Monday, May 26, 2008

Money...Morality...It's All the Same

[Utah Politics] It's come to this in Utah politics--where the GOP rules so unchecked and audaciously, that even the Republican race for state treasurer for god's sake, has been reduced to smarmy measurements of "traditional family values."

Cathy McKitrick reports in today's Salt Lake Tribune about the upcoming primary runoff between Repubs Mark Walker and Richard Ellis. Both, it appears, have decent enough cred at accounting, money management and the wearing of dark blue suits and white shirts--all skills you would expect a state treasurer candidate to have mastered.

But Walker has apparently decided to turn the race into a yardstick for measuring right-wing morality.

Ellis, currently chief deputy state treasurer, says of his opponent, Walker:

"Walker's applause lines at the [state GOP] convention came after references to gay marriage, unborn children and tax cuts. You had a crowd there where that really resonates," Ellis continued. "But that has nothing to do with the role of state treasurer."

Except in Utah, of course, where no doubt even a Republican race for dog catcher could be reduced to a pro-life/pro-choice argument around neutering. (Holly Mullen)


  1. The Trib needs to do some more looking at Walker's qualifications. If this were only a choice between two highly qualified candidates, with the difference being Walker's playing to the far right, this would be a non-story. I'd vote for him too! The Trib let's him off scott free on the biggest reason he's unelectable by stating he and Ellis are both sufficiently qualified with regards to "accounting and treasury management...". That couldn't be more true. When Walker's biggest advocate, John Valentine, can only call his qualifications "adequate," you wonder what an objective person would say!

    So the reason this race is so interesting is that you have an idealogue with no experience, demagoguing right wing issues unrelated to the office he's running for, with legislative leadership serving as the only wind at his back. How strong is that wind? Almost strong enough to get Walker through convention with no primary. That should frighten all of us.

    When asked about his inexperience, Walker says he'll hire great people under him. People like Richard Ellis? That's another interesting subtext brought out today that I would like to hear more about. If he'd hire Ellis, that sort of shoots a hole is his claims to bring private-sector expertise to the job- he'd need the same life-long beurocrat he's saying we can't have as treasurer just to keep the ship from sinking!

    Also on inexperience, people might point out that Walker's about the same age Ed Alter was when first elected 28 years ago. While that part is true, Alter had a business degree and was serving as treasurer to the University of Utah, so though young, his background and education was already deep. There's a big difference there.

    Anyway, at least write an interesting article by digging into the real issues!

  2. The problem with Ellis: He's a bureaucrat of the first order. What Walker was saying at convention wasn't just gay marriage and moral issues: He was tax advocate of the year in 2007, while Richard Ellis opposed tax cuts when he was in various positions in state government.

    Ellis needs to find a new line of work. He's been in that Treasurer's Office, or GOPB, for his whole career. Too many entrenched friends there with him.

    I hope Walker clobbers him.

  3. Instead of clobbering him, it looks like Walker offered the much-maligned and feared career bureaucrat a nice plum job with a big pay raise. Am I missing something here? Can anyone explain Walker's actions in a way that doesn't make him look like a complete moron?


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