Tag Archives: Jason Christensen

The Benefits of Electing an Independent?

As an Independent American I am concerned at our dysfunctional State legislature. I am concerned about my district (senate Dist. 16) with a 16 year incumbent (Curt Bramble) with a 37 percent conservative ranking from Grassroots Index equaling an  ‘F’ grade for his lifetime voting record.

 

Whether it is Curt Bramble’s four-month abortion bill from the 2016 session, or the SB54 fiasco from 2014 session trying to short circuit the ‘Count My Vote’ movement and the grassroots move to open primaries to more candidates, or his vote for SB296 in 2015 to allow gender neutral showers, locker rooms or bathrooms. Bramble hasn’t met a fee or a tax that he hasn’t liked and voted for in his 16 years. What is a good man suppose to do, if not actively run against such a professional politician.

 

I understand Bramble is a very powerful man with 16 years of power-building under his belt, as well as having held a seat on the National Board of Directors of the American Legislative Exchange Council.  Or his pushing for School Vouchers – which the Utah Voters defeated by 66%. Or the gerrymandering of his District in 2012 for political expediency.

 

But do we want a man so dismissive of the voters wishes, so isolated from the voter’s viewpoints and ‘knowing better’ than the voters, or not trusting the voters as to over-ride multiple referendum issues in the last few years (Count My Vote, Ethics Commission, etc.).

 

I am Jason Christensen running for the Utah State Senate seat for District 16 on the Independent American ticket as a leader with Constitutionally correct principles, because, as Edmond Burke said:  “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.”

 

You may ask,  “ What good could an Independent American do in the State Senate and transform the Legislature into a functional body once again?”   It is simple, I could reach across the aisle to either Republicans or Democrats to get things done on Constitutionally sound and fiscally conservative issues.  I could reach across the aisle to both party members on Health Freedom issues, on  Privacy concerns, restoring due process of law (4th Amendment) and property right issues, on reforming election law in this state, campaign finance reform, state sovereignty, in restoring our second amendment rights, as well; thereby transforming the dysfunctional body into a more functional and correctly principled body of legislators.  I can bring up concerns of individual citizens such as water issues with the NSA and Facebook server farm outrageous water usage, or state tax reform and serious budget cuts, even zero-based budgeting?  Afterall, zero-based budgeting is good for every Utah household and why not apply it to state agencies and the state legislature?

 

This is the year to elect an Independent American – who is the lone challenger to a 16 year incumbent – instead of voting for a professional politican who has already had 16 years in the job.  As Orrin Hatch said in 1978,  “12 IS ENOUGH!”

 

Utah’s Biggest Tax Hike

TO:  Utah Media Outlets                                                              From:   Jason Christensen’s Campaign

IAP Candidate for Utah Senate, Dist. 16

 

Press Release for IMMEDIATE Release  as of  31 Aug 2016

 

Gas Tax Fiasco to be ‘fixed’ in Special Session

 

Once again the Utah Legislature, in its collective wisdom, has mucked this up!  Last year they raised the gas tax by about a nickel a gallon, for the first time in 19 years  –  according to reports -, promising the cities and counties a “boost in revenue” of about “17.5 percent this year.”  Big surprise, it  didn’t happen!

 

Promising anything and not being able to deliver the promise is essentially a LIE!  And our Legislature is exceptionally adept at continuing to lie to voters and still get re-elected.  This may be the one that catches Wayne Neiderhauser, Johnny Anderson, Greg Hughes and Company, et al.  This time, instead of lying to the students, teachers and parents of the state, to the voters who put them in office, they lied to their fellow elected officials of cities and county governments.   OOPS!

 

Midvale Mayor Joann Seghini is quoted as saying, instead of an increased “boost in revenue” this year, Midvale lost $71,215 (in a Salt Lake Tribune story, August 28, 2016, page B-1, by Lee Davidson).

 

The culprit was HB362, sponsored by retiring Rep. Johnny Anderson (R-Taylorsville) in 2015.  HB362 also allowed cities and counties to vote on Proposition 1`, the referendum which would supposedly “solve long festering” transportation problems and issues with the infrastructure.  Prop 1 failed.

