“Lowering” Corporate Taxes

Sent today:

Senator Hatch, I recently heard you stating that the tax rate on corporations and businesses was the highest in the world. Lowering them would be fantastic for my own business, but I don’t think it should be lowered any further for the likes of G.E., Bank of America, and ExxonMobile. You see, unlike these parasites, my business has never received any cash outlays from the government and I’ve always paid my tax responsibility.

It would be nice to see some Reagan style action to make business taxes equitable in this country. Small business is the backbone of America, but that backbone may break under the weight of large businesses who avoid their fair share in taxes.

Also, I’d be curious as to your thoughts on your colleague Senator Sanders’ list of Top-10 Tax Avoiders. Maybe next time you’re in front of the camera, or sending out a “Hatch Dispatch” you can include them.

Sincerely,

Pete Ashdown

Stop Federal Control of the Internet

Once again, Utah’s own Senator Hatch has cosponsored an Internet related bill that further paves the road to Hell. Of all the possibilities that could be exhausted in the lame-duck Senate session (like START ratification), carrying water for media companies is highest on the list. The “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA) bill passed unanimously out of committee today. One provision of this bill is that the Attorney General can direct Internet Service Providers to block websites that media companies claim are infringing copyright. As I have seen with the equally well-intentioned Digital Millennium Copyright Act, media companies tend to shoot first and ask questions later when it comes to making accusations of copyright violation. DMCA has also been repeatedly used between competitors to hamper each other’s operations, all the while sticking the ISP between them as detective, judge, and jury. COICA is DMCA on steroids and is not good for the Internet. Since Senator Hatch is a sponsor and a repeat offender in regards to technology & copyright law, I suggest you call Senator Bennett’s office and hope that he uses his lame-duck powers for the people rather than the corporations.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is following COICA closely and is a good resource for criticism on it.

Balance the Budget

The New York Times has a nifty web calculator for experimenting with proposed tactics for reducing the federal budget deficit. Although simplistic, it is an interesting exercise that counters the idea that the budget deficit can’t be fixed without privatizing social security or eliminating the Department of Energy and/or Education. I’d like to see a larger interactive budget calculator that allows you to tweak all aspects of federal taxation and expenses. It might reveal some interesting results. Here is what I came up with.

Representative Wimmer Speaks Out on Open Primaries

Representative Carl Wimmer courageously speaks out on why Democrats need an open primary.

OK, Time for opperation chaos Utah style. Utah Democrats have an open primary election, so EVERY Republican in the Utah 2nd Congressional District needs to go and vote for Claudia Wright against Matheson. She is very liberal, and would give Morgan Philpot an almost certain victory in that district.

Mike Lee Campaign Apology

The Mike Lee campaign called me this afternoon to apologize for asking me to shut off my video recording. Apparently they have been visited more than once by someone with a video camera who is there only to disrupt the campaign, and both the staffer and the campaign communications director had no idea that this individual was not me, so they assumed the worst. The campaign promised to give me some time, on camera, with Mr. Lee if I come to a future event.

I appreciate their apology and I will try to take up their offer at another time.

I went to a Mike Lee “Meet & Greet”

Seeing Mike Lee was going to do a “Meet & Greet” in Salt Lake City today, I went to see for myself what this Republican candidate for U.S. Senate was all about. I asked him several questions and got answers that I agreed and disagreed with. I would tell you more about our discussion of his endorsers, the 4th & 14th amendments, his desire for term limits but his repeated votes for Hatch and Bennett, and why our government is a “tyranny” in spite of the supremacy clause of the Constitution, but unfortunately his campaign wouldn’t allow me to record anything.

It’s the 21st century boys. Get used to being on camera. Trying to block people from recording what your candidate says doesn’t bode well for being transparent and accountable in Washington.

To Republican and Democrat State Delegates

I am sending the following letter to as many Republican and Democrat State delegates that I can find.

