Gov. Gary Herbert greets the Laws from Orangeville in attendance at the Republican Lincoln dinner.
The Emery County Republican party held a Lincoln Day dinner to honor Pres. Abraham Lincoln and his ideals. The feeling of freedom was in the air as the National Anthem was song by Amy Bell and the audience. Special attendees included the Governor of the state of Utah Gary Herbert. Sen. Orrin Hatch also made the trip from Washington DC to Castle Dale to attend the function. Sen. Hatch will seek re-election in 2012 as the senior senator from Utah. He was recently joined in Washington by junior senator Mike Lee who was unable to attend the dinner, but sent a representative.
Bill Dellos, county party chairman conducted the meeting. Lou Sansevero, vice chairman introduced the speakers. A steak dinner was catered by Kent Wilson from BKs. Musical entertainment was provided by the Emery High Chamber Choir and David Bird, director.
Gov. Herbert complimented Emery County saying it is a little piece of Americana. His sister lives in Ferron and he introduced his niece and nephew in attendance at the event. His sister however, had the choice between going on a cruise and listening to the governor speak and she went on the cruise joked the governor. Gov. Herbert appreciated the music and having young people involved in inspiring things.
The governor said he recently returned from Washington DC where he testified before a congressional committee on wildlands and also at the governors conference. Gov. Herbert said Utah is well respected back in Washington and the other governors were looking to Utah as a model for fiscal responsibility and balancing their budget each year. Utah is leading the nation in growth in exports. Utah is leading the nation as one of the best performing economies. Utah is technologically advanced and provides high tech businesses with high tech workers. China and India want our jobs said the governor. Utah is a leader in innovation and a quality workforce.
Gov. Herbert said the governors weren't asked to weigh in on the national health care policy and they should have been asked their opinions on such sweeping reform to health care. Gov. Herbert said he would like to see a return of state's rights where the states have more flexibility. The states should be a laboratory and testing ground for new ideas and systems. The United States is a great system if it's allowed to work as intended.
Gov. Herbert reflected that Pres. Obama has said time and again the states should be given more flexibility. "I am tired of the strings and micromanagement that's coming out of Washington. It's beginning to remind me of Henry Ford when he said you can have any color car you want as long as it's black."
Gov. Herbert said Utah has been working with the department of health on going paperless on medicare. But, the request has been denied and the denial came by email. So when Gov. Herbert was in Washington he told Pres. Obama what Utah wanted to do and they are working out a waiver so Utah can go paperless in regards to medicare which will save money.
While in Washington Gov. Herbert expressed his concerns with the interior secretaries order 3310 regarding wild land reinventory. Such reinventory is not needed and has been done before. BLM national director Bob Abbey told the congressional hearing that they (BLM) has no statutory authority to implement wild lands reinventory. Congress is the only body which can designate wilderness. "Bureaucrats are trying to usurp authority and that's going to change. I am proud, pleased and grateful to be your governor. I am a seventh generation Utahn who has been blessed by those who have gone before. We will pioneer the way. Utah is a great place to live and raise families," said Gov. Herbert.
Sen. Hatch told Emery County they have the best Lincoln Day dinner anywhere. Sen. Hatch said he is worried by the expanding debt. He has introduced a balanced budget amendment. He introduced one in 1997 and couldn't get it passed. Sen. Hatch said we need a president who understands economics. "The government should have to live within its means," said Sen. Hatch. He is heading up the Dept. of finance. America is running unfunded liability in medicare and social security. Sen. Hatch pointed out that social security won't be there when those kids who sang need it, if something isn't done. Sen. Hatch said he will work to balance the federal budget even if he is the most hated man in Washington.
