The Nacilbupera Guzzle

Whoever examines with attention the history of the dearths and famines … will find, I believe, that a dearth never has arisen from any combination among the inland dealers in corn, nor from any other cause but a real scarcity, occasioned sometimes perhaps, and in some particular places, by the waste of war, but in by far the greatest number of cases by the fault of the seasons; and that a famine has never arisen from any other cause but the violence of government attempting, by improper means, to remedy the inconveniences of a dearth. (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations IV.5.44)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We Become I

Much ado as been said of Nacilbupera's first person plural voice on this blog.

Just as we evolved from "I" to "we" we, er, I am now choosing to re-evolve (digress?) back to the first person singular.

Why? I don't exactly know why but it seems like the "we" creates ambiguity confusion (despite our attempt at clarification), and a sense I am uncomfortable speaking on my own ground (entirely not true). Then again it creates awkward prose when referring to "we" while Nacilbupera is and always has been clearly singular.

Hope you enjoy the change!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Videos of the Week: Beck, DeVore

Frank Caliendo did a superb Glenn Beck imitation on today's Glenn Beck show (h/t If you listen to Beck's show, you will get all the jokes; if you haven't, Caliendo recaps a year's worth of shows in a few minutes. Very Funny.

And if you didn't know, Chuck DeVore can throw a mean hand grenade in this vid released today:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tim Bridgewater Evades Paying Business Taxes (More)

Do you as a US citizen, support using off-shore tax shelters for the express purpose of avoiding payment of federal tax? Apparently Senate candidate Tim Bridgewater does.

As we began our own inquiry into Bridgewater's strongly-touted business background we came across an April 2004 article (google docs) by Robert Gehrke of the Salt Lake Tribune during the time which Bridgewater was running for Congress (we have verified through Newsbank that the Gehrke article is indeed genuine) :

The Charoen Pokphand [Nacilbupera: aka CP Group] executives channeled the money to Bridgewater through two offshore corporate shells, Aleksin and Maze Industrial, based in the British Virgin Islands, the SEC filings show. The islands are among the world's most attractive tax havens due to favorable banking and confidentiality laws.

"They're tax shelters. I think it's pretty straightforward from a business
perspective," Bridgewater said of the companies. "It's a straightforward process
for everyone from Ford Motor Co. to Pittsburgh Paint and Glass, that companies
have holding companies for their foreign interests."
Bridgewater's comments are worth examining. He freely admits to using an off-shore company to shelter from paying taxes. Although not necessarily illegal, it certainly takes advantage of what many have described as a "loophole" in our tax code.

Futhermore, Bridgewater justifies his actions by basically saying: "Well, Ford and everybody else is doing it, so it's OK." This argument has never worked for us whether it came from the employees in our business or the kids being caught with hands in the proverbial cookie jar.

This issue is important to us because we have worked hard to put a principled candidate in office to replace Bennett, one whose actions are above reproach and who sets the standard for how our nation's business should be done--like Chaffetz who has defined a principle for the rather rare case of an appropriate earmark.

Nacilbupera condemns the use of off-shore tax shelters by businesses for the purpose of evading federal taxation. It would be interesting to see just how many millions of tax dollars Bridgewater has avoided paying by using Aleksin and Maze though such a computation is probably out of our grasp.

++++ More 5/23 11:00pm:

Earlier this year in an Independence Caucus 80-question highly detailed questionnaire (pdf; or see Indepenence Caucus of Cache Valley for html) of their endorsed candidates had Tim Bridgewater scoring 91% and Mike Lee 95%. Both these candidates support a National Sales Tax (NST) to replace the 16th Amendment which must be repealed (which means both candidates are really cool, imho!)

However, pertinent to this discussion on Bridgewater's business tax shelters was Bridgewater's response--reported by I-Caucus as listed either blank or "no"--to Question #68:
Do you agree that when money is being transferred out of the country for any
reason, it should correctly be considered to be “consumed”; and that money
should be taxed (at the current NST rate) as it leaves the country?
The problem is lacking a strong affirmative "yes" creates a loophole bigger than a wall-less southern border for money to leave the US without ever being taxed. Corporations such as Bridgewater's Interlink Capital Strategies would have a heyday exporting capital, thus providing Bridgewater and his colleagues with untold fortunes at the demise of country and state.