    During this last legislative session, I was a vocal opponent to House Bill 150, “Administrative Subpoena Amendments”. This bill expanded an already unconstitutional practice of bypassing a warrant when demanding customer information from an Internet Service Provider. I do not believe that the founding fathers did not care about crimes against children, nor deem that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution was overly broad and needed to be disregarded in case of new technologies. As the president of XMission Internet, I have personally responded to hundreds of warrants in a professional and expedient fashion. As a citizen of this country it is my duty to respect law enforcement’s requests when they properly follow the Constitution. If I didn’t respond to a warrant, then I am committing a crime in itself.

    My customer information is part of my papers and effects, protected by the Fourth Amendment. If I was a gunsmith in revolutionary America, a list of my customers would provide a lot of valuable information to the British. Under HB150, all you need to do is make a threat against the government on the Internet, and suddenly you are suspected of cyberstalking. Your Internet identity is laid bare for any individual in law-enforcement to uncover, without the oversight of a third-party judge. New technologies require us to respect the Constitution more, not less. Administrative Subpoena proponents in the Attorney General’s office believe that lack of a warrant for customer data is not unconstitutional because it has been ruled so by a variety of court opinions. The legislature exists to affirm and uphold the Constitution and not the courts. The AG’s justification for passing HB150 is precisely the opposite.

    Protecting our children is always a top priority. But under HB150, criminals may have the ability to walk free when evidence is uncovered without a proper warrant. Is this really how we want law-enforcement operating? Haphazardly, without the necessary approval of a judge? The best way we can prosecute criminals is by following the letter of the Utah and U.S Constitutions.

    I wrote much about HB150 while it was being rammed through the legislature by the Attorney General’s office and the bill’s sponsors. I ask that you read my criticisms while considering your vote for these individuals and the governor who signed it into law.

    Thank You,

    Pete Ashdown
    XMission

Here is a list of the sponsors and “yes” votes for HB150.

    Representative Bradley M. Daw
    Representative Jackie Biskupski
    Senator Margaret Dayton
    Governor Gary Herbert

    Representative Douglas C. Aagard, Representative Sheryl L. Allen, Representative Johnny Anderson, Representative Roger E. Barrus, Representative Jim Bird, Representative Melvin R. Brown, Representative Brad L. Dee, Representative John Dougall, Representative Jack R. Draxler, Representative Rebecca P. Edwards, Representative Ben C. Ferry, Representative Janice M. Fisher, Representative Julie Fisher, Representative Lorie D. Fowlke, Representative Craig A. Frank, Representative Gage Froerer, Representative Kerry W. Gibson, Representative James R. Gowans, Representative Richard A. Greenwood, Representative Keith Grover, Representative Christopher N. Herrod, Representative Gregory H. Hughes, Representative Fred R. Hunsaker, Representative Don L. Ipson, Representative Christine A. Johnson, Representative David Litvack, Representative Rebecca D. Lockhart, Representative Steven R. Mascaro, Representative Kay L. McIff, Representative Ronda Rudd Menlove, Representative Carol Spackman Moss, Representative Merlynn T. Newbold, Representative Michael E. Noel, Representative Curtis Oda, Representative Patrick Painter, Representative Kraig Powell, Representative Paul Ray, Representative Phil Riesen, Representative Jennifer M. Seelig, Representative Kenneth W. Sumsion, Representative Evan J. Vickers, Representative Brent C. Wallis, Representative Christine F. Watkins, Representative Curt R. Webb, Representative Ryan D. Wilcox, Representative David Clark

    Senator Stuart Adams, Senator Curtis S. Bramble, Senator D. Chris Buttars, Senator Allen M. Christensen, Senator Jon J. Greiner, Senator Lyle W. Hillyard, Senator David P. Hinkins, Senator Scott K. Jenkins, Senator Patricia W. Jones, Senator Peter C. Knudson, Senator Daniel R. Liljenquist, Senator Karen W. Morgan, Senator Wayne Niederhauser, Senator Ralph Okerlund, Senator Jerry W. Stevenson, Senator Dennis E. Stowell, Senator John L. Valentine, Senator Michael G. Waddoups