Saturday, November 03, 2012
November 3, 2012 Up early for a Saturday. Having trouble sleeping lately. Too much on my mind. The Deseret News poll published this morning gives me only 3% of the vote for Utah Attorney General, with 18% still undecided. Still too many who do not know I am running. Please help pass the word. . . . Salt Lake City Weekly this week predicts that the Democratic Party in Utah will be beaten worse than in a long time this year, mostly due to Mitt Romney's presence on the ballot. I think the problem is made worse by the party's conscious decision to nominate active LDS members for all the high offices. This appears to be backfiring, as they no longer present a real choice. That leaves only alternative voices like mine. . . . I am going to add some material here from others. Please consider sending a link to this blog to others, to increase the number of people seeing it. Such an easy thing to help the cause of freedom. . . . Here is a great little video, less than two minutes, made my friend, Val. I'm impressed: http://vimeo.com/52705072 . . . . I was also impressed this week by a couple of lawyers, both Democrats, who posted endorsements of me on their Facebook pages. Here is one from Ed Flint: A plea to all Democrats in Utah: Our party's candidate for Utah Attorney General is NOT the right person for that job. He also has zero chance of winning and is more interested in turning Weber County into a police state first, then expanding his evil empire to the rest of Utah. Of all the candidates, the ONLY one that's a capable, experienced trial lawyer and supporter of the Constitution is: W. ANDREW McCULLOUGH, LIBERTARIAN. If every Democrat knew what only a handful of Utah attorneys know from first-hand experience, our party would both reject Dee Smith and support Andy McCullough! VOTE!!! . . . . And here is one from Tyler Ayres: please vote for Andrew McCullough for Utah Attorney General. No, he's not the republican or democratic candidate but he is the best candidate for the job. I've known him for years, watched him work, and I am confident he would make an excellent AG. Furthermore, if we are going to start the process of repairing our broken country we need an alternative to the status quo. a vote for Andy is a vote not only for the AG but for a new outlook. please go vote.... in this instance not only does your vote count but it is vital to this movement! . . . . Rocky Anderson, former SLC mayor and third party candidate for President, was quoted in City Weekly this week seemingly favoring Democrat Dee Smith for Attorney General. Rocky and Dee Snith wouldnot likely agree on ANYTHING. When I wrote and asked him why, he sent this response: I didn't endorse -- and actually talked in the article about how much I love you doing what you do in our state. You ARE such a colorful person -- and I am so glad you're here! . . . . I am very thankful to those who have expressed support (some of which seems a little backhanded). I am sad at some of those who have expressed a lack of support. One thing is particularly bothering me. I have always supported the movement for equality for the LGBT community, and I bought a big ad in Q Salt Lake magazine for September and October. When equality Utah did their endosements this year, I filled out their questionnaire and never heard back. They later claimed they sent an ivitation for an endorsement interview. I did not get it (checked my competer for such messages). They did not endorse Dee Smith the Democrat, either (as is usual for them). Neither did the Stonewll Democratic Club. When I tred this week to post a mention of those facts on Equality Utah's Facebook page, I found that I am blocked from posting there. I am sad and a bit angry that it has come to that. But this little feud should not block the message that neither of my opponents have any sympathy for those who do not march in lockstep. If you are gay, if you smoke mj, if you like watching exotic dancers, if you drink alcohol, if you don't go to (the dominant) church every week, I really am your only choice to show your opposition to the establshment. I actually lead a pretty straight life. I have never yet had a cup of coffee (really). And I have many LDS supporters too. But I am strongly opposed to those who would make their choices mandatory for others. Help send the message. . . . . Please.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
The Important Fight for Freedom
October 18, 2012 I left my office lat last night, but I am back at it early becuase I didn't sleep well. Too much on my mind. Yesterday I was in court in Ogden with my Democratic opponent. Dee Smith. Dee is a nice enough guy to talk to; but he is an outspoken advocate of the failed drug war, and thinks the solustion is just to get tougher, and put more people in jail. He strongly supports the death penalty, and his "gang injunction" makes it a crime for certan people to associate in public (but not in church). He is a prime example of the Utah Democratic Party's effort to move to the right in the "year of Mitt". This strategy will not work. The Democrats are setting themselves up to be clobbered; and it has deprived the people of Utah of a real choice. The last several weeks have shown what has happened to the Republican Party. It has become the captive of the religious Right to the point of craziness. The Repbulican candidate for Senate in Missouri says that abortions are unnecessary in the case of rape, because women just don't get pregnant "in the case of legitiomate rape." A Republican congressman from Georgia said that the scientifically proven fact of evolution is "lies from the pit of hell". A Republican candidate for the legislature in Arkansas says that slavwery was a good thing for black people, because it brought them to civilization. I know one thing for sure, as a lawyer who regulary practices in the Federal Courts: it will be a disater if Mitt Romney appoints Federal judges. No, I am not all that happy with the present president. In Utah, he allows Senator Hatch to appoint Federal judges. But I know that it will be worse with Mitt. Because I do not see a real choice for freedom with the two "major parties", I am running for Utah Attorney General on the Libertarian Party ticket. Our presidantial candidate, Gary Johnson, has been excluded from televised deabates; but he is the best man for the job. Here in Utah, there have been no publshed polls, as far as I can tell. There have, however, been two debates between my two opponents, both without invitations to me. Why am I axcluded? Is it because the polls (what polls?) show me as not being viable? Or is it because the media is just too lazy to do their job and report what is going on? Either way, I am working hard to be noticed. I could still use more help in the form of donations and time. I still have close to 300 yard signs to put up. Drop my my office at 6885 S. State St. in Midvale (upstairs) and get some. Then join me in the fight for a real choice. We have nothing to lose but our chains.