 

Mayor Seghini also said, “My city [residents] voted for it [Prop 1], but Salt Lake County [voters] didn’t because they hate UTA [Utah Transit Authority],” so it failed, she said.  “We would have received $541,000 from it.  The loss of both of those impacted our ability to have a sustainable budget without a property tax increase.”

 

Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT) says cities are being shortchanged by $8.5 million because of the legislature’s inept reformulations for the “B&C Road Fund,” the local share of state gasoline taxes.  But ULCT and the Association of Counties both worked on the calculations for the formulas.  “The calculations didn’t come out the way that they had hoped, so we made another adjustment to it in 2016,” Anderson is quoted as saying in the Tribune article.

 

The 2016 ‘legislative adjustment’ was in the form of HB60.  The ‘adjustment’ flipped things so the rural counties, with larger amounts of B&C road miles to maintain to benefit all state residents, “would see increases of about 82 percent” instead of the promised 17.5 percent.  The attorney for ULCT, Cameron Diehl, said the formula cuts the gas tax share of urban cities and towns.

 

“We are just trying to figure out a way to shift some of it back,”  said Lincoln Shurtz, a lobbyist for the Utah Association of Counties.  Both Diehl and Shurtz hope to present final calculations next month, in time for a special session in October to make the needed fixes.  Special Sessions cost taxpayers a minimum of $30,000, a costly ‘fix.’  Anyone wanna take a bet on efficacy of the fix?

 

Both Utah Senator Curt Bramble (R- Provo, District 16) and Rep. Kevin Stratton (R-Orem, District 48) voted for both HB362 and HB60 twice, like they can’t say ‘No’ to a tax increase!  This tax increase averaged an estimated $13 per $1000 out of citizen’s pockets.  The fiscal note to the bill states a business driving 12000 miles a year, with a vehicle making 25 miles per gallon, would pay an additional $24 a year.  A house valued at $250,000 could see an increase of $48 in 2016, due to this bill; because cities can now put additional taxes on either property tax notices or on each and every utility bill.

 

Jason Christensen’s solution to this morass of tax increases and costly additions is to scrap the whole bill and make actual serious cuts to pay for the B&C road maintenance as well as needful things in government. As the only challenger to the 16 year incumbent in Utah Senate District 16 race, and as a candidate on the Independent American Party ticket, Christensen is a proven principled conservative candidate.

Property Rights

Now is a season of confusing political interests and ideas. People want this special interest or that special interest, or one candidate has a different view and opinion than another candidate; all because of what maybe promised if a certain candidate is elected. What is a voter to do, especially during this season of confusing politics?

To make the best and educated decisions we only have to return to the basics! Those basic principles include God’s laws and the U.S. Constitution, which He gave to mankind to govern ourselves. The Constitution wasn’t anything really new, but was a continuance of the Mosaic Law, that God gave to the children of Israel, in order to govern themselves after leaving Egypt. Within these Sacred Laws we find such commandments as: “Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is they neighbor’s.” Both of these commandments deal with the right to be safe within one’s own property, safety to worship how one pleases, makes money as they please (intellectual property or ideas) as well as their physical property and money; the right to defend that property and all lives within that property.

We read in James Madison’s (the “Father of the Constitution”) National Gazette article (dated March 29, 1792) where he boldly declares that ideas, money, religious beliefs, as well as one’s physical property need to be protected at all costs; that this was government’s sole purpose. Then we read John Adam’s (one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence) 1787 writings to learn what is at stake at not protecting property rights.

          “Suppose a nation, rich and poor, high and low, ten millions in number, all assembled together; not more than one or two millions will have lands, houses, or any personal property; if we take into the account the women and children, or even if we leave them out of the question, a great majority of every nation is wholly destitute of property, except a small quantity of clothes, and a few trifles of other moveables. Would Mr. Nedham be responsible that, if all were to be decided by a vote of the majority, the eight or nine millions who have no property, would not think of usurping over the rights of the one or two millions who have? Property is surely a right of man- kind as real as liberty. Perhaps, at first, prejudice, habit, shame or fear, principle or religion, would restrain the poor from attacking the rich, and the idle from usurping on the industrious; but the time would not be long before courage and enterprise would come, and pretexts be invented by degrees, to countenance the majority in dividing all the property among them, or at least, in sharing it equally with its present possessors. Debts would be abolished first; taxes laid heavy on the rich, and not at all on the others; and at last a downright equal division of everything be demanded, and voted. What would be the consequence of this? The idle, the vicious, the intemperate, would rush into the utmost extravagance of debauchery, sell and spend all their share, and then demand a new division of those who purchased from them. The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet,’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.”

