The U.S. Constitution is not a “living document” subject to the whims of political and societal change.
Traffic in the area covered by Senate 22 is often so bad that it has a negative impact on our quality of life. We can no longer simply be reactive. We MUST take the initiative and be proactive in attacking the problem from every angle. I have extensive experience working on transportation issues and will work with the legislature, Utah, and Salt Lake Counties, with regional transportation organizations, UDOT, businesses, and with our neighboring cities to alleviate current problem areas and plan ahead to avoid similar problems in the future.
We need a much more robust east/west system, as well as improving our north/south options to reduce the need to travel all the way to I15.
Say “NO” to Toll Roads – Although I generally support a more user-based funding model, I will not allow Eagle Mountain, Lehi, and Saratoga Springs to help subsidize the transportation fund for the State. The east side is largely built out and roads are already built. It is not right to encourage development to the west of I15 and then deny those areas the same access to transportation funds other areas received. There may be very limited and specific applications for toll roads, like possibly the Cottonwood Canyons, but any consideration of tolling should be extremely limited and avoidable.
Stepping back to reconsider how we are handling the growth that is coming to our state. We need to let local governments closest to the people have the greatest say in these decisions. I believe that in many cases we do not have the infrastructure (i.e. water, roads, public safety) to handle the growth and those closest to the people should address those issues.
I believe that parents should have the primary responsibility for education decisions for their children. Having a variety of options available is critical to meeting the unique needs of individual children. Inappropriate materials have no place in our schools and I support the process in place for materials to be reviewed and removed if found inappropriate.
I believe in the sanctity of life. The Supreme Court decision returning power back to the states is a victory for the integrity of the Constitution. The Utah Supreme Court has no basis in law for preventing the law passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Cox from going into effect. I support the Utah law triggered by the overturning of Roe v Wade, which provides protection for the unborn while allowing for very limited and clearly define exceptions.
I am a strong advocate for a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms for whatever legal purpose they see fit. This right should not be infringed upon by government at any level. Utah has good laws on the books but there are threats every year, so citizens and legislators must be vigilant in watching for potential legislation eroding these rights. Given the many tragedies throughout the country, I understand the call for things like “Red Flag” laws. While these options may sound like a good, workable solutions in theory, in practice they would be a huge boondoggle that would not prevent crime, but would create an undue burden for law abiding citizens. I believe instead of blaming the instruments used in these tragedies, we must address the underlying causes.
Answers to Delegate Questions
- When it comes to this race to build higher and more density, I believe we need to take a step back and ask whether we have the infrastructure in place to handle a given project. Do we have the roads? Do we have the water? Do we have the green space and sewer? Far too often the answer to those questions is no. Developers are going to the city councils and asking for permission to build higher density. I believe we need government officials willing to say no. I’m not against growth, and we need to be cautious in considering property rights on both sides, but I am against irresponsible growth that does not incorporate adequate and forward-thinking infrastructure. I am also against the current, almost exclusive focus on high density.
Over the past several years we’ve also had a legislature passing new laws and requirements on cities to increase density or to allow accessory dwelling units where they’re currently restricted. I profoundly disagree with policies forcing cities, the government closest to the people, into these policies. As your state senator, I will be a consistent “no” vote against policy proposals that force higher density housing onto our community. Further, I don’t believe we need socially engineered developments or so-called “15 min cities” aimed at cramming as many people as possible into progressive utopia. We are a community of families with children, and we need to let the free market dictate the type of housing that gets built. Government banning or forcing any particular type of housing subverts private property rights and distorts the free market.
When it comes to roads and highways, there is so much more we could be doing to address our east-west corridors: Pioneer Crossing, 2100 North, and Lehi Main Street – along with Redwood Road heading north-south. It’s long past time that we need to plan proactively, instead of constantly being reactive. We can do much better, and I know how to work with the key players, including UDOT, MAG, the mayors, and legislature to be an effective advocate in addressing these issues.
- We need to secure America’s Southern border and stop the massive flow of illegal immigration into this country. And we need to do it right now. The Biden and Democrats’ open border policy has been a catastrophic failure. We need to secure the border and stop the flow of drugs and sex trafficking coming through Utah. It’s deeply troubling that the Biden administration is politicizing this debate and grossly mischaracterizing Utah law enforcement. It is disturbing to me to find out that illegal immigrants in our jails would be treated better than our American citizens. That’s just not right and goes to the heart of the problems with how we respond to those entering our Country illegally. Our police and sheriff’s departments should have the discretion to detain and handle illegal immigrants without ridiculous requirements imposed by the federal government.