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Send the Message. Let Freedom Ring. October 7, 2012 One month to go before the final election day. Several people who prefer to vote by mail tell me that their ballots have been received. There is still time, however, to register to vote. The deadline to do so is Tuesday in Utah; and it can now be done online through your county clerk or the State election office. There is no excuse not to vote, even though we can pretty much guess the results of major races in Utah. Last time I checked, I had a couple of thousand dollars in the bank, and my Democratic challenger had maybe $12,000 or so. I think the Republican had about $600,000. Not sure why he feels he needs that much; and of course those who donate it do not expect any favors or special considerations. Well, the system is what it is, and we will live with it. I actually have one particular donor who happens to make signs. Late Friday afternoon, I received 500 yard signs, more than I really know what do do with. I do hope that we will get them out wher people can see them, and increase my visibility substnatially. A major downside of running for office as a Libertarian is being unkown and largely invisible. Anyone who can help spread these signs around would be greatly appreciated, especially if you may be traveling form the Salt Lake area to other areas of the State in the near future. And, if you live far from Salt Lake and would be willing to receive and help distribute signs, please let me know. I saw a poll in the Provo Herald this morning that asked about feelings towards early voting. People were asked if they were concerned that they might learn something that could have changed their minds, after they had voted early. About 55% were sure there was nothing that could happen that would change their minds. Well, I guess I am one of those. But it is kinda sad to see so many who are so sure, at a time when I have not had a chance to get more widely known, and before I can explain why they should consider me. Smaller campaigns spread new ideas, and we will continue to do so until election day and beyond. I also saw an article in today's paper about the Salt Lake City police chief's apology to the 76 year old woman whose front door was hit by a battering ram, at night, when she was home alone, and who was held at gunpint while her house was searched. They broke into the wrong house. The Chief says he is sorry, and that there should have been safeguards to prevent this. The thing he did not say is that such raids by narcotics officers are unnecessary and dangerous. That comes after the horrific shootout in Ogden, and after a samll town police chief in New Hampshire was shot and killed in his last week before retirmement, on such raids. The sad fact that government will not admit to us, is that this kind of violence on the part of the police is NOT WIINNING THE WAR ON DRUGS. The war is being lost, and the answer is not more violence; it is to treat drugs as a social and medical problem, not a legal one. As we approach the election, we really do have an opporunity to register our frustration and disagreement. We do not need more state-sponsored violence. We do not need the State telling us what to do, how to think, and what kind of entertainment is OK for us to view. The Utah Democratic Party, in an effort bo become more relevant, has become even less so. Their major candidates this year are uniformly active LDS members, on the conservative edge of their party. In the "Year of Romney" this will not help them get more votes; and it deprives those who believe in a vibrant "two party sytem" of any real choice. Don't get me wrong, this is not an anti-LDS rant. this is being written as I listen to General Conference on the radio. I am a BYU graduate, though I no longer participate. There are major policy reasons for that, but suffice it to say, I do not want a government dominated by those who favor a fusion of church and state. I do not think that something should be illegal because it immoral. I have never had a cup of coffee; but I am not going to tell anyone lese that they cannot have one. This campaign is about freedom from government intrusion into our personal lives. I am running against two people who believe that the State should use whatever means to bring "safety', even at the expense of liberty. If you agree with me, there is still time to get involved and help me send the message. Please do.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
What a day!
