Results of support for Advocacy Groups by the voters in Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain

I recently conducted a survey of the voters in Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain to see which advocacy groups they agree with and support. This was an interesting follow up to the the Scorecard that I posted that showed how the various advocacy groups.... This was a more complicated and time consuming survey that I usually conduct. I had a number of people that responded that they didn't have the time to do the necessary research to answer the survey accuratly. I will have permission to post some of those emails below.

These are the results from Survey on Advocacy Groups:

Suth-#1 Sutherland Institute: Conservative and Social Values advocacy

Taxp-#2 Utah Taxpayers Association

Librt-#3 Libertas: Utah Libertarian Think Tank

Cham-#4 Utah Chamber of Commerce: Advocacy for Business and Industry

P4C-#5 Parents for Choice in Education

GrsR-#6 Utah Grass Roots: Advocacy for Conservative principles

AgCC-#7 Utahns Against Common Core

UEA-#8 Utah Educators Association: Teacher's Union

The Sutherland Institute, which is a Conservative Values advocacy group was the big winner in my survey. I think that is fitting because the voters in Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain are among the most conservative in Utah and probably the nation. From their web site they say that they promote the values of FAMILY, RELIGION, CHARITY, PRIVATE PROPERTY, FREE MARKETS, PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, LIMITED GOVERNMENT. Last year I was ranked #15 by Sutherland and this year I was #8.  While there were several bills that voters in EM & SS disagreed with Sutherland's priority bills, most of the disagreements with technical aspects of the bills and not the principle of the bill.

The Utah Taxpayer's Association came in a close 2nd to the Sutherland Institute.  For some of the survey, they were actually in first place, but got passed by Sutherland during the last few days of the survey.  It is clear to me that the voters in Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain are concerned about taxes and want to keep them as low as possible. I am happy to report that throughout my political life, I have had the support and endorsement of the Taxpayers Association because of my belief the individuals can spend their hard earned income better than the government. Last year I was ranked #1 by the Taxpayers Association in the Legislature with a perfect score and this year I was #11. Of the survey's that I did of bills that the Taxpayer's Association took a position on, voters in Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain agreed with 100% of their positions.

Libertas, a libertarian think tank, came in 3rd even though it lost a tiebreaker question with the Chamber of Commerce. Libertas did fairly well in the survey, but also had the 3rd highest number of negative votes. I personally have strong libertarian values, but there are some issues that I am more conservative than libertarian. For example, I strongly believe in local control, so I got marked down in their rankings when I voted against the HB97 "Dog Bill" on grounds that local communities should be able to make those decisions for themselves. I also lost points in their rankings for my position on law enforcement and drug laws. I agree with their positions about 75% of the time and my rankings show that I got a 69% score on the bills that they tracked which put me in the top 25 of legislators in the house. It is interesting to note that of the bills that I surveyed my constituents, my voters only agreed with Libertas' position 50% of the time.

The Utahans Against Common Core (UACC) was ranked #4 by my voters and shows the opposition to big government intrusion in local education in my area. There is strong opposition to both the Common Core Curriculum and Federally mandated Common Core Standards in northern Utah County. No one that has blanket support for Common Core could ever get elected in a competitive election in our area.  I received a 67% ranking from UACC and was #18 of 75 because of their opposition to non-partisan school board elections, which I felt was better than the current selection committee, and my support for the pre-school voucher bill for children with learning disabilities.

The Chamber of Commerce came in 5th among voters in my area.  I am a strong supporter of business and agree with many aspects of their principles. I typically vote in favor of the bills that they support because there have been no votes on the issues that I disagree with them on (immigration) since I have been in the legislature. Last year I was given an award as a "Champion of Business" due to my votes that they supported. As I said above, the Chamber of Commerce actually beat Libertas in a tie breaker question so technically it could have been listed as #3 above.

I think that Utah Grass Roots was ranked low among the conservative advocacy groups by voters in my area because of low name recognition. I actually really appreciate their advocacy and re-publish some of their blogs.