- Our economy will be powered largely by oil and natural gas for the foreseeable future. Utah’s economy would be dramatically affected if our clean coal and natural gas industries were forced to shut down. They play an important role in our economy and energy security. I support the exciting potential of geothermal here in Utah. I believe technological innovation will provide new and more efficient fuel sources, including modular nuclear reactors, hydrogen fuel cells, geothermal, and nuclear fusion. Government picking winners and losers is a failed policy, and we need to stop. I’m deeply skeptical of the “all electric vehicle” future. I believe other technologies will overtake electric vehicles. In any event, electric vehicles require a massive increase in electricity generation (not to mention the fact that EVs are not the environmental panacea some assert). It would require a wind farm the size of Texas. That’s just total nonsense and will never happen – nor should it. Depending on countries like China for coal development is a disaster at every level. Electric vehicles should be available in the marketplace based on what consumers want in the free market and not government command-and-control mandates. During the height of the covid lockdowns, America’s emissions of CO2 decreased by a measly 10 percent. That means fulfilling the progressive Green New Deal fever dream would require a complete shutdown of our entire economy. It’s a transparent attempt to destroy capitalism and replace it with a new Marxist reality. I will oppose that agenda with everything I have.
- I spent the first several years of my career in Washington, D.C. fighting for Utah to reclaim our public lands from the grips of the federal government. My first job had me serving as a staff person for the Western Caucus, focused on fighting back against President Obama’s monument and wilderness designations. The Antiquities Act – used illegally by Democratic presidents to unilaterally lock up Utah’s lands – should be abolished. I am pleased with Utah’s Legislature, Attorney General, and Governor who have continued to push this in the courts and we should continue to pursue litigation all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. Our chances are greatly improved with the current makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court.
- We need to ween ourselves off government largesse. So much of our federal encroachment happens due to strings attached to funding sent to Utah. More than 1/4 of Utah’s state budget comes from the federal government. Every year, the federal government adds more and more strings attached to achieve the progressive vision of a single monolithic progressive paradise. It will be hard, but we as a state need to slowly, over time, remove ourselves from the clutches of federal funding to avoid the tentacles of federal strings attached.
- Utah’s economy has been successful due to our productivity as a people and fiscal responsibility as a state. We still need to reduce regulations. We need to lower taxes and reduce bureaucracy. Yet, as long as we can continue to provide a free market environment, and maintain fiscally responsible budgets, Utah will continue to be the envy of the nation and the world.
- We need to continue to look for ways to reduce the budget. I will focus on eliminating loopholes that favor special interests. We need to short-circuit the efforts by lobbyists and special interests to score special contracts or favors by manipulating the law. If state tax receipts result in a surplus, that money should be returned to the taxpayers – it’s not a license to create new programs or grow government. The best way to limit government is to limit the money it has to spend. Surplus money belongs to the taxpayers and should be returned to (or, better yet, never taken from) the taxpayer. There has been some progress in the area of Executive Appropriations prioritizing tax cuts. But I believe more should be done to reduce taxes to the point that the government is forced to exercise constraint, set spending priorities, and cut where possible to live within a budget and leave more money in the hands of the people who earned it.
- Yes, I’m happy to support restrictions on stock trading for public officials in Utah and campaign donations from organizations asking for special favors; although in practical terms, “special favors” are legally difficult to define without unintended consequences. I like Utah’s emphasis on both donations and expenditures being held to the light of day. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. We need to exercise caution when placing restrictions so that unintended consequences do not result in secretive groups, super PACs, or fake non-profits that have zero accountability and often operate using attack ads that are toxic to political and societal discourse.
- The covid lockdown was destructive and unnecessary. I completely opposed any vaccine mandate at the time and I vehemently oppose it now. What we learned is to follow actual science. Scientific evidence demonstrated early on that schools were completely safe and masking had negligible value. Yet we stormed ahead as a nation with extended lockdowns and mean-spirited policies like not allowing family members to visit at the bedside of a dying parent. That’s profoundly wrong, and I will never support it. Our Republic requires constant vigilance to protect itself from the desires of those who would use it for their own power. One important way to defend against those who would do harm is to teach and help our children understand the value of our freedoms and the foundation of those freedoms. We must stop the trend of teaching our children the faults (real or perceived) of our Founders in an effort to undermine what they accomplished and the sacrifices they made to ensure our liberty. We need to teach the majesty of the Constitution and the God given rights it ensures. Educating our children about the Constitution will be our best defense against petty tyrants ever gaining power.
- I believe strongly in First Amendment speech protections. This includes speech I find offensive. We are Constitutionally guaranteed the right to free speech – we do not have a right not to be offended. Social media companies and ESG mavens are trying to impose groupthink on our companies, employees, and citizens. They’re trying to tell us what we can and cannot say. I will oppose these efforts with all my energy.
