20080425 David Leavitt US 3rd candidate

This gathering was held in the Provo Library. There were around 20 people in attendance.

5/10/2008 11:04:20 AM Introductions David Leavitt Perhaps I should have had this in Orem since no one is here from Provo.
5/15/2008 3:02:23 PM Introductions David Leavitt “Through question and answer I usuaally get you what you want most. I want to just do a brief intro. I grew up in Cedar City and graduated from High School. I am 44 and went on a mission. Went to law school and graduated in 1991. Went to become a corporate lawyer. In my third year I took a class from Kimball and it changed my perspective. Shalom and I (who is walking in now) went to central Utah to set up a law practice. Private for four years. I prosecuted a lot of cases. I am most well known for prosecuting Tom Greene. I left office in 2002 by being beaten by 22 votes. He is a very nice guy. I am the only Republican attorney in Juab county. I then went back in to private practice.
After that I was invited to go to Kiev, Ukraine. After being back for one year it seems to me that we are going in the wrong direction. We are not spending like we should and are not showing the political will if we want to maintain the greatness of America. That motivated me to run.
I am in the different areas of the district and am meeting many all over. I want to reach as many state delegates as I can on your terms. Convenient for you so that I can hear your concerns. Please, let’s talk about your issues and questions. I will try to be concise as I can.”
4/25/2008 12:37:59 PM Question If you are elected, recongnizing that you have little vote influence, what committee and what do you think to get done during the first term.
4/25/2008 12:38:28 PM Answer David Leavitt “Frequently asked. To me Congress and people often say that you are just 1 of 435 members. And when you are in the minority you also have less clout. I want to answer in 2 parts. One, how does a freshman effect congress AND how do you do it in your first term.
Your first term has to be one of building credibility and relationships and influence. You have to get on the right committee and one of the objectives I have is budget. I want to find my way to appropriations. In order to do that, with the June nomination I will begin fund raising and campaigning and work on building the relationships during the summer so that in january you become a natural selection for these spots. We must make the change now when seniority means the least. There is a big outflow and we need to building seniority at the same time as others are rebuilding as well. That is my plan.
I would like to be on appropriations, financial services and public lands.”
4/25/2008 12:42:17 PM Question I know that you wouldn’t be on health care committee. I have a concern about it. The companies work there way around it. I have heard about privatizing but if the company won’t accept you then you are out.
4/25/2008 12:43:08 PM Answer David Leavitt “If you are talking about private health care. I can’t get coverage because I was diagnosed with sleep apnea by some technician years ago. You can’t just cherry pick the good risk and not accept the others. We need to make it so that the private sector can do the right thing. We need to shift the burden to the private sector.
We need to doctors to be more transparent. We don’t want a whole lot of bills from all the different people. If we have more transparency then the cost will go down.
The lawyers also have to be taken care of. Personal injury is one of the problems where the attorneys have no down side. If we required the attorneys to have risk on personal injury cases, then that will help reducing frivolous lawsuits. So you have to transform medical, legal and insurance industries.
Then you need to go to the people to get them to be healthier.”
4/25/2008 12:46:27 PM Question How about illegals?
4/25/2008 12:46:33 PM Answer David Leavitt “It definitely drains. Citizens do it as well. The immigration issue is that we can’t have a nation of civility if we don’t enforce our laws. We have to first acquire the political will to solve the problem. We haven’t wanted to solve the problem. People get tired of hearing and talking about immigration because we talk a lot.
We need to have temporary work visas available on their side of the border. We then need to enforce them to go home, get their visa and return. We diminish the rule of law if we allow them to stay here. We need to ask them to leave. Today that would not work because the policy is so messed up that they can’t easily get back in.
We need to change it so that they can come back in easily.”
4/25/2008 12:48:54 PM Question Oil prices.
4/25/2008 12:48:59 PM Answer David Leavitt “We consume 25% of the worlds oil here in the US. The problem is that we get a significant amount of oil from our enemies. We are dependent upon them for oil. If we want oil independence then we need to open regulation so that we can drill here in the US. We can’t allow the stranglehold to continue. Our dependence on foreign oil keeps the price high.
We have to create the relationships with liberal congressman. This is so that you can discuss and persuade them to believe that freedom is critically tied to this energy issue. We need to be free from the stranglehold.
