If you could pick a theme for this month’s news that theme would be borders: The borders between Ukraine and Russia, and Israel and Gaza. Our own border crisis between Mexico and the United States.
There are more symbolic borders, too, like the ideological border between Democrats and Republicans in Congress that have some talking about impeaching President Obama.
And there are talks of borders even closer to home: the border between state lands and national lands, local authority and federal authority.
The border crisis runs deeps. We should resist it.
We should resist the movement to divide ourselves, our families, our states and our countries along irreconcilable borders. Instead, we should look for opportunities to reach across borders.
We saw one such example of reaching across borders earlier this month with the arrests of former Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow. The uncovering of alleged corruption was made possible through bipartisan cooperation between Davis County District Attorney Troy Rawlings, a Republican, and Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, a Democrat. Their investigation was made possible through the cooperation of the state legislature, watchdog journalists and our own good government work at the Alliance for a Better UTAH.
Cooperation across borders yields results. Too many borders can impede progress.
That’s why we are so intent on our organizational mission: to bring balance, transparency and accountability to Utah's governing institutions. Balance means reaching across borders to ensure that all Utahns participate in the governing process. With your continued support, we can achieve balance here in Utah.
Josh, Maryann and Isaac
Your Better UTAH Team
P.S. Check out what we’ve been up to over the last month by scrolling below.
System that created Shurtleff and Swallow still here
It’s an important question: Are Shurtleff and Swallow bad apples in an otherwise fair electoral system? Or does the system itself need reform? In a weekend op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune, Maryann Martindale, executive director of Alliance for a Better UTAH, argued that citizens should avoid thinking of the Shurtleff/Swallow arrests as proof the system works. The establishment [...] Read More
In our opinion: Deseret News on Better UTAH
Our efforts to bring balance and transparency to the Draper Prison move is starting to pay off. We were pleasantly surprised to wake up Sunday morning and read that the Deseret News Editorial Board has endorsed our position on the Draper Prison relocation bid. One close observer and critic of the prison relocation process is Maryann Martindale, executive [...] Read More
Complaint filed with FEC over Lee campaign donations
Wide-reaching FEC Complaint names Lee, Swallow, Johnson, McMillan, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Jane & John Doe Salt Lake City–Good government group Alliance for a Better UTAH recently filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission, asking the FEC to investigate allegations that Senator Mike Lee accepted straw donations in his 2010 bid for United States Senate. The [...] Read More
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An outsider's view of politics
Last Wednesday I had my first taste of politics as it actually happens. After years of discussing politics in high school debate competitions, tracking every move on a given piece of legislation, dissecting the possible implications of a certain bill, reading Politico articles about D.C. policymakers from the remote location of my desk at home, I [...] Read More
Hobby Lobby ruling a blow for individual rights
The nation's highest court made waves yesterday by ruling that the religious rights of male company owners outweigh the reproductive rights of the women who work for them. Yes, I'm perhaps being a bit sensational on this issue, but the [...] Read More
UDOT's HOV lane is the newest smog-causing fast lane
The ultimate goal of UDOT's carpool lanes is to maximize efficiency, and maybe even clean the air, but the lanes are now getting piled up with single drivers who are paying to use the lane. The other day, I read an article in the Salt Lake Tribune concerning High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. The article was about [...] Read More
Outrage over Geist should be directed to other causes, too
Before I start let me make one thing perfectly clear. I love my pets! I have seven children, four of which are of the furry variety, so before anyone thinks that this blog is anything other than supportive for animal rights, you aren't actually reading it. We've all heard about the recent shooting of a Salt [...] Read More
On political end zone dances
When a football player makes a touchdown they sometimes perform what is known as an end zone dance. The player is excited, they just scored a goal, they want to revel a bit, so many of them do a [...] Read More