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What if private individuals appointed to control the public water have built an empire in the Dixie desert of Utah?

What if sacred healing waters and ancient neutral lands to all the Natives were taken by an elite few of the unelected water board in the WCWCD.

What if it’s not about growth, but control?

Written by  on August 4, 2013 in ColumnistsOpinion

Welcome to the 2013 St. George election cycle. Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The recent animal shelter debacle notwithstanding, there looms on the horizon matters of consequence for this community that will require an informed and participatory citizen if there is to be any meaningful change in our city.

The main thrust of most campaigns here locally focuses on economic growth and jobs under a loosely-adhered-to banner of Vision Dixie

The main thrust of most campaigns here locally focuses on economic growth and jobs under a loosely-adhered-to banner of Vision Dixie and the infamous Lake Powell Pipeline.

The Washington County Water Conservancy District is hard at work spending copious amounts of your hard earned tax dollars on film production to promote the project, as well as other side projects like paying a self-professed analyst – who swears he is not an advocate – to pitch the pipeline at meetings at the WCWCD headquarters, the Utah State Legislature, and the Chamber of Commerce in St. George.

The Water Conservancy District is also buying up land like the Pah Tempe Hot Springs Resort to the tune of $1.5 million and have gone on record stating they do not know what they plan to do with the place. Curious position given they have spent years in litigation, protecting their rights and positioning for the acquisition, and likely spent tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees to finally get the land, only to state they have “no idea” at this time what they will do with it.

I’d keep an eye on that one …(more)

Letter to the Editor: Lake Powell Pipeline a ‘Good Ol’ Boy’ scam, a ‘pipe dream’

Written by  on August 2, 2013 in Letter to the EditorOpinion

 I’ve been following the Lake Powell Pipeline activity for over a decade now and have noticed a lot of inconsistencies over the years.  They have led to the following conclusion:

We the people of Washington County are being scammed by the “Good Ol’ Boys” to pay for this “pipe dream.”  They wish to continue to sell their land – which needs the water resources to sell at a tremendous profit.

1.  Over half of the Washington County Water Conservancy District (WCWCD) trustees are tied to major land ownership, housing development, etc.  (Ever hear of “conflict of interest??”)

2.  The county commissioners hired a lawyer to head the Water Conservancy District rather than someone educated in water resources. This proved advantageous due to his ability to parse his words (like all good lawyers) to evade the truth and facts, and make his point with selective omissions of the actual facts. An example? His veiled truths about the cost of water before and after the pipeline–without considering the financing costs in his examples. With these costs included, the actual cost is four times the current (his reported) cost.

3.  The scare tactics used in the WCWCD articles – saying roads would crumble, house foundations would crack, and we would be left with a dust bowl … all if the pipeline wasn’t built!  (Sounds like socialist/communist propaganda.  Obama would be proud!  Think ObamaCare!)

4.  Paying copious amounts of pipeline money to hire a professional water system cost estimator from Washington State – Dr. Darryl Olsen – produced an excellent 113-page objective report in 2010 that was never publicized because he told the truth about cost-effectiveness and cost in 2010 dollars for two proposals; first, hydro storage — with a Hurricane storage reservoir @ $2.6 – $3.2 Billion; and second, non-hydro storage @ $1.8 – $2.3 Billion – NOT including financing! Hiring, then, a second water systems estimator from Las Vegas – Jeremy Aguero – whose recommendations echoed the GOB’s ideas of water needs – exactly. Aguero’s biased reports directly oppose those of Dr. Olsen. In my mind, Aguero was paid to fortify input from the GOB’s and WCWCD. Aguero said he received 1,500 pages of reports from the WCWCD. When I questioned Aguero directly, he said the 113-page report from Dr. Olsen was not included! Strange, huh?

