Utahns should consider Springmeyer ticket

By By Emily Rodriguez-Vargas

By Emily Rodriguez-Vargas

Under the campaign slogan “Good Jobs, Good Education, Good Health,” Bob Springmeyer and his running mate, Josie Valdez, seek to bring about real reform and development in these areas of struggle. As candidates of the Democratic Party, they emphasize, “We are in this race because we know Utah can and must do better.”

Springmeyer, a community activist, is the president of Bonneville Research, a regional economic and management consulting firm. He has focused his campaign for the office of Utah governor on investment in public education, providing affordable health coverage for Utah residents without coverage and stopping unethical conduct on Capitol Hill.

The candidate for lieutenant governor, Valdez, has retired with 30 years of federal service and was assistant district director for the Utah Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“The diversity of our citizenry in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, physical ability and sexual orientation is an essential part of what makes our city a great place to live,” said Rocky Anderson, former mayor of Salt Lake City in a recommendation on Valdez’s official campaign Web site. Valdez served as the director of the Office of Diversity in Anderson’s cabinet.

Running against incumbents Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and Lt. Gov. Gary R. Herbert, who are running for a second term, the Democratic candidates have many things on their agenda for a better Utah. Together, Springmeyer and Valdez have plans to improve our most pressing difficulties statewide: schools, health care and jobs.

They want to start by supporting parent-initiative programs to teach parents educational values to tackle the public education programs.

“Underachievement (in school) is not a teacher problem, but a family problem,” Springmeyer said in the Sept. 29 debate with his opponent on KUER.

The expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program would be sought after to promote awareness and participation to ensure that all children are taken care of.

In addition to this, Springmeyer proposes a strong ethics plan for Capitol Hill, including the creation of an Independent Ethics Commission.

“The only way to address our broken ethics system, and build confidence in Utah government, is to create an Independent Ethics Commission to investigate allegations of ethics breaches in the House and Senate,” Springmeyer said in an Oct. 16 press release.

Preventing interest groups from providing our politicians with gifts and incentives is the first step to free our Legislature from unethical conduct. This is one of the issues on which both gubernatorial candidates agree. However, Huntsman has taken no serious action on ethical reform during his term and has no solid plans for the future regarding ethics.

Huntsman probably has higher ambitions than serving as governor that influence him to please first rather than to crack down on hard issues, but Springmeyer said he has no ambition to run for any higher positions in office. His goal is not to further personal political aspirations.

Springmeyer said he’s running for governor because he wants to see change and that he was asked to run for this position.

“It’s important to step up when you’re asked,” Springmeyer said in the Utah Voter Pamphlet. “It’s an honor and a privilege to represent the Democratic Party in this race.”

Utah hasn’t elected a Democratic governor since 1980. Our futures can be impacted by our choice of candidates at this election. Our diverse city in particular needs the experience and new energy from the Springmeyer-Valdez candidacy. They will bring forth fresh ideas and dedication to our local problems. It’s time to step up and cross party lines to vote for the leadership supporting the best interests of Utah.

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Emily Rodriguez-Vargas