To us Question #68 points that when principle comes up against practice, Bridgewater is here to do what's best for Bridgewater International Group, LLC ("BIG") [BIG name reference citation here] in tax-avoidance strategies and loopholes, not what's best for Utah.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nacilbupera Polls

We tried our first poll on this blog and it seemed to work fairly well. The question "Should Eagar run for Senate in 2012?" was voted by about 2:1 in the negative with a dozen or two respondents (sorry, we forgot to record actual results).

As a note to our readers, we decided beforehand as a matter of ethics not to participate in our own blog-hosted polls: all votes are confidential by readers of this blog. Have fun!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Bridgewater Buyout (Clarification & Update)

During her take-down-the-house rousing address at Saturday's GOP convention, Cherilyn Eagar fired up the crowd with this promise, one of many sweet melodies sung to the delagates' ears:
"My vote cannot be bought, sold, traded, or gambled away in a Senatorial backroom deal."
Just minutes after this promise to the delegates--not a new promise, rather one Eagar had oft repeated during the campaign trail--she would learn of the decision of the delegates not to advance her to the second round and would end up being tested on that promise. In an interview with conservative talk show host Bob Lonsberry during the last half hour of the show today(archived in full at KNRS) she stunned the audience with the revelation of a proposed backroom deal by Tim Bridgewater. who has done a great job in collecting and revealing sundry information over the past many weeks on Bridgewater's business dealings had the best political analysis today on the incident including a video excerpt and transcript (he earned our follow). UtahsRepresentatives points out that Bridgewater offered to pay for Eagar's campaign debts in exchange for being a spokesperson for his campaign (in our own mind, we are thinking that this must have been phrased something like offering a her a job.)

In the Lonsberry interview, Eagar emphasized that the deal wasn't a bribe but that she must have realized that her principles had been put to test:
"I realized that I just had to do what I felt was--what I had promised my campaign I would do and in my heart I knew was best."
UtahsRepresentatives concluded:
"These kinds of backroom deals are what’s wrong with politics. That shows a lot of integrity on Cherilyn Eagar’s part for not taking the bribe."

We find UtahRepresentatives' conclusion most interesting. Even though Eagar had done her best to communicate the appropriateness of the offer and specifically ruled it out being a bribe, UR obviously felt it was. Bribes are high on the frustration list and thus watchlist of the folks because of their rampant-ness and destructiveness in perpetuating evil. Gator-aid, the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, and even Utah's own Matheson Gavelgate affair have recently frustrated the folks to no end, wanting nothing but merit and integrity instead of votes and positions purchased with money.

This "Bridgewater Buyout" incident--all within legal bounds, yet smacking as a stealthy buyout of a poorer person's vote--has the potential to negatively influence some in the primary election against Bridgewater. Lonsberry, who openly endorsed Bridgewater before the convention did not have time to give his opinion on the show as to any influence that the revelation may have made in his endorsement. He did seem eager (overused pun) to prod the incident out of Eagar while she seemed to back away from the issue. We suppose you'll have to listen to Lonsberry tomorrow to find out what he thinks (wow! what a plug! Can I get free dinner with Bob tomorrow night for that plug? j/k).

As for ourselves, it is weighing pretty heavily as another Bridgewater turnoff, because it creates fear in us that Bridgewater, if elected, will end up backroom-door-dealing like too many others in the Senate.

++++ Update & Clarification 5/13:
We had some great comments to this post which have aided in a decision to formally clarify. After this incident began to take root in the blogosphere, Eagar released a clarification statement (thank you Arc) really denying any possibility of any wrongdoing on the part of the Bridgewater campaign. Our mood on this has significantly improved where we are no longer concerned about the incident (note strikethrough above) and a clarification is due. We don't regret the story as the collective buzz on this issue prompted further appropriate public action on the part of Eagar and commend her for so doing. We felt we gave the facts as they presented themselves at the time a fair representation as well as our opinion at the time. Furthermore, we feel it a very important part of the political process to discuss our concerns and as we pointed out backroom-door-dealing and anti-corruption is high on the list of ourselves and many others out there.