With the WCWCD estimating a $950 Million price tag due to Iron County’s withdraw …

5. On June 8, 2008, I submitted an editorial to The Spectrumoutlining my estimate of the cost of the pipeline – which I estimated at $3.0 Billion in 2015 dollars – and this was verified by Dr. Olsen’s estimate. Printing of my article forced the WCWCD to re-evaluate the $585 Million cost (2005 estimate) to $1.1 Billion in 2008 dollars (my estimate for 2008 was $1.6 Billion). Since 2008, the $1.1 Billion has remained the same, when the smallest increase (from 2003 – 2005) was 8 percent per year. I know Cedar City/Iron County has wisely dropped out of the Tri-County agreement. And now, with the WCWCD estimating a $950 Million price tag due to Iron County’s withdraw … Where are the cost inflation increases since 2008? Plus, the pipeline new-start construction date has slipped from 2015 to 2020, and completion date from 2020 to 2030. Think about inflation!

6.  State Representative Mike Noel of Kane County (who is also executive director of the Kane County Water Conservancy District) presented heated support for the need for water and the Lake Powell Pipeline at the recent Governor’s town meeting on July 25th. But the truth is that the 4,000 residents of Kane County use over 400 gallons per person daily, just for culinary purposes — and the 10 percent water share from the pipeline will be sold by Kane County to a nuclear power plant for cooling – at a very handy profit for Kane County. His county’s water is not for growth, but for profit!

7.  At that same Governor’s Water Conservation Conference in St. George, about 40 people spoke at what was billed as a “conservation conference,” but in reality was a forum “for and against” the pipeline. Speakers were local mayors, county commissioners, WCWCD employees, city water employees, including Mike Noel from Kane County (all for the pipeline) and concerned citizens (mostly against the pipeline) – split almost evenly.

(Full Story Here)

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CISPA is Back: FAQ on What it is and Why it’s Still Dangerous

The privacy-invasive bill known as CISPA—the so-called “cybersecurity” bill—was reintroduced in February 2013. Just like last year, the bill has stirred a tremendous amount of grassroots activism because it carves a loophole in all known privacy laws and grants legal immunity for companies to share your private information. EFF has compiled an FAQ detailing how the bill’s major provisions work and how they endanger all Internet users’ (indeed all electronic data) privacy. Please join us in speaking out against CISPA by contacting Congress now.

 

U.S. House of Representatives Shamefully Passes CISPA; Internet Freedom Advocates Prepare for a Battle in the Senate

CISPA vote records

These Utah Yea votes must not gain reelection or hold trust in public office ever again.

They have violated their oath and duty by voting away our privacy, rights, freedom and liberty.

Utah

NAY

  R

Bishop, Rob

UT 1st

YEA

  R

Stewart, Chris

UT 2nd

YEA

  R

Chaffetz, Jason

UT 3rd

YEA

  D

Matheson, Jim

UT 4th

Here is what they have to say…

Rob Bishop as the only Nay vote has not posted a comment.

Of course Jim Matheson Voted Yea because he needs to fill his NSA spy center in Bluffdale and has not yet released a statement of justification (as of 4/22).

Here is Chris Stewart’s justification for CISPA

http://stewart.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/stewart-votes-to-protect-america-s-security

Stewart Votes to Protect America’s Security

Apr 18, 2013

Press Release

Contact: Allison.Barker@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) released the following statement after voting in favor of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) that passed the House of Representatives today.

“As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I have been involved in a number of classified and unclassified briefings on the threat of cyber-attacks against Americans. These attacks are designed to steal personal data and trade secrets, shut down computer systems, destroy infrastructure, and otherwise harm American citizens and American companies.

Based on these briefings and conversations with the members of the Utah business community it has become clear to me that businesses and their customers are increasingly vulnerable to these attacks. They want and need the ability to know of the latest threats and to adjust their cyber security systems to protect against those threats. If we don’t act now and protect ourselves, it could lead to a catastrophic event.

