Utah’s Totalitarian Troika (UTT)
[Borrowed liberally from UT Gun Rights]
Utah Governor Gary Herbert wields statutory veto powers and a virtual monopoly on state judicial appointments. However, two other men, House Speaker Brad Wilson and Senate President Stuart Adams, dominate the entire legislature and run roughshod over any attempts they might make to substantively challenge Utah’s Goodfellas. These two playground bullies forcefully set the agenda and your legislators obediently follow it — or else.
How can this be? Why have legislators tolerated such an abusive arrangement? And what can be done to restore their independence?
The Kommissars Wield Enormous Power.
How do two men exercise such control? As one example, the House Speaker and Senate President alone appoint and remove EVERY member of EVERY committee. Wilson and Adams are empowered to do this without any review or confirmation process.
Sources: “The general duties of the Speaker are to:… appoint the members of committees…” (House Rules 1-3-102. Duties of the Speaker) and “The general duties of the President are to:… appoint the members of committees…” (SR1-3-102. Duties of the President)
Consider the vast implications of this incredible power. No bill may be voted on in the House or Senate without going through a committee. Wilson and Adams each control a “Rules Committee” that can prevent or allow a bill from going to a committee to be heard.
Should a bill survive a committee hearing, it is again “prioritized” by the same Rules Committee for any floor action. As a result, bills live or die almost entirely upon the calculated consent of these two Kommissars.
Previous House Kommissar Becky Lockhart candidly admitted her power to the press:
“I empower [House] Committee chairs…” [bold added]
Source: “Bill banning enforcement of federal gun laws ‘stuck in limbo’,” by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News, February 22, 2013.
Current House Kommissar Wilson likewise empowers the chairs of each House Committee because he appoints and fires them at his will alone … as does Adams for every Senate Committee. And these hand-picked chairs control each committee agenda.
Wilson and Adams’ powers are so extreme that no specific provision exists in the House or Senate rules to fire them before their two-year terms are over. Akin to an elected despotism, these Kommissars lord over each body, trade committee positions and other political favors, and sell out the people’s rights … all the while pretending that decisions are made by the free will and consent of the majority.
As if neutering your elected officials weren’t enough, these two Kommissars also have enormous influence over how vast sums of money are distributed in Utah political races. Adams is the first officer listed for the “Utah Republican Senate Campaign Committee.” Gregg Hughes [still listed] and Brad Wilson are the first officers listed for the “Utah Republican House Campaign Committee” and has established the “Hughes Leadership PAC.” Both have significant influence with other PACs and also with the Utah Republican Party, of which they are automatically voting members of its exclusive “Executive Committee.”
Both Kommissars are enabled by a spider web-like network of corruption. Corporations and Goodfella elitists desirous to advance their agendas must “pay to play” in Utah’s capitol and many delight in paying with
So what can be done to stop it?
Ultimately, House and Senate members must band together, regardless of party or other distractions, and actively resist these Kommissars. They must educate each other and their constituents regarding the unjust usurpation of power that prohibits them from serving the people. Ultimately, each body must vote to change the rules, depose the Kommissars, and fundamentally restore their collective and individual voice and vote.
Additional comments by knowledgeable friends and sources:
- This just in from an astute follower 10.20.19 @ 12:38am … I believe there is an error on the Rules Committee. I am pretty sure that once a bill is in rules that it can be released by the committee by a majority vote when a quorum is present.However, if memory serves me right, if the committee refuses to release a bill, a 2/3 vote of the body can lift it from rules. I am quite sure of the first (majority vote) but not quite so certain about the latter 2/3. One other key power that Rules has is that it can choose which committees bills are sent to. If leadership wants to kill a bill, it can have rules send it to a kill committee. If it wants to pass a bill it can send it to a friendly committee. Most bills; however, are sent to committees according to the subject matter: For example a bill related to education goes to the Education Committee; a bill on business regulations to the Business and Labor Committee, etc.
- The Kommissars control the committees by selecting yes men (women) to Chair each committee. These committee chairs will not actively work against the President of the Senate, or Speaker of the House for fear of losing favor, and being demoted from these “important” positions. When a legislator goes back to the district, the most impressive thing they can tell their constituents is what committees they are on, and more importantly what committees they chair.
- Rules Committee: This is the most powerful committee because legislation can be sent to the rules committee, and it will never see the light of day. It takes a 2/3 vote to bring something out of rules. This is a very high threshold, and I believe, is rarely ever achieved (probably rarely attempted). We were told by a former Speaker of the House that he could control what comes in/out of the rules committee, and basically this is the committee that much of the control is exercised in the body. The Chair of the Rules Committee is the most critical of all assignments (I believe), and therefore is the most loyal supporter of the Kommissar. He/she will NEVER go against the Kommissar on critical decisions.
- The 3 Kommissars also wield a lot of power throughout the state and in county parties. Less desirable legislators are undermined at every level, including overtly or directly supporting/funding opponents. Such purging once again assures that the body is completely controlled and manipulated.
- The approach is very much “carrot and stick”. You play and you get carrots. You resist and you get sticks.
- The media will not expose this game, and seem to also be under the same type of control. They get interviews (carrots) if they don’t expose the corruption. They are shamed or ignored if they do.
- The fact that the statement of organization for the Utah Republican House Campaign Committee is incorrect (Hughes is no longer speaker) may indicate that carelessness also applies to the financial record keeping. I believe that they are required by statute or regulation to update this information within so many days of a change. It might be worth noting that this has not occurred and the requirement to do so.
- I don’t believe that the rules committee requires a 2/3 vote to take action.
- There is inconsistency in the capitalization of words like “house”. I’m not saying anything has to change, just wanted to ensure that you were aware and the decision for that was deliberate.
- Should the House and Senate members educate others, or should others educate them?
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Edited by Daniel Newby
“The Ole’ Buzzard”
“The Ole’ Buzzard” & President of Justice4All
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