Republicans gather for a fund raising breakfast.
The Republican Party of Emery County recently hosted their fall breakfast at the senior center in Castle Dale. While Gov. Gary Herbert was scheduled to be in attendance, he called the previous evening and informed the committee he would not be there due to sickness. Sickness also kept Emery County Commissioner Jeff Horrocks from attending.
County party chairman Bill Dellos welcomed everyone with, "The Republican Party is working and we are going to win." He then introduced two candidates who have currently filed to run for office in the next election. Greg Funk has declared his candidacy for the office of Emery County Sheriff, and Gerry Hatch has entered the race for Emery County Commissioner.
Funk said, "I worked with the sheriff's office for nearly 10 years. I then switched to the Utah Highway Patrol. While Sheriff Guymon has done many good things, after 40 years, it is time for a change. I recently earned my bachelors degree in business management."
Hatch stated, "I decided to run because the government has become too inclusive in our lives. I want to stand up for Republicans and I am running on Republican values."
Following breakfast, Utah State Senator David Hinkins addressed the audience. "Here in Utah, we are in a time of crisis. We need to step up and support our Republican candidates. We also need to thank our current elected officials and tell them what a good job they do for us. Be more encouraging to them.
"We are lucky to have Gary Herbert for our governor. He is 100 percent behind coal and energy production. He is one of us and his sister lives in Ferron. He has the same morals and values that we have. He is proactive toward the coal industry. Greg Bell who has just been appointed to be the Lt. governor was raised in Kenilworth and Spring Glen. He also knows
the importance of coal.
"This coming year, we will be balancing the budget. This is the number one thing for conservatives. Utah is one of three states with an AAA bond rating and we must maintain that rating. We are looking at a $750-800 million shortfall. Many of the State's revenue sources are down and our investments are off. Mineral lease money is up but will go down if there is not more production. There is $750 million in the rainy day fund. We may use half of that to help but I am certain we will not use more than half.
"We are looking at a 14-15 percent cut. Everyone is too reliant on the government to take care of them. People need to be more self sufficient. We also need to be better neighbors and help take care of each other.
"There will be more road construction coming all over the state. One big project will be in Spanish Fork Canyon and more in Utah Valley. I do not believe in raising taxes to cover the shortfall. I am looking out for this area and if there is anything I can do, just let me know. Utah is going to grow, it will happen," he concluded.
Rep. Kay McIff was next to speak. "Coming in over Salina Canyon this morning, I was struck with what a privilege it is to live in this area. I am grateful to live in Utah. I was inspired by Neal Peacock's reading of the National Anthem. It is amazing how this country survived the initial years of its existence. I read a book called, 'The Founding Brothers' and think back about the extraordinary men who helped this country through those vital years and planned for our success when the chances were very slim. Now we are a cohesive, wonderful nation. This is truly the land of the free and the home of the brave.
"We face significant challenges this year. In a nutshell, we face a $700-850 million deficit. Last year we cut, then took stimulus money to cover. This year we don't have that stimulus money.
"Higher education is the biggest concern. Student enrollment is up and the institutions are facing a 17 percent cut. They will not be able to maintain quality. Public education will experience the same problems. We cannot tell public education providers 'Don't educate our children.' Our most important funding concern is educating the children. Our children must compete in a global economy an they need a world class education.
"Two years ago we cut the sales tax on food on food in half. But it is a complicated thing, as some of the tax rates stayed at 6 percent. Local governments rely on this sales tax revenue. The legislature is going to go one of two ways. They will either take off the sales tax on food and really hurt local governments, or put it back to 6 percent on everything. If they
put it back to 6 percent, it will really help with public education.
"I want to comment on the letter written by Emery County in response to the Red Rock Wilderness Bill. This letter was published in the most recent issue of the Emery County Progress. The bill would take significant amounts of public land for wilderness, with most of that land being in Emery County. The great challenge for us all is to find a way that it will work. We have failed in other attempts. We need to be aware of the audience we are playing to, especially those back East.
"It is a great privilege to represent you and I want to do that in the most effective way I can," concluded McKiff.
Dave Hansen, the State Republican Party Chairman said, "It is an honor to serve as state chairman. Emery County is very fortunate to have Senator Hinkins and Rep. McIff serving you. Yesterday, Pres. Obama was selected for the Nobel Peace prize. We need to be more concerned about what he is doing in Washington and the direction he is taking this country. It is downright scary. We also need to consider common sense Republican values in relation to the rest of the world.
"I am concerned about the time Pres. Obama spent in Copenhagen campaigning for the Olympics to be held in Chicago and then he spent only 35 minutes with our general who is serving in Afghanistan. It is not about Michelle and Barack Obama. This is not about them, it is about the US and us.
"In the upcoming election, we have good candidates and some very competitive races. I am confident and upbeat about the 2010 prospects. We need to keep our focus right and stay on our issues. We will do well.
"There will be two initiatives on the ballot. One concerns redistricting and one is concerned with ethics. I have taken a strong stand against both. I urge you to read and study them and hopefully you sill come to the same conclusions I have. The Democrats will attach themselves to these popular issues.
"I appreciate all you do for the party. We are right on the issues," said Hansen.
The Republican Central Committee meeting will be the next meeting of the party, and it will be held in the county courthouse on Oct. 20 at 6 p.m.