As a political neutral in this contest between Bridgewater and Lee to date, we deny posting the article with the hidden agenda of "us[ing] it for negative campaigning against Mr. Bridgewater" (Eagar statement with unclear direction). Thorough readers of this blog will find we have been critical betimes of both Bridgewater and Lee in our quest for truth. We don't intend to be overly critical of two great candidates for the Senate, we do feel it necessary to bring to light issues that concern us. During former employment as a retail manager, our security manager--a former police officer--once confided in us: "No offense to you, but I learned in this business not to trust anyone except myself." We have learned that advise is particularly apropos in today's political environment where even some of our most beloved statesmen have gone to Washington and returned home drunk with the Potomac Poison. Trust must be earned every day, every vote. We just expect of ourselves to remain civil while we debate these important issues.

Which brings us to one final item: although no one has called us out, we defensively responded to a comment to Cassandra in a mocking way and for that we apologize for violating our principle of "attempt[ing] to ride the high road of political debate". While we believe that mockery and satire are important tools in political debate, to mock a commenter as a controller of a blog really puts the commenter at an unfair disadvantage. We are a person of passion but not of persecution. Our response has been deleted and Cassandra--whomever you are--we are sorry and apologize for our comment. To our commenters: we will do better to respect you.

++++ Update #2 5/13:
Lee Davidson of the Deseret News picked up on this story today; we felt the analysis was quite reasonable & professional. That they did neglect to give UtahsRepresentatives credit for doing the hard work on the research & promotion of this story seems to point to how mass media typically ignore the volunteer media reporting work bloggers and twitters do, often long before they release their own stories. Bloggers on the other hand tend to hat-tip frequently and generously give credit. Hurrah for Bloggers! Hurrah for the First Amendment!

A Speech To Remember from Utah's GOP Convention 2010 (Update)

The press attending Saturday's Utah GOP Convention have been extremely gracious in their praise of Cherilyn Eagar's address to the delegates.

Joe Pyrah, Daily Herald political reporter, reported on his blog Sausage Grinder:

"Eagar had the best delivery. By far.... Bridgewater and Bennett got about 5 percent more each than expected, as did Eagar who probably got them all on the back of her speech."

Josh Loftin of the Salt Lake City Weekly agreed and pointed out the warm cheer comparison:

"Cherilyn Eagar gives best speech of Senate candidates. It is enough to get her through? The U.S. Senate candidates wrapped up their speeches right before noon, closing out with a fiery speech from Eagar, who is considered the fourth place candidate....

As for Eagar's speech, she opened with a story about a boy carrying a globe around with him, which she used as a metaphor for the importance of caring for the world for the future. Believe it or not, it actually worked well. After that, she launched into a string of phrases that got the crowd fired up: a second Reagan revolution, stopping illegal immigration, and so forth. She got the most enthusiastic cheers, although
not an overwhelming number of standing delegates during her ovation."
We have always enjoyed Eagar's speeches. She speaks from the heart without telepromter; it is a core strength that helps her to connect to the people whom she would represent if so entrusted by voters in the future election.

Not only was Nacilbupera impressed, we would have to say it's the best speech we've ever heard from Eagar. Although the video below is a bit primitive, it shows her gestures and voice inflections as they complement her words. Not being too much into clothes ourselves, we were shocked when she appeared on stage in white with the obvious symbolism it carried when joined with the message. Eagar often wears red, we have noted, perhaps symbolic of the war going on to take our country back; thus in seeing her in white for the first time was a jaw-dropper.

Lastly, we transcribed the speech (text follows video link--click on pic--below) so it is easier to follow along during the hard-to-hear times; a couple of times I guessed at the word but it the transcription has to be pretty close to the real deal.

===== Text of Cherilyn Eagar's Address to the Utah GOP Delegates, 2010 =====

Thank you. I recently heard a story about a father who loved his little boy very much. He wanted to buy him something very special. So he went to the store and he bought his son a globe. His son loved that globe he took it school, he took it to scouts, and even tried to take it to church. And then one night when the father went to tuck his son in and give him a kiss he found his son asleep with his arms fast around the globe. As the father gently picked the globe up to place it on the dresser, his son rolled over and said, “Daddy, what are you doing with my world?”