Now let us look at the law of the land, the U.S. Constitution (Article 6 Section 2) and the first ten amendments (the Bill of Rights).  The first amendment protects our free speech, association and freedom of conscience (religious liberty).  The second amendment protects all of our prop-erty rights, either against criminals, invaders from other lands, or even our own government.  It is our right to defend our property with whatever we see fit.  The third amendment prohibits the government at any level from quartering their troops (or government agents) within our property.  The fourth amendment prohibits government from seizing our property, and further declares that we must be safe within our property:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The Fifth Amendment deals with several aspects but only one effects property rights, the concept of eminent domain. This specifically addresses and even forces any level of govern-ment to pay ‘fair compensation for property’ that they need to purchase for necessary projects.  It is NOT a pass for government to seize and pay whatever they deem as ‘just’ for that property (that is proper ‘eminent domain’).  The property owner is at all times in control of the sale of his property, or should be.  This amendment guarantees this right.  (It also mentions grand juries, self incrimination, due process [as does the sixth amendment] and double jeopardy, too; but they don’t really deal with property, which is the subject of this paper.)

The seventh and eighth amendments protect our ideas and our money; ideas/money may be protected via a civil law suit, and they address a prohibition against excessive fees and punishments.

Statement Against the Proposed City Budget 6/16/15

In order to build for the future, we must build a solid foundation. How can we build this solid foundation off of tax/fee hikes? How can we build for the future by taking money from some just to give it to someone else? We understand that the people voted for a 39 million dollar debt on the new Recreation Center, but do they know of the interest attached to that debt which they did not vote for? Making the cost totaling a minimum of fifty million dollars? Isn’t that center paying for itself monthly and yearly? Why the need for a new RAP tax? The city for the last six years also has been running debts totaling millions on new city parks, all without a vote from the people!
We are not opposed to these things, just the manner that they are conducted. We shouldn’t levy burdensome debt for future generations, and even worse propose tax hikes down the road to pay for that debt! Isn’t a much wiser policy to save up for such projects? We should pay as we go! That is the American way!
Two years ago the administration pushed for a new road tax in order to pay for the roads, but yet in this proposed budget the administration is seeking additional monies to fund the roads. This road tax passed by the way. What roads have been repaired and or repaved?
These last six years the utility bill continues to go up and up and up, and yet in the administration’s proposed budget he wants to increase such rates yet again by as much as 20% and 80% within these next 6 years! Can the people truly afford this, especially since there has been an exodus from Provo? (Please see the Yahoo News article titled the fifteen fastest shrinking cities) There hasn’t been a tax or a fee increase that the current administration has not liked!
There is a line out there that says “Don’t talk to be about limited government, unless you’re willing to talk about taxes!” Meaning if we don’t raise taxes or if we cut taxes, then government is forced to cut itself naturally. Isn’t this a much wiser policy in order to build for the future? In order to grow the city?
Provo City candidates Jason Christensen for City Wide Council and Clinton Rhinehart for District 1 both think this way. They both believe if we adopt a city charter or otherwise known as a city constitution. We can as a city build this solid foundation for the future. They both see Provo becoming not only a shining light on a hill for this entire State of Utah to look at, but a Shining light up on a hill for the entire Nation to take notice.
In closing please vote NO on this utility bill hike. Vote NO on this proposed RAP tax. Vote NO on this proposed property tax hike. Let us move forward with the solutions that has been mentioned here, and let us all stand united in the cause of Liberty and make Provo shine like we all know that she can.

Tale of Two Cities.

Well you might of guessed it, in this article I am going to compare two cites. The city of Detroit and my home town of Provo Utah, which by the way I am a candidate for the Provo City Mayor position. I know what you may be saying “well I do not live in Provo”. Well you can still apply what you learn in this article and this comparison to your own city, because if you look deep enough I am sure that there is a a good majority of other cities out there in the same predicament as Provo and or Detroit.