State Sen. David Hinkins who represents Emery, Carbon, and parts of Utah County spoke next. He said the legislative session is winding down and they have accomplished a lot including a balanced budget. He is proud to be part of the rural cowboy caucus. He has had a number of good committee assignments this session along with other rural representatives. The transportation committee has played a big role in improvements to SR-6 with the help of Bevan Wilson who is on the UDOT commission. "There's no place like home. Talk about a rat race up there. I am pleased to represent the people of Emery County. We are doing all we can not to raise taxes. There are budget cuts and it's difficult. I appreciate our governor. In his state of the state address he supported energy. We couldn't ask for a better governor. We appreciate Sen. Hatch, he's the best. He has morals. We can be proud of him," said Sen. Hinkins.
Rep. Kay McIff spoke highly of Sen. Hatch. He said Sen. Hatch brings Utah a seat at the table. Rep. McIff also had praise for the governor, Sen. Hinkins and Rep. Christine Watkins. "She's feisty enough to make a difference. I voted down one of her measures, and she turned around and voted against one of mine. I take pride in my association with Emery County. I have appreciated the visits from the locals to the legislature. We have balanced a budget that will serve the people of Utah well. I'm not sure how we're going to solve the public lands debate, but something we need to be aware of and think about, if these public lands come up for sale. The buyers of the public domain might want to buy it and lock it up forever. We need to be careful and stay ahead of the game," said Rep. McIff.
Rep. Christine Watkins represents Green River in the legislature along with Carbon County and parts of Grand County. She was the lone Democratic speaker at the event. She said she views herself as an Emery County person. She came to Emery County when she was a 22 year old young mother. She taught school and raised her children here along with husband George Stucki. All her children graduated from Emery High. She said people still refer to her as Chris Stucki. Which she say's is fine with her. She lives in Carbon County now with her husband, John Watkins. She is proud to live in God's country. She is happy that Gov. Herbert is our governor because he knows Carbon and Emery counties. Rep. Watkins took the democrats from the legislature on a tour of rural counties last year and is planning another one for this year, because those urban legislators know nothing about rural Utah and its issues. She is proud of House Bill 98 which helps small school districts.
Morgan Philpot attended the dinner as well. He ran in the last election against Rep. Jim Matheson and lost. But, he said he's ready to run again. He enjoyed the time he spent in Emery County during the campaign. He attended the fair and the Peach Days celebration. He attended the Carbon-Emery football game which Emery won. He felt good about his work during the campaign and even though it hurt to lose, he felt he ran a grassroots campaign. He is fed up with Democrats who try to give Utah's lands away and lock them up. He is proud of his wife and kids and their support of his campaign.
Philpot shared a challenge he has that everyone rededicate themselves and resolve that this nation shall have a rebirth and this country will not perish from the earth. We need a new burst of freedom and it's going to come from places like Emery and Carbon counties. Put in your daily prayers that our nation can become a shining example. Thanks so much for what you do, said Philpot.
Thomas Wright introduced himself as the new state Republican party chairman. He has replaced David Hansen who has left the chairmanship to head up Sen. Hatch's re-election campaign. Wright believes in grassroot politics for change. It starts with getting people registered to vote and participating in the political process. Outwork your opponents, do the work that no one else is able to do. "Pres. Lincolm stood up for what he believed in. Take back America. I'm not an expert on Emery County. I am an urbanite, but I hope to be here a lot," said Wright.
Bruce Hough was the concluding speaker he is the national party committee member. He said their most important job right now is to nominate a republican to beat Pres. Obama in 2012. He praised Gov. Herbert for his example and mentioned Utah will be the place this summer where all the governors and territories will meet and Gov. Herbert will be the host. He mentioned how important Sen. Hatch is to Utah and that he heads up the finance committee. Washington needs conservative senators in Washington. "We need to get a balanced budget amendment passed. Sen. Lee is working with Sen. Hatch on the balanced budget amendment," said Hough.
Hough expressed his discontent with people making decisions about Utah who don't know what they are talking about.
Dellos closed the meeting and announced the Republican Organizing convention at Huntington Elementary on March 17 at 6 p.m. and invited all to attend.