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The disastrous Utah Republican primary

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The bid for former Representative Jason Chaffetz’s congressional seat has been a chaotic mess from the outset. And John Curtis’s victory on Tuesday proves the disaster maintained pace right up to the finish line.

The troubles started when Rep. Chaffetz, who had just been reelected in 2016 to his fifth term representing my native Utah 3rd District, announced in April that he would not be running for reelection in 2018. Never satisfied with his own statements, Chaffetz returned a month later on May 18th to inform the district that he would be resigning from office at the end of June.

This shell game was embarrassingly reminiscent of Chaffetz’s approach to the 2016 presidential election: endorsing Donald Trump early on; condemning Trump after the “Access Hollywood” tapes and saying he wouldn’t be able to look his wife and teenage daughter in the eye if he voted for such a man; then doubling back with what he insists was not an endorsement, essentially saying, “I’m voting for Trump, and here’s why you should too,” which by any reasonable metric is the epitome of an endorsement. Unfortunately, the events since then have roughly followed the same pattern.

The Utah Republican Party held a convention in June to determine its candidate based on a caucus of GOP delegates. Former state legislator and true conservative Chris Herrod pulled out a win after a five-round run-off, beating out 10 other candidates, including eventual primary winner John Curtis, who had a fairly dismal showing at the convention. But the delegates had spoken and Herrod was on his way, right? Nope.

In 2016, the Utah state legislature passed the controversial and unarguably unconstitutional SB-54, in which state government gave itself authority to force political parties — private organizations — to nominate candidates as the state sees fit. According to the bill, the onus of selecting a political candidate shouldn’t fall to measly delegates — party devotees, nominated by their peers, known for their political activity and dedication. Instead, candidates can sidestep the caucus altogether and gather signatures to gain ballot access, resulting in this year’s three-way primary between Republican nominee Chris Herrod, Provo Mayor John Curtis, and newcomer “my dad is famous” Tanner Ainge. Curtis had declared his intention of running in the primary via signatures regardless of the results of the convention, and Ainge didn’t even compete for the party’s nomination.

Herrod, the only proven conservative in the race, was endorsed by Senator Ted Cruz, who attested to Herrod’s loyalty to four key conservative issues: “having principled constitutionalists on the U.S. Supreme Court, repealing Obamacare, taking on regulatory reform, and tax reform.”

Somehow, despite losing the party nomination, John Curtis was still able to collect endorsements from 23 Utah mayors and sitting Governor Gary Herbert — as if there weren’t enough evidence that the state government resents the caucus/convention system. And have I mentioned that Curtis has not even been a Republican for very long? He readily admits that he formerly ran for office as a Democrat but couldn’t receive the party’s full support because of his pro-life stance. In every other way, however, Curtis falls in line with the Democrats.

As mayor of a town largely populated by socialist college students and professors (believe me, I just left it), Curtis enacted and encouraged one unconstitutional effort after another, resulting in a statist city government. One website has compiled Provo laws and ordinances constituting government overreach with extensive references and links to the actual legislation. Here are some examples:

  • It is illegal to fire a weapon outside of approved gun ranges, not even in self-defense.
  • It is illegal to house more than three non-relatives.
  • It is illegal to rent house space to strangers, stifling Airbnb endeavors.
  • It is illegal to have two sinks in your kitchen.
  • It is illegal to protest anything, anywhere, in any way without the city’s prior approval.
  • It is illegal to peacefully protest in public facilities, as one 80-year-old woman discovered when she was thrown out of the city rec center.

Curtis, while lacking authority to raise taxes as mayor, backed the council’s tax increases 43 times. His most famous “accomplishment” is an inefficient public busing service, BRT, that hardly anybody likes or uses. It limps along at Curtis’s insistence and taxpayers’ expense.

One of Curtis’s campaign staffers, a good friend of mine, told me at the convention, “John’s a conservative, whatever that means.” Um, no. You don’t just get to claim to be a conservative if A) it’s not true and B) you don’t even know what it means. For the sake of accuracy, I decided to ask John about it himself. He said he’s a conservative because he knows how to get the job done. I decided against pointing out to him that that’s not even close to the actual definition of conservatism. I asked him how willing he would be to defy the GOP or even what’s most efficient in order to preserve the Constitution, and he said he was very willing to go against the party — those Democratic roots shining through. I pressed again on the Constitution, and he insisted that he knew how to get things done efficiently, that he was committed to always choosing efficiency over party. Only after two or three more prods did he concede, “Sure, the Constitution’s very important.” He then moved on to another question. John Curtis is NOT a conservative, and he’s hesitant to even endorse the Constitution.

