Saturday, November 24, 2018

Time to get rid of straight party voting in Utah

When referring to possible changes to elections I have stated:

"IF they really want to change elections, they should get rid of straight party voting as people can now get on the general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate with signatures bypassing the political parties, and have been able to for many years. They just have a harder time wining with straight party voting. CMV v2.1 does nothing to help unaffiliated voters. That would."

As far as I can remember I have not voted straight party for an election. That goes back approx. 40 years.

I started promoting getting rid of strait party voting at least by Sep. 2017. See for example the bottom of this post. 

When I updated the blog post after CMV amended their proposal it has the same suggestion at the bottom

When I wrote my op-ed for the Salt Lake Tribune in Feb. 2018, it had the same suggestion.

I realized I voted against 2016 HB 119 in committee Feb. 2, 2016, but I was very torn at the time (you can listen to my comments in the committee) have had time to reconsider.

That decision had nothing to do with the 2018 election.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Is Prop 2 ready to vote on

Is Prop 2 ready to vote yes on?

Just take 2 items for example.

$100 fine, but that isn't enforceable. You forget your license to transport or to be a patient, and they have to assume you are legit.

2 oz. of raw material every 2 weeks. Not in any form that has even been claimed to be medicine. You can't smoke the raw material (if they catch you) but you sure can legally heat and breath the vapors.

Two more for added measure, lets take away any city's say in where in their city locations can be. We don't do that for anything else, with the new exception of homeless shelters.

The green cross places can't advertise that they are selling, with the exception of the green cross and that they can advertise for employees.

Vote No on Prop. 2. It isn't ready. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Why voters Should Not vote for the Fuel Tax Shell Game

Why voters Should Not vote for the Fuel Tax Shell Game

Are we raising the Utah State fuel tax by 33% and somehow expecting it to go toward Public Education?
As you likely know by now a “Nonbinding Opinion Question #1” is on the ballot this fall which reads: "To provide additional funding for public education and local roads, should the state increase the state motor and special fuel tax rates by an equivalent of 10 cents per gallon?"   

Besides the 33% Utah State fuel tax increase being proposed, there are some other major problems with the proposal. While you can use state sales tax money in any of at least three state budget areas, Transportation, Public Education and Higher Education, Education money from Income Tax is limited by the Utah State Constitution to only Public Education and Higher Education.

Fuel Tax money is limited by the Utah State Constitution to Transportation and Transportation items only, not public education.

To advertise that you are going to move taxpayer money around so you are using Transportation only money somewhere else violates at minimum the intent of the Utah Constitution.

The other issue with this proposed shell game is Transportation related sales tax should also go to Transportation - based on the same section in the Utah State Constitution. It is the sales tax going to Transportation that this “shell game” plans to use to make this whole scam “legal”.
With more Utah State Fuel Tax, the promoters of this tax increase think the State Legislature will reduce the amount of State Sales Tax being invested in Transportation and move that to Higher Education and then move more Higher Education money to Public Education.

By using Fuel Tax to increase the Education Fund, at some point you are either directly violating the Utah Constitution or at minimum violating the intent.

Is the idea of asking the voters to agree to this shell game scheme supposed to let the Utah Legislature and the Governor off the hook for not following the State Constitution?

Utah State Constitution, Art XXIII Sec. 5,_Section_5.html?v=UC_AXIII_S5_1800010118000101
Income Tax only for Public Education and Higher Education:
“5)    All revenue from taxes on intangible property or from a tax on income shall be used to support the systems of public education and higher education as defined in Article X, Section 2.

Fuel tax and Transportation related sales tax only for Transportation:
“6)    Proceeds from fees, taxes, and other charges related to the operation of motor vehicles on public highways and proceeds from an excise tax on liquid motor fuel used to propel those motor vehicles shall be used for: (a)    statutory refunds and adjustments and costs of collection and administration; (b)  the construction, maintenance, and repair of State and local roads, including payment for property taken for or damaged by rights-of-way and for associated administrative costs; (c)  driver education; (d)  enforcement of state motor vehicle and traffic laws; and (e)  the payment of the principal of and interest on any obligation of the State or a city or county, issued for any of the purposes set forth in Subsection (6)(b) and to which any of the fees, taxes, or other charges described in this Subsection (6) have been pledged, including any paid to the State or a city or county, as provided by statute. “

There is already a major issue with the Education Fund when the Board of Regents can raise Higher Education tuition without approval from the State Legislature, when they don’t get all the money they want. This increase in the Fuel Tax will not solve that issue.

