Letter to the Editor: Take political action
In Price, Utah, gas was purchased Sunday morning, Jan. 15, at $2.73 per gallon This was the best price paid in over a year.
The following Tuesday morning, Jan. 17, gas was purchased at the same station for $2.99 per gallon.
What happened between between these times was that the White House announced the Obama administration was punting the approval of the Keystone pipeline bringing crude oil from Canada to the gulf states' oil refineries until after this November's election. The "O" administration felt "pressured" by the Republicans and needed further "environmental impact studies". This is most interesting in light of the fact that the application for this pipeline project has been over three years in the permitting process.
Ahhh... But what can I do? I'm just a lowly Carbon - Emery County resident, living here in rural Utah. Well you can moan, groan and complain or you can:
Get informed. If you only get your news from the alphabet soup news channels, you are badly misinformed. Try the Internet, try the Washington Times Weekly. The latest change in one of our popular local AM radio station is "News - Powered by the Washington Times".
Get involved. Local political parties, local candidates, even candidates for national offices look and depend on local volunteers. Campaigning for office is hard work. Therer are lots of boxes packed into events, tables set up, decorated, flyers displayed, all to be taken down and repacked a couple hours later.
Donate. The lifeblood of politics is money. It costs dollars to buy advertising, pay for printing, flyers, mailers, buy postage, buy gas to get candidates to events and buy food to fuel the volunteers. Obama has stated and bragged that he expects to spend over a billion dollars in his 2012 re-election campaign.
There is a local Helper Auditorium Lincoln Day Dinner coming Feb 9. Kick in some skin. When you look at how the printing of money is taking place, the current debt crises, the out of control federal budget all has devalued our currency, donating $50 or more now, in the long run scheme of things is very doable. A single donation helps, but there are 2000 plus registered party members. At $50 per donation, there can be some real money. Mike Lee our junior Senator in Washington has a political action committee with the express purpose of getting like minded people recruited, trained, and elected. He can use all the help he can get.
Re-register to vote by mail. Everyone has heard of absentee balloting. You do this whenever you know that you will be out of town on election day. In military deployment, you generally do absentee balloting. Several years ago the Utah legislature passed a bill enabling all registered residents to vote by mail. This has been done very successfully in the greater Salt Lake area. When you reregister, you sign your signature multiple times. You receive your ballot approximately thirty days before Tuesday, Nov. 6. You mark your ballot. You sign your signature. You mail your ballot to the county clerk. The county clerk scans your signature and digitally, electronically compares it to your multiple signed signatures on your file registration. Your ballot is then cast. Your name is marked off from your regular polling precinct. There is no stress in hurrying to the precinct polling place. There is opportunity to openly discuss around the dining table. You can discuss questions on the ballots. It is also a chance to use it as a teaching moment to younger or less experienced voters. Should you not get your ballot mailed timely then take your mailed-to-you ballot to your regular polling place and surrender the mailed ballot and then vote the conventional way.
The reason this is a good idea is participation. The track record of voter turnout for regular, go to precinct and cast your ballot voting runs as low as 23 percent in off years and up to 55 percent for Presidential elections. Utah vote by mail participation has been in the 76 percent plus range. This voter turnout has been a major game changer here in Utah!
Speak up, speak out, Stand up and defend your position; be ready to stand up in the bathhouse, on the benches, chairs, or what ever, and speak up. I will add, talk to your neighbors, your friends, and your fellow church attendees. The direction our country will be taking after this election is crucial.
Caucus. This is a term that until the most recent news cycles was unheard and misunderstood. Our state of Utah uses a caucus - delegate - convention system that appears somewhat unique compared to other states. Think of it as a neighborhood meeting or neighborhood mass meeting. These will be held March 15 at the Jennifer Leavitt Ballroom on the USU Eastern campus at 7 p.m. The meeting will be organized by voter precinct. Get your neighbors and friends to go with you and attend. This is where your neighborhood elects local precinct chairpersons and delegates to the state convention held in June. Among other positions selected are jobs such as local precinct poll watchers. The state delegates will need to be available and will have their contact information given to candidates running for election. State delegates get contacted by candidates running for office. At the state convention, the party formally selects their candidates for the President, Federal Congressman (4), Senator (1) and various state positions such as Governor and State Attorney General, all state Representatives and approximately 1/3 of state Senators.
You hear names, You see people. You read about happenings in the paper. Becoming a state delegate you get to rub shoulders with and get to know people such as Orin Hatch, Jason Chaffetz, Rob Bishop, Gov. Herbert, get asked for the time by Lt. Gov. Bell, all of a sudden T. C. Mits (The Common Man In The Street) opinion counts.