Sutherland Newsletter – December 6, 2007

1.Conflict-of-Interest Debate Should Spark Legislative Ethics Study

In an opinion-editorial published by the Deseret Morning News on December 9, 2007, Sutherland Institute President Paul T. Mero writes that there will always be conflicts of interest as long as our state Legislature is part-time.


“A serious discussion about a new standard of ethics surrounding conflicts of interest is timely.  It is time to get very transparent and accountable about our current system of legislative procedures.  We must recognize that conflicts of interest entail no gray areas, only choices.  A legislator who is part of a much-needed nuclear energy effort in the state and a legislator who is part of our esteemed public school system represent the same ethical dilemma.  Both legislators face a conflict of interest.”


2.J. Reuben Clark, Jr. and Limited Government

J. Reuben Clark, Jr. was possibly the greatest statesman Utah has produced.  The latest essayin Sutherland Institute’s original series on Defiining Conservatism introduces Clark’s prescient teachings about limited government, the relevance of which has only increased since they were offered.


“A recurring theme in J. Reuben Clark’s voluminous writings was ‘the great struggle, which now rocks the whole earth [which] more and more takes on the character of a struggle of the individual versus the State.’  He asked: ‘Does the individual exist for the benefit of the State, or does the State exist for the benefit of the individual.'”


“Nearly a half century after his death, as the State (and particularly the federal government) continues its incursions into education, welfare and family life and threatens forays into medical care, personal savings and more areas, heeding the strong voice of this great statesman from Utah becomes more important.”