We may never know exactly what went wrong. A few weeks before the election — a closed primary — the state illegally sent out 68,000 Republican primary ballots to unaffiliated voters. Upon acknowledging the error, rather than recall the ballots, the state encouraged unaffiliated voters (largely moderates) to register as Republicans in order to vote. Several moderate-to-left activist groups called for the same, occasionally endorsing Curtis in the process as the “moderate candidate.” As we’ve already seen, Curtis is not even right-wing enough to be considered a moderate, and 68,000 illegal ballots in a race with fewer than 45,000 counted votes can certainly swing an election.

There’s too much uncertainty and apparent malfeasance to sift through, but to quote the great Luke Skywalker, “I only know one truth:” the Republican Party in Utah is in shambles, and it’s falling to the Left as it goes.

Utah, formerly one of the most reliably red states, is swinging. The Beehive State was divided during the 2016 election, but that was largely in reaction to Trump, not pushback against conservative ideals. This election is different. One of most historically conservative states has rallied tooth and nail behind a politician with openly socialist policies. Utah almost certainly won’t elect a Democratic candidate, so we’re most likely stuck with another congressman who is, at best, “a conservative, whatever that means.”

Kind of makes you wish the Federalist Party would start up in Utah, am I right?

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards, Co-Host of The New Guards Podcast, lifelong fan of the Anaheim Ducks, and proud Hufflepuff. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in English from Brigham Young University in 2017. One day later, his wife gave birth to a beautiful daughter. Richie is a constitutional conservative and doesn't see any compassion in violating other people's rights.

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Democrats

Roy Moore must pass the Cemetery Gates, but Al Franken is a progressive so he is OK

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I would be cool with both Roy Moore and Al Franken walking passed the cemetery gates, but it should not surprise any moral-minded freedom liberty loving conservative that Franken gets a pass.  Even from the Great Mitch McConnell.  Yes, there is a double standard, but what matters is that the progressives and their collaborators continue to maintain power in our government.

Shame that its only Moore that must pass those dreaded gates of the dead.

Meanwhile, we have to push for Article V and/or new political party to take the place of the do nothing Republican Party.  Otherwise, it will have to take a civil war to get our freedom back and I don’t know if we are strong enough for even that.  Don’t get me started about Edward “Ted” Kennedy who truly got away with murder.  At least it kept Ted out of the White House, but I doubt would have been the case now.  What matters is that we create the kingdom on Earth and prove God a liar and that we don’t need his help or his forgiveness or above all honor his ‘oppressive’ law.

Until further notice, I stand by Roy Moore.


Levin: Shameless Dems are trying to bury the sexual abuse allegations against Franken

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/levin-shameless-dems-are-trying-to-bury-the-franken-allegations?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=111717levin-franken-ethics-committee&utm_campaign=crfbDespite the countless and vocal calls from Washington for Roy Moore to drop out of the Alabama Senate race, it is virtual silence on the Franken-resignation front. The only seeming consensus from his colleagues and party leaders is that Franken should go before the Senate Ethics Committee.

“Between 2007 and 2016, the Senate Ethics Committee imposed zero sanctions against anyone. Zero — despite 613 allegations and 75 preliminary investigations. Zero,” Shapiro wrote Thursday.

What all 46 Democratic senators (and two independents) say about Al Franken

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/what-all-46-democratic-senators-say-about-al-frankenNot a single Democrat has called for Al Franken to step down or be expelled from the Senate despite photographic evidence that backs up Leeann Tweeden’s allegation that Franken groped her breasts while she was sleeping and despite her claim that Franken forced his tongue down her throat.

 

 

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Entertainment and Sports

Can Jerry Jones save the NFL?

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As you may have read, the NFL is in the early stages of a new civil war. Two of the NFL’s most unpopular figures are facing off: Jerry Jones and Roger Goodell. What started out over something seemingly trivial(though it’s not), looks to escalate into something that could divide the league yet unite football fans. Roger Goodell has been hated by fans for years for many unarticulated reasons, however ever since the Ray Rice video, the NFL has undergone years, of bad distractions starting with domestic violence, blowing up over deflategate, and peaking with anthem protesting. All of this in in the litany of issues, Jones can use to usurp Roger Goodell from his Commissioner title with the NFL.

