Sunday, November 27, 2016

Showing Respect to those we disagree with

If you have read  Paul Rolly's hit piece on Rep. LaVar Christensen, perhaps you should also read this.

I had a comment re: what Paul said about me, (See Below) but I have been speechless as to what he said about Rep. Christensen.

In 2012, I was criticized by some because I refused to run a negative mailer about Rep. Janice Fisher. I wanted her to spend time with her grand kids and I wanted to win, but I did not want her to walk in to the local Smith's and hold her head down because of something I said. She had been in West Valley Politics for 30 years and deserved that respect and gratitude.

Earlier this year, I refused to go after Mike with his past media troubles or problems as Mayor for the same reason. Both moves may have cost me elections, but I felt both times like it was the right thing to do.

If Paul Rolly had said what he did about Rep. Christensen prior to Nov. 8th, It likely would have flipped the election, but at what cost? Agree with Rep. Christensen or not, he deserves the same respect I believe Rep. Janice Fisher deserved in 2012.

What good does it now do to try to make Rep. Christensen hang his head going into his local grocery store, win or lose? 


In the more than 17,000 votes, I doubt one vote will change with the recount.

re: My comment to the article. 


Most of the amendments I have made to bills over the years were a few words and most of the time, the sponsor did know it was coming.

In the thousands of bills I have voted on, I voted for or against a bill based on what was written, not who the sponsor was or which party they belonged to. If I couldn't vote for it, I would see if there was a way to amend it so I could vote for it. I also had a reputation of reading through every bill I had to vote on.

What I actually said was "Motion to Amend", and yes it did get a lot of laughs.

I hope to be back in 2 years.

Fred.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Voting my conscience and hoping Trump follows the Constitution and does well

I have been amazed at the attitude by some that I did what I always do, vote for the best people running. 

Normally I get to the bottom of the ballot and had voted for all R's, but sometimes a D. This was the first year I had to go for write-ins, unaffiliated candidates, and 3rd party as well as D's to fill up my ballot. 

Yes, the majority of my votes were for Republicans, but I was not impressed with some of the options. 

What amazes me the most, was several of my friends "verbally" beat me up for voting my conscience. It is what we are supposed to do. 

I voted for or against thousands of bills for 4 legislative sessions. I didn't vote yes or no because of the sponsor. 

I believe the GOP can recover, Replace the RNC chair with Carly Fiorina or someone else, and I do believe we can get rid of the attitude that the party can take away your agency. I have not given up yet. 

I didn't vote for or support the candidate Donald Trump, but I do hope he follows the US Constitution and ends up being a good POTUS, for the Country's sake.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

My Journey to Endorsing Evan McMullin for the President of the United States

My Journey to  Endorsing Evan McMullin

I typically vote Republican, but never straight ticket. Most of the time when I get to the bottom of the ballot, I have voted all R's, but sometimes there is a D in there. I have never considered seriously 3rd party or independents or write-ins, until this year, where I will be voting for all of those.

This year I started endorsing Carly Fiorina for POTUS. I met her and heard her speak in June of 2015 as was impressed. I went and heard Marco and Ted and when Carly dropped out and we were primarily left with three, I supported Ted. At least I knew he had read the Constitution and would follow it.

August 1, 2016, I was looking at Castle/Bradley as there was no way I was going to support Trump, who I believe to be a Putin wannabee and a dictator in chief. I felt like Hillary Clinton was not trustworthy either and I felt like she was corrupt and would make the country and the world worse.

Because of some past statements Gary Johnson had made on religious liberty, I was not going to go see Johnson/Weld, on August 6th, but then Gary Johnson wrote his op-ed to the Des. News. It was good enough for me to decide and go meet him and Weld on two events that Saturday. One with about 30 people. Gary made 2 statements that were important. He agreed with the win/win protections for religious freedom and anti-discrimination that the Utah Legislature passed in 2015. Having voted for those two bills, that was important to me. Johnson and Weld also said they would nominate SCOTUS justices that understand and would support the original intent of the Constitution to limit government and protect our rights. Both had been state governors and had executive experience. I picked up a yard sign for Johnson/Weld, but then it stayed in my car for 2 months.

Shortly afterwards my meeting with Johnson/Weld, I heard Evan McMullin had announced his run for POTUS and then got on the ballot in Utah and 10 other states, plus as a write-in for a couple of dozen more states and counting. I spent my time researching Evan. It took me until last week to get to meet Evan, and I was impressed. His yard sign was up in my yard within days.

I could live with any of these three POTUS/VP teams, but I have endorsed Evan McMullin.

I agree with him, about 87% of the time and he could do the job and I trust him to do a great job. He understands protecting this country and limiting government and protecting our rights. I was impressed when he finally picked Mindy Finn for VP. She is only 35 years old, but is very smart, a mom with a husband and 2 kids from Texas and is very proud of her state and to be Jewish. We don't know if Evan wins if he will get Mindy as VP, as the choice may be from the top 2 from the US Senate. More information on Evan is at: https://www.evanmcmullin.com/
(Yes, that is a photo of me near the lower right hand corner with suit and the striped red tie.)

Can Evan McMullin win? Yes. Will Evan win? It depends on the voters. I challenge my friends to vote for either Castle/Bradley, Johnson/Weld, or Evan McMullin.

I would be ecstatic if no state electoral votes went to Hillary or Trump. I reject the notion that we have to chose between these two corrupt and power hungry candidates. 
Don't vote for either Hillary or Trump. 

For more info re: the Electoral College, designed to protect the smaller population states from the larger population states or cities, see:

http://fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2016/09/so-with-potus-is-there-really-just-two.html


Monday, October 10, 2016

For those looking for another choice besides Hillary or Trump for POTUS

For those looking for another choice besides Hillary or Trump

This link lists 25 choices for President of the US that have filed with the
Utah Lt. Gov., 10 on the ballot and 15 write-ins:
https://elections.utah.gov/election-resources/2016-candidate-filings#Federal

For those in different states or wanting to know what candidates are on multiple states, see the following links:

Evan McMullin:
https://www.evanmcmullin.com/34_states_and_counting

I have read that California for a write-in has be added and I am looking to confirm that. The campaign made this statement: "By the time Election Day rolls around, voters in somewhere between forty and forty-five states will be able to vote for Evan."

