Archive for the ‘elections’ Category

On Saturday, supporters of Sen. Mike Lee held a “Victory Rally”.  I attended as part of a small group, that was protesting his support of the Republicans in the House of Representatives not passing a “clean” continuing resolution to fund the government. Here are my five top takeaways from that.

1.     Facts are Irrelevant.  The fact that they were celebrating a “victory” was confusing. Because of the shutdown, the GOP is polling at an all-time low. The numbers for the Tea Party is even lower. There is a very real chance, that even with the gerrymandering currently in place, Democrats will take back control of the US House in 2014. This action was a crushing defeat for Republicans, and especially for the Tea Party. Sen. Lee in now polling 10 points less.

2.     They hate everyone, including themselves.  It would be easy to say that this group hates minorities. It would be easy to say that they hate women. It would be easy to say they hate the LGBT community. These are generalities.  They don’t hate all members of these groups. I’m sure that if you know what they perceive to be your place, these people would be ok. Well most would. There were some racial slurs and also anti-gay comments. But that is to be expected. The big surprise was how much they hate other Republicans. Sen. Orrin Hatch, and mostly Abby Huntsman, came under attack. In the case of Ms. Huntsman, there were almost as many negative comments about her as there was against the President. They also seem to hate “the establishment”. Forgetting of course that in Utah, they are close to the establishment.

3,      Sen. Lee is Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan all rolled in one. This was one of my favorites. A quick history lesson. Lincoln supported a strong federal government over states’ rights. He also believed in equality for all. Ronald Reagan was for amnesty for immigrants, for an assault weapons ban, and appointed pro choice judges to the Supreme Court. So I guess Sen. Lee is a big government, pro choice, pro equality Senator who wants to limit the sale of assault weapons and supports amnesty.

4.      The Tea Party supports the Constitution like they do the Bible, they take what supports their position. Obviously the First Amendment took a beating. There was no freedom of, or from religion. And free speech was certainly not allowed. The right to assembly, to peacefully protest was definitely not allowed in that private park. It reminded me of all the Old Testament things they say to discriminate against people. They conveniently forget the teachings of Christ and his ministry of tolerance and love.

5.      Ted Cruz and Mike Lee held hands and stopped Obamacare from becoming law. Yes…there were many in the crowd that thought that. Actually, they did talk for 21 hours, which wasn’t a filibuster because they weren’t preventing action on a bill. When their time was up, the Senate came back in session and passed the clean CR. There were almost as many people who believed the Obamacare is unconstitutional. Which is kind of sad because these people obviously haven’t got the word yet that the Supreme Court did rule on it.

Certainly a different experience going to this event. We even had one guy tell us to get jobs and say he was surprised that we were out of bed so early. Not to mention the usual gun crazies. Sadly, one female protester was attacked by a mob. Fortunately, she wasn’t hurt but did have her sign ripped from her hands and torn up.


I recently moved to West Valley City from Salt Lake City. I have been involved in politics out here for a very long time. When I moved, I looked to stay involved. By chance, I was able to meet Council Member Karen Lang, who represents the 3rd District in the city. She was running for West Valley City Mayor, and had just learned that she had passed the primary, and was getting ready to start her drive towards the general election. I was immediately impressed with her intelligence and grasp of the issues. West Valley City has some unique challenges. It is currently Utah’s second largest city. It also has one of the most diverse populations. They really need someone with the passion and compassion of Ms. Lang, to help support the many changes going on in it’s diverse community.

Karen Lang has been a small business owner for many years. She understands what it’s like to be a working wife, mom, grandmother, and neighbor. Her husband Brian, as well as her children, were all educated in WVC. She served for 10 years on the Planning Commission, before being elected to the City Council. She is the owner of Oakbridge Greenhouse in the city. And, she may be the best prepared, most non-partisan person, I have ever had the privilege to know. in this race, in this city, that is very important.

I don’t agree with her on all the issues, but I agree with her on the most important ones. I can give my wholehearted support to Karen Lang for WVC Mayor. I urge all my friends, and more importantly, my fellow Democrats, to give their support to the best candidate, Karen Lang.

It’s funny where life will lead us some times. At this time last year, I was really trying to get my bearings on life. I was really unsure of who I was and what I wanted. I have always felt that opportunity is always there…you just have to be ready and willing to take it. I spent six months of this year trying to rediscover who I was and what I wanted in life.

