Jon Huntsman held telephone townhalls. They were more difficult for me because I like to see people as they respond. But that's personal preference.
COVID-19: Health and Economy are both important.
Teddy Roosevelt: man in the arena, thanks to fellow candidates
Why do it again?
Honor to serve
Believe in federalism: Destiny is more and more in our hands, at the state level.
Education MUST be driven at the state and local levels.
Public lands: more determination from the state.
Look around the bend to plant the seeds of prosperity.
Trump will win. Has a good relationship with Trump and that will matter.
Bank capital to small businesses with flexible repayment options.
Almost removed the tax completely on food.
short-term and long term growth plan, coming out very soon
Mental health is on his mind right now: buckle of the US for suicide.
We can't let this define who we are. Want to declare war on this problem and bring folks together to coordinate an awareness strategy to demystify mental health. Sister (drug overdose). No one knew what to do. Isn't the traditional political issue.
Roe v. Wade: Unabashedly pro-life, since forever. Grateful that his two adoptive daughters were given life. Signed the pain-capable abortion legislation.
Ambassador: Obama (China), Trump (Russia). We've done our federal service. If I'm elected, will remain through the end of the term. A lot of the fixes for the country will come out of the individual states. This is the more important place. Years abroad have not been easy, but given the best for the country.
What sets you apart?
The greatest teacher in life is experience. Lots of experience. Get jobs back.
What is the most dangerous problem facing Utah and the world, other than COVID-19?
Mental health challenge. given the lives that are being taken and families that are being impacted, this is the most dangerous problem that we face. As it relates to the world, economy, pandemics, one of our biggest problems and most dangerous, the spread of nuclear. Caller thinks the greatest problem is the destruction of the family. strong civilizations have strong families.
Championed no sales tax on food. Will you champion a 0% food tax?
Tax reform: took 2 years to get through the system. Excruciating, public input. Got 100% of the legislature voted for it. First flat tax in the country. Great regrets was not getting it to 0%. Simplification.
Big concern about the growth in Utah. What is your take and what's the remedy? City Council and legislation that don't hear the voice of the people.
City should be the first line of decision-making. Unfunded mandates--shouldn't do that. Push decision-making down to the lowest form of government.
Growth is a companion of ours; we have to get used to it. Bigger than average families; growth from within. Folks who want opportunity, so they come from surrounding states. Other states and large counties have lost the battle to growth. Can't control their destiny and your economy begins to weaken, and those people leave. Goal: place our economic development opportunities other than the Wasatch front. Economic development strategies in other parts of the state. New industries in Price and Cedar.
What specifically will you do to return control of education to the state and local level? Are you willing to challenge the federal requirements of ESSA?
Defer to Michelle Kafusi: expert on education. We were the first state to get out of No Child Left Behind. National mandates and the standardized tests are not helpful. Need to let local boards, and schools, and esp principals be the main person "on deck". Not going to be able to have a one size fits all approach. Every child learns differently, different aptitudes, attitudes, etc.
How is it fair that lt gov Cox oversees the election and validating the signatures?
LG didn't exist till 1975. Was a Sec of State that oversaw the elections. So, now LG oversees the elections. Trying to make it fair. Don't know how far they've gone.
March 30, 2020:
Mental Health/Health/Economy: Complete free fall.
State Shouldn't step over the line on the local level.
Michelle Kafusi: I think we'll be stronger and better for this crisis.
People haven't experienced a single-payer system or they know it doesn't work. When we look at the totality of healthcare, and it's a huge percent (20) of the nation's GDP (France's GDP). Used to be 1-2%, and moving along at a double-digit clip. 1. Costs have to be an important part of what we do: but in the dr's office, there's no menu. We get the bill later, and then we're shocked. Employ transparency, John Dougall has done some good work on this. Give consumers what the cost implications are. We're not going to get there until there's more transparency. 2. Competitive insurance options are not really available. It's within the purview of state government to do more in the insurance sector. We don't have the types of the numbers or the accessibility in our market. 3. Real prohibitions in the country, in being able to buy insurance policies across state lines.
How much support will you give the President: Know him and friends with him for 20 years. Serve as their envoy to Russia and you'll get to know him. I understand his style and it's different than any president since TR or Andrew Jackson. He has a style that is unique to the business world, and he drives some people crazy (esp the media). 1. He's kept our nation out of war! 2. Economy has been excellent: best performing economy just before the pandemic. This means we'll bounce back faster. Good thing to have a governor who gets along with him. Need to get out of the mandates from the feds on lands and NCLB type of approaches on education.
Rural issues: Top priorities. Ancestors came from Fillmore. Must love the rural communities as governor. Took the whole legislature down to Millard County while the state capitol was being rebuilt. Mental Health: focus on rural communities.