It is easy to be cruel when you are in the majority. We have stopped debating face to face with civility. This causes us to get less done so we need statesmanship.
We have to base our votes on priciples versus party.”
4/25/2008 12:52:14 PM Question I have a concern about all this talk and then when they get back to congress, what they say is not what they do. How are you different?
4/25/2008 12:52:40 PM Answer David Leavitt “If I was really aligned with the party I would be waiting my turn because I wouldn’t want to run against the incumbent. I am an independent guy that is willing to say that. I like the party and we line up on many things. There is nothing about running against an incumbent because our country is about choice.
You have to find someone who doesn’t care about their job.
In 1999 I became a lone man in prosecuting Tom Greene. I withstood death threats and hate mail. There were very few people who would stand up with me. The Daily Herald’s quote was “”Dumb and Dumber”” in reference to me. In 1999 I made a choice. If you abuse children or the welfare system you are prosecuted. I got voted out of office because of what I did. Your public service ends and at the end all you have left is whether you did it right or not.
Am I ready to leave early if you want to bring me home, sure. I believe though that a person of integrity will bring them to his side. Can I do it in Congress? I believe I can. I want to be a contributor and influencer.”
4/25/2008 12:56:25 PM Question What is your position on global warming?
4/25/2008 12:56:37 PM Answer David Leavitt Somewhere in between the left that says death in 20 years and the left wing conspiracy groups. We should all be about being moderate and caring for the environment.
4/25/2008 12:57:15 PM Question You spoke of integrity, reason and persuasion. What makes the difference is consistency. Would you prosecute again.
4/25/2008 12:57:50 PM Answer David Leavitt “In 2002 I was living in Rocky Ridge and someone raised their hand and said why haven’t you prosecuted us. My opponent said that they would be safe with him. I said that I was the chief prosecutor and everyone who is practicing polygamy is a felon. You do not have a pass from me. My priority is not to come look in your bedroom. If I get evidence that you are doing things like abuse and welfare, then be warned. The group was about 98% polygamist. Rocky Ridge vote was 114-3 for me though. I say that is because all the wives voted for me. In the end people can separate bull crap from the truth. They trusted that I was telling the truth.
We have a 9 trillion dollar date and social security out of control (62 trillion). We are mortgaged at 95% of what we can provide. We need to change because we have the foresight. That requires nothing but straight talk. We either start it or get it put upon us.”
4/25/2008 1:02:18 PM Information Thank you for inviting me and answering my questions.
4/25/2008 1:02:39 PM Question There is a stranglehold in Utah with incumbency. If you make it through convention to the primary how will you overcome the incumbency? He has a ton of support from people that do not want illegal immigration to change. They only seem to want to listen to mail.
4/25/2008 1:03:09 PM Answer David Leavitt “I thought about this question long and hard before I put my name on the ballot. You have to assume that you are going to primary. Any one who assumes otherwise is making a big mistake. I am not here to down Chris Cannon. He is a good guy. He deserves our respect and I walk a very fine line when I talk about these things.
You are dreaming if the only strategy is convention. If there is a stranglehold it is not in the primary it is in the convention. Some of those are the automatic delegates from party members.
Once out of convention you face big money and political power. You also face lack of name ID andexperience. If we can dissect John Jacobs race last time then we see that he started with his own money. That philosophy is wrong because you can’t buy seat.
The second problem was that he did not have name ID outside of convention.
He decided to disintegrate in the last couple weeks with some comments.
He also focused on one issue. That wouldn’t carry him. The fifth thing was that people got calls from the Bushes saying the Cannon was their guy.
In 2008 it is different. Instead of writing a check to myself I said that it is not just because you can. I started beating the pavement in August asking people for money. I became a great multi-level marketer. In the end I wanted to demonstrate that I could build a community of support. If you can’t get financial support then you probably can’t run. In March I had raised over 250,000.00. I had never asked anyone for money before.
You have to ask yourself if you believe in what you are trying to do. To be a credible candidate you have to have at least 400,000.00. You can’t take on the system without those kinds of resources. When my 250,000 ran out in mid-march. Chris Cannon has only raised about 3000.00, but 500,000 from large PACs. They don’t want to make an incumbent mad. You don’t have to earn it.
I ran out and I found that I had an obligation to the people that I raised money from. So I put in about 150,000. People are behind me now. John Jacobs missed that.