Vote No on Question #1. We don’t need any more “shell games”.

The most stable and most long term funding of roads in Utah is not the fuel tax. It is the transportation related sales tax. That includes electric cars and tires for any car. Based on the state constitution the transportation related sales tax also goes to transportation. Currently about $579 Million per year. The #utleg has been using the number 17% of the overall sales tax as the approx. value that is transportation related. Based on the 17% number there is currently approx. $18 Million extra money from sales tax going into Transportation. Question 1 proposes to move approx. $125 Million from the sales tax to Education Fund. That means it is in violation of the state constitution. That doesn't even get into that the fuel Tax can't be used for education, with the exception of drivers education.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Original Sponsored Bills from 2011 to 2016

Some comments in the current Election mentioned my effectiveness. I can make this bill list look much larger and pad this list with Co-Sponsored Bills, but those bills are sponsored by someone else and you just sign to endorse them. No other work is required.

Original Sponsored Bills

(Not including Substitute versions,  Co-Sponsored or Floor Sponsored Bills, or amendments to other bills or helping pass or defeat other bills)

HB0221S01    Classic Car Inspections (Gov. Signed)
HB0227    Test Driving Vehicles (Industry Changed)
HB0281    Sex Offender and Kidnapping Amendments (See 2012)
HB0377    Higher Education Textbook Fairness Act (Agency Changed Policy)
HB0380    Utah Lands Protection Act (See 2012)

Several Redistricting map proposals

HB0018S01    Kidnapping Offender Amendments (passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0067S03    Storm Water Capture Amendments (See 2013)
HB0209S01    Utah Lands Protection Act (Alternate Bill passed)
HB0262    Building Code Amendments (Modified in 2013)

2013 (Sponsored for 2013, Transferred, passed and Gov. signed)
HB0036    Storm Water Capture Amendments (passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0215    Water Quality Amendments (passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0262    Unaffiliated Voter Amendments (passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0338    Alimony Revisions (passed, Gov. Signed)

HB0029    Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board Amendments (Passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0126S02    Design Professionals - Amendments (Alternate Passed in 2016)
HB0162    Construction Trades Continuing Education Amendments (See 2016)
HB0177S02    Modifications to Voting Law (Passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0243    Vintage Vehicle Amendments (Passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0281    Revisions to Elections Law
HB0286    Building Code Amendments (Alternate Bill Passed 2016)
HB0448    Disabled Adult Child Guardianship (1/2 passed in another bill)
HB0450    Licensing Modifications (See 2016)

Alternate to moving the Draper Prison

HB0011S02    Referendum Amendments
HB0065S01    Exemption from Daylight Saving Time
HB0069    Qualified Political Party Amendments
HB0080    Vehicle Impound Amendments
HB0101S02 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments (Passed and Gov. Signed)
HB0108    Licensing Amendments
HB0109 Construction Trades Education Amendments (Alternate Passed)
HB0125    Fire Code Amendments (Alternate Construction and Fire Codes Passed)
HB0152S01    Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications (passed in HB1)
HB0256    Net Metering of Electricity Amendments
HB0261    Wood Burning Stoves Amendments
HB0269    Recycling of Copper Wire (Passed and Gov Signed)
HB0361    Air Quality Modifications (Included in other passed bill)
HB0429    Specie Legal Tender Amendments
HJR011    Joint Resolution Designating Utah as a Purple Heart State (Passed and Lt. Gov. Signed)

See also:

Also see the Session Update for each year

Monday, April 2, 2018

60 vs 70 percent threashold Are we really going to debate this again

60/40 vs 70% threashold - are we really going to debate this again?
For years, the SCC and State Delegates debated the threshold for convention to primary elections. I was and I am still a supporter of the 60/40 threshold we currently have, despite the fact that I lost getting 40%+ by 2 or 3 votes out of 70 delegates (100% voting) in 2016 and didn't make it to a primary.