Johnson/Weld
https://www.lp.org/2016-presidential-ballot-access-map



Castle/Bradley:
https://www.constitutionparty.com/get-involved/election-central/ballot-access/

Stein/Baraka
http://www.jill2016.com/ballot_access


After looking very seriously at Castle/Bradley and Johnson/Weld, I picked McMullin/Finn










Friday, September 23, 2016

Pick One

During the last almost 8 years of President Obama, I have felt like he has ignored, at best, our US Constitution. I have been glad that for a few of those times, the SCOTUS told him he couldn't do something. I really don't expect anything better out of Hillary for the next 4 years, re: the Constitution. I also believe her to be totally corrupt.

While I don't agree with many things Trump has said over the last year or more, my biggest fear is that he wants to be even more of a dictator, a Putin, from going after families of terrorists to telling us only he could save us, to running with a stop-and-frisk program. He has given no indication that he has even read the US Constitution or that he would follow it if he has. 

Today, from his campaign, Trump has added Mike Lee to his list of SCOTUS nominees. I truly don't believe Trump will pick anyone that would limit his power, unless he absolutely had to, to win.

I have looked strongly at Johnson/Weld, Castle/Bradley and also McMullin. None of those have the same level of concern for me than Hillary/Trump do. For any of those others to win Utah, it appears we need some pretty strong endorsements as they appear to be splitting the #NoHillary #NoTrump vote.

Do we have anyone with the clout to move the needle in the next 2 weeks that is going to pick one of these?

So with POTUS are there really just two choices

So with POTUS are there really just two choices? No, in Utah there are 25 choices.

Don't just the two parties have a chance?. No, take a look at the 1968 and the 1860 elections. Most especially, look at the 1824/25 election where someone that didn't have a majority and wasn't even #1 in electoral votes won.

We also still have what is left of the electoral college. Any of the top 3 POTUS Candidates can win if none get 270 electoral votes. Yes, someone with just a few electoral votes could be POTUS. The electoral college makes sure the candidates don't just target the large cities in the country, but actually look at all the states.

This link below shows who the Utah choices are currently to vote on. You can't just write in anyone for POTUS and have it count. They have to have filed and be listed.

https://elections.utah.gov/election-resources/2016-candidate-filings#Federal

More on the Electoral College:
If we don't get 270 votes, it goes to the US House of Representatives, one vote per state from the top 3. Who is the 3rd candidate going to be If they can't get a majority?   We may get the VP Candidate voted on from the US Senate out of the top 2 electoral votes if the House can't decide. IF the House fails to pick a President and the Senate fails to pick a Vice President, then under 3 USC 19, the Speaker of the House can resign and become the President.
If he doesn't, we get Sen. Hatch.   Yes, I know....

While this was for a different purpose, it has some good info:
http://fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2011/11/national-popular-vote-compact.html

What we have now with the 12th Amendment:

     The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.

    The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.

    The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.

    The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

From the 20th Amendment for the section crossed out above:
20th Amendment "Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified."

IF the House fails to pick as President and the Senate fails to pick a Vice President, then under:

3 USC 19: Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act
(a)(1) If, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is neither a President nor Vice President to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, upon his resignation as Speaker and as Representative in Congress, act as President.

 
 Utah Candidates:

By the way, in Utah, someone can run as a write-in candidate for POTUS, but they must file by September 9th. It doesn't cost. You could, if you qualify.

To show up on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate for POTUS, The filing must be received by August 15th with $500 and 1000 signatures. You can't just write in anyone on your ballot and have it count.

From the Lt. Gov. 

Candidates who do not wish to affiliate with a ballot-approved political party may appear on the ballot by submitting a petition. Candidates for the office of President or US Senator must submit a petition with the signatures of at least 1,000 registered Utah voters. The names on the petition must be verified by the county clerk(s) as registered voters.

Presidential candidates (or a designated agent) must file the petition and a certificate of nomination between March 11, 2016 and 5pm on August 15, 2016. Unaffiliated candidates are required to pay the same filing fees as all other federal office candidates.



Write-in Candidates
To become a valid write-in candidate for a federal office, an individual must file a Declaration of Write-In Candidacy no later than 5pm on September 9, 2016. Individuals filing for President may have a designated agent file for them.

Federal office candidates must file the declaration in person with the Lt. Governor's Office. Write-in candidates must meet the qualifications required for the federal office they are seeking. Filing the Declaration of Write-In Candidacy means that write-in votes for the candidate will be counted. The candidate's name will not appear on the ballot.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Rep Fred Cox Town Hall Meeting Aug 18

Thank You! I have really appreciated representing the great people of this area of West Valley City. I have worked hard to read the bills, speak up, and also vote on the bills, taking into account different viewpoints. I have had bills pass the legislature and signed by the governor each year. Many of the bills I sponsored were at your request.

For 2016, I was given a 100% rating from the Utah Taxpayers Association for voting against tax increases and looking out for the taxpayers. I also received a Salt Lake Chamber 2016 Business Champion award for working to help business grow.

I was two votes shy of getting out of my party convention this year, and so I will not be serving next year. I will be representing you until the end of the year. We have special legislative sessions and interim committee meetings. I would love your continued input.

Come discuss concerns with Representative Fred Cox:
Town Hall Meetings,



Thu., September 15, 2016, 7:00-8:30 p.m.  
West Valley Library Mtg Room, 2880 West 3650 South
 
Thu., August 18, 2016, 7:00-8:30 p.m.         
Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 West 4100 South

About Fred: Fred serves as a member of the Utah State House of Representatives for 2015 and 2016 representing almost 1/3 of West Valley City residents. He also served in the Utah State House for 2011 and 2012. A Utah native, and a lifelong resident of Salt Lake County, Fred graduated from Highland High School, studied at the University of Utah, graduating from what is now called Salt Lake Community College in Architectural Technology. A licensed Utah Architect, Fred started his own architectural firm in 1996, working and living in West Valley City. Fred and his wife Aleta have lived in West Valley City for over 28 years.



Saturday, July 16, 2016

So is it Gary Johnson / Weld v Castle / Bradley or a Write-in for POTUS

So is it Gary Johnson/Weld v Castle/Bradley or a Write-in for POTUS?

(No Trump and No Hillary) 


I will be posting links to interviews from both of these parties and others. Check back for updates.