What are we doing with our children’s world?

If our children and grandchildren are to enjoy the blessings of liberty, we must stand committed to restore what Ronald Reagan called that ‘shining city on a hill.’ My friends, it is time for Republicans to start standing up and acting like Republicans again, don’t you agree? It’s time for a second Reagan revolution. Let’s start by defunding and repealing this onerous Obamacare that has been forced down our throats. Then, lets fulfill Reagan’s dream to dismantle the Department of Education…followed by his desire to withdraw from the United Nations.

It’s time for our elected officials to start living like the rest of us. Let’s end their perks, automatic pay raises, and multi-billion dollar pension plans and that’s how we’ll start balancing the budget. Its time to audit the Federal Reserve and end those backroom deals and pork earmarks from campaign [video skip] to Congress. My vote cannot be bought, sold, traded, or gambled away in a Senatorial backroom deal.

And as for the 2nd Amendment, Washington are you listening? What part of “shall not be infringed” do you not get?

Arizona understands the difference between the word documented and undocumented and so do I. Our founders [?] the beautiful tapestry with God-fearing immigrants in the land of the free, but if the brave don’t show up to protect our borders from importing poverty, crime, drugs, and terrorism that tapestry will continue to unravel. And are we all not proud to be Americans!

If Reagan were here today, I imagine he would have a tear in his eye and he would repeat his words of warning: if we ever forget we are one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under.

I will continue to fight for our religious liberty, for our moral foundation, for our family values. And I will champion the cause of the sanctity of life for the unborn and the elderly.

I have a vision for America. It’s a vision of an America no longer a debtor nation. No longer dependent upon her enemies for her resources and energy. It’s a vision of an America that’s industrious, strong, and independent with leaders who will not apologize to the world and bow down to our enemies but will stand up proudly and say: “We are America!” And our Constitution will not be trampled by the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, or any other global tribunal.

It’s not about health care. It’s about who controls health care. It’s about who controls our banks and businesses. It’s about who controls our land, our natural resources and our jobs. It’s about who controls our lives, and liberty, our faith, family, and freedom. It’s about “We the People” and “We the People” are here today to say: NO MORE BIG GOVERNMENT!

Senator Carl Schurz once said ‘my country right or wrong; when it’s right, keep it right; when it’s wrong, set it right.’ It’s time to set this little voice broke right. As the conservative choice in this race, as a successful businesswoman I’ve effectively defended Constitutional principles and limited government for over 30 years. I know how to stand and deliver not only in the court of public opinion but also on Senate floor. It’s not about personality it’s about principles…

++++ Update 5-11:

We couldn't figure out how to turn off the autoplay from the Ustream flash embedded video so we posted a picture link to the video instead.

++++ Update 5-26:

Cherilyn posted the text of her speech on her campaign website yesterday, effectively clarifying "the couple of guesses" of my transcription as well as providing the ending which was too hard to hear over the applause:

Your decision is not about personality. It’s about principle. A
wise man once said, “It is good to be liked, but better to be trusted.” This is
what I have stood for, and this is what I will stand for as your next U.S.
Senator for the great state of Utah. I am Cherilyn Eagar and I ask for your
vote! God bless you and God bless America!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tim Bridgewater: Master Mr. Niceguy

In yesterday's post we concluded with the following:

"There are plenty of Bridgewater faults and much to be concerned about; the problem is that if you blog something negative of Bridgewater, the Bridgewater folks all pat you on the head and think of you as their next convert.... We remain undecided in this race [between Lee and Bridgewater] as we have been..."
Tonight the Bridgewater camp tweeted the following:

"@nacilbupera Thank you. I am honored to have earned your vote yesterday. Appreciate your support."

The problem with the message tweet is that we have never given our support to either candidate. Indeed if we do so in the future, we will do so first on this blog. Being quite undecided as to whom to vote for on June 22nd, on Saturday we decided to start following both Mr. Bridgewater and Mr. Lee's tweets; indeed the measured time lapsed between following both could be measured in seconds. Many media and citizens follow not necessarily because they support or endorse a candidate, but because they want to be kept informed as to what's going on; such was the case with Nacilbupera.