- I am a strong advocate for a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms for whatever legal purpose they see fit. This right should not be infringed upon by government at any level. Utah has good laws on the books but there are threats every year. Citizens and legislators must remain vigilant in watching for potential legislation that would erode these rights. Given the many tragedies throughout the country, I understand the call for things like “Red Flag” laws. While these options may sound like good, workable solutions in theory, in practice they would be a huge boondoggle that would not prevent crime but would instead create an undue burden for law abiding citizens. Instead of blaming the instruments used in these tragedies, we must address the underlying causes and adequately punish the people who commit such crimes.
- Yes, I am ready and eager to pass a formal resolution guaranteeing equal opportunity for all individuals, races, and ethnicities. We should not attempt to socially engineer equal outcomes. I applaud the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in this matter. Senator John Johnson is working on a bill that I expect to support enthusiastically.
- Yes, I will vote to pass a formal resolution that prohibits consideration of ESG scores in all publicly held investment funds. ESG presents an alarming and insidious threat that will undermine our traditional society. We must oppose it at every turn. Capital markets should absolutely not be used as a means to achieve a political or social end that cannot be accomplished through the legislative process. This is Marxist social engineering by a different name. The Utah Legislature has been active recently in the fight against ESG, but this is another area where constant vigilance and pushback is required.
- This new religion of gender ideology has infiltrated our schools, and my greatest concern is for the social contagion that is happening among our children. The rate of transgender or nonbinary declarations among youth and children has exploded well beyond what is remotely rational. That tells us that something else is going on. I believe we should allow adults to live how they want to live and dress how they want to dress. But when those ideologies are promoted and thrust upon our children, we must take action. I support banning surgery and hormone therapies that permanently alter children’s bodies. I also support laws that ensure our children are not subject to these indoctrinations in schools. The Utah Board of Education needs to pass a rule to comply with HB427 (the CRT prohibition bill). We need to create a “parents bill of rights” to prohibit the teaching of CRT in schools and remove explicit materials from libraries that violate Utah Code 76-10-1227.
- I believe we need to empower parents to make educational decisions for their children. We homeschooled our children in their early years. I am a strong supporter of homeschooling. We need to support public charter schools that provide alternatives in the market. And we need to support our public schools and make sure they are focusing on the basics: math, science, reading, and history. We need to teach more civics in schools. Kids are graduating with no idea about our country’s founding. That must change immediately, if Utah is to avoid becoming California in the next 20 years.
- First, I oppose RCV in every type of election. Full stop. Second, I love the caucus system. It’s so special to be able to meet candidates one-on-one, ask questions, and look into their souls. That’s just not possible with a traditional primary. We need to do all we can to preserve the caucus system. I believe the onus is on the party and us as candidates and delegates to get more people involved. Our neighbors need to understand the importance and value of the caucus system. We need to educate and encourage more buy-in and participation. And we need to make it more accessible to every Republican who wants to participate. We also need to lengthen the time for the campaigns. There is no possible way that campaigns and frankly the average delegate can fully participate in a 2- or even 4-week process to decide the next Governor or County Commissioner. We need to return to the prior practice which allowed more time between Caucuses and Conventions, facilitating greater deliberation. When we tell delegates they have to know everything about 30 or even 50 candidates in only a couple weeks, we undermine what makes this process special and worthwhile. As a Party we must also find ways to support our Convention nominees. That requires a Party willing and able to give Convention winners the help they need to defeat those candidates willing to spend a fortune in a quest to circumvent the delegates.
- I spent nearly a decade as a senior advisor in the U.S. Senate, fighting for conservative principles and actively engaged in the fights to repeal Obamacare, confirm conservative judges, and cut government waste. For the past six years I’ve been working with many of America’s leading companies and governments at every level to fight for lower taxes, affordable free-market health care, and less government regulation. I have significant transportation policy experience and know how to bring people together behind common conservative goals and get things done even when we disagree on other issues. Building a coalition without watering down policy or principles is key to getting things done. My expertise will make me very effective immediately for the people I represent in District 22. I’ve been fighting to preserve the principles that have made this a Great Nation and force for good in the world for two decades and I will continue that fight in the Utah Senate.
- We need to elect a conservative Republican committed to the Constitution. This country cannot afford another four years of degradation. Someone who will protect our border, someone who will bring back the economic freedom and tax policy we had with the Trump tax cuts I worked on, someone who will ensure we aren’t giving money to countries who hate us, someone who will protect the 2nd Amendment, someone who will fight back against the Liberal media and stand firmly for Conservative Constitutional principles, someone who will fight for truly conservative judges who will not legislate from the bench, and someone who is grounded enough in Constitutional principles to be articulate and persuasive in making the argument to the American people.