 Gary Johnson/Weld
I have had issues with some of the comments that Gary Johnson said during his pre-convention debates. He appears to throw the 1st Amendment under the bus, which is concerning.

I supported Utah's 2015 SB 296 and SB 297 which are carefully crafted to protect both religious freedom and provide protections against discrimination of working and living in Utah.

I have asked repeatedly to the Johnson Campaign for a clarification statement from his past comments and also a response to those two bills.

Gary Johnson finally wrote a thoughtful response to my (and likely others) questions:
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865659254/EXCLUSIVE-Gary-Johnson-Religious-freedom-and-non-discrimination-laws.html?pg=all

One of the advantages of Gary Johnson/Weld is they both have served as Governors of a state and appear to have more experience than any other slate running, including the "major" parties. He is also on the ballot, reportedly, on all 50 states, and so could actually win without having to go though the vote in the US House. (See below).


Doug Wright videos of the Johnson/Weld interviews

https://youtu.be/KPPY6RaBseA

https://youtu.be/l9gE0esaOjQ

https://youtu.be/eFV6MRWKC-I

https://youtu.be/Tokn21aIbmM

Website:
https://johnsonweld.com/

Darrell Castle/Bradley
Darrell Castle comes across as your next door neighbor. To have someone running with wisdom and humility is refreshing. His Bio is at:
http://castle2016.com/darrell-castle/

I have personally met and talked to and heard Scott Bradly from Utah, who is the VP candidate for the Constitutional Party. While I don't agree with him on some issues, I do on others. I like that they both would protect our religious freedom and that they are pro-life on the abortion issue.

http://castle2016.com/scott_bradley/

Website:
http://castle2016.com/

Why vote for Castle
https://youtu.be/oDIiahus8OY
 
May 10 Q&A
https://youtu.be/b6bPjvjQxyE 

Q&A
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judy-frankel/trump-hillary-haters-take_b_10110720.html

States that you can vote for Castle/Bradley (Besides Utah)
https://www.constitutionparty.com/get-involved/election-central/ballot-access/

Evan McMullian
https://www.evanmcmullin.com/


Who Else:
This link below shows who the Utah choices are currently to vote on. You can't just write in anyone for POTUS and have it count. They have to have filed and be listed. Check back on this list between now and Sep. 10th, as Sep. 9th is the last day to file for POTUS in Utah.

https://elections.utah.gov/election-resources/2016-candidate-filings#Federal

More on the Electoral College:
If we don't get 270 votes, it goes to the US House of Representatives, one vote per state from the top 3. Who is the 3rd candidate going to be If they can't get a majority?   We may get the VP Candidate voted on from the US Senate if the House can't decide. IF the House fails to pick a President and the Senate fails to pick a Vice President, then under 3 USC 19, the Speaker of the House can resign and become the President.

While this was for a different purpose, it has some good info:
http://fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2011/11/national-popular-vote-compact.html

What we have now with the 12th Amendment:

     The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.

    The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.

    The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.

    The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

From the 20th Amendment for the section crossed out above:
20th Amendment "Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified."

IF the House fails to pick as President and the Senate fails to pick a Vice President, then under:

3 USC 19: Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act
(a)(1) If, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is neither a President nor Vice President to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, upon his resignation as Speaker and as Representative in Congress, act as President.

 

 Utah Candidates:

By the way, in Utah, someone can run as a write-in candidate for POTUS, but they must file by September 9th. It doesn't cost. You could, if you qualify.

To show up on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate for POTUS, The filing must be received by August 15th with $500 and 1000 signatures. You can't just write in anyone on your ballot and have it count.

From the Lt. Gov. 

Candidates who do not wish to affiliate with a ballot-approved political party may appear on the ballot by submitting a petition. Candidates for the office of President or US Senator must submit a petition with the signatures of at least 1,000 registered Utah voters. The names on the petition must be verified by the county clerk(s) as registered voters.

Presidential candidates (or a designated agent) must file the petition and a certificate of nomination between March 11, 2016 and 5pm on August 15, 2016. Unaffiliated candidates are required to pay the same filing fees as all other federal office candidates.


Write-in Candidates
To become a valid write-in candidate for a federal office, an individual must file a Declaration of Write-In Candidacy no later than 5pm on September 9, 2016. Individuals filing for President may have a designated agent file for them.

Federal office candidates must file the declaration in person with the Lt. Governor's Office. Write-in candidates must meet the qualifications required for the federal office they are seeking. Filing the Declaration of Write-In Candidacy means that write-in votes for the candidate will be counted. The candidate's name will not appear on the ballot.

Monday, June 27, 2016

If Gov Gary Herbert wins tomorrow - will he run in 4 more years

I saw someone yesterday post that they thought there was a limit to the number of terms Gary Herbert could run. There isn't.

I have heard some that are voting for Gov. Herbert because he may not run in 4 years and they can get someone more moderate or more conservative elected in 2020. That is faulty reasoning.

Robert Gehrke wrote is this in 2014: "In 1994, a group gathered enough signatures to put an initiative on the ballot to impose term limits on elected officials. The Legislature responded by passing legislation, which Leavitt signed into law, imposing term limits. The ballot measure, made moot by the legislation, failed that November."

"Then, in 2003, before the term limits took effect, Bramble sponsored legislation, also signed by Leavitt, repealing term limits."

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Why I will not vote for Donald Trump

I received today another reminder why I should vote for Donald Trump for President of the US.

I said NO!

See below, "The Supreme Court".

My Response:

Yes, I know.

I also know it isn't November. I know the R / D delegates haven't voted yet.

There is a chance that we could get a nominee for POTUS that won't be a bully and a dictator. There is a chance the other side won't pick a corrupt liberal. 

While the 12th Amendment nearly got rid of the Electoral College, it didn't entirely. One state (or more) going with a 3rd candidate could cause ‎neither R or D to get 270 electoral votes.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_(United_States)

We could, this year, get an L or C or an unaffiliated ‎POTUS if the R / D pick Trump/Clinton and neither party gets 270 Electoral Votes. 

You want me to vote for Trump because at one moment he might suggest a good SCOTUS nominee?

What will he suggest the next moment? What fundamental right will he decide is in his way? He can't even keep a promise to debate Bernie.