Parents for Choice in Education came in #7. I anticipated them getting a higher ranking because of the support that I hear from voters for parental choice. They actually led education advocacy groups for most of the time, but fell behind on the last few days of the survey. I personally get high rankings from PCE because I vote about 90% of the time for the bills that they support. This year I was ranked #8 of 75 law makers.

The Utah Educators Association (UEA) is the only liberal advocacy group on the list which explains why they came in last place. They also got almost half of the negative votes which offset almost all of the positive votes they received.  There are some issues that I actually agree with them on on some issues. However, they rank me #45 and #52 out of 75 legislators which puts me in the bottom third. However, I am actually among the highest rated Republicans in Utah County by the UEA.

Views: 152

Comment by David Lifferth on May 15, 2014 at 9:16pm

[I got approval to post this email from a voter that was unable to respond to the survey on advocacy groups]

Dave, I am sorry I haven't responded. When I got your email a couple of weeks ago I read it and then clicked on and went to several of the links and read quite a bit about several Advocacy groups. But the more I did, the more I realized that this would take some time for me to read each one thoroughly, formulate my opinions about each, do some thinking about them, and maybe do some research to attempt to get a more neutral position so I can make my own judgment. I think you're so much into this (meaning, you're acquainted with the issues and many of the pros and cons and you're so well informed)...but for me it's a bit overwhelming because it's the first I've heard of many of these groups, or I don't know enough about them.

Politics is often a frustrating issue to me because I have observed that just about any person or entity or group can make what would appear to be a legitimate case for their set of beliefs and their position, and then the other side can do the same thing. And eventually I feel like just throwing my hands up in the air and saying, "Heck, I really don't know who to really believe!" in the meantime, I trust your judgment, Dave. I hope that doesn't sound like a copout, but I don't have time to investigate this right now. It may be something I can get better at over time. It makes me admire you all the more and realize how thankful I am that there are smart people out there like you (and I believe you've got to be one of the best) who are committed to civic and government and social issues and can represent the rest of us well. And even though I'm not sure I agree with every political position you take or share in Facebook posts, etc., in sum, I fully support you, David and I trust that overall, you're doing a wonderful job representing us and the issues that really matter. So I thank you; I suspect that maybe your lower-than-usual response to this one may perhaps have something to do with some of the kinds of things I've mentioned above.

Thanks. -S

Comment by David Lifferth on May 15, 2014 at 9:18pm

[I got approval to post this email reply to the survey on advocacy groups]

Couple of quick thoughts though.

The "People" are the best source of protecting
the truth and our constitutional form of government.
The "People" have been asleep (including myself).
Political money and the Lobbyists/Advocacy Grps
who control it can be the enemy depending on whose interest they are serving.
Sutherland is the only one I know of that has a
significant "People" outreach, but even then I'm
not sure their positions are driven by the
People. Rather the principles they believe in
align well with local culture.
I think your nature/intuition is to align with the People.
You are already engaging well with us.
Seems to me if we just improve the organizational
tools you have available to engage with your
"organization" (Your People) you don't need to align with any lobbyists.
We the people will protect you from their threats
to use their money to turn "WE the People" against you (Our Representative).

The current organizational systems in government are broken.
They are aligned to serve the interests of the
people who have, over time, manipulated and changed them.
They are aligned to acquiring Power, even by
those who have good intentions. Falsely believing
that is only way to create the desired organizational change.
Power resists accountability.
The whole culture of "politics" from political
education to political operations to power
brokering to compromising is an art form that is completely mis-aligned.
Seniority is the worst performance system there
is. The only organizations which still rely on it
are Unions, and the Government.

My organizational change consulting experience
has shown me that change has to be planned,
deliberate, and sustained. It requires a noble
purpose accompanied by a burning reason to
change, communication to capture the hearts of
the People, a formal change process with good facilitation, and great leaders.
I believe their is a more efficient path to
political change than the current "art" suggests

I know these are random thoughts, but I will further develop over time'



Comment by David Lifferth on May 15, 2014 at 9:20pm

[I have approval to post this email from a voter that took the survey]

As you stated, Advocacy groups and lobbyists can serve a good purpose, BUT their influence must not be allowed to place our elected officials into compromising positions.  California has a form of "limitation of terms" for their governing bodies.  Partially because of this, the lobbyists are able to push forward their agendas with amazing, and often, disastrous success.  They are the ones who are running California.  New legislators in that State often depend upon those lobbyists too much, because they don't feel they are educated enough in certain political situations, and so they merely count on the lobbyists, and their monetarily purchased opinions.

