Do people ask you what the United Utah Party is? They ask me often. They ask our candidates all the time. They do that because they just don't know. In fact, most people still don't know who we are.
Yet, when we have told them in polls who we are and then asked if them if they are more or less likely to support our candidates after hearing about us, a majority say they are more likely. That is good news. It just means we need to get word out about who we are. The sooner we do that, the greater our support will be, and the more likely we can elect these new kinds of candidates who do not have to follow a strict party line as Republicans and Democrats do.
Can UUP candidates win this year? This is a question that I ponder. Can we move from a new party barely a year old to one gaining a majority, or even a plurality, in any district?
The short answer is yes. It is possible that we can win THIS YEAR one or more of the races we are competing in. Polls we and others have conducted over the past 20 months or so have shown that voters are not closely tied to the existing two major parties, are willing to consider an alternative, and, when they hear what we stand for, are willing to vote for a United Utah Party candidate.
That is all the good news. However, the bad news is that a majority of Utahns still do not know much, if anything, about the United Utah Party. We have made a dent through social media, our court fight last year, some traditional media coverage (although not much), and our current candidates' efforts. Yet, entering the public consciousness when people are focused on so many other things in life is not easy. We are working on it.
UUP candidates pledge to propose law to prevent future self-appointments
Seven United Utah Party candidates for the state legislature - Michele Weeks (HD 54), Stephen Walston (HD 41), Mark Russell (HD 49), Eric Chase (HD 61), Hillary Stirling (HD 57), Alex Castagno (SD 9), and Lee Houghton (SD 15) – have prepared a joint statement calling on Greg Hughes to resign from the board of Utah’s planned Inland Port. Hughes appointed himself the board as one of his final official acts as Utah’s Speaker of the House.
The statement reads as follows:
As candidates of the United Utah Party, we are committed to common-sense reform to restore the public’s faith in the integrity our state government. That faith was severely undermined by Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes’s self-appointment to the board of Utah’s Inland Port.
Beyond that self-appointment issue, Speaker Hughes now is declining to submit a conflict of interest form required by law because he claims that the law on conflict of interest regarding board members is ambiguous. He also admits that, as a real estate developer, he may have a conflict of interest.
Image from San Antonio Express
There is a vacancy in the Salt County Council due to the sad passing of Sam Granato. The vacancy in Council District 4 will be filled by a special election on November 6. The United Utah Party, like other political parties, will be able to designate a candidate to stand for the general election. The party is calling for individuals who are interested in being the candidate to indicate their interest in competing for the office by Thursday, June 28 at 5 pm. They can write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candidates must be registered voters in that district and be affiliated with the United Utah Party.
The party will hold a meeting of all party members on Monday, July 2, to formally nominate an individual as the nominee of the United Utah Party for this race. (The time and place is yet to be determined.) All registered party members are invited to participate in the voting at that meeting. If there is more than one individual running, a vote will be held to determine the nominee.
The United Utah Party was in its first parade of the season last Saturday. Orem Summerfest's grand parade included 100 entries, but I think ours was the best. Special thanks to Hillary and Del Stirling who created the design, bought the materials, and built most of the float. Thanks also to Diane and Larry Knight for donating the trailer for the season. And thanks as well to those who came one or two Saturdays to help construct the float and/or walked the parade route or became an actor on the float.
“This is yet another indication of the pressing need for government reform,” said Richard Davis, United Utah Party Chair. “The conflict of interest is so obvious here. It should not be legal for a public official to appoint themselves to another office.”
"A bill to prevent future incidents like this would be a critical step in restoring public trust," said Davis.
School is out. Summer is here. It is time for mowing lawns, backyard picnics, and summer vacations.