June 11, 2009

During the Viet Nam War, I had the unique experience of touring the Pacific and Caribbean Commands under the direction of the Department of Defense.  I was part of an entertainment troupe called The BYU Young Ambassadors.  It was a special diplomatic mission to represent American colleges.  We were honored to routinely meet with government dignitaries in several nations. 

On one occasion in Seoul, Korea, after spending an evening with Korean diplomats, we had to rush to grab a taxi because of the curfew.  People were lined up at the taxi cue and like clockwork, one by one a taxi would pull up and people would pile in.  Pull up.  Pile in.  Pull up.  Pile in. 

Several from our group piled in, and it sped off.  Not far down the road the driver turned around and said, “Excuse me, but I’m not a taxi driver, but I’m happy to take you where you need to go.” 

This reminds me of what happened to us last November.  The majority of Americans piled into this Obamacab of hope and change you can believe in, but had no idea who the driver was, where it was going, and now they are just beginning to discover it’s not even a taxi. 

Now our Republican Party reminds me of a first grade soccer game.  What was the goal?  Go that way. Go that way.  The GOP is facing an identity crisis, and it needs strong, solid conservative voices now more than ever to help steer it through these treacherous socialist waters. 

Like Gulliver, too many of us have been asleep while the little socialist gnomes of both political parties, puppeteered by the gigantic Washington bureaucracy that manipulates from one administration to the next has tied our nation down.  Gulliver is now beginning to wake up.

I played a small role in publicizing and bringing people to the tea parties in Salt Lake and Provo, and recently to a third at the Capitol in support of The Patrick Henry Caucus.  I’ve spoken at two of those events.  On tax day, the weather was miserably cold, and wet with sleet.  I noticed the crowd was filled with young families who had bundled their babies up and brought them out in their prams.  I roamed the crowd asking why they were there on such a blustery day.  This is what I heard: “It’s our children’s future!”  “My baby is barely born and he’s already $36,000 in debt!” “This is taxation without representation!” 

These weren’t far right extremists.  They were Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and a large number of them had never voted in a Primary election before. 

Today we have gathered, not on the steps of a government building, but in front of a private business establishment that has thrived because of the free market that we are now fast losing.  Following this news event, we’ll be sharing a lunch together, but because there is no free lunch, it’s a BYOL event – buy your own lunch.  I’m not into buying delegates or votes. 

We are here united to conserve the principles that made this country great.  My platform stands solidly on the ideals of Fiscal Restraint, Limited Government, Free Market Solutions, Energy Independence and a Strong National Defense, all ideals for which Ronald Reagan and our Founders stood.

But there is a universal feeling of distrust, disenfranchisement, and of betrayal.  We are represented by two senators who have lost their way and who have forgotten who they once were as conservatives. 

Today I’m announcing that I’m officially entering the race for U.S. Senate to replace Senator Bob Bennett because Utah is no longer represented by a conservative voice.  With his incumbency, he has changed and is out of touch with the people he represents and is more beholden to the campaign contributions he uses to get re-elected. 

At the beginning of his 17 year tenure in Washington, he promised a tax code that looked like a postcard.  This is the Constitution.  This is TARP, a bill he not only voted for twice but one he helped broker. 

His record shows that he has grown the federal government, even during the decade of Republican majority, to an all-time high, now in the trillions, most of which is now debt that can never be repaid in our lifetime, let alone our children’s or grandchildren’s. In fact, to put this into perspective, it would take $1 million a day for 3,000 years to pay off just $1 trillion.  Some estimates show we are now $61 trillion in debt. 

Senator Bennett is ranked the top Republican in campaign contributions received from Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, only behind the top five liberal Democrats including Kerry, Clinton and Obama.  Those institutions he helped create were the catalyst that caused our economy to collapse. 

He is also ranked as the 9th most liberal Republican in the Senate.  It is upon this Leftist-fascist economic model that Bob Bennett has built his multimillion dollar dynasty to incumbency. 