Although there were initial concerns with how the bill would protect the personal data of individuals, Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger have addressed those concerns and have improved the bill as a result. Although there is no perfect solution, this bill does a decent job of allowing companies to learn of and protect against cyber threats while still preserving the core principles of small-government conservatives like me—it doesn’t cost anything, it doesn’t create another government bureaucracy, it addresses privacy concerns, and there are no mandates on companies or individuals.

It’s the fundamental job of the federal government to provide for our common defense. I have a responsibility to my constituents to do everything I can to protect our security and to protect our future. I think that the Cyber Security Protection Bill helps do just that.”

——–

Jason Chaffetz Release in Defense of CISPA

http://chaffetz.house.gov/CISPA

Each day, hundreds of thousands of attempts are made to access data from US corporations, government entities, critical infrastructure and even private individuals.  These cyber attacks come from foreign governments as well as criminal entities, terrorist groups, and individuals both foreign and domestic.  While government entities can warn one another about specific attack sources, tactics and methods to help thwart the theft of private information, the private sector currently has no such option.  Corporations can be sued for sharing attack signatures with each other or with the government.  Likewise, the government cannot share classified information with the private sector that might help prevent future attacks.  As a result, cybercriminals can jump from one entity to another using the same tricks over and over again.

To help facilitate collaboration between the private and public sector to identify the source and manner of specific cyber attacks, Rep. Mike Rogers introduced and the House of Representatives recently passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).  As a strong proponent of civil liberties, I voted for this bill only after I was satisfied that Constitutional and civil liberty concerns in the original bill were resolved.

CISPA attempts to address cyber threats by removing outdated legal barriers that prevent organizations from pooling information to fight these crimes.  Equally important, the bill provides a mechanism for government to share classified information about cyber attacks and methods. Organizations now have the option of designating a high ranking employee to receive a security clearance that enables communication about classified threats.

The goal of this legislation is to provide tools to protect private information from being stolen without relying on government interference or control.

These improvements and amendments, among others:

  • Narrowed the definition of “cyber threat information” by removing references to intellectual property (thus removing any concerns that this bill was a sort of back door SOPA).
  • Prohibited the federal government from using library records, book sales records, book customer lists, firearms sales records, tax return records, educational records, and medical records that it receives from private entities under CISPA.
  • Significantly narrow the definitions in the bill regarding what information may be identified, obtained, and shared.
  • Sunset the provisions of the bill five years after the date of enactment.
  • Prohibit the federal government from retaining or using any of the information it receives under CISPA for anything other than one of the five permitted uses identified below.
    • 1) Cybersecurity;
    • 2) investigation and prosecution of Cybersecurity crimes;
    • 3) protection of individuals from the danger of death or physical injury;
    • 4) protection of minors from physical or psychological harm such as child pornography and rape; and
    • 5) protection of the national security of the United States.

I take privacy, civil liberties and the Fourth Amendment very seriously.  I think my work fighting against the TSA, and opposing and voting against overintrusive legislation such as SOPA, the Patriot Act, and the indefinite detention provisions in the NDAA demonstrates my commitment to civil liberties.

The final version of CISPA with the adopted amendments mentioned above will provide vital tools to assist companies in protecting themselves and their customers from cyber-attack.  It contains no new government mandates or regulations.  It protects the internet from government interference or control.  It makes our country safer, and it maintains our precious civil liberties at the same time.  For these reason I voted yes on CISPA.

Let your senators know that this will not stand and to vote this treasonous house down.

Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright says the state’s current caucus-convention nominating system is headed for a giant iceberg, that we have a gun to our head, all in the form of the: “Count My Vote Coalition” which is funded from big DC and NY money and is threatening to dictate how our private political parties are allowed to operate.
Thomas Wright is strongly pushing this ‘Count My Vote’ agenda by using fear over the SCC members to game the caucus system out of our local control and indeed to remove the local county and neighborhood processes.

Count my vote as long as it is only in a direct primary control.

Count my vote only if ‘they’  get to dictate who my choices are, as ‘they’ desire in a “California” style, big money one chance, on choice primary.

Count my vote only if it is a primary consisting of your ‘lesser of two evils’, or twelve evils.