2) I have name recognition. Tom Greene and my brother has given me name recognition. Please don’t vote for or against me for his sake.
3) I am not about just one issue of immigration.
4) I am trying my best not to say too many stupid things.
5) I understand politics.
6) I have a brother who has stayed neutral and has the ear of the President.
7) There is a ground swell to changing congress.”
4/25/2008 1:12:40 PM Question Will you be debating.
4/25/2008 1:12:48 PM Answer David Leavitt May 3rd at 4pm Provo City Council chambers.
4/25/2008 1:13:18 PM Question I struggle with the political concept that disagreements are an attack. I listened to the radio show. Jason is willing to call Chris on many of the issues that he has voted.
4/25/2008 1:13:54 PM Answer David Leavitt “Jason says that I am in debt. My debt is to myself. I disagree with that character. When you take someones position and tweak it to your own truth to fit your purpose.
First, Chris makes a big deal about being very fiscally conservative. I don’t doubt that is true. This is a congress that has increased the debt more than ever. The level of your fiscal conservatism is only compared to those who are willing to spend a whole lot more than you.
A bill that he introduced last week. I don’t think that it is the federal government’s role to help take care of people. He wanted a single bid nationwide wireless internet service. That is not the role of government. I call it the digital new deal. I don’t believe that is the role of government.
The second distinction is earmarks. They were asked to disclose who they were requesting earmarks for. The process is never public and the Tribune wanted to see all 5 members funding requests. I was shocked that only one member disclosed and it was Jim Matheson. Cannon said he would not disclose because he didn’t want to have mad people. When you are the final word on the food chain it makes a difference and it is hard. When someone is across the table from you and they are in pain because you prosecuted their child. You have to have the resolve to stick with it.”
4/25/2008 1:19:47 PM Question I think you have referred to this is how much power we have lost to government. Related to that is a voucher question. I voted for it against government control.
4/25/2008 1:20:38 PM Answer David Leavitt “Education will only improve to the extent that we get big government out of the business. We need to insist that the local educators have local control. I believe that includes local. I disagree that a parent should be able to take the money from one pot to another. I voted for vouchers. I did so because we have to do something to improve education. Philosophically I don’t agree with arbitrary petitions either. We spent 9 million dollars getting to an answer. I may be offending some people BUT we needed them to compromise it in the smaller group and take their own emotions out of the equation.
One of the huge problems is the size of government. In 1913 there was a Federal Reserve and 16th amendment which was income tax. The 17th amendment took voting out from States and gave the Senate down to the electorate. If you have 2 houses of congress pleasing the end people versus the state. The Federal Government is now trying to give a chicken in every pot for each of their voting constituents.
During the natural course of things and the state’s rights people need to again take control back.”
4/25/2008 1:25:13 PM Question Can you distinguish yourself on NAFTA from what Cannon says.
4/25/2008 1:25:40 PM Answer David Leavitt I don’t believe that we are getting the fair deal. Those treaties should be looked at in the 40-50 year range versus just changing jobs and freeing borders. It is an experiment that has not shown its working. I see that if we don’t begin to fix the problems that are occuring, then we will look more like a European Union. Those are valid concerns.
4/25/2008 1:27:10 PM Question Would you act as decisively as you can as a freshman?
4/25/2008 1:27:33 PM Answer David Leavitt “I would repeal. I am not going to sling guns. I want to build relationships and influence. Until then, with the North American Union I would vote no.
Chris makes a big deal about seniority and its influence. Real influence is about being people that you listen to. John Boehner went in to leadership after 3rd term. Majority Whip went in the same time as Cannon. You will either get real influence quickly OR you will settle for seniority. It only gets you so far. I am not here to sell myself short but know that it is a 2-3 term process.”
4/25/2008 1:30:06 PM Question It is quite concerning about the NAU and the European Union. I would ask what would cause somewhat to vote for NAU.
4/25/2008 1:30:51 PM Answer David Leavitt What causes people to vote on things that they don’t agree with is when they are willing to sell themselves for tomorrow so that they can keep their position. In the long term the real thing that we need to look at is the 50 year view. We will have some very hard times with the mortgage crisis and other problems that are coming up. The role of government is not to take away the ability to fail. It is not the roled of government to say differently.