Senator Bennett continues to defend the good ol’ boy system of horse trading votes for earmarks.  This system must end.  My friends, if Helen could launch a thousand ships, I can sink a thousand earmarks. 

Like Congressman Jason Chaffetz, I plan to take my own cot to Washington – a queen-sized cot.  And I will shoot arrows through this administration’s Robinhood economics and the pork Senator Bennett has defended with those earmark votes. 

Utah is ranked the best-managed state in the Union.  It seems to me that Utah could teach Washington and thing or two for a change.  If I’m elected, it will be Utah to Washington, not Washington to Utah.  We can’t keep running our country on a credit card.

I stand solidly as a common sense conservative in a field of counterfeit and recently converted contenders.  I’m not an attorney.  The Senate already has 60 of them.  They don’t need another.  There are only 17 women in the Senate, and only four are Republican, two of those might as well be Democrats and the other two voted for the bailout.  It’s time for some balance and a conservative voice in the Senate to represent one of the reddest states in the nation. 

My campaign is built around the theme “Principles for a Change.”  It’s about taking back that word co-opted by President Obama and returning to the common sense conservative principles that made our country great and that Ronald Reagan represented.  Principles of fiscal restraint, limited government, free market solutions, energy independence, and a strong national defense.  The principles found in this great book The 5,000 Year Leap, a book I’ve had since 1981 when it was first published.

Senator Bennett has spent the last few months burying Reagan’s principles telling us they no longer apply.  When he saw how actively I and others were in calling him into question, and he got wind that I was entering this race, he quickly began a campaign to resurrect Reagan and wrapped himself in the popularity of Mitt Romney.  Senator Bennett, which is it? 

I would like to thank Senator Bennett for one thing, however.  Recently I received a phone call from one of his paid campaigners.  They asked, “If the convention were held today, for whom would you vote:  Bob Bennett, the other two guys, or Cherilyn Eagar.  I said, “Well, I’d have to say Cherilyn Eagar.”  He paused and then said, “Oh.”  I said, “Would you like to know why?”  “Sure.”  “Well, I am Cherilyn Eagar.”  He profusely apologized, “Oh I’m so sorry!”  “No problem.”  Senator Bennett, thank you, not only  for giving me name recognition, but also for paying for it.

I’m told this is a four-way race.  It’s not.  It’s a two-way race:  a race between three counterfeit conservatives and one authentic conservative.  I’m the real deal.

I have one word to say about Bob Bennett:  Bailout.

I have two words to say about Mark Shurtleff and Tim Bridgewater:  John McCain. 

At a time when the field had several great conservative choices, Shurtleff and Bridgewater chose the guy in the middle of the road.  And we all know what happens to the armadillo in the middle of the road - exactly what happened to the moderate Republican choice in the 2008 Election.

I’ve been a Republican all my life.  In fact, my mother stopped at the poll to vote before she went to the hospital to have me.  You might say I was born Republican.   

My mom and dad knew Ronald Reagan.  I grew up in Hollywood.  Some of the good guys of Hollywood would come to our home for fundraisers and events – Jimmy Stewart and Charleton Heston.  In fact, Cleon Skousen, the author of The 5,000 Year Leap, used to come to our home to give lectures.  I didn’t just show up at some rally with a brand new copy of the book.  I’ve had this worn and heavily annotated original edition since its first publishing in 1981. 

My parents helped Reagan get started in politics by asking him to give the keynote address at the California Medical Association convention.  He spoke on “Medicare:  The Dangers of Socialized Medicine.” 

We now stand by and watch in horror as this bullet train to tyranny that Senator Bennett helped create has sped toward government ownership of an auto company, the take-over of our financial market and banks and now the immorality of creating debt for generations yet to come. 

Recently we learned that we have acquired in our investment portfolio a failing car company.   How lucky can that be?  Now President Obama and Tim Geithner are telling private companies how to do business, how much they can pay their principals and employees, and just yesterday they moved in an unprecedented way to break contracts in the private sector.  Do you know what this is called? 