September 5, 2012 Today I argued my first case in the New York State Court oif Apopeals. I grew up in Albany, the State Capital. When I was young,my mother's best friend was a deputy clerk in the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court. When I became an attorney, it was a distant dream to appear there. Today it came true. New York has a sales tax on admissions to places of amusement, but not on admissions to a place where the program consists of choreographed dance performances. I still have a seconmd home in New York state and go there in the summer when I can. Sometimes I drop by the exotic dance club run by old friends of mine. Several years ago a state tax auditor told them that they owed a lot of money for admission taxes becauase their dance show was not the kind of dance show that the law was designed to exempt. They disagreed and hired a tax lawyer to contest it. After a while they realized their tax lawyer didn't undersand the business; and they asked me to step in. I hired a widely known expeert in exotic dance to testify that the dance programs of this establishment were indeed the kind of performances exempt from tax. It has been a long road. We won the first round, and the State appealed, where we lost. We had to pay the tax and sue to get it back. The court again ruled for the state, and the only chance was to get a hearing before the State's highest court, which does not accept many cases. Nevertheless, they accepted mine, and today we argued it. A decision is due in a couple of months. We think the state should not make value judgments on what kind of performances should be taxed based on whether the tax collector likes it. We think the First Amendment gives us equal footing with other kinds of dance, and we told them so. We think the arguments went well. The press has been calling all day for interviews, and I was FINALLY quoted today in the New York Times, one of my goals in my porfessional life. This is, of course, just one more aspect of my campaign to bring more freeddom to this wonderful country. Join me in my crusade. Remind a friend that I am running for Utah attorney gehral. Mkae a donation. get a yard sign or bumper sticker and display it. We have nothing to lose but out chains! In closing, I want to acknowledge the loss of a good friend and ally, Brian Barnard who died unexpectedly yesterday. He will be sorely missed; but we need to do the best we can to carry on. I intend to do so. RIP, Brian.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Burning questions answered
August 11, 2012 I am ashamed of myself for failing to post here for so long. But, over the last few days, I have received some specific requests for information on my positions and/or why people should vote for me. Let me start with a comment on the Facebook post of a friend yesterday. My friend posted a photo supporting my candidacy. In reply a friend of hers asked: Top 5 reasons to vote for Mr. McCullough? I have no one in mind to vote for. Im registered but have only voted once in my life. So, I replied with the follwing list of five things. I do not claim they are necessarily the five best reasons, as I did not take a long time to consider and edit them. But they do capture the essence of why I am a candidate for Utah Attorney General. If you agree with me, pleas support my candidacy. 1. Stop filling our jails and prisons with those who do nothing but use substances that the majority deems immoral. 2. End government censorship of what people can read or watch (does not include ...abuse of children, or "child porn"). 3. End government "marriage discrimination". Marriage is a religious sacrament and a contract. If a religious organization is willing to perform the sacramant and the people are legally able to contract, that is enough (does not include child marriages, or course, as they are not allowed to contract). 4. Stop the State from interfering with family matters and taking children from homes that are essentially providing adequate care, based on morality or "lifestyle choices". 5. Promote individual freedom and responsiblity. Do not expect the State to tell us how to live our lives. I also received a letter from a Libertarian asking my positions on some issues. I would have hoped these were clear; but in case they are not, I will answer those questions here too. 1. Do I think there should be laws regulating such things as hair braiding and massage parlors? I note with great satisfaction that the law in Utah regulating hair braiding was stricken by a Federal Judge this past week. I agree completely that this regulation was not justified and was "irrational." I am currently engaged in litigation myself against the state over an expansive definition of "massage therapy." While I am not sure that I completely oppose the regulation of this as a profession, any such regulation must be limited to preventing injury or fraud. The current regulatory scheme is a blatant power grab and should be terminated. 2. How do I feel about the prohibition of gambling in Utah? First, I don't think that legalizing gambling casinos will lead to a great influx of jobs and wealth. Nevada has so develpoed that industry that it would not likely succeed here. Nevertheless, laws against gambling are another excuse for the State to tell us how to live. Criminal prohibitions should be abolished. We should also look into participating in state lotteries with our neighboring states, if it is likely that it would bring voluntary revenue to our State and lessen our involuntary taxes. 3. How do I fee about DUI checkpoints? I don't like them and would like to see them abolished. It is an end run around our constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. 4. Should the State stand against Federal legislation that intrudes on the State? Well, first let me say that I do not think State government is usually less oppressive than the Federal government. Having those two governments fight over who should tax us, investigate us, and oppress us is not helpful to us as citizens. I also do not think that the State should spend huge amounts of money in court against the federal government promoting some "conservative message" from our legislature, espeicially when those suits may not be winnable. But, there will likely be occasions when the State shoud do its best, in consultation with other statres, to get the Federal government to change its policies. 5. What are my thoght on the death penalty? I do not generally favor it. It reduces us to the level of those we are trying to punish. And it is administered in an arbitrary manner. And, of course, sometimes there is a mistake, and that is not acceptable. I do suppose that I can see some rare occasions for its use. One such case might have been the Utah law student, Ted Bundy, who killed several young women in several states, for no reason other than meanness. When combined with the fact that he was an escape artist who successfully escaped from prison twice, only to murder more people, this punishment might well have been the right one for this situation. Thanks for those who express an interest in what I stand for. Please consider donting, passing the word or soing something else to help me spread the word.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