4/25/2008 1:32:18 PM Question It is not the guys on the street who bought the house. It is the Wall Street guys who made money on this. Do you grounds for prosecution?
4/25/2008 1:32:55 PM Answer David Leavitt I do not like the federalization of crime. For the most part it should be handled on a state level. If you look at these situations then there are probably criminal wrong doing. There is a disconnect in the Republican party. Putting people in federal prisons is just like social security. I think it should be more local.
4/25/2008 1:34:29 PM Question I am an attorney. I have seen mortgage fraud and all sorts of other problems. I don’t see any state prosecutions.
4/25/2008 1:34:55 PM Answer David Leavitt “The reason for that is that our criminal justice system is designed to deal with a stable society. Our society is crumbling and the system is not equipped to do it. Stable, God-fearing, family loving and moral people will live the law.
One of two things will happen, looking at the long term. Either we will grow government and have it protect us from each other OR we will encourage people to take care of themselves. In this society we like to talk about rights versus responsibilities. That problem is core. The vast majority of our problems is because our families are disintegrating. If we don’t teach our children then we turn to government to teach our childre. Some believe that it is government’s job to take care of the problem. This is even more politically incorrect to say.
We are not a religious nation but we need to be accountable to something other than the government. When people are accountable to something other than the government then we can improve society. Your first question was should be prosecute the fraud. We should do it from a state level.”
4/25/2008 1:39:01 PM Question Do you see the war on drugs being a part of that? You would know better than I would about the numbers.
4/25/2008 1:39:26 PM Answer David Leavitt The war on drugs attacks a symptom of the problem. I haven’t defended or prosecuted many people about 5% of people who are not from broken homes.
4/25/2008 1:40:08 PM Question I agree on what is wrong and what you have to say. The job you are applying for. It seems that congress it much more easily able to create programs to address the symptoms. Since this is your job how will you help make the change?
4/25/2008 1:41:07 PM Answer David Leavitt “I believe that there are some problems that we have to deal with right now. There are also longer range problems that we need to deal with. It won’t make a difference if we took care of the long and didn’t take care of the short.
Our society has gone so far astray. In 1776 we had a signature on the document creating this nation. We dared England to show us that we were wrong. We didn’t win because we had better weapons and training. We won because of the Declaration of Independence. We trust divine providence. We were born based on the idea that our freedoms come from God. We have to live according to the principles of freedom.
We have now taught ourselves that we can’t offend anybody and have to allow ourselves to be coerced by the minority. We either do or do not believe in a God. I dare say the problems of 1776 exceed the problems of today.
Our budgets, social policies, terrorists, and other problems will kill us. China has 30,000 people working on cracking our systems. The government is not powerful enough to protect us. We have got to understand that this is not Jewish, Christian or Islamic issue. This is an American issue. In my position I will make it possible to speak in the name of God. In the course of two generations we will create a nation that is beliefless. I believe that my role will be to promote religious belief. I believe that pornography is a problem and should be able to zone pornography on the Internet. Our policies need to benefit the family.
The government can not require people to live a moral life, but we can talk about it and promote family as the core of society. The breakdown of family is costing us a huge amount of money that is a social cost.”
4/25/2008 1:49:23 PM Question Do you support a draft and what do you think of the military?
4/25/2008 1:49:36 PM Answer David Leavitt I do support a draft. I think Americans need to understand better the responsibilities versus just the rights. I do not want us to go to war. There is nothing wrong with asking our youngest to serve their country.
4/25/2008 1:50:27 PM Question On the one hand you have said that you will go with hat in hand building relationships. You have said that you would stand on principle.
4/25/2008 1:50:54 PM Answer David Leavitt “The assumption is that you can not have friends and disagree. I will tell you a story. My mother had a lady come to her and she was very upset with her daughter in law. She was pretty mad and talking to my mom. My mom told her that if you want to influence someone, then you must love them. You can only get through if they have a relationship.
Do you know who my best friends were during the Tom Greene’s case? Tom Greene and his lawyer were my best associates. The principle is that you can go back to Washington and sometimes compromise. There are times when you must like the creation of this country. There are bright red line issues that you may not compromise. If you want to win my vote and telling me as a Freshman that I have to do something, then I will ask them to persuade me. If they can’t persuade me then I will stick where I am.
You take the current situation in Congress. Would it have made a difference if Chris had told the President that he was wrong?