While we're confident it would be easy to get the tweet corrected, the campaign masters at the Bridgewater camp would likely fall over backwards in apology for their error making us feel even more generous towards the Bridgewater campaign.

As Nacilbupera, back in October on our own efforts we launched the first major campaign against Bridgewater pointing out his FEC rule violation which got us a plug in the Salt Lake City Weekly and national blogger Riehl World View (not that we give a hoot for fame but we're small enough that we knew it would take more than our efforts alone to bring this issue up--so we're grateful for the coverage). As it turns out, the FEC really looks the other way on this rule below a $5000 threshold and we were unable to find evidence of violation of that $5K mark. We are finding other candidates across the nation seemingly guilty of the same charge so we'll give Bridgewater a legal break although ethically it did convey to the voters you aren't as honest as Abe.

The reason we bring this up is not only to clarify the record, but to provide further evidence to our Master Mr. Niceguy label of Tim Bridgewater: the campaign never spoke a word about the incident. In political strategy, this is of course the correct thing to do when the source has a voice so small it's drowned out; but Bridgewater could have come out swinging and lambasted us with his ego aflame--yet he chose not to. This doesn't seem the same Bridgewater in "fiery, bare-knuckled campaigns" against Swallow for Utah's 2nd Congressional seat.

There are early signs that Lee is learning the Mr. Niceguy game, but in 2010 Bridgewater is the Master Yoda.

++++ Followup 6/12:

If you like this article, try my one today entitled "Master Mr. Niceguy Goes Postal"

With Bennett's Defeat, The Teaparty Movement Eyes Hatch

With the GOP Senate primary race between Bridgewater and Lee in its infancy, the movement to get rid of Orrin has already well, hatched shall we say.

Never mind KNRS conservative talk show host Bob Lonsberry previously and repeatedly calling for the removal of Hatch this year, it seems like for conservative Utahns Hatch's exit can't come quick enough. And if Bennett was too old and too long in D.C. for Utahns this year, in 2012 Hatch will up Bennett's election-year age by a year with enough tenure in the Senate to lap Bennett twice and start worrying from pugatory his good friend Ted Kennedy about catching up.
SimpleUtahMormonPolitics commented in their post-Bennett defeat wrapup:
"Orrin, Thy Days are Numbered. You may also be aware that I don't care much
for Orrin Hatch as a Senator, for essentially the same reasons that I haven't
approved of Bennett's performance. A few of us spoke together after the
convention wondering whether it might be more healthy for Senator Hatch to
announce his retirement, rather than to risk suffering in two years the same
ignominy as Senator Bennett."
Voice of Deseret chimed in today with their article You're Next, Orrin: Cherilyn Eagar Has Not Yet Endorsed Either Tim Bridgewater Or Mike Lee, May Run Against Six-Term Senator Orrin Hatch In 2012 concluding:

"Orrin Hatch would be smart to decide right now that this current term will be
his last term, and walk out as an honored elder statesman. Thirty-six years will
be more than enough; it's time to turn the seat over to the next generation."
Sensing the anti-Hatch sentiment, Daily Herald political guru Joe Pyrah opined an article in which Eagar is quoted as "definitely" looking into running two years from now against Sen. Orrin Hatch. Even Jen Gulbrandsen, Eagar's daughter, tweeted a humorous reference at the closure of Saturday's convention to a possible "Eagar in 2012" run noting the musical capabilities of both:

"Eagar and Hatch should go head to head in a couple of years. They could
even have a sing off!"

With a fairly remarkable result from a complete grassroots effort in her first bid ever for public office, Cherilyn Eagar has made some friends along the way by proving true to principle and supporting the cause against Bennett. She picked up further accolades from the delegates by not avoiding endorsing Lee or Bridgewater. Here's what private commenter had to say:

"The unsung heroes for the conservative movement at the convention were Cherilyn
Eagar and her amazing supporters. Cherilyn was eliminated in the first round
and her patriotic supporters...and spread their votes to Lee and Bridgewater. They
have principle and they made history today."
Lady Logician pointed out in her blog today the anti-Bennett energy Eagar brought to the race:

"While some of the anti-Bennett energy can and should be credited to the Tea
Party movement the real Tea Party candidate was Cherilyn Eagar..."