Trump has changed his mind on any issue because he has only one principle.

Power, Greed, Self.

Trump would bomb your house with no trial if he doesn't like your nephew. He doesn't believe in the 2nd Amendment unless it helps him that minute.

Good luck with that.

Fred

From the email sent to me:

The Supreme Court

             A lot of people have brought up the fact that they won't vote for Trump, IF he's the eventual nominee.
            
            I just want to put something in perspective.
            
            Justice Scalia's seat is vacant.  Ginsberg is 82 years old, Kennedy is 79,  Breyer is 77, and Thomas is 67.
            
            Nowadays, the data shows that the average age of a Supreme Court retirement or death occurs after 75.
            
            These are 5 vacancies that will likely come up over the next 4-8 years. The next President will have the power to potentially create a 7-2 Supreme Court skewed in their ideology.
            
            Think about that... 7-2.
            
            If the next President appoints 5 young justices, it will guarantee control of the Supreme Court for an entire generation, and 7-2 decisions will hold up much more over time than 5-4 decisions, which sure seemed to be lacking in mandate.
            
            Hillary has made it clear she will use the Supreme Court to go after the 2nd Amendment. She has literally said that the Supreme Court was wrong in its Heller decision, stating that the Court should overturn and remove the individual right to keep and bear arms. Period.
            
            Everyone saying that they won't vote for one candidate or the other if they are the GOP nominee, please realize this!
            
            If Hillary Clinton wins, and gets to make these appointments, you likely will never see another Conservative victory at the Supreme Court level, for the rest of your life!


More on the Electoral College:
If we don't get 270 votes, it goes to the US House of Representatives, one vote per state from the top 3. Who is the 3rd candidate going to be If they can't get a majority?  We may get the VP Candidate voted on from the US Senate.

While this was for a different purpose, it has some good info:
http://fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2011/11/national-popular-vote-compact.html

What we have now with the 12th Amendment:

     The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.

    The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.

    The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.

    The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

From the 20th Amendment for the section crossed out above:
20th Amendment "Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified."

IF the House fails to pick as President and the Senate fails to pick a Vice President, then under:

3 USC 19: Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act
(a)(1) If, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is neither a President nor Vice President to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, upon his resignation as Speaker and as Representative in Congress, act as President.


 Utah Candidates:

By the way, in Utah, someone can run as a write-in candidate for POTUS, but they must file by September 9th. It doesn't cost. You could, if you qualify.

To show up on the ballot as an unaffilated candidate for POTUS, The filing must be received by August 15th with $500 and 1000 signatures. You can't just write in anyone on your ballot and have it count.

From the Lt. Gov. 

Candidates who do not wish to affiliate with a ballot-approved political party may appear on the ballot by submitting a petition. Candidates for the office of President or US Senator must submit a petition with the signatures of at least 1,000 registered Utah voters. The names on the petition must be verified by the county clerk(s) as registered voters.

Presidential candidates (or a designated agent) must file the petition and a certificate of nomination between March 11, 2016 and 5pm on August 15, 2016. Unaffiliated candidates are required to pay the same filing fees as all other federal office candidates.

Write-in Candidates
To become a valid write-in candidate for a federal office, an individual must file a Declaration of Write-In Candidacy no later than 5pm on September 9, 2016. Individuals filing for President may have a designated agent file for them.

Federal office candidates must file the declaration in person with the Lt. Governor's Office. Write-in candidates must meet the qualifications required for the federal office they are seeking. Filing the Declaration of Write-In Candidacy means that write-in votes for the candidate will be counted. The candidate's name will not appear on the ballot.


Other Candidate Options:
If Austin Petersen wins at convention this weekend:
http://austinpetersen2016.com/

Also, don't forget we have a Utahn running for VP.
http://castle2016.com/

And don't forget those that have filed as write-in candidates:
https://elections.utah.gov/election-resources/2016-candidate-filings#Federal




Saturday, May 21, 2016

Why vote for Jonathan Johnson for Utah Governor

I recently wrote that Governor Gary Herbert nice guy that has been in office too long. When is too long?

It varies. I was just fine with Ron Bigelow who was my Utah House Rep. for 16 years and supported him when he ran for 2 more. I didn't always agree with him, but he would listen, and I knew he worked hard and cared what I thought.

When I first met then Rep. Chris Cannon, I immediately thought he had been in Washington D.C. too long. He was only in office 6 years at the time. It took another 6 years before we replaced him with Jason Chaffetz.

Being in office too long is an attitude followed by actions. Sometimes it is too much pride. Sometimes it is winning at all costs. Sometimes it is the idea that the official thinks they know it all. The last one is hard to tell without talking to the person themselves. You can't learn that from others. I have spent many hours reading bills and one of the reasons I have had one of the best attendance records in the legislature is I know that I don't know it all. I want to hear why others agree or disagree with my initial take on a proposed bill or issue. After hearing arguments on both sides, I may decide I was wrong.

Have I voted for an incumbent that I have felt is in office too long? Yes, I have. I have to believe the person I am voting to replace them will be able to do the job and is a good choice, otherwise, why vote out someone that is doing the job?

So why is Jonathan Johnson a person that can do the job and is a good choice?

I have spent many years working with our Governor and only a couple of years being around Jonathan Johnson. I have been to Jonathan Johnson's home, many of his campaign events, and even to events where both Jonathan and our current Governor have spoken on the issues.

Jonathan Johnson is willing to learn. He is willing to hear both sides of an issues and try to find a win-win solution. He is willing to change his mind if the arguments are good enough, but has the backbone to stay firm when he still feels strongly on principle about an issue or action.

Do I agree with Jonathan Johnson 100%? No. Do I agree with Gary Herbert 100%? No.

I do agree with Jonathan Johnson most of the time. I strongly agree with him on several key issues. One is Utah getting away from the Federal feeding trough with the strings that come with the Federal money. We should decrease and not increase the Feds or the State controlling our lives.


Here are a few other items to consider.

http://hirejj.com/issues/

http://hirejj.com/about/

Remember to vote for Jonathan Johnson for Governor. The Primary Election ends June 28th. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Governor Gary Herbert nice guy that has been in office too long


I had promised both campaigns that I wouldn't endorse either Gary Herbert or Jonathan Johnson before the convention. The County Convention was last week... :)

I had someone I respect today question why the delegates would possibly not vote for our current Governor Gary Herbert.