This State Convention there is again a proposal to change the party constitution to 70%. If it passes, it would not effect the 2018 races  Do we still want to continue this fight? 

The 60/40 allowed a challenger to eliminate an incumbent in 2016 for at least 2 Utah House races, including me. I am running again this year and I am not getting signatures. I am willing to take the risk with the 60/40 again as I did in 2014 and 2016. I won in 2014 at convention and also won in the general election. If the threshold had been changed to 70/30, it is likely that a democrat would have won that year.

Remember that CMV in 2013 always had more than one demand. It was never just the threshold. Even though adjusting the threshold would not have helped Gov. Walker in 2004 or Sen. Bennett in 2010, CMV using Y2 polled the delegates in 2012 and found that the Sen. Bennett would still not have received 40%+ with the delegates that year either. (Information released by Quin Monson at the Young Republican Convention)

I wrote this in May 2013. It is still true.

The threshold to avoid a primary is a two way sword. An 85/15 would make it easier for a weak challenger to get to a primary, but impossible to eliminate the incumbent without large amounts of money or fame. That was the Count My Vote / Buy My Vote request originally. Added to that the eliminating of any kind of multiple round and you could have 6 candidates in the primary, one of which would always be the incumbent.

They couldn't get 85/15, so they next tried 75/25. Almost impossible for an incumbent not to get 25% and make it to a primary. Yes, the incumbent is going to have a harder time getting 75%, but if the goal is more primaries that cost more money, it is one step closer to Buy My Vote or Buy My Ads. Add the elimination of the multiple round and you could get 3 or 4 candidates going to the primary. 70/30 allows up to 3 and again makes it harder to eliminate an incumbent.

Yes, the goal of 60/40 may have been to help the incumbents, but after Jason Chaffetz almost won in convention and Bennett and Gov. Walker lost, those that wanted to protect the incumbents realized they made a mistake with the 60/40 and many for years have wanted to switch it back. Two legislators were eliminated at convention this year. And yes, we still have some primaries, but not as many as we get with 2/3 or 70%.

In 2012 Utah, we have primaries: Hatch/Liljenquist, Dougall/Johnson, Swallow/Reyes, McCartney/Valdez, Okerlund/Painter, Vickers/Anderson, Perry/Galvez, Redd/Butterfield, Anderegg/Moore, Handy/Crowder, Macdonald/Bagley, Sagers/McCoy, Kennedy/Nitta, Muniz/Hendrickson, Stratton/Murray, Christofferson/Kane, Greene/Stevens, Layton/Daw, Nelson/Wright, Westwood/Carling, and Crockett/Winder, to name a few. Not every race had a primary nor should it. Most of those were GOP primaries.

Since 2000, 1/2 of all state wide and congressional contested GOP races  have gone to primary. 44 races, 30 were contested and 15 went to primary.

Yes a 2/3 threshold would have made a few more primaries, but the risk of an incumbent losing, or someone rich or famous losing would also go down.

Some that spoke for the 2/3 or 70% may believe what they have said, but I totally disagree and many in the SCC and also many of the delegates disagree as well. 

I have always said, The 60% threshold to avoid a primary works, allowing a shot of a challenger to eliminate an incumbent and yet requires a challenger to be a strong candidate. 

The current system does not protect the incumbent, wealthy or famous. I think that is a good thing.  
Finely tuned balance. It won today.

(originally posted 18 May 2013)

Fred C. Cox

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Town Hall Meetings and SLCOGOP Meet the Candidate meetings for 2018

Recent Past and Upcoming Town Hall Meetings:
Sat., April 7, 2018, 11:00 a.m.-Noon  Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 West 4100 South
Sat., March 24, 2018, 2:00-4:00 p.m.  Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 West 4100 South

Sat., March 17, 2018, 11:00a.m.-Noon Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 West 4100 South
Wed, February 28, 2018, 7:00-8:30 p.m.  Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 West 4100 South
Sat., February 17, 2018, 11:00 a.m.-Noon Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 West 4100 South
Sat., January 13, 2018, 2:00-3:00 p.m.  Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 West 4100 South

