Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Huntsman State of the State Post-Mortem

My main feelings about Governor Huntsman remain unchanged after last night’s address. He remains a terrible governor. Why? As I outlined before and as was reiterated tonight: he is too committed to the photo-op; too uncommitted to fighting for real change in government; and still ignored by legislative leaders who, according to their responses, will not take his recommendations seriously. Richard Piatt made the point immediately before last night’s broadcast on KSL that this is one of the few times citizens see the governor in a substantive role. The fact that we see him in so many un-substantive roles reinforces my negative opinion of him. The policies expressed in the address were mostly agreeable to me, many Democrats, and the majority of the public. Though, I do take exception to the abhorrent dual tax system that will not help the majority of Utahns but just make the rich richer. It has not been proven to work yet and until then I think we should hold off until we see the tax returns until we expand it. Absent of a strong response from the legislature to deliver real funding for education, health care, and other major issues instead of just tax cuts, and absent of Huntsman actually using his executive power and PR machine to push for his policies, I will remain a committed Democrat this year on the state level.

During the speech, Huntsman asked families of those serving in the military to stand. This led my father to joke about how many serving in the legislature or administration could have had stood up; he guessed no one, but I think it would be interesting to find out.

A hearty round of applause to the Democratic response, especially Rep. Riesen; when you watch it, you’ll see he hasn’t lost his touch, despite what several local TV stations may believe, and Democratic legislative leaders would be smart to keep his visibility high.

Finally, thanks to Also a round of shameful scorns at KUTV and KTVX, who again showed bias in their coverage by failing to cover both sides of a political issue. One of the things I was frustrated about during the Senate campaign I worked on was when President Bush held his fundraiser for Orrin Hatch. KUTV and KTVX (and KSTU) all carried this half-hour free commercial without allowing any response from our campaign. This time they failed to air the Democratic response. I expected little from KTVX; their station has been a joke for years now and even more so after seeing they actually believed people would rather watch America’s Most Boring and Stupid Home Videos instead of the Democratic response. KUTV I expect somewhat more of, despite the fact that they are the biggest info-taint-ment provider in Utah, with little real news staff left. Bravo to KSL and others who chose to be more fair to the issue.

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