I will give you more than one reason. But #1: He has been in office too long. Perhaps not in years, but too long. (If he doesn't win another term he will be over 7 years as Governor, and almost 5 years as Lt. Gov).

Some will say that they will not pay attention to some State House Rep. that missed getting out of convention by 2 votes last week. I say, don't shoot the messenger.

Let me go back to 2009. I got my photo taken with then Sen. Hatch. I had decided that Sen. Bennett had been in DC too long, but in 2009, I was just fine with Sen. Hatch. By 2012, I had changed my mind. We had 2 candidates that year (we had lots more running) that I felt could do the job. One, I thought could do the job better, and I wrote this:

http://fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2012/06/dan-liljenquist-or-senator-orrin-hatch.html

(OK, Dan has made some decisions since 2012 that I question, so no guarantees for 2018, other than Sen. Hatch has been in DC now very much too long. We will see who comes along).

I do believe the Governor is starting to do some amazingly dumb things to make himself look good. That is never a good sign. 

 First, lets start with this:
This group seemed to do a great job of getting both of our previous State AG's into trouble. Lets hire them to help my campaign?  NOT!!!

http://www.sltrib.com/news/3246126-155/rolly-hes-baaaack-swallow-operative


OK, not as dumb as it could be, but I am just getting started.


Why would Gary Herbert and Spencer Cox "miss" marking their 2016 candidate forms correctly and then going back the next week and changing them, when they had signed and specifically initialed on March 15 that they knew they could not change the form after March 17.

The election law broken: 20A-9-201(8)
http://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title20A/Chapter9/20A-9-S201.html?v=C20A-9-S201_2014040320150101


The typical Penalty: 20A-1-609
"Except as provided ... a person convicted of any offense under this title may not:
(a)    file a declaration of candidacy for any office or appear on the ballot as a candidate for any office during the election cycle in which the violation occurred;
(b)    take or hold the office to which he was elected; and
(c)    receive the emoluments of the office to which he was elected."

 http://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title20A/Chapter1/20A-1-S609.html?v=C20A-1-S609_1800010118000101

The way out: 20A-9-202 (5) find someone to complain about the form within 5 days of March 17th
http://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title20A/Chapter9/20A-9-S202.html

They both made the same "mistake" at the same time. 
Yes, a few others did as well, but very few overall and this was a very public item on the form

https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2016%20Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/Governor/Governor%20Herbert%20and%20Lt.%20Governor%20Cox%20Declaration%202.pdf

Notice that they added a check box saying which method of nomination they were seeking on 3/21/16. Notice on the 2nd page they initial that they knew they couldn't change the form after March 17th at 5pm.


It isn't too bad, as they found an exception, a way to legally fix the forms without getting charged with the Class B Misdemeanor, and being banned from taking office as Governor and Lt. Governor, which is the normal default for violating the election law in this area of the law.


More recently:
Why would Governor Herbert even risk violating the State Constitution and negotiate a deal for a special session vs a veto override session to save face during an election year?  


http://www.utah.gov/governor/news_media/article.html?article=20160419-1

Compare this to Utah Constitution, Art. VII, Sec. 8, (4)
http://le.utah.gov/xcode/ArticleVII/Article_VII,_Section_8.html 

Notice the words: Shall,  and also 60 days.There is no provision in the State Constitution for the Governor to have the legislature delay polling their body to create this deal, a Special Session.


And finally:

Today at the State GOP Convention, the Governor had his very expensive convention booth with signs that it is being sponsored by Coal and at least one other industry. He had sponsored very expensive events for delegates at both the professional basketball arena and the pro soccer stadium. 

And today he complained about attacks when the delegates just got in the mail in the last few days several letters from the Governor supporters trashing Jonathan Johnson. This included lobbyist, state school board member, and ballot nomination signature businessman Spencer Stokes. You can't write the stupidity. 

One attack was my good friend Lt. Gov. Cox hitting Jonathan about 2 adult magazines Overstock was carrying (they announced today that that is ending) when Jonathan was complimenting the state legislature for passing a resolution condemning Porn.

http://www.ksl.com/?sid=39432748&nid=757&title=lt-gov-spencer-cox-calls-gop-opponent-hypocritical-in-porn-twitter-exchange

Governor Herbert has been in office long enough. Some think I have been too. I am saving my yard signs. Will the Governor?

More Recent updates:

Speed dating fundraising:

http://www.sltrib.com/news/3833261-155/donor-speed-dating-with-guv-doesnt-sit?fullpage=1 
Audio:
http://www.sltrib.com/news/3890228-155/in-audio-utah-guv-says-hes 

Fundraiser with ties to even with taxpayer money:
http://www.sltrib.com/news/3850380-155/herbert-campaign-piggybacks-fundraiser-on-governors

Adding items to the special session call:
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865653961/Utah-House-speaker-says-Herberts-Common-Core-efforts-are-political.html?nm=1


The corporation (working hand in hand with the Governor's department) credited with getting all the jobs the Governor has been taking credit for,  no filing taxes for 5 years:
http://www.sltrib.com/news/3887372-155/states-economic-development-partner-failed-to


It is one thing to hire the same political group that got our past 2 Attorney Generals in trouble, to appear to intentionally violate election laws on their candidate forms, to skirt the state constitution to save face, and then to toss out everything the attorneys are telling elected officials recently based on current federal election laws and how they are being enforced and make proposals that had lobbyists uncomfortable?

I have seen the Governor for almost 12 years, more times than I can count. He started out as the person that would go anywhere to represent the then Governor. The recent actions show he is willing to do anything to stay in office. Even skirt the State Constitution? The recent comment from the Speaker "The legislative branch has not been grafted into the governor's re-election campaign" is what I am feeling.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Floor Power rating and bill sponsor batting average


During the last couple of weeks, I noticed a few people asking about a floor power rating and a bill sponsor batting average. Neither of these statistics are very accurate in my opinion, but first lets look at where the numbers come from and what they are supposed to mean and what they really mean.


Sponsorship

http://adambrown.info/p/research/utah_legislature/sponsorship?year=2016


for 2016, I started more bills than I typically would have. 15 are listed.
http://le.utah.gov/asp/billsintro/RepResults.asp?Listbox3=COXFC

Several of these were of the same subject as other legislators' bills and  typically they would have been sent out of House Rules at the same time to the same committee to have them deal with them, but this year the policy was changed and the rules committee only sent one of the bills out per group and let the sponsors try to deal with that. For that main reason, only 6 were voted on and 3 passed both houses and were signed by the Gov. or Lt. Gov. (Several of my bills that didn't leave rules had language that was discussed and included in other bills).

But this stat looks like 20% overall or 50% for those that were voted on in 2016. 

Back to the first link. For 2016, about 1/3 of the legislators passed fewer bills than I did. About 1/2 passed more. Some sponsored as many as 9 bills and had 0 pass while some sponsored one and it passed. 

For 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016, I had 8 pass, not including the 4 that passed in 2013 that I had sponsored in 2012 for the 2013 session. That makes 12 total.

For 2015, I sponsored 9 bills, 3 were voted on and 3 passed both houses and were signed by the Governor.

It should be noted that the legislature rules allow a legislator to prioritize 3 bills per session.  While there are those that get more passed each session, many of those start in the senate. On average there are about 4 to 5 bills passed per legislator per session. For example 4.5 x 104 = 468 bills.

Some bills take multiple years to either get right or to get everyone on board, where possible. Some are very simple and everyone agrees to start with. This statistic doesn't take that into account. If you look at the list, you will note many very good legislators that do not do well with this statistic alone.

Again, if you look at my overall rating and the overall legislature, you will see things differently. 

Floor Power Rating.

http://adambrown.info/p/research/utah_legislature/floor_power

in 2011, I first saw this stat. At least a few of the ones with a very high floor power rating, were not the leaders, they were the followers. They literally looked at the board and voted which ever way most were going on some bills. I also noticed that those that voted "no" a lot were often not high on this score. I have averaged about 68.8%, for 4 sessions, in the middle of the pack. I typically have a higher "no" rating, and that doesn't help, and I am willing to be the only "no" on a given bill if I believe it has problems that hasn't been fixed. There are others that will do that, and they typically do poorly with this statistic.

There are some that have a very high power floor rating for some issues, but they don't show up that way just looking at the stats. Rep. Chew (for example) doesn't score really high, but you look at a bill dealing with ranchers and farmers, and his opinion on that bill matters at lot. My number for 2016 was lower than my other years. Some of that could have been because of my opposition to the prison relocation last year, but it is common for those numbers to vary year per year.

For different ratings or rankings for me in 2016, see:
http://fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2016/03/rep-fred-cox-voting-ratings-for-2016_12.html

Friday, April 15, 2016

Issues

"I believe we must stand up and be heard or watch our constitutionally protected rights disappear. As a current member of the State House, I have been heard, standing up to protect your rights. That fight continues. "

Education Excellence, Clean Air and Water, Your Rights, and a Stable and Growing Economy

Education Excellence
As a taxpayer and architect, I see the money spent on buildings. We can reduce costs while still maintaining the quality. Teachers often do not have the supplies they need, and in most cases deserve more pay for the critical work they do. Education funding is too complex and enough funding doesn’t make it to the classroom. I will work to bring more money to the classroom.

Clean Air and Water
As part of the Utah Legislature Clean Air Caucus, I sponsored legislation and fought for and against bills effecting our air and water. We should be good stewards of the land, Extremes on both sides of this issue hurt our ability to live and work in our great state.

Your Rights
The US Constitution specifically says: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people". This is an area that is worth fighting for Utahns. We can't continue to let government take over our lives. We can be safe and free.

A Stable and Growing Economy
Utah is among Forbes best fiscally managed States and one of the best for business and careers. Many families are still struggling. We need to continue to improve. The Economy will grow when Government will allow it. In many cases Government is holding business growth back with too many regulations.

Civility

We should play a role as responsible citizens in our communities, including becoming informed about issues and voting in elections. We should engage in the political process in an informed and civil manner, respecting the fact that others come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and may have differences of opinion for solutions to our challenges.

Solutions not Parties
I have no problem working with different political parties. All four bills that I sponsored that passed the House in 2011 and 2012 were floor sponsored by a democratic senator. I was the only member of the Legislature that sponsored a bipartisan congressional redistricting map, co-sponsored by a member of another party I don't look at bills as republican or democrat sponsored bills. I vote on bills based on what the bill says and would do, and I have spoken against bills and spoken for bills based on the bill and not the sponsor or party. A bill has to improve things, however small the steps, or should not pass. I really appreciate representing the great people of this area of West Valley City. As your State Representative, I have worked hard to read the bills, speak up, and also vote on the bills, taking into account different viewpoints. This year I was again able to have bills pass the legislature and be signed by the governor. Many of the bills I sponsored were at your request.

For 2015 and 2016, I was given a 100% rating from the Utah Taxpayers Association for voting against tax increases and looking out for the taxpayers. I also received a Salt Lake Chamber 2015 and 2016 Business Champion award for working to help Utah businesses grow. I worked hard this last year to make sure the legislature didn’t ignore the idea of replacing the prison in Draper, which I believe would have saved over $100 Million.

 Be involved. Public officials can't know what you are thinking if you don't tell them. The best way to contact me is to write via email, or come to one of my Town Hall Meetings.

2016 HB 11 Referendum Amendments

Based on a recent story in the Deseret News, there has been some questions re: a bill I ran (HB11) this last session that didn't pass.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865652271/Salt-Lake-County-Republicans-to-hold-party-convention-Saturday.html?pg=all

"Cox, on the other hand, has experienced some friction within the Legislature. During the 2016 session, he ran into some trouble when a bill he sponsored failed to pass in the House after very brief debate, even though it had support from interim and legislative committees. The bill would have allowed Utahns to wait to circulate a referendum petition until after the governor takes action on legislation."

"The year before, Cox helped opponents of the Utah State Prison relocation start a referendum and spoke in favor of keeping the facility in Draper. The prison move was a top priority of House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper.

Even if Cox gains more than 60 percent of delegate votes, he would still have to face Winder in the primary. Winder has collected enough signatures to guarantee a spot on the primary ballot. Cox, however, did not gather signatures and would need at least 40 percent of delegate support to qualify for the nomination."

