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Senator Ogden?

By Merrill Ogden - | Jan 18, 2023

Get your hands on your wallets! The Utah State Legislature is back in session. The opening day was January 17th with opening ceremonies, oaths of office, adoption of rules, introduction of bills and so on and so forth.

I feel like we in Sanpete have good representation in the House of Representatives and the Senate. I wouldn’t say perfect representation, but good nonetheless. Perfection is hard to get in anything in life, let alone politics.

I’m sure that many of you were disappointed again when I didn’t throw my “feathered cap” into the political ring this last election go-around. I know that many of you would like to see my heretofore nonexistent political career catapulted straight up to the state capitol to represent the unique needs of Sanpete. Sorry — maybe next time. I just don’t think I have the necessary base for my political goals, or the guts, at this particular time.

Perhaps I need to articulate (politicians like to use that word “articulate”) what my aims would be if I were to have the mantle of state leadership thrust upon me. I admit that much of my political strategy when it comes to seeking office comes from observing friends of mine who ran for student body President and Vice President of B.Y.U. when I was there back in the 1970s. One of those guys went on to become an attorney, and last I knew is still practicing medical malpractice law.

Their “political platform planks,” during those BYU student body officer elections were set forth very specifically. They loudly “articulated” their goals with straight faces from a raised podium to hundreds of students during class change time on campus. Their campaign promises included the following: Faculty parking will be abolished and totally converted to student parking. Everyone gets front row seats for basketball games in the Marriott Center. The dress code and hair and grooming standards will be abolished. You get the idea.

They threw out loads of candy to everyone who paused to listen. While tossing the candy and loudly making grandiose promises, they would say: “Don’t let anything we do or say unduly influence your vote!”

They won the election and then promptly resigned and renounced their victory. They believed that they had proved their point. I’m not sure what the point was exactly. But I believe it had to do the concept that if you tell people what they want to hear, you’ll be popular, regardless of your ability to make good on what you say.

As for me and Sanpete, it’s too bad I didn’t jump into the political race. I could have promised the voters a few things and presto! – the next thing you know you’d likely be calling me Senator Ogden. I’d be sitting in one of those soft chairs in the Senate chambers solemnly staring into space wondering what the heck I was doing there.

Here are some of the measures, bills and resolutions that I would put forward, if I were treading the hallowed halls of the capitol as a senator. (I’m wondering why our legislators have never sponsored any of these. No courage, I suppose.)

1) Immunity from speeding tickets on the road for all Sanpete residents

2) For each turkey you or any of your relatives, friends or neighbors own – $1.00 state tax credit.

3) State funding grant and ongoing maintenance support for a Major League Baseball stadium and expansion team. (This would be known as the “If you build it, they will come” legislation)

4) $5,000 interest bearing account given to each couple as they receive their marriage license for purposes of first anniversary celebration expenses and/or divorce costs.

5) State provided free (and perhaps mandatory) babysitting service for small children while parents attend the movies.

6) Be it resolved, that Mother Nature shall henceforth fully cooperate with the Legislature in matters of drought and precipitation, and further “She” shall immediately cease and desist from initiating any natural disaster of any type whatsoever.

7) Abolition of state income tax and sales tax.

8) Out of state vehicles charged $250.00 a pop at the border.

9) Free passenger train service statewide.

10) And lastly, if a Sanpete constituent needs or wants something, the wish will be granted. All you have to do is ask. Remember to have high expectations of your government representatives. Don’t worry if those expectations are a little unreasonable, or for that matter, impossible.

Don’t hesitate to call our officials now that they’re elected and installed. If they give you any pushback on things, remind them that if only Mr. Ogden had been put into office EVERYTHING would be perfect now. — Merrill


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