I would caution all elected officials that they have been elected by the citizens within their respective areas, and certainly not the lobbyists.

Dave, I have watched you for the last two years, and trust your standards on important issues far more than I do those of any of the advocacy groups and lobbyists.  As long as you remain true to your principals it will be good to seek and retain information from any and all of those groups, but NEVER become beholden to any of them, whether they come from the left or the right.  You are responsible only to your own high values, and, secondly, the constituents of your district, as long as they do not detract from your personal integrity.


Comment by David Lifferth on May 15, 2014 at 9:22pm

[I got approval from a voter that didn't like the choices on the survey to include their response]

This survey is flawed because in NO WAY would I ever say that the Sutherland institute represents my values, even at the bottom of the list I refuse to be associated with an organization so full of prejudice, false information, and evil. Most of the groups you listed are what I consider  tea party nut houses for all the nutjobs out there. Don't be swayed by the rhetoric. Don't buy in to their scare tactics. Sutherland Institute should be a pariah yet here it is the golden calf. Pathetic.


Comment by David Lifferth on May 15, 2014 at 9:22pm


I am so pleased that you addressed lobbying parties!  And, I unequivocally agree with your statement about constituent representation, you absolutely represent me better than some lobbyist I've never met or talked to...


Comment by David Lifferth on May 15, 2014 at 9:23pm

I wish all leaders had your connection with their constituents! I am glad you care about what you are doing and how you are representing the people! Thanks for all you do and better yet, HOW you do what you do! The ultimate goal I believe should be protection of the people FROM government NOT BY government. Teach men correct principles and let them "govern" themselves. Ask yourself if it is government's JOB, I borrowed that one from someone you are probably acquainted with, and does it add freedom or does it take freedom away? I realize that laws mostly take freedom from someone, to protect others, but must we be commanded in ALL things? Must every decision we ever make need to be regulated? Just a thought.....

I always joke that our representatives sometimes feel that if they don't pass any more laws they would not be able to justify their existence, but I wish that they would come to the realization that more laws isn't their job, their job is less laws or protecting the peoples freedom to choose. Our freedom to choose for ourselves what is best for us and our circumstances is what needs to be protected.

Thanks for listening, I hope this helps!


Comment by David Lifferth on May 15, 2014 at 9:24pm


I will research these links in detail later but wanted to reply the most important to me is the Constitution and the freedom of the people. I believe quite strongly that there are secret organizations controlling the top of the government in every part of the world and they are able to to push their agenda or confused and manipulate those leaders to get what they want. If you have not read None dare call it conspiracy, I suggest you do so.

The federal government has too much power and needs to be reigned in. I lost my job recently because armed federal marshals stormed my workplace and stole everything from my boss. A month later a district judge returned his assets and told the feds they had no case. It was too late. His business is ruined. This is tyranny. It happens all too often. Some involved I believe do what they do because they like it and I like the power. Others are perhaps confused about the facts and simply think they're doing what is right but either way it was wrong and such power is not what was intended for our government.
As far as any of these advocacy groups go, if any are being paid to push their agenda then it is wrong. If any push an agenda that takes away freedom from the people then it is wrong. These are my believes and I stand by them very strong. I am sick and tired of the tyranny of a government that is supposed to be for the people. I am tired of the waste. I'm tired of paying taxes for evil and corrupt people to get the retirement for their so called service. Congressmen and presidents should not have a free ride after their service.  When they are done "serving" the people they should no longer be paid by the people.
We fought a terrible war over far less for our freedom in 1776 yet now we are practically begging for communism,  for this evil regime to lead us into slavery.
Common core needs to go.

The federal government should not own land. Once given statehood, the land belongs to the state. If we can't handle it then we have no business being a state.

Get the federal government out of our lives and our pockets no matter the consequences. Don't ever compromise what is right.



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