— 1. What did you do to help with the Utah 2019 Tax Referendum? —
I went door to door and filled a couple of petition booklets in the closing days of the referendum push.
— 2. What is your position of taxes on food and gasoline? —
Food Taxes are the most regressive form of taxation. Gas taxes are seen as ‘user’ fees on the hill, but any fee or tax is exactly the same … it is legal governmental booty.
— 3. What if any taxes would you implement on services and why? —
None – We have to wein the Legislature out of the Tax and Spend Box they find so comfortable and they are so at home within. There are other ideas for government revenue that do NOT require the tax burden methodology. Property taxes started long before we became a state or even a territory … it was originally three cents on the dollar value of what the pioneers had as property, and it went to maintaining roads and canals (infastructure of the time). Don’t ask about where we are now, it will really depress you!
— 4. Many Utahns felt that after the town halls and committee meetings that the legislative tax task force held throughout 2019 that their concerns were not heard and that special interests wielded too much influence. On the other hand, many legislators felt that the people didn’t understand the issue or the solutions that they put forth. If elected, how would you respond to the concerns and issues that your constituents bring to you and how would you educate them on the issues you are dealing with? —
Unfortunately, Utah is not known for its transparency in state government. In fact, that is only area of concern, but back to the actual question. To my administration, the voice of one is worth listening to but the voice of many is more so. The Legislature does not trust We the People – they have jumped in on several initatives and referendums (SB54, Medical Marijuana, Anti-Gerrymandering /Better Bounderies – etc.) The Leg Task Force already had its mind made up before they even scheduled the hearings! They have tried to put sales taxes on service a couple of time in the recent past and will continue to do it again, unless we are all vigalent! Unfortunately, the education aspect of the issues is the literal responsibility of each and every voter. They have to be vigalent and check out the various sources out there to learn what needs to be done. I will make myself available (not for campaign donations – aka Gary Herbert’s ‘Available Jones’ comment) for constituents to contact me for my viewpoint on the issues … pro or con.
— 5. Are you willing to vote against bills that legislative leadership wants you to support even when threatened with losing coveted committee positions, having your legislation held hostage, etc? Explain —
The Legislative Leadership is tainted by special interests, out of state donations and money and by being in power for so long (“power corrupts”). Being of neither the R or D party, I can work better with each and show them the error of their ways … it is called working across the aisle or compromise (I won’t compromise my principles, which many legislators have already done all too often) and I will work with any good and honest legislator, no matter how few there may be!
— 6. Are you in favor of the Utah School Income Tax Constitutional Amendment that will be voted on in November? Why or not? —
Absolutely NOT! There is a reason the Constitution put those words and that concept into that document … Education is THE most important Economic Development tool of our future. Public Education is already handicapped by too many cooks in the kitchen (Fed Dept of Ed) mandating what the recipe has too be and not enough local support for K-12 Public Education. MY 2021 Budget I upped the Public Ed budget from Herbert’s $5.8 billion to MY recommendation of $6.5 billion (to raise teachers salaries to the National Median, eliminate the ‘temporary’ classrooms at every school in the state – building brick and mortar ones instead -, adding $200 Million worth of additional ‘certified’ teachers to get class sizes down to no more than 20 students per teacher, etc. [see my website for MY ALL-IN Education Plan: gduerden.us] ) WE CANNOT CUT K-12 EDUCATION FUNDING anymore. Unfortunately our Legislature has broken multiple promises and NOT done a very good job for the past four or five decades!! One thing they did do, to hide their failures, was lump Higher Ed and Public (K-12) Ed into the ‘Education funding’ line item … thereby allowing Higher Ed to reap the benefits and allowing them to say “Education is our #1 Priority” with a straight face!!
— 7. Name one reason you are the best candidate for the position you signed for. —
My Lt. Gov. and I (Wayne Hill and Greg Duerden) are the only ticket of Constitution Solution solvers to the Governmental Issues we face. We love the Constitution and know there are more answers in those pages and words than our current Legislature and Governor realize because if they knew what was in it they couldn’t do so many unconstitutional or extra-constitutional actions, bills, orders and get away with it (because the public isn’t aware either).
Little things, like the Legislature calling itself into session, violating the First & Fifth Amendments by forcing people to stay at home, close their businesses, closing churches, schools and limiting the freedoms of Assembly, Religion, and taking away property (business’ & people’s living, etc.). Emergency powers be damn’d … these are God given (not government given) rights NO ONE can limit or take away. Government’s job is to do the best they can within those limits NOT to stomp of the rights of ‘the People’ in the name of ‘protecting’ them. We need better thinkers and better principled leaders … not lazy tyrants waiting to take more away from their bosses “We the People”!!!
We are problem solvers who won’t take the rights of Life, Liberty and Property away from OUR constituents and citizens of Utah. We are here to promote and protect both the Constitution of the State of Utah and of the United States (living up to our oath of office) rather than violate the oath of office as Herbert, Cox, Mendenhall, Wilson and many others have done all too recently!!
— Email —