Lady Logican is correct of course. Eagar was the only candidate to attend every major tea party in Utah including the original one on snowy day, April 15, 2009. Somewhere along the way she rallied the troops at the state capitol with the following anti-Hatch castigation:

"Senator Hatch said: 'We don’t need rookies in Congress right now. We need leaders
such as himself'…who voted to confirm two of the most liberal Supreme Court
justices [Ginsburg and Breyer]? Senator Hatch are you listening: with that kind of leadership we don’t need seniority."

Add to that list Hatch's (and Bennett's) confirmation vote just last year of radical Cass Sunstein, being 2 of only 6 GOP Senators to vote "aye" and you begin to see why Utahns want to give Hatch the hatchet on convention day 2012. (Warning to Progressives: this is a crafty play on Hatch's surname using a figure of speech: Nacilbupera strongly repudiates any intimation of actual physical violence.)

Eagar is the antithesis of a quitter at defeat. We expect she will play some roll in 2012, though nearly the entire GOP is ready to anoint Jason Chaffetz as Senator should he decide to run. And after this race, even those who didn't support Eagar realize the importance she plays in moving opinion against incumbents by holding them accountable for their voting records. Her efforts more than anyone merit her being Utah's Senator.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

How Lee lost a 15-Point Lead with Delegates in the Last Week…and how he could Rally to Win June 22

The loss 15-point loss to Bridgewater in the third round of the state convention today sent shock waves through the Lee camp. They presumed they would be the next Glenn Beck show heroes by coronating their candidate with a majority of support and maybe even avoiding a primary. Saturday’s convention shocked them about as much as Bob Bennett and the Salt Lake Tribune, the latter incorrectly publishing an article showing Bennett & Lee in the third round (h/t SimpleUtahMormonPolitics). Scratching their heads, they sit and wonder: was it the temple mailer? the Joseph Smith video? Or the Hitler video? What did us in? It actually was none of these. One thing we have learned is that Utah delegates are incredibly smart and informed and nothing gets by the vast majority of them. Following are five reasons why Lee lost and how he can yet turn it around:

Reason #1: Lee supporters incorrectly presumed and in some cases demanded support from Eagar supporters while being dismissive of Eagar (couldn't bother to spell the surname right at least?) rather than humbly seeking an opportunity to make Lee a second-choice candidate. While Lee and Eagar are the most closely aligned politically, Eagar supporters were offended by Lee’s run in the first place after a verbal understanding from Lee he wouldn’t run: that brought into question Lee’s integrity which would again be put to test on multiple occasions. When Eagar-supporter blogger Jason the Patriot opined last week "Why I would support anyone but Bob Bennett and Mike Lee" we knew Bridgewater was the candidate of preference for Eagar supporters. When it came time to debate Eagar on KNRS, Lee ducked and yes, lied (or campaign staff lied) while Bridgewater who replaced Lee a week later was a gentleman and treated Ms. Eagar like a candidate for US Senate. In the end, the lack of outreach to Eagar voters by Lee caused the majority of them to go Bridgewater. We saw this coming when in the KNRS online poll Bridgewater supporters went to Eagar showing the flip side of what we predicted in a tweet what would happen in round 2 at the convention: Eagar voters would in droves go for Bridgewater vaulting him into first place despite Lee’s first place scoring in the first round. To correct this, Lee must identify and convert Eagar supporters as a key group Lee must win over if Lee is to win. They will all vote in the primary and tend to be quite vocal and passionate. Lee must convert them early on so they in turn will get others to see the light.

