firm that benefits from implementing that law! These insurance companies saw the windfall of the ACA. They have been complicit in its implementation and in the destruction of the medical delivery system in the U.S.

Leavitt Partners $ 60,000; Leavitt Group Enterprises $25,000
(Ditto the above.)

Romney’s Friends of CMV: $ 99,900*; Restore our Future (Romney Super PAC) $ 25,000
Leavitt was Romney’s campaign chairman, fundraiser.  He owes Leavitt.

*Amended January 2016 “Huntsman Corporation.”

Big Business
Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce: $ 49,000
President of the Sandy Chamber is Stan Parrish, Orrin Hatch’s finance chairman (fundraiser); most powerful GOP fundraiser in the US, really. He once showed me several book shelves of thick three-ring binders and commented, “Do you see those notebooks?  Those are the donors we control.”  I asked for a small donation when I was running for U.S. Congress.  He said, “That would be a conflict of interest.”  It would be fair to say that Hatch “owns” D.C.

Merit Medical (Fred Lampropoulos) $ 25,000
Fred Lampropoulos, gubernatorial candidate.  I respect him for his philanthropic contributions.  He has been so generous on so many levels and good causes I also support.  He is, however, among the rich that show up to run for office and then disappear, but continue to feed the beast in the Elephant Club, which controls behind the scenes.

Garff Auto sales $ 25,000
An example of the Great Salt Lake Business Network. I can imagine that the Miller’s crossed the street to pay a visit with the Garff’s and, voila, “I’m in, if you’re in. Can you match my $25k?” Done. No matter that we’ve never seen the Garff’s anywhere NEAR a Republican working meeting. Do they even know what we believe and why, or do they get a skewed interpretation?

It must not matter, because money can buy anything, and this CMV/SB54 network will gladly sell our party’s values for money – and the control it buys.

Prime Holding (insurance) $ 25,000
Rick Lindsey, Sandy – a big Republican donor supporting incumbents and Romney – I’ve never seen him before. Another absentee donor.

Thackeray Garn Corp (real estate) $ 25,000
Commercial real estate-shopping malls John Thackeray and Kevin Garn, who resigned from the Utah House after an embarrassing encounter in a hot tub.

Huntsman Corporation: $ 100,000
Son Jon was the first Republican, pro-gay marriage governor (but didn’t disclose it until he ran for president.) Not exactly a Republican that supports the platform. Dad Jon Sr. thinks Mike Lee is “an embarrassment.” Enough said.

Mark Miller (Son of Larry, auto dealer/owner of the Jazz): $ 25,000
Gail Miller (Mark’s mom): $125,000
Nice people. Good humanitarians. Awesome movie complexes, but a not-so-great basketball team. Definitely not as educated in political philosophy. They most likely get their perspective from their wealthy peers, Mike Leavitt and Webb & Co.

Spence Eccles: $ 30,000; Lisa and Katherine Eccles:  $5,000 each
Spence also gave $25,000 to Romney’s PAC. A good philanthropist family, he gave $84,000 to Romney and Hatch, but again, we have never seen him in our Republican/coalition meetings.

Dell Loy Hansen: $ 35,000
Wasatch Commercial real estate – built the Wells Fargo building and the Garff auto offices and multiple shopping malls.  He is another one of the good guys that never shows up to work with us.

Rich McKeown: $ 25,000
(CEO, Leavitt Group. Need I say more?)

Kem and Carolyn Barnes Gardner $ 25,000
Chairman of the Board, IHC.  The hospitals and the insurance companies have joined together in the great ObamaCare windfall.  It’s cash-in time, now that everyone is required to have health insurance.

Roger Boyer $ 25,000
Chairman, The Boyer Company – commercial real estate. Another Chamber of Commerce connection. Another absentee.

John Price $ 25,000
Real Estate Developer-another Leavitt Friend. Former U.S. Ambassador.  Ditto, absentee.

Bruce Bastian $ 10,000
Typical of the lobbyist culture, it really doesn’t matter to CMV/SB54 whether the money is democrat or republican, gay or straight, they’ll take it. Utah’s premier homosexual, and co-founder of Word Perfect, left his wife and children for the lifestyle and then donated $1 million to defeat Prop 8 and had donated millions more to bring down Utah’s marriage law…Apparently, it’s all the same to CMV/SB54.

Labore et Honore, LLC $ 25,000
A mystery company. But it owns a house just down the street from some of this author’s family members.

Maccall Management (hotel management) $ 25,000
Founder, Crystal Inn, and CEO – President, Flying J – Crystal Call Maggalet and husband Chuck, also contributor to Jon Huntsman School of Business, advisory board. Hatch supporters.

Thomas Arts Holding $ 10,000
Dave Thomas owns a national insurance company, is a Democrat and has contributed to several Democratic candidates.  Why should these Democrats be involved in telling the Republican Party what to do?

Management & Training Corp. $ 10,000
Bob and Jane Marquardt, brother and sister: Brother Bob covers the GOP contributions. Sister Jane, takes care of the Democrats. (So principled, just like Washington DC.) Their company is a government procurement company that operates for-profit prisons. Bob and Jane are heavily invested in the campaign to move the prison from the Bluffdale site and sure to profit from it.  Jane is a contributor to Planned Parenthood and a champion of LGBT rights. I wonder what their motivation might be to destroy the caucus?

Alan Ashton $10,000
Developer, philanthropist; co-founder of Word Perfect; donated $1 million to support Prop 8

David Lisonbee $10,000
Serving LDS mission in Brazil; CEO-Owner of a wellness MLM.

Khosrow Semnani $15,000
Dependable philanthropist – worked with him on charitable fundraiser

Ezekiel Dumke $5,000
Great philanthropist; good people

Joe Sorenson $30,000
(Ditto Dumke.)

Omar Kader $10,000
Paltec, government contractor, procurement, services to Dept of State, Defense and Health and Human Services

Dinesh Patel $25,000
Founder Signal Peak Ventures; biotech investments; angel investor for Neutraceutical.

Gary Crocker $25,000
Crocker Ventures, Life science, pharmaceutical research funding

Brent Beesley $25,000
Good people.  Chairman and CEO, Heritage Bank, St. George; Vice Chairman, National Center for Policy Analysis (A free market think tank, tied to Koch Brothers, and funders of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council) ALEC has supported some causes that have raised the eyebrows of many conservatives, such as its strong support of a constitutional convention.  I have attempted to contact Brent on several occasions and he has never returned my call.  It does not make sense that a conservative who understands the Constitution would oppose the representative republican system of elections – the caucus system.

Don and Susan Lewon $25,000
Don-CEO Utah Metal Works

Lunt Capital Management $10,000
John Lunt, CEO – public pension fund; former staff member Senator Bob Bennett

William Nelson Shiebler $10,000
Deutche Asset Management

Harris Simmons $10,000
CEO Zions Bank, former Chair American Bankers Association

In all, this represents a strong group of business leaders that have given to many worthy charities.  Politics, however, is not a feel-good charity.  Donors might do fine  to throw their money at a good cause, but they had better understand political philosophy before they throw their money at policy decisions that will negatively alter the liberty of future generations.

Sources:

Alliance for Good Government

Friends of Count My Vote