We need to get the terms defined.  A government that intervenes in private business and cherry-picks the business it wants to favor or subsidize or control is called a fascist economy.  A fascist in not some far right wing extremist skin head Nazi.  It is a leftist idea.  Read your history, because you likely weren’t taught it in school.

When government and business co-mingle, that is called fascism.  It’s what Woodrow Wilson did.  It’s what Mussolini did.  It’s what the Weimar Republic did that set the stage for the early, charismatic Hitler and his popular fascist national socialist dictatorship. 

Just yesterday, I learned that at least three companies that stand to gain significant profits from the cap and trade bill are lobbying heavily for its passage – even though that would increase your and my utility bills by $100-$1000 and place more government regulation on us.  Caterpillar, Duke Energy and Exelon were all named.  History is repeating itself.  Free enterprise is now beginning to cannibalize itself.  Wake up. 

What is it called when the government takes over 60% or more of a company’s ownership?  That is called socialism.  When government takes over the company completely, that is called communism.  This is the direction we are headed.  We are very close to tyranny’s door.  This must be reversed. 

You know, in the Good Book it is written that we are to “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s.”  But if you look at Washington today, it appears now that Caesar thinks he is God. 

To counteract the private sector from feeding at the trough of the federal government, I am announcing the formation of the Free Market Roundtable.  One business at a time, together we will join together to restore the free market.  I’m also establishing a Citizens Advisory Council, an open forum of research and discussion on the various issues. 

On the one hand the question I will ask when a bill comes across my desk is, “Where’s the money?”  We already know the answer:  There is none.  It’s all Monopoly Money.  But in order to find free market solutions, we need to understand what brought the issue to the Senate in the first place. 

Now I’d like to address the members of the media who have come here today.  We are about to establish a working relationship between now and Election Day 2010.  First, I’d like you to know who I am on a more personal level, how I like to communicate and finally, to clear up some labels often thrown around in the news. 

Although I grew up in California, I have deep Utah roots.  I came here to go to college and graduated in Speech and Dramatic Arts with an emphasis in public address and debate.  I’m a descendant of the Loader family, from whose journals much of the Martin and Willie Handcart Company ordeal is retold.  My great, great grandfather died crossing the plains. 

I’m a real person.  I’ve faced joy and sorrow, success and failure.  I’ve made some brilliant choices and some poor ones.  I’ve been a single mom, and I know the struggle.   I’ve raised five wonderful children, and I have nine darling grandchildren. One is an investment banker who writes for TheStreet.com.  Another is a software developer for Amazon.  A third just graduated from medical school.  A daughter who represented Utah as Miss Utah’s Outstanding Teen and was in the top five nationally.  And a son serving a mission for the LDS church in Calgary, Canada.  I’m doing this for them. 

Several years ago, I met a good man, Randy Eagar, whose wife died of cancer and who has two great children and we are happily married and active in our LDS faith. 

None of us lives a perfect life, but if you don’t learn from your experience, especially your failures, what’s the point?  I have often drawn upon the legacy of endurance that my ancestors represented. 

When I was a young girl, I remember being a teenager.  Being too tall, too skinny, too shy.  I especially remember playing piano in a concert.  I knew the piece so well.  I could play it with my eyes closed.  But somehow, soon after I began, I hit a wrong chord.  Then again.  And again.  I must have tried to find that lost chord five times before I heard my mother calling from the audience in a loud, desperate:  "Just go on!"  And I did.  I went on to be a Broadway singer/actor instead.  And one who has successfully competed at the top levels of that field.  You might say I have something in common with Reagan and Schwarzenegger.  Acting and politics.  One’s real life, the other make believe.  And all too often, unfortunately, with today’s career politicians, it’s hard to tell which is which. 

 

I’ve learned that the “ad” in adversity is also the same “ad” in advantage.  And that is what we face today.  Each of you – we’re all in the same boat – your industry is as fragile as the real estate industry that I’m in.  We’re all holding our breath, aren’t we?  You are also mothers and fathers with children and families.  Whether or not you agree with my politics or the principles upon which this campaign has been built, we must all pull together to turn our adversity to our advantage or we will fail.  We must work together to identify the principles that will save us from destruction. 