Reason #2: Lee suffered under relentless “meals-on-wheels for Afghanistan” soundbites from Bennett and must come out strong in national defense. Lee is essentially a Libertarian. Fine. Not quite Utah’s cup o’ tea but we do like Libertarians. The problem is we like being safe from terrorism more than we like liberty (why else would we stand in security lines at the airport?) Sometimes as an elected official you have to bend and accept the will of the people and Utahns will not stand for failure to eradicate Islamofascism in Afghanistan. Lee could overcome this by saying (and then showing to prove it) that these get-out-of-Afghanistan views are personal, but he will make sure we do whatever it takes to destroy terrorists and keep American safe (after all, that’s an enumerated power!) This will help in recruiting would-be Bennett voters who have now all but written Lee off as anti-military.

Reason #3: Lee needs to intently confess his sins and be a man and own up to them. He needs to say: “I filed my personal disclosure late and accept full responsibility” and “I owe debt to the Federal Government and was wrong to not pay my student loans off and to get out of debt like my church counsels and am making it a priority to have them paid off by [whenever]” and “I have not been transparent in my campaign and am committing to you than I will be to you I will always be the most transparent candidate and first to release records. In fact, here’s my personal income tax statements for the past three years just to show you I want to be transparent.” Utahns have seen the arrogant side of lawyer Lee; we want to see the trailer-park kid in Lee and confessing sins is great because we want to be a people of forgiveness but we don't want an arrogant son-of-a-Solicitor for Senator.

Reason #4: One thing really bothering the folks is Lee’s young age coupled with a lack of commitment to two terms. Frankly we’re skeptical from the likes of politicians like Hatch that once Lee is in there unless he sits in a hot tub with a minor we’re gonna be Lee-land for the next 40 years. If Lee would put into writing a commitment not to serve more than 2 terms like the Constitutional term-limit amendment he proposes, we bet his poll ratings would jump 5 points just on that one simple act alone.

Reason #5: Too many conservatives moved publicly towards Bridgewater and it became a feeding frenzy. The two biggest were Holly on the Hill and Bob Lonsberry. Lee needs both of these greatly admired conservatives back in the fold but could still make it with the return of just one. How does Lee get them to return? Resolve reasons 1-4 above and you're to third base. Focus on these two first without purging the sin within and Lee will strike out. And when you do seek these it needs to be as sugar-to-bees not lashings-to-mules: the latter having already failed. And finally don't focus on the Erik Ericksons and Jim DeMints: Lee needs Utahn base support to win.

There are plenty of Bridgewater faults and much to be concerned about; the problem is that if you blog something negative of Bridgewater, the Bridgewater folks all pat you on the head and think of you as their next convert. With the Lee blog trolls, you’d better get your armor on because the blows are coming. We have much concern about Bridgewater but quite frankly it isn't worth our time bringing it up if Bridgewater is so nice and Lee is unapologetically faultless.

We remain undecided in this race as we have been in our mind between any hypothetical Bridgewater/Lee matchup. Ideologically we’re with Lee, but from a human point of view we’re with Bridgewater. If Lee continues with the same stuff since January, he loses the primary and our vote. Should he evolve for the better, he just might pull off a great upset: thus the ball to victory is in Lee’s court, yet time is ticking with about 2 weeks before essentially any window of opportunity closes for him to transform and expand his base.

No Bailout for Bob Bennett in Utah Convention (Update 4)

In keeping with polls showing Utah's 3-term incumbent Senator Bob Bennett waning in support, GOP delegates at the state convention voted for Tim Bridgewater first, Mike Lee second, leaving Bob Bennett with a mere 27% percent of the vote in round two, thus stopping Bennett's advancement to a third round (2nd round results here).

Cherilyn Eagar polled a strong fourth in the first round of voting, but according to GOP convention rules, only the top 3 move on to a second round. Eagar and her supporters are strongly anti-Bennett and lean Bridgewater as evidenced by Bridgewater's removal of Lee from the top spot in the first round (first round results here). Eagar made no endorsement of either candidate.

During the convention, blogger/twitterer Frank Staheli pointed out an error in the online article by the Salt Lake Tribune incorrectly saying that Bennett had survived the second round to run against Lee.

In the third and final round, Bridgewater gained a lot of Bennett votes to advance his lead over Mike Lee by a 15-point margin (third round results here). As Bridgewater fell short of the 60% needed to avoid a primary, there will be a statewide runoff GOP primary to determine the nominee. Whatever the outcome, Bennett will not appear on the November ballot in Utah.