About the bill I ran (which got more than brief debate):
http://www.sltrib.com/home/3486219-155/house-defeats-bill-to-make-it 

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/bills/static/HB0011.html

Interim Session audio,
August 2015
http://utahlegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=19083&meta_id=560497

November 2015
http://utahlegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=19262&meta_id=566499


2016 Session Committee audio
http://utahlegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=19399&meta_id=608968 

Floor Videos:
Day 4
http://utahlegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=19449&meta_id=609949 
Day 8
http://utahlegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=19498&meta_id=611123
Day 9
http://utahlegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=19524&meta_id=611710
Day 11
http://utahlegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=19585&meta_id=612938
Day 17
http://utahlegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=19705&meta_id=616105


Back to the Deseret News Article:
First, I didn't sponsor the referendum to repeal 2015 HB 454, even though I did vote against the bill. 

It fact, the referendum application was never even accepted by the Lt. Governor's office. I felt the deadline (that the group of 5 sponsors missed) was not constitutional. I didn't know if they could get the signatures or not, but I did think they should have a chance to try.  For more information on that:

http://www.fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2015/04/petition-for-extraordinary-writ.html

Why did I vote against 2015 HB 454 and also 2015 1st Special Session HCR101?

http://le.utah.gov/~2015S1/bills/static/HCR101.html

I am an architect. I worked years ago for a firm that did the drawings for the Gunnison Prison and also the Oxbow "Jail". I worked on the floor plans and site plans, putting them in the CADD system. I also worked on proposed jails or drug rehab centers in several states.

I also was a volunteer for 2 years at Draper Prison.

When I looked at the Draper Site, I could clearly see how you could replace the Prison working "outside the fence". For more about that see:

http://www.fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2015/06/how-to-keep-prison-in-draper-utah.html

http://www.fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2015/08/utah-prison-moving-it-or-not-to-salt.html

"At Draper, we could phase it over a much longer time period, reportedly saving $Hundreds of Millions, but if we are going to build a brand new prison somewhere now, it is my opinion it can be at Draper, and I believe at a savings around $100 Million, and be closer to current employees and not be further from current volunteers."

I do agree, if we are moving the Draper Prison, and that has now been decided, the SLC location from the Short List was the best option. While not everyone agreed with me, I did believe most people in the legislature had not considered keeping the prison in Draper and I felt we should, taking in to account $100 Million in possible savings and the location of many of the prison officers' homes.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Responses to a few questions

I received the following questions from one of the delegates representing her precinct. 

1. Do you have a website that you would like the people in my precinct to look at?  
Yes.
and my blog
See also:

2.Can you give me three reasons why our precinct should give you our vote?    

1. Courage. I read though the bills I am to vote on and I am am not afraid to stand up and be heard to promote good bills and work to amend or kill bad bills.

2. Accessible. I have multiple public town hall meetings each year where voters of any party affiliation are invited to come and ask questions. I am also available on multiple social media sites and make public my home phone number, the phone number I have had for 28 years for people to call. The surveys and town hall invitations I sent out this year went to every active voter home.

3. Taxpayer protector. Working to fund critical needs without forgetting who pays for it. For example I was willing to fight to save over $100 Million on the Draper Prison, even with strong opposition from leadership of both houses, including the state senators in our area.

3.What do you view as your biggest accomplishment while in office so far?

Passing bills into law that were requested by the people in this area, including

2011 Classic Car Inspections along with 2015 HB 243Vintage Vehicle Amendments 
2012 HB18 Kidnapping Offender Amendments
2015 HB 177 Modifications to Voting Law
2016 HB 101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments

4.What are the two biggest items you will focus on if elected over the next two years?   

1. The Higher Education vs Public Education funding. Today's article about tuition increases.
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865651202/Utah-college-students-could-pay-hundreds-more-in-tuition-and-fees-this-fall.html
My response:
"I am not happy with the tuition increase. The #utleg put money in the WPU for K-12 teachers (my idea) that the board of regents wanted, and they raise tuition to send a message like a 5 year old throwing a tantrum. Their overall budget requests for ongoing money were not reasonable and the salaries for some of the U's professors are too high. The percentage of tuition waivers are too high and that is also a problem."
I have already been in contact with others on the Higher Education Appropriation Subcommittee to see what we can do to not only stop the tuition hikes without legislative oversight, but to provide a better balance of funding to Public Education. 

2. I am also on the House Judiciary, always working to protect our rights and from Government trying to take over our lives. 

5.What is the the two biggest problems you see West Valley currently facing and what is your plan to fix them? 

Most West Valley City local problems can and should be solved by the City and Not the State.
Funding for Infrastructure, (like Major Roads and Water), and Funding for Education are things the State can and should help West Valley City with.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Education a few items from this session

There were dozens of bills ran this last session that would impact education. I tried to get information from both sides and make the best decision I could. One of the best sources this year was Patti Harrington with the USBA. Her emails were specific and the timing was specific as well.  Her group gave me a 75% for 12 of 16 bills matching their position. Their group didn't match some of the other voices on public education. Some of the best sources I have for education bills are town hall meetings and knocking on teacher's doors at their home.

I sponsored HB 152. Angela Stallings from the office of the State School Board, pointed out to me at one of the USBA meetings I attended that no one was fixing the $25 Million formulation error from last years $75 Million property tax increase. I voted against the new tax, but $25 Million could not be paid out to the local districts without the bill. The $25 Million was an expensive table decoration. Working with my Senate Sponsor Sen. Hillyard, the language from HB 152 was added to HB 1, the main base budget bill for Public Ed that had over $4 Billion in funding. That was signed by the Governor during the session, so I took HB 152 and sent it back to rules.

State School Board Elections. In 2011 I was a key vote missing to go to partisan elections that year. My State School Board member could not have run again if it passed because of the Hatch Act. This year, I voted for both options including a primary non partisan like the city mayor elections. That bill got stuck in the Senate. I then voted for the one that would have a primary non partisan like the city mayor this year and a primary like the county mayor next year. The Governor had decided he wasn't doing the committee selection anymore based on a judge's opinion.  We needed to change it this year and that was the only bill that would pass both houses. We tried to go head to head last year with the senate and got nothing again. This year we have something better than we had. It isn't perfect, but better than doing nothing again.

