I’ve just found out that Qwest government affairs lobbyist Eric Isom is a candidate for Utah State Respresentative in District 15. You may remember him from numerous city council and legislative hearings where he spoke in opposition to UTOPIA and would frequently pull legislators and city council members aside for one-on-one conversations. There are three other Republicans vying for the nomination in that district and several Democratic opponents. I can’t state clearly enough how disastrous it would be for municipal broadband projects in the state to have an unofficial mouthpiece of Qwest elected to a state office. Isom has said that he will either resign from Qwest or transfer to a non-lobbying position, but I doubt that it would diminish the influence that it would have on his votes or proposed legislation.
House District 15 encompasses the western half of Kaysville along with significant portions of Layton and Syracuse. If you live in this district, it is critical that you talk to state delegates and attend the state convention to oppose his run for office. Let’s make this fight a top priority for anyone supporting UTOPIA!
You mean another unofficial mouth piece, we have yet to fire Howard Stevens. And that’s my district…. not really big on going to republican convention tho(being a democrat and all)
I think it would be a tough game to unseat Sen. Stephenson. He’s well-entrenched and has a lot of powerful interests backing him. Eric Isom, a former GOP lobbyist, has some intra-party support which I’d like to see eroded before he has incumbency working in his favor. Even if you’re not a Republican (I’m a registered independent), you can still make noise with Republicans that you know to effect a change.
Thank your for this article. Mr. Isom is an intelligent and well spoken representative of a cause that is detrimental to the growth of municipal open service provider fiber to the premises. In Utah, and across the country, we need legislators who understand the critical importance of true competition on true broadband. That is why repeal of the amendments to Utah Code 10-18-302 made by 2004’s Senate Bill 66 is one of the key issues in my campaign for House District 51.
Is this a district where a democrat has a chance? I am sure after the census it will be re-garrymandered if it is. After Jamie Nagle managed to win in Syracuse I think their might be hope for the district yet.
While Greg Hughes, Wayne Niederhauser, and Howard Stephenson seem to have a stranglehold on this end of the valley a Democrat can absolutely win the seat. Lisa Johnson ran in the last two election cycles and came very close. Hughes is vulnerable not only for his historic votes in favor of limiting county and municipal power but also on ethics reform and fair boundaries.
While Sen. Niederhauser could hardly be called a UTOPIA supporter, he’s always been very responsive to my communication and I think he’s content to just leave them alone. Behold the power of being persistent. 🙂
realistically what could the republicans do at this point, Utopia is here it aint going anywhere
The legislature can still do plenty. They can always decide to outlaw the SAA, ban any new pledging cities, or numerous other legal changes that could hamstring them. There’s no such thing as rock bottom.
I would also note that it’s not just Republicans who’ve been critical of UTOPIA. Rocky Anderson didn’t have a lot of kind words for them either.