After a little over three years, it was time to leave Premier Mentoring. I will always be grateful for what they did for me and all the wonderful people who I met. I still keep in touch with a few of my clients that came into the program and really appreciate the learning that I did there.

So after a few months of running through my savings and doing a few consulting jobs, my dream opportunity presented itself…campaign manager for Liz Muniz in House District 33. It really was the situation that I had been waiting for, and wanting for several years. I was seriously involved with the Democratic Party many years ago, but left to raise my family and then never went back to it. I am so grateful for the many wonderful people I have met and have been so supportive. I plan on making the most of my new opportunity, and to help grow the Democratic Party in Utah.

I have under gone a complete makeover. New haircut, new clothes, and really a new attitude. Thank you Jennifer Imes for that and so much more. Also to Auretha Callison for help and advice.

On the really bad side, my dear friend Nan Chatwin lost her battle with cancer at the beginning of the month. She was truly my best friend. I feel lost at times without being able to talk to her. But, I am so happy that she is free of pain. She suffered so much, and as much as I miss her, I am glad that she is free. I have so many wonderful things and memories of her, so she will always have a special place in my heart.

So many people have made a positive influence on my life this year. It would take me forever to name them all. A special thanks to all at the Utah State Democratic Headquarters, you all were so kind. And also to all of those I met on the campaign trail…a big thank you.

To the Gonzales family…all of you…you are the family I haven’t had in a very long time and I will never forget how much you have done for me. You have my undying affection, respect, and loyalty.

I am very optimistic about the new year. I feel like everything that I have worked for will be mine.

We live in a divisive world. We live in world full of blame and hate. Who does that make happy? Do you feel better about yourself when you are putting others down? I know I don’t. And I am guilty of this. I admit it. I am not proud of myself. My friends deserve better.

I have strong views and opinions. I think it is important to express those views. I think it’s important to express my opinion and the reasons behind it. That doesn’t mean I need to belittle someone else and tell them that their opinion is wrong just because I don’t agree with it. It’s time to return civility into our discourse. It’s time to start the healing process to end the divisions. We are a diverse country. That is our strength. We can have our disagreements but at the end of the day do what is best.

Negativitiy takes up so much time. It also produces an energy that spreads. Why not spread a positive energy. Why not spread joy and comfort instead of hate and venom. It’s time for all of us to be the change. It’s time to take a step back and really celebrate the joy in life. It’s time to find that common ground to help all people…regardless of the differences. Be the change.

How can we make a difference with others? We can start by changing ourselves. Try to be more civil…more understanding…more open minded. And really stop taking things that others say and post so seriously. Once you make the change with yourself, others will follow.

I am a little surprised at all the reaction to President Obama announcing that he supports same-sex marriage. I wish I could be surprised at the intolerance in the comments of those opposed to it. I don’t understand how it really affects any person who isn’t gay. All it means is same-sex couples can have the same rights and the same chance at happiness as everyone else. Although anyone that thinks getting married will make them happy is a little nuts!

As a country, we have a long history of inequality…which is a little ironic for a country that says it’s people are free. Long have minorities, women, gay and transgendered people been denied basic human rights. Each time, we take steps to correct these injustices. The time has really come in this country for us to show that we really do stand for freedom…that we really do believe in equal rights. We need to stop the hatred and teach our children love, dignity for all, and equality. It is an important time in the history of our country…we must get it right!

I think it all becomes a matter of how you look at things. If you focus always on the negative in life you tend to get that. This seems to the case whether I am at work or just chatting with friends on Facebook. There is so much hate and venom in the world right now. It seems that for a lot of people, it is easier to focus on all the bad, instead of talking about the good, or finding common ground to build on. Why else do you think this country is such a mess? You have two opposing sides who really don’t care about you…all they are interested in is winning the next election. Do you really think they care about your job more than their own? Then…if they feel like they need more help…they will outright lie.

I have found that I have been sucked into this debate too many times, including about my own health. I get caught in that trap of how bad things are, that we can’t see the good in life. Sometimes I become a person who becomes defined by what I have instead of who I am. My doctor..who is wonderful…told me that, unless I get hit by a bus, or have something tragic happen, I will die from Diabetes. He meant that if I didn’t change my ways, I would have a shorter life. From that moment I was dying from Diabetes. I let that define who I was.