Salt Lake County GOP Meet the Candidate Meetings for 2018

3-27-18 Herriman Library, 5380 Main St, Herriman, UT 84096, 6-8 pm
4-2-18 Riverton Library,   12877 S 1830 W, Riverton Utah 84065, 7-9 pm
4-4-18 Sandy Library, 10100 Petunia Way, Sandy, UT 84092, 6-8 pm
4-7-18 Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 W 4100 S, West Valley City, UT 84120, 1-3 pm
4-9-18 Whitmore Library, 2197 Fort Union Blvd, Salt Lake City, UT 84121 7:15-8:45 pm
4-10-18 Millcreek Library, 2266 E Evergreen Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84109, 6-8 pm

County Convention
Friday, April 13th Meet and Greet 7 pm to 9:30 pm
Saturday, April 14, 2018, Meet and Greet 7 am
Call to Order, 10 am
Cottonwood High School
5715 South 1300 East, Murray 84121


Monday, March 12, 2018

Voting Ratings for 2018

Note: I was not in the legislature in 2018.  (I am running in 2018 and hope to be back in 2019)

 Below is what I posted last year. As the ratings/rankings come in for 2018 for my current representative, I will be posting them below. See the bottom of this post for additional links.

These will start with Rep. Winder for 2018 and me for 2016 and be updated for 2018 as the ratings/rankings come in.

Winder 2018 Votes for the General Session are at:
Unlike what I have always done, there are no public postings yet for all votes together, but you can look up each bill vote at

Cox 2016 Votes for the General Session are at: 
(2011, 2012, 2015 votes are also shown on this blog. Look in March of each year)

Winder 2018 Utah Grassroots, 31%, tied for 53 of 75, Average House 46%
Winder: 34% lifetime average, tied for 53 of 75, Average House 46%

Cox: 2016 Utah Grassroots, 57%, tied for 11th of 75, (Average House 36%)
Cox: 69% lifetime average, tied for 11th of 75, Average House 47%

Winder: Libertas 2016, 66% rating. 
Cox: Libertas 2016 Defenders of Liberty Award, 94% rating.   

Winder: (BYU/UtahDataPoints #55 most conservative ranking in House, Top 20 Liberal (2018)

Cox:       #31 most conservative ranking in House (2016)

Winder:  2018 Utah Taxpayers Association, 88.2% rating, tied for 19th place, 25th lifetime. 
2017 Utah Taxpayers Association, 83.3% rating, tied for 33rd place

Cox: 2016 Utah Taxpayers Association, 100% rating, tied for 1st place

Winder, Utah Republican Women’s Liberty Caucus, 2018, 43%, tied for 42 of 75 most conservatives or tied for 23 most liberal.  (no 2016 ratings).

Winder 2018 Floor Voting Attendance 7 missed of 734 votes. 1.0%
Cox 2016 Floor Voting Attendance 2 missed of 657 votes. 0.30%

Winder Number of "No" Votes on the Floor, 28 votes or 3.8% #61 in the House (2018)
Cox: Number of "No" Votes on the Floor, 61 votes or 9.3%  #19 in the House (2016)

Winder: Party Line Voting 75.4%, 60th in the House (2018)
Cox: Party Line Voting 70% 68th in the House (2016)

Utah Planned Parenthood
Winder, 2018, 75% or more (sponsor of one bill not totaled)
Cox, 2012, 0% (last rating given out)

 Winder: 2018 UEA, 92% rating, 
Cox: 2016 UEA, 50% rating,
2017 rankings/ratings not updated yet.

Winder: 2017 Heal Utah, 100%, A rating

Cox: 2016 Heal Utah, 92%, A- rating

Winder: 2017 AFP-Utah, 84.48%, B rating, #38 in the House[]=UTL000295&dist=30 
(no 2016 rating)

Winder: 2017 Salt Lake Chamber Business Champion. 
Cox: 2016 Salt Lake Chamber Business Champion, 89% rating (Also 2015, 2012 Business Champion.

Cox 2016 Ratings/Rankings:

For 2015 Session Ratings/Rankings and votes for previous years, see: