Category Archives: Blog

My open letter to Mia Love — Be something different

Originally published in the Deseret News.

I spoke with a friend who was in the room when Mia Love learned she had been elected to the U.S. Congress. I’m told her reaction was heartfelt and moving. History had just been made. She became the first black Republican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. What’s more, she’s from Utah and a Mormon. Congresswoman-elect Love will attract a lot of attention in the months ahead. The spotlight will be bright and the margins of error slim. This open letter expresses my best thinking on how to make the most of this historic political moment.

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A more perfect union

Originally published in the Utah Business.

We’ve been through a tough patch as Americans. The unity we felt after 9-11 is now a distant memory. Divisive political battles continue as the mid-term elections draw near. The thought of our hearts beating as one seems a far-off dream.

Congress is most interesting to me. For years congressional favorability ratings have been below hair lice, root canals, Brussels sprouts, colonoscopies, traffic jams and cockroaches. Yet as a body—Republicans and Democrats alike—Congress doesn’t seem to have any interest in changing its behavior.

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Utah state budget – ‘the rest of the story’

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Paul Harvey used to end many of his radio broadcasts with the tag line “and now you know the rest of the story.” It was a signal to listeners that every story has a story behind the story and only when you probe a little deeper do you capture the whole truth.

The same thing is occurring right now with the Utah state budget. There is a well-deserved but incomplete story about surpluses backed by a strong economy … and then there is the story behind the story. Utah lawmakers keep robbing Peter to pay Paul. Ultimately something will break.

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Commemorating 9-11: New ways of seeing

Today I am sharing my thoughts about this country with members of the Cleophan Club — a distinguished group of amazing women in Salt Lake City. I’ve chosen to speak about division v. unity in our country and the need for new ways of seeing.

After the tragic events of 9-11 America unified. Our hearts beat as one. We joined together in our sorrow and in our resolve. We knew our role in the world.

Last night Pres. Obama tried to cultivate this spirit again in all of us. I choose to let me partisan ties yield as our president calls upon us to recognize that at Americans our “endless blessings bestow an enduring burden.” We are called upon to lead.

As we lead it is right that we quit drawing lines. That we stop worrying about who gets the credit. That we refrain from picking sides. We need to focus on what we share in common – our shared American values of freedom, justice, compassion and human dignity.

Right now our politics do not reflect our knowledge or our best behavior. We need a post-partisan zeal. We must reclaim our unity as a people.

Adlai Stevenson said that patriotism is not short frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. Today as we remember 9-11 we need to remember this counsel.


Elevating the stature of a woman’s voice

Originally published in the Deseret News.

I was honored to be on a panel this week hosted by the Community Foundation of Utah to discuss the engagement of women in the political process. It is a timely topic because we have three outstanding women seeking congressional office on the ballot this November — Mia Love in the 4th Congressional District, Donna McAleer in the 1st Congressional District and Luz Robles in the 2nd Congressional District. Utah has an opportunity this year to truly elevate the stature of a woman’s voice in the public square. I hope Utahns can take a giant leap forward.

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Global Ambassadors — Economic Impact of LDS Missionaries

Originally published in Utah Business.

I apologize for being personal, but I experienced something recently that many Utahns have experienced either personally or as a parent: I dropped my son off at the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) to start his volunteer service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those who have done this know it is a riveting moment filled simultaneously with joy and sadness. It’s very hard to let go of the people and things you love. It’s also a sacrifice that contributes to Utah’s economic success. Faith preferences and traditions aside, the Mormon missionary program pays dividends to the Utah economy.

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An economist walks into a bar…learning from economic humor

Published originally in Utah Business.

Winston Churchill once said if you put two economists in a room, you get two opinions, unless one of them is Lord Keynes, in which case you get three opinions. It’s a clever way of saying economics is an inexact science, and economists are known for equivocating. But do they also possess a sense of humor? Let’s consider both equivocation and humor and see if there are lessons to be learned.

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Involve Utahns in National Monument Declarations

Originally published in the Deseret News.

We learned yesterday that 14 senators support the creation of a new national monument in southeastern Utah. They sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting he use the power granted to him under the Antiquities Act to declare greater Canyonlands a national monument and expand protection from 337 thousand acres to 1.8 million acres, a more than fivefold increase. Earlier this year the president foreshadowed such an action when he said in his State of the Union address, “I’ll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations.”

News of another national monument by presidential fiat should send shivers down Utahns’ spines. And it’s not because these lands aren’t worthy of protection. They are. It’s because people, particularly those closest to these lands, deserve a voice in the process. Without meaningful dialogue, presidents often make choices without full information and through the single lens of political gain. Even worse, they contribute to the public land wars that divide this state and stand in the way of true protection.

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Gail Miller would make a great governor

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Gov. Gary Herbert made big political news recently when he told a group of high-placed donors his intention to run in 2016. A source who attended the breakfast at The New Yorker quoted Herbert as saying, “I just want to be very clear. I’m running. I’m announcing that today.” While the governor’s spokesperson later said the governor is keeping all options open, the message sent by the governor was clear — beware potential challengers.

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Hispanic Business is Utah Business

Originally published in Utah Business.

We should always walk like one family.
We are all in the same cause and need.
Together we make up the same future.
Alone we are not worth anything.
Together, we have great value.

                                     – Cesar Chavez

If you ever get the chance to interact with Javier Palomarez, take it.

Palomarez is the president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He not only sees the future, but he is also living it as the leader of America’s largest Hispanic business association. Our country’s economy benefits from his vision, hard work and commitment to commerce. By heeding his counsel to harness the strength of this country’s young, growing, creative and hard-working Hispanic population, we will be more prosperous as a state and nation.

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