The ousting of Bennett is sure to send shock wave around the national politcal news as the removal of the incumbent Senator over his earmarking, vote for TARP, support of Wyden-Bennett healthcare, and violation of 2-term commitment was a major priority for teaparty and 9/12 grassroots organizations. It will also likely cause senior Senator Hatch--in office since 1977--to ponder retirement as teaparty groups begin planning his defeat as well in 2012.

Additionally, during the convention popular Governor Herbert coasted to an easy GOP November ballot place with over 70% of the vote in a sole round of voting.

Friday, May 7, 2010

KNRS US Senate Straw Poll Results (Corrected)

Today after 7 rounds of single-candidate-elimination online voting stretching over the past month, the KNRS straw poll winner was named: Cherilyn Eagar with almost 54% of the vote over runner-up Mike Lee.

Of unknown influence was KNRS' Bob Lonsberry, the major Utah conservative talk show host, endorsement this week of Bridgewater with a note that he had very much grown to respect Ms. Eagar and had concerns about Lee's inability to get out of debt as LDS church leaders counsel while grossing $600K last year.

In the rounds leading up to this announcement, in an April 23rd editorial to the Deseret News, Greg A. Henderson of Alpine, UT, noted that Bennett had not been able to get a seat in the top three candidates and that Lee had a substantial lead over second place Eagar and third place Bridgewater.

We draw a couple of noteworthy observations from this poll. First, Lee who has polled well over a long period of time seems to have taken a measureable downturn of support over the last week due at least in part to his late filing / personal finance revelations. Just how much remains to be seen but the turncoat endorsement by respected blogger Holly On The Hill from Lee to Bridgewater is having huge reverberations. Second, supporters of Eagar and Bridgewater seem to have the other as their second choices so that if one drops out there could be enough support to propel the other over strong Lee support in the convention: it took the Bridgewater supporters in the straw poll to push Eagar past Lee's first choice advantage.

What the poll really doesn't show is how Bennett supporters will vote if Bennett is knocked out because Bennett supporters are more likely aligned with the KSL viewpoint rather than KNRS viewpoint and were less likely to be represented in the straw poll. We feel Bennett's media attack on Lee's Libertarian-ish national defense stances signals to them also to vote for someone other than Lee.

All said, this should be a convention to be remembered tomorrow. If we were to predict an outcome it would be a primary runoff between two of the following: Eagar, Bridgewater, and Lee although we feel it's anybody's guess as to who actually comes out on top. We don't place too much confidence in the Dan Jones poll of delegates because the landscape seems to have changed in the weeks since the poll with (in our opinion) particularly Eagar and Bridgewater catching up with Lee. While we hope Eagar does well as she has been the most stalwart to principle, but we'd also like to find places for service for Bridgewater and Lee while sending Bennett back to private life with a heartful thanks for his service to our great state.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Breaking: Eagar Campaign Website Hacked (Updated x2)

Conservative GOP U.S. Senate Candidate Cherilyn Eagar's campaign website has been hacked sometime today--just two days prior to the state's GOP convention--by an unknown person. Visits to her website at or returned this awful hacking image:

We denounce this illegal action by the person(s) responsible as an interference with free speech and our democratic process of elections and call for an immediate investigation into this action as well as prosecution for those responsible. The move reminisces of the hacking of Sarah Palin's email account during the Presidential elections even as comparisons between Palin and Eagar have been made.

In lieu of the campaign's website, may we suggest visiting the Eagar Youtube account where we found the following inspiring new videos:

++++ Update 8:38pm:
Repeated efforts to access the website since the posting have resulted in blank pages and once a successful connection. It appears that the campaign is making progress in restoring the website as we have been unable to reproduce the hacking image. An article by the Salt Lake Tribune reports a different hacking image.

++++ Update 10:10pm:
It appears for now the Eagar website is working. We sent an email to Attorney General Shurtleff requesting updates on the investigation. The attack apparently started around 10:30am this morning. An email from the Eagar campaign said the attack came in two bouts, the second following a restoration of the website from the first with no definite "who-dunnit" to point to.