Count my vote so long as it is for one of the globaly funded candidates, selected and managed by out-of-state, out-of-country interests

Or

Earn My Vote in our own local neighborhood Caucus pre-primary system so we can have real candidates, that we the people select.

Do we want only those candidates with 10 million dollar campaigns or candidates of thier choosing; or those who have moral and constitutional principles?

If we want our votes to count for anything, we must preserve, participate and strengthen our nations historic republic caucus system.

Utah has had a Caucus system for all but 10 years of its history.

As reported by the Utah Foundation, in its 2011 study of the caucus system, if the 60% automatic candidate rule were changed to the “Count My Vote” proposed 80% then in the last 11 years there would have only been 4 additional state and federal primary races.

Also in the last 2 elections the number of republicans participating in the caucus system has increased by 100% every election, to where nearly 50% of all those voting in the primary and general elections also participate in their local caucus elections.

Our system is working very well.

Let us not give into fear and trade for a system that removes our additional level of local representation to be stolen from us, under threat, for a California system where we must choose between those the candidates selected for us by Wall Street banks and Career Washington political Interests.

Here is the GOP SCC Meeting Video

and here are the leading questions, Thomas Wright presented and misrepresented to lead the UTGOP SCC Meeting on 3-23-2013

FINAL RESULTS PDF

http://www.1888932-2946.ws/ComTool6.0/ckfinder/userfiles/files/UTGOP%20SCC%20Meeting%203-23-2013%20FINAL%20RESULTS.pdf

In 2012 the Utah SCC GOP already Passed a: Resolution
in which the GOP stated…
WHEREAS a group of former government officials and corporate lobbyists known
as the, “Count My Vote Coalition” is attempting to us an extra-ordinary method to
change the manner used by the Utah Republican Party to select candidates for
the General Election by asking the Utah Legislature to adopt a law that would
dictate the process for a Republican to become a Republican Candidate in the
WHEREAS Count My Vote Coalition has announced in various media editorials
to force their desired changes to the Utah Republican Party’s nominating
procedures through initiative petition if the legislature fails to act as this group of
former Government officials’ desire,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Utah Republican State Central 
Committee opposes any change to the nominating process outside of our 
governing documents. We further oppose any additional rules or regulations that 
would dictate to the Party by the State of Utah and hereby direct the State party 
Chairman to contact State legislative leaders and inform them of the party 
position on this issue.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Utah Republican Party will use any means
available to defend its right to self determination. We further direct the State
Party Chairman to forward a copy of this resolution to State Legislative Leaders
and Utah Lt. Governor Greg Bell.
Written by Layne M. Beck
Sponsored by Don Guymon, 801-294-0241

However in fear some proposed changes are minor, while some are extensive.  Proposed changes to the Caucus/Convention system include, but are not limited to, ideas such as:

  • Implementing preferential balloting / instant runoff voting at caucuses;
  • Raising the 60% threshold required for a candidate to be nominated at convention without going to a Primary Election;
  • Raising the number of State Delegates again;
  • Allowing candidates the option of gathering petition signatures to be placed on the Primary ballot rather than going through the Caucus/Convention system;
  • Allowing absentee voting for Caucuses;
  • Opening the currently ‘closed’ Republican Primary (allowing all party affiliations to vote on who the Republican nominee should be);
  • Moving to a Primary system instead of a Caucus/Convention system;
  • Changing Caucuses to the Legislative District level instead of the Precinct level;
  • Implementing electronic voting and/or Caucus participation;
  • Revising the Delegate Allocation system;
  • Eliminating ex-officio (“automatic”) delegates;
  • Keeping the system the way it is.

Let us not let ‘Party Crashers’ to takeover our system through threat and coercion.

Let us not allow a system that can be gamed by out-of-state and extra-party  action.

Let us not permit our vote to be bought by high priced, professional political marketing.

We must instead make our  vote count and ensure our nominees…

Earn Our Vote