As journalists, you hold public officials to the highest standard of integrity and trust, and if anyone falls off that pedestal, you make it known.  However, that trust and integrity is a two-way street.  I will hold you to the same standard that you hold me.  So what that means is, if you read something or hear something about me, I expect you to come to me first.  With that in mind, let’s talk about labels:  conservative, fascist and socialist because we’re going to be talking about them a lot during this campaign. 

Conservative.  What is a conservative?  Is it a far right winger?  A religious right zealot?  A bigot?  The ultra-right?  I’m here to tell you that those definitions are lies and distortions, especially when it comes to the conservative ideals to which I subscribe.  Think about it: The last time I went into a store to buy something that had “ultra” on it, that meant it was the best, the most efficient, the most effective.

If we analyze the Latin root of the word “conservative, it begins with “con,” meaning “together.”  “Servas” means to make safe or to guard or protect. 

So to be conservative means to work together to save, guard and protect.  Isn’t this what we want – together - for our country?  Our children?  Our future? 

My platform principles of Fiscal Restraint, Limited Government, Free Market Solutions, Energy Independence, and a Strong National Defense will bring Americans together to protect the enduring ideals that made this country great.  It’s time to return to those principles and to elect someone who has studied them and acted on them her entire adult life. 

Senator Bennett says he made a mistake and wasn't aware that granting DC a congressional seat was unconstitutional when he voted in favor of it.  I'm wondering where he has been over the last 17 years. The bill to grant DC statehood has been reintroduced multiple times for the very purpose of getting that extra Democratic seat. The Republicans typically have fought vehemently against that idea for obvious political reasons.

Bob Bennett promised a tax code that looked like a postcard.  Instead he votes for bills that are over 1,000 pages long.  He promised two terms and gave us three.  Now he wants another. 

With this kind of leadership, who needs seniority? 

In the tradition of Orrin Hatch and Jim Matheson, who also used this phrase:  I’d like to acknowledge that Bob Bennett has worked hard, has had good intentions, and now it’s time to “thank him for his service and release him with a vote of thanks.” 

I’m running to win.  My strengths are found in a lifetime of understanding and standing up for the conservative principles that made this country great, my passion in delivery and activism, my ability to present a persuasive and dynamic message, and my preparation in supporting and managing other candidates’ races, raising money for good causes and candidates, organizing just about anything from the ground up, and as a small business owner and marketing director of a real estate Internet marketing company.

I’m a qualified small business owner, a proven fundraiser, an experienced coalition builder, a competent campaigner, and a professional Internet marketer.  I’m not a career politician, and not an attorney.  Attorneys make up only 1% of our population, but 60% of the Senate.  It’s time for some balance.  

I have a trusted track record as a lifelong Reagan Republican, a common sense conservative in this field of “counterfeit” and “converted” contenders.

During this campaign season of “throw the bums out,” I’ve got the right principles and the right connections for the right times. And I’m not the incumbent.  I’m the only candidate who can carry the General Election and beat the Democrat.

A man named Cicero once stood up and spoke out and was assassinated for so doing.  These words are attributed to him:

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest [we] become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

My friends, at least Great Britain had the good sense to act and oust their prime minister on the eve of its financial collapse.  It’s now time for us to do the same. 

I’m an American. I love this country.  I love Utah.  Its freedom was dearly bought.  My brother served in the Air Force as a test pilot for the F-100.  He gave his life in that service.  During one of the Department of Defense tours, I not only saw Guantanamo Bay, I stayed in its barracks.  I’ve seen the brave but vulnerable eyes of young men stationed at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines the night before they awaited a helicopter mission, from which only half returned the next morning. 

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! – Patrick Henry

Yes, I am a conservative.  Together, may we work to protect and keep safe our liberty by returning to the principles in The 5,000 Year Leap, first in our private lives and businesses, then in our cities and then on the Senate floor.  Only then will this nation heal and be restored it to its destiny that Reagan called “that shining city on a hill.”