General Election Campaign Commences
June 26, 2012 Well, tonight marks the beginning of the general elction campaign. John Swallow has won the Republican Primary, and will be the strong favorite for the general election. The Democrat, Dee Smith, has little money, and not much of a chance, Further, he apparently is a member of his party's realtively small conservative wing, and may not get a lot of support from the more "progressive" or liberal wing. The campaign between Mr.Swallow and Mr. Reyes turned nasty near the end, with both accusing the other of dirty campaigning. And then, last Friday, Reyes filed a Defamation lawsuit against Swallow and others, accusing them of untruths regarding his character and record. We can only wonder whether the rift in the Republican Party will be healed in the next few months. I can't help but hope that some of Mr. Reyes' supporters will join my campaign to give Utah a real alternative. Things may indeed get more lively. Unlike those who work for the government, I cannot take a leave of absence to campaign full time. I will continue to do what I can to spread the word, but I need more help. My first batch of yard signs, donated by a client, have gone out, and I need more. They are expensive. I also need to advertise online and in other forums, all of which are also expensive. And, closer to the election, I will need people to pass out literature and make personal contacts. If you value freedom, and want a little fun and adventure, please consider helping out. Donations can be made through my website at www.andrewmccullough.org. I also have a FaceBook campaign page -- Andrew McCullough for Utah AG. Join me there, and help spread the word to your friends. Mr. Swallow trumpets loudly his conservatism. Utah conservatives tend to support smaller government except in areas where they think they should have the right to legislate morals. They try and take sex education out of schools. They pass ridiculous restrictions on legal abortions (I don't like abortions, but I do not support making them illegal). They support making a whole generation of young people into criminals for no other reason than smoking marijuana. They support government interference in family matters, including removing children from their home for inadequate reasons. They support aerial surveillance by drones and blimps. If this kind of oppressive government bothers you like it bothers me, there is an alternative. Tell a friend, make a donation, and get involved.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Changing the nature of the debate
May 10, 2012 It has been an interesting week, politically. Last weekend I went to Las Vegas to the National Libertarian Party Convention. We nominated former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for President, and retired California Supreior Court Judge Jim Gray for Vice President. It is a good ticket. Both have campaigned against the insane war on drugs for years, and both are articulate, hard-working proponents of the Libertarian message. As I campaign as a Libertarian for office, I often quote something I heard years ago, attributed to Eugene Debs, the perennial Socialist Party candidate for President. Someone asked him why he continued to run, when he knew he would not win. His response was that smaller parties do not so much run to win as they run to change the nature of the debate. In the midst of the raging debate over the definition of marriage in North Carolina, we were reminded at the convention that we have supported marriage equality for many years. On Sunday, I watched Vice President Biden, in a televised interview. He was aaked his position on gay marriage, and he said he thought it was a fair thing for everyone. On Tuesday, voters in North Carolina enacted a consitutional amenement to ban gay marriage and civil unions. The President waited until after the vote to announce that he has "evolved" to a position of support for gay marriage. It has made headlines everywhere. But we have been there for years. Have we influenced the direction of the debate? YOu bet we have? Can we continue to do it on other issues? "Tes, we can." And, as my secretay said to me last night, "We're winning, aren't we?" Yes, we are. The Libertarian Party has advocated smaller government and less spending for many years alos. Now the so-called "tea party Republicans" claim they invented the idea. In advocating what we have long advocated, they often bring along their ideas of intolerance, however. Thus, while we can be happy about some "tea party" victories, we reject the intolerance exhibited in North Carolina and other places. American needs this third voice, moving the debate in a direction of common sense. I have not been shy about my opposition to the "war on drugs", which has made criminals of a whole generation, and has filled our jails and prison with people who do no harm to society. My two "major party" opponents will preach big government solutions to law enforcement, which will continue this unwise course. I offer an alternative view, and I simply seek to steer the debate in a different direction. I have been interviewed in the last couple of months on four radio stations. The press, however, will mostly try and ignore me. If my friends in the press read this, please consider covering my alternative views. It will make the debate richer, and it may help bring about change, just as President Obama has been moved to "evolve". I must say that it will all be easier with a little money to spend on advertising. My website, www.andrewmccullough.org, and my Facebook page, McCullough for Utah Attorney General, have "donation" buttons. Even a small contibution will help with the effort to bring about change. And tell a friend. The revolution is here.