Free Zeke

Star running back Ezekiel Elliott finds himself as the centerpiece of this battle. His legal battle to overturn his suspension was the preseason for a larger showdown. Reports have surfaced suggesting Jones was assured by Goodell that Elliott would serve no time. This assurance prompted Jones to vote in favor of the process of a committee going forward with renewing Goodell’s contract. However, Goodell reneged his promise to Jones and suspended Elliott anyway. this comes after police filed no charges, and text messages have surfaced that Tiffany Thompson was merely trying to blackmail, Elliott. Goodell punished Elliott for battering Tiffany Thompson even though the lone NFL investigator who interviewed Thompson did not find sufficient evidence to support Thompson’s accusations. So Goodell suspended Elliott for nothing. What else is Jerry Jones to take that as other than a smackdown to show that he’s in charge and a petty slap against the Dallas Cowboys’ ability to compete?

Jones Not Alone

The fans are behind Jones because they dislike Goodell, but no one cares about the fans, sadly. Jerry Jones may look to find an ally in the NFLPA, the union for players. Following the Ezekiel Elliott case they lost, they issued this statement

On behalf of all players, the Union appealed the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott to its logical conclusion and we are withdrawing our lawsuit. 

Our vigilant fight on behalf of Ezekiel once again exposed the NFL’s disciplinary process as a sham and a lie. They hired several former federal prosecutors, brought in “experts” and imposed a process with the stated goal of “getting it right,” yet the management council refuses to step in and stop repeated manipulation of an already awful League-imposed system.

In truth, the NFLPA has no one to blame but themselves. They were a part of the process which gave Roger Goodell carte blanche with league discipline and it has been a disaster ever since. They helped create the monster during their last collective bargaining negotiations. However, in recognizing this failing, they may be eager to join Jerry Jones in his fight. This would be a credible ally that would make Jones seem less like a loose cannon.

History of Goodell’s success

One of the main selling point under Roger Goodell has been the increasing pie for NFL owners. Jerry Jones, specifically, has been a benefactor of Goodell’s leadership for many years.

CBS Sports: Cowboys dominate Forbes’ 2017 list of most valuable NFL franchises, Bills rank last

According to Forbes, the five most valuable franchises in the world are the Cowboys ($4.8 billion), the Patriots ($3.7 billion), the New York Yankees ($3.7 billion) along with soccer clubs Manchester United ($3.69 billion) and FC Barcelona ($3.64 billion).

 The fact that two NFL teams are at the top of the worldwide list shouldn’t come as much of a shock because the value of an NFL franchise has basically been skyrocketing since 2013. Four years ago, there was only one team worth over $2 billion — the Cowboys.

This year, 27 of the league’s 32 teams are worth over $2 billion, and three of the teams that aren’t — the Browns, Bengals, and Buccaneers — will likely hit that number in the near future.

One team that didn’t see a huge jump was the Chargers. Although the Rams got a huge boost when they moved to L.A. in 2016 — they jumped from the 28th most valuable team to the sixth most valuable — the Chargers only saw a slight increase. Since moving from San Diego, the team’s value has gone from $2.08 billion to $2.275 billion.

Ratings may tank Goodell

The NFL boycott is real and is deeply reflected in the ratings decrease. NFL owners can’t be blind to the hurt they are getting by the ratings drop, attendance decline, dip in merchandise sales, and tainted relationship with major sponsors. However, as colleague Scott Byrd would suggest, this is just the beginning. These are Goodell’s biggest threats to his continued tenure and unfortunately, they are all financially tied. A while back, I previously wrote about how the NFL could hemorrhage the bleeding.

How the NFL can stop and possibly reverse the bleeding
  1. Force Players to Stand For the National Anthem

    Seriously, this shouldn’t even be debatable at this point. Get the politics out of football. The players have angered so many fans that the rating drops are accelerating. Players disrespecting the anthem is a direct cause of fans turning them off. You can’t expect to increase ratings when players alienate fans. Regardless of how you feel about the issue, the NFL has a fiduciary duty to implement and enforce a policy to keep the politics out of football. If they want a ratings bounce, they better listen to those who boycott. Football is supposed to be American. It should be a reminder of why we love our country. When that reminder is replaced by players protesting the anthem, the brand is tarnished. The NFL has a brand issue they need to fix.

  2. End Regional Broadcasting

    In 2017, there is no reason that a Broncos fan in Miami can’t watch their team except with DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket. I grew up with that, and it’s a great service. However, people are cord-cutting. Cable is increasingly losing its firm grip on entertainment with streaming services. NFL should offer streaming on their website that has no regional broadcast restrictions. It doesn’t even have to be free. This is a way for the NFL to modernize. They are already expanding their own streaming capabilities, but the only live games you can watch on NFL.com are out of market preseason games. How useless is that? Allow people who follow a team to pay for a package to watch that team every Sunday. It’s not that hard.