Tax reform: took 2 years. Brought the public in to the discussion. 100% of the vote by the legislature. First flat tax in the US. Food tax? Why should it go back up again? Tax reform will be part of any economic recovery package. Look at the service tax: the government shouldn't pick winners and losers, and that's the bigger problem with services. Been through it before; know how to lead a team to produce results. Always having to do it again and becoming more competitive.
68% public lands are federal:
State is in a much better position to manage than the feds. PILT are embarrassingly inadequate. (Ken Ivory) Look at applying more of a market value to the lands, to see what a fair payment might be. 1. need a president who is open to look at these issues, and we have that with Trump 2. Need senators like Mike Lee who can help with this issue. Might be able to reopen the Antiquities Act of 1906, review the original intent. That hasn't happened but it was talked about.
Ambassador to Russia: Why did you resign? I promised the president that I'd give him a couple of years, and that's what I did. We went through the most difficult diplomatic period. Honored to serve. If we elect you, will you serve out your term? Yes. Federal service is done.
My question: UNASWERED
Mental Health: Everyone acknowledges that mental health is a very complicated, complex issue. The idea of "fixing" mental health from as a government is something that actually makes me nervous. I don't think that government does a good job on things that appear to be outside its purview. So, what specifically will you do, as governor, in terms of mental health? Allay my fears.
Integrity of the political system.
Mike Lee: Council in Huntsman's office. Honored to have his endorsement; don't take it lightly.
President has asked Mike to join his taskforce on reopening the economy. President is very engaged in this: we have to protect the public and we have to acknowledge that this isn't a binary choice in protecting human life and protecting the economy. Not sustainable: there are human costs that come from shutting down the economy. President wants to make sure we have a path toward doing that.
Developed profound respect for Jon, not just on a political level, but a personal one. I trust him implicitly. He is a conservative conservative. While he was gov, being a conservative means undergoing a long checklist: within the proper role of government? proper role at this level? You'd be surprised at how rare that trait is. That's why I have such profound respect. Pres. Trump has profound respect for Jon Huntsman. He will work very well with the current administration.
Q. What conservative values does Gov. Huntsman embody?
He understands that every time government acts, it does so at the cost of individual liberty.
Q. What have you each learned from the other?
Jon:Mike had an exceptional grasp of governance and the appropriate role of government. A lot of governors forget that most problem solving should be done at the local level.
Mike: There is a right answer when you are considering any question in government. You have to assume there is a right answer and that it might be difficult to find and difficult to explain and controversial to the public. But that doesn't excuse you to find and choose this right answer and then defend it. The true statesman is not just a delegate of the people, but a trustee of the people: difficult judgement calls. If people don't agree with it, you have to explain why it's the right decision.
Q. Very concerned of the economy?
It will be a problem until we actually get people back to work. Phased in, but it's a problem.
Q. What is the governor's role in economic recovery and our return to leading the nation in economic growth?
Need to have a short-term program to stabilize ourselves. We do well when we stick to the basics and stick to economic liberty. What do we need to do to support that? Tax rate? Education? Connectivity to domestic and international markets? Ag relies on export. I think we have a great opportunity to be the first state to broadcast economic freedom and a safe haven. There will probably be a disruption in China's trade flows, and this will cause a lot of supply chains to be disrupted. They'll be looking for alternatives. We could see some of the most significant opportunities for economic growth. We should see ourselves as the gateway of the world. The years ahead should be nothing but optimistic.
Q. We have had a number of incidents of shootings and every time it happens, the Dems cry out for get rid of guns. What is your position on the second amendment and whether we should be holding onto our guns or giving them up?
Jon: Believe very strongly in the Second Amendment. Grew up shooting. How can you be anything but a shooter with a name like Huntsman. I have a CCW. I'm comfortable with where the state is now re/ 2nd Amendment.
Mike: What will be the impact on the people subject to that law? What will it do to curb the impact on those who are criminals but also those who are law-abiding? By the time something like this happens, dozens of laws have already been violated. This can't be fixed with the band-aid of a gun control law.
Q. for Mike: Partnership between the governor and our delegation on public lands? How important is that? And Trump is re-elected.
Mike: There's a lot we could accomplish. I learned a lot about public lands; Jon Huntsman was an early pioneer in the area of public lands management. 2/3 of our land is owned by the feds and we have to get a Mother-may-I whenever we need to do anything. We continue to be a public lands state, and we should be. But 2/3 of it shouldn't be controlled by the feds. Need to push PILT payments; push for reform legislation.
My question: UNASWERED
On education, I believe you are opposed to CC. At what point and why did you decide Common Core was problematic and how do you propose to get out of it? For Mayor Kafusi: what is your position on Common Core and while on Provo's school board, what were your actions regarding Common Core?