WPU. I fought to have approx. $15 Million moved from Higher Ed to Public Ed to get the WPU up to 3% increase. They had it at approx. 2.4% increase right up to the end of the session. I am on the Higher Ed appropriation subcommittee, so I didn't have direct control. It did end up at a 3% increase. We also funded $90 Million for new students and overall increased Pub Ed by about $1/4 Billion.

SB 38. It was a mess. It would have reportedly taken recreation money from Public Ed and given it to the Charter Schools. We want both public education systems to win. We passed a better compromise from Rep. Powell in the House and got it to replace SB 38, so Rep. Powell's bill language passed both Houses in that bill. It will have the 25% and 75% Charter/District Funding show up on the tax notices for the first time so people can see what is going to the Charter Schools from their property taxes. We had tried to do that in the past but it always was going to create a tax increase. This one is designed not to create a new tax.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

What is up with the 17th Amendment and bills calling for a Convention of the States.

Convention of the States, or in some cases referred to the Con Con is the 2nd way in the Constitution that allows our US Constitution to be modified.

Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

The first problem is we haven't done this since we created our constitution in Sep. 17, 1787.  The last time we had a convention of the states we got a new US Constitution.

The 2nd problem is that the State Legislatures Tell Congress to call a convention. Congress fully believes based on our Constitution that they get to set the mode of ratification, the rules, etc.

In 2015 and 2016, I actively fought these resolutions, because they are binding on the state, and I don't trust the people in Washington DC to improve our constitution, even if the states have to agree with the changes. We have had one or more of these Convention resolutions  pass, but I have killed others of them in the House Judiciary and so they don't even get sent to that committee anymore.

Is the Federal Government out of control based on the US Constitution, yes. Is this the way to fix it, putting our whole US Constitution at stake to be re-written, No!

The 17th Amendment.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution

 Prior to this amendment to the US Constitution, the US Senators were chosen by the State Legislatures. This was designed to protect against the Federal Government taking over powers delegated to the States.

Were there problems with this, yes. Power can corrupt. Do voters love voting for the US Senate candidates, they do, including me. I trust the voters. I don't trust the Federal Government to limit their powers to the US Constitution.

Is there a problem with what we have now, yes. Will repealing the 17th Amendment help, it might.

What I voted for:
http://le.utah.gov/~2016/bills/static/SJR002.html

I didn't ask to vote on this. I understand both sides of this issue.

1. This is a non binding resolution. It is URGING Congress to create an amendment to the constitution to repeal the 17th amendment. It is  NOT telling Congress that they SHALL call a convention of the states.

2. Unlike the Article V Convention of the States Resolutions, which if enough states sign, Congress Shall call a convention, this 17th Amendment resolution tells Congress they are out of line. If Congress were to create an amendment, it would be just the one modification, not put our entire constitution at risk and that proposed amendment would still have to be ratified by the states like any other amendment we have had over the last hundreds of years.

3. Do I trust the voters? Yes. I also trust the founders of the US Constitution and some of the changes we have made, perhaps have been unwise. They sound good, but have not worked like we thought. Others amendments including the first 10 Bill of Rights have proven to be critical for the good of the nation.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Rep Fred Cox voting ratings for 2016

This page will be updated as 2016 Session Ratings/Rankings are released by different groups.


My 2016 Votes for the General Session are at:
http://www.fredcox4utah.com/2016GenSessionVotes.pdf 

Note. A few committee votes were missed because I was presenting in a different committee at the same time. The two House Floor votes missed this session were due to a problem with the voting system registering that I pushed the button to vote.  I should have noticed it hadn't registered, and the Speaker and Clerk also typically notice as well. That is being worked on.

Also, see the votes for all versions of a bill. I may vote for or against a bill, but that vote can change for different votes on the same bill, especially if the bill language changed.


Tied for 2nd Place for 2016 in the Legislature for least missed floor votes.
Floor Voting Attendance 2 missed of 657 votes.

http://adambrown.info/p/research/utah_legislature/absent?year=2016
Tied for 5th Place for least missed votes for currently serving legislator for all years since 2007.

2016 Utah Taxpayers Association, 100% rating, tied for 1st place
http://www.utahtaxpayers.org/?p=7594

2016 Salt Lake Chamber Business Champion, 89% rating
http://slchamber.com/2016-business-champions/

Libertas 2016 Defenders of Liberty Award, 94% rating. 
http://libertasutah.org/resources/legislator-indexes/2016-index/ 
http://libertasutah.org/blog/the-utah-2016-defenders-of-liberty/
http://libertasutah.org/legislator/?id=COXFC

Note, my Libertas score has varied year by year depending on the bills they select. While I am conservative, I am not a libertarian, but I do typically score high for taking in to account the US and Utah Constitutions when voting on legislation. I was surprised at this years score.

2016 Sutherland Institute Legislative Scorecard, 94% rating.
http://sutherlandinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2016-legislator-scorecard-f.pdf


Utah School Board Association, 75% rating
http://usba.cc/
12 of 16 votes matching USBA stand on several bills.

UACC, 62% rating, tied for 12th of 75
http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kOCUhwFq2DX9ZJY49Jq9ieZ56YQ1RHOIPR9Qjk3-kM8/edit#gid=0

UEA, 50% rating, 
http://www.myuea.org/issues_action/uea_under_the_dome/legislative_voting_records.aspx
http://www.myuea.org/sites/utahedu/Uploads/files/Politics/2016%20Under%20the%20Dome/2016-HouseVotingRecords.pdf

 2016 Utah CLI Index 70% rating. 
http://utleg.blogspot.com/

2016 Utah Grassroots, 57%, tied for 11th of 75, (Average House 36%)
http://www.utahgrassroots.org/annual/2016/index.html
http://www.utahgrassroots.org/annual/2016/GrassRoots2016.pdf

Heal Utah, 92%, A- rating
http://www.healutah.org/2016grades/


Utah Chapter, Sierra Club, 50% rating 
https://utah.sierraclub.org/content/utah-legislative-scorecard


Number of No Votes on the Floor 61 votes or 9.3%  #19 in the House (2016)
http://adambrown.info/p/research/utah_legislature/nay?year=2016

Party Line Voting 70% (2016)
http://adambrown.info/p/research/utah_legislature/party_support


For 2015 Session Ratings/Rankings and votes for previous years, see:
http://fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2015/03/rep-fred-cox-voting-ratings-for-2015.html