Before I get started let me first state what the proper role of governance is to protect ones Liberty and to Promote the general happiness. With such areas like police, fire, infrastructure. Infrastructure such as roads, sewage, water, etc. Another proper role that government should be involved with is not only providing a transparent republican form of governance, but one that performs routine audits of all the city programs so that the city is running lean and mean.

Think back to the 1950’s when Detroit was up 2 million in population, 6 auto manufacturers,   an extremely hustle and bustle time for the once great metropolitan cities. Now Detroit is bankrupt, ruined and looking to rebuild. Why and how could such a travesty occur in an American city that fostered such wonderful ideas using the free enterprise system?! America’s heart land?! Well I will tell you briefly. In the fifties politicians started “and had been” wasting money in areas that they had no right to. Areas such as the Fords Theater, Resonance Center, The People Mover, etc. Encouraging this tax and spend scam promoting their version of government ran business and or government ran welfare system. Funding these areas first before they funded the necessities allowing the crime to sky rocket the debt to sky rocket and the roads to waste away. Now they have about 40 billion dollar debt, a 1-2 month response time for the police, etc. Heck from time to time they even had rioting with in the city in the late sixties and seventies.

My home town of Provo Utah has many of the similar situations. Currently we have an Art’s Center with about 500,000 in tax subsidies. A 53 million dollar after interest Recreation Center that we will be paying on for the next 19 years. An 80 million dollar IProvo debt after interest “internet company”, and no Google is not paying a cent of that debt. Two past road bond debts totaling 15 million dollars after interest. A Library that will finally be getting paid off in February. A Golf course that sometimes loses money or breaks even. The city has seen over 240 different fee increases and or creation of new fees. There is talk of creating a separate road fund fee to add to the Utility bill, when the bill is supposed to be used for the power company which the city also owns. The city is still in threat of seeing property tax increase. In the year 2014 there will be discussions to implement a RAP Tax. According to the most recent proposal for the bicycle trail city wide project. The first phase will cost the city 5.5 million, and one can only assume that the other two phases will cost the same per phase totaling an estimate 17 million before interest. Which may I add the city just barely got done with a “truth in taxation” hearing looking for ways to fund the roads and at no time was this bicycle plan was mentioned as being apart of the road reconstruction. Which by the way that bicycle plan also eludes to a CARE Tax. The city has passed a mandatory opt out not in recycling program raising that those fees as well. The city has created a Poverty Fund declaring war on poverty. The city continues to reauthorize the HUD program. Which mandates the city to match any level of private donation to housing projects while keeping the addiction to the federal funds which I like to call crack cocaine. That program also forces the city to stay up on maintenance costs of the projects. In central/west provo in the area where the Boulders Apartment complex resides “federal government housing” crime is through the roof, I suspect it is because of that federal subsidized housing. The city has welcome UTA’s front runner with open arms and continues to do so with UTA’s rapid transit system. The citizens continue to be ignored while the corporations get their way, and over 30% property rights violations with in the city “violations of the Constitution”.   To top it off the Mayor took a 20 thousand pay raise from 100k to 120k per year.

Now if we look at what has gone on nation wide since the fifties, and what is coming down the pipe line. Looking at our currency since we first started going off the gold standard in the thirties and finally off of the gold standard under the Nixon years in the seventies.  We have seen an inflationary rate of our dollar since 1970 of 4.29% annually, and 3.22% annually since the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913. We have seen this flawed Boom and Bust cycle thanks to Keynesian economics instituted since the turn of the century. Making the span of the busts between the booms closer and closer together. The last boom that we saw because of this form of Keynesian policy was President Obama’s Stimulus plan in 2009. Which lasted about a year is all.  Right now currently our nation is faced with yes the currency bubble that is expected to burst soon, the student loan bubble to burst soon. The Housing/derivative bubble that we still have not seen the bottom of, and over 100 trillion dollars unaccounted for world wide. Traditionally speaking it only takes one major event to get the ball rolling with all of these bubbles bursting.

What can we do now? Well it is simple get out of debt as a city and as individuals, build ones food storage from an individual level, build that relationship closer with God and his Laws, get involved now at your city and local government levels. Keep them in check! With that in mind we must awaken as a people to take the bare basic step and vote in our local elections. Situations like Provo’s 9% voting participation rate in the primary is not only pitiful and sad. We can do much much better. I know that we can and I have hope that we can.