  3. Written Rules for Player Discipline

    How long should a player be suspended for in domestic violence cases? The amount of time is less important than the equal standard it should be from Josh Brown to Ray Rice. The NFL needs consistency. Otherwise, these scandals are a distraction from the football.

  4. Due Process for Player Discipline

    The NFL should defer to the legal system and not their own investigating. They are obviously terrible at it. In the case of Ezekiel Elliott, they suspended him when the police dropped the case. Furthermore, in the process, the NFL ignored evidence that exonerated Elliott. This was an unnecessary legal battle and distraction that the NFL really doesn’t need. It’s been proven that Elliott’s accuser was lying, but the NFL insists on a four-game suspension. Skip the NFL investigating process, and just defer to the legal system. If police drop charges, no suspension. If acquitted, no suspension. If they plead no contest, suspension. Players need to be proven innocent. And obviously, suspend when found guilty.

  5. Stay At Home

    This one is aimed at the San Diego Chargers. Abandoning the San Diego Market to pursue the Los Angeles dream would have been a good idea, if the Rams hadn’t already done it first. Now they gave their original fanbase a free pass to either lose interest or cheer for a different team. Stupid move. It’s great when the NFL gives back to the community, but abandoning your market shows how little you truly cared. Perhaps the Raiders should stay in Oakland. In pursuit of LA, the NFL lost the St. Louis market. San Diego and St. Louis are sizable markets. They can support multiple sports teams. If anything, the Jaguars should relocate, but they are investing in England for a possible relocation across the pond in the long-term future. When franchises relocate, it can devastate a community and turn people away from the sport. It’s very possible that these relocations have contributed to ratings declines. And so this should cease. As a side note, the Las Vegas move is not a terrible idea considering the city’s space and growth. But I don’t think the Raiders should be the ones to move. To clarify, It’s the stupid relocations that must stop.

Saving Football

Much of my five ways to stop the bleeding have only been validated with time, like the Chargers’ move to LA resulting in only a small increase in valuation. The internet also poses a threat that Roger Goodell seems behind on. Time is of the essence. If the NFL doesn’t change its ways, it could lose relevance in more households perhaps losing a generation of fans if this continues for however long Goodell’s contract is extended for. Rating declines only serve to make the NFL, and by extension football, less relevant.

Luckily Jerry Jones is opposing Goodell for more reasons than just Ezekiel Elliott, although that’s huge. Also, Jerry Jones has a history of suing and winning against the NFL. He is the best chance of saving the NFL. The NFL needs to act on its fiduciary duty to end these PR nightmares. And part of acting on that duty entails the removal of Roger Goodell. Jerry Jones is championing the fight. And while he isn’t quite the hero we wanted, he is the hero we need and deserve to save the NFL from itself. Who knows what the endgame is? But it’s hard to imagine, Jerry Jones succeeding makes the NFL’s situation worse. Usurping Goodell is the first piece in saving the NFL, but far from the last.

 

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News

Trump won’t lift ban on big game trophy hunting… for now

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Trump wont lift ban on big game trophy hunting for now

It isn’t often that the Trump administration reverses on a policy prior to enacting it, but it’s happening now. President Trump Tweeted that he’s going to put the big game hunting decision on hold until he reviews all conservation facts. This decision follows a social media outcry against lifting President Obama’s 2014 ban.

The argument for lifting the ban is that by regulating legal hunting, conservation efforts can be improved. It goes against our basic understanding to see how hunting an animal can help protect the species, but it’s been demonstrated to be true many times. In fact, even left-wing Slate posted an article supporting the notion:

Lifting the ban on elephant trophies will probably help save elephants.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2017/11/lifting_the_ban_on_elephant_trophies_will_probably_help_save_elephants.html“Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve those species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” an FWS spokesperson told Slate. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the hunting and management programs for African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia will enhance the survival of the species in the wild.”

These loud missives don’t do justice to the nuanced factors that go into developing and implementing conservation efforts.

Regardless of whether there really are benefits or not isn’t important… at least not to the masses. Some people will be against it even if it’s demonstrably beneficial. Others wouldn’t have a problem with hunting them to extinction. This will come down to whether or not the Trump administration believes they can justify lifting the ban at the appropriate time to mitigate damage to their public image.

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