Now, I feel like I am a person who has Diabetes. It’s a part of me, but isn’t who I am. I am many things. I am a father, a brother, a grandson, a cousin, an uncle, a friend, I am Hispanic, a salesman, a sports fan, a music lover. I am even so much more than that. I am different things to different people. I embrace each aspect of my life and try to be a better person.

On my main page of this blog, I put that I am a work in progress. Each day, I try to learn a little more about myself and grow. I couldn’t begin to make up for the people I have hurt and the wrong that I have done. All I can do is be a better me. I can’t change my past…but I can make a better future…not just for myself…but for those around me. We all can.

Oh my! Election season is in full bloom.  It seems like everywhere you turn there is information and mostly misinformation. I realize that making promises and slandering the people that you oppose is the way you win elections…but it seems like we have hit an all-tie low in rhetoric and moralizing.  I fear it will only get worse. We live in a diverse country, with diverse views. Morals are an individual thing…and not something to be forced on others. We have laws that need to be followed. Whether you agree with them or not does not necessarily make them wrong. We are not put here to judge others, that is not the role we play. Intolerance may be one of the greatest evils in this world. To punish those less fortunate for political gain never solves anything. There are many of my friends who disagree with my political views, and I with them. However, we still are able to coexist and even deeply care about each other. I urge all my friends to keep the discourse civil and on point. I urge Congress to work together to solve problems rather than obstructing progress to win elections. I urge candidates to spell out the differences between them and others instead of just placing blame and name calling.  We can only be great if we come together and most importantly show our compassion for those less fortunate.

First full weekend of the year and lots of stuff going on…

Who would have thought that since 1997, the Houston Texans have won as many playoff games as the Dallas Cowboys?

And speaking of playoffs…Go Broncos! Seriously, I never dreamed this would happen this season. I think the only bigger surprise to me is if Tim Tebow comes out and throws for 300 yards!

Is John McCain endorsing Mitt Romney one moderate endorsing another or one person who will say and do anything to be elected endorsing another that will do the same? Is the Orrin Hatch endorsement far behind. The pandering that goes on in unbelievable! I really wish my Republican friends would take another serious look at Jon Huntsman. He really is the only one that has foreign policy and executive skills, as well as the business experience to make a difference.

So, I have to admit that I was wrong, the Utah Jazz probably will win more than 20 games this year.

Is everyone now convinced that our weather patterns have changed? Before this tiny storm, we had very little snow in the mountains. In most cases, less than three feet and the ski resorts! I’m not a climatologist, but I think we may need to reclassify our seasons. I think it is late autumn here!

I hope everyone has a great 2012! No, I don’t think the world will end. I mean seriously, despite the fears of the political right, electing a minority didn’t do it!

Does it seem like the older you get the faster that time goes by? It really doesn’t seem too long ago that we were celebrating the “turn of the century”.  Now it’s the start of another year…another new beginning. Thanks to all of you that made the past year special to me. I look back at the amazing people I have met, or reconnected with, that have truly blessed my life.

I am really trying not to look back on what was…but looking forward to the possibilities of a new year. A new chance to grow…a new chance to learn…a new chance to be better…new friends to make.

I am always optimistic about the future. I will continue to blog about my world. Just a warning…it is an election year. I can’t promise that I will be fair and balanced.

I wish everyone peace and prosperity and great health in the new year.


Posted: September 28, 2011 in elections, Personal, Politics, rhetoric

“Words are alive. Cut them and they bleed.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once again election season is upon us. I am always amazed at the silly things that get said and done during an election year. Although lately it has seemed to have gotten nastier than ever before…or maybe we just notice it more. I really blame both side. There is far too much rhetoric and not enough action. Incumbents start running for reelection almost  immediately and candidates start bashing before that last sip of champagne is gone. I really laughed hard at those who said the President wasn’t an American. Here in Utah, it seems laws are made to benefit what ever special interest has access to a particular legislator.

All this being said, I think the days of seeing the “best and the brightest” are pretty much over. When you think about it, what intelligent person would want the job? With today’s instant news, anyone who has any sense at all would run fast and far.

Alas, the rhetoric continues no matter how harmful or untrue it it. We need elections where people present their ideas and solutions and then let the people vote on those without the personal attacks. But, we have moved too far from that. Our political discourse has more in common with the WWE than it does with Lincoln-Douglas. Sadly, I don’t have much hope for anyone who wins this presidential election. You can bet that the other side will, from day one, do everything possible to criticize and belittle.