I believe that I can maintain my principles and work in Washington. I won’t sacrifice my principles. I don’t believe that it is naive, but it may be.
As a criminal defense lawyer you have police, judge, prosecutor, and press working against you. Tom Greene gets arrested and his son goes to prison for child rape. They called me and I took a look at it. We fought and were in court and he did time. I used my skills to make change.”
4/25/2008 1:58:25 PM Question I want to return to the draft and service. Would you support making the requirements the same for male and female?
4/25/2008 1:58:53 PM Answer David Leavitt The principle is that all Americans need to understand their duty to America. I don’t think you put women in combat necessarily. While they are equal they are still different. In society we have to have the courage to recognize that we have been sexist. We have tried to overcorrect in some cases to try and eliminate the differences. I will defend everything I say but off the cuff that is my answer.
4/25/2008 2:00:48 PM Question What about those who want to serve in the military but have a disability?
4/25/2008 2:01:05 PM Answer David Leavitt “I don’t mean that everyone needs to go in to the military. The young people need to be invested in the nation. That includes forest service, BLM or other organization and this will help us own this nation. We are required to understand and earn our freedom.
When we get in to these deep questions I want you to understand who I am.”
4/25/2008 2:02:32 PM Question For me personally I have appreciated getting a feel for who you are. I wonder why we should enforce them to serve.
4/25/2008 2:03:54 PM Information Many societies have had a coming of age. Tribes and other societies have had this for a number of years and many nations. It has made better rounded men.
4/25/2008 2:05:06 PM Answer David Leavitt “Let me tell you an example. You get a postcard that says you have to show up for Jury Duty. You don’t show up and you will go to jail. We allow our youth to grow up in a free country and they don’t learn that freedom requires responsibility if we don’t ask them to do it.
I like Chris and think he is a good man. I don’t think that he is able to influence Congress now and so you can not lose by sending me back. Even when you are a little prosecutor from a small town, if you act the right way at the right time then you may change the world.
Warren Jeffs is in prison, Colorado city is coming down and Texas issue is going on. I don’t know that it is all going right there. But one person makes a difference and then others move even further forward.”
4/25/2008 2:09:12 PM Question What happened with Tom Greene and why did you pick that fight?
4/25/2008 2:09:21 PM Answer David Leavitt “There is a principle in constitutional government where the legislature makes the law and the executive enforces the law. Then there is discretion by the prosecutor who has enormous power. It says that they have the choice to prosecute or not.
Tom Greene showed up on national television and said that he was wonderful and a great family man. No one had any reason to disbelieve that including me. I thought about prosecuting a case that no one has brought before me.
Here is the conflict, if I have discretion I can abuse it. I did not want to have the nation see that we as an executive branch were not addressing this at all. My brother and I fought on this. He said that I should let it go. In the end the decision was on my head.
So I went to investigate and hoped to be able to open and close the case without taking action. I went out to his house with Tom and his 5 wives. Shalom and I were there at 11 at night. We had both appeared on national television. I had the county recorder with me.
Tom spoke to my wife and told her that she should let me take another wife. I told Tom that he had put me in a hell of a position. I would be damned if I did and damned if I didn’t. If I find that you are one happy family then I will walk away. If I find that you are hurting someone then I will take you down.
The wives then began to express concern about their children. I told them that I would do nothing to take away their children. Texas doesn’t get it that the women are the victims and should be kept with the children.
I left that night knowing that some of the women wanted out. I found that Tom Greene he married a woman in 1970. He married in the Salt Lake temple. By 1980 he explores polygamy. In 1981 he talks to Angel and she files for divorce. He tells her that she will go to hell if she leaves. She ends out leaving and ultimately commits suicide.
Beth and Tom have Linda (14) whom he then marries in Mexico. He has sex with his step-daughter and has a child. Tom woos another woman, Shirley who was 15. Shirley had her mother, June, come with her. Tom married June. Beth and June were sisters and now Linda and Shirley are cousins. June brought LeeAnn who was 13 and she fled to the state which then gave her back to Tom. Tom marries LeeAnn in Tooele. He is now married to six females, four of whom are mother daughter.
The women end out getting their food from dumpsters at Albertsons. Tom then meets Hannah and talks to her father. So her father makes the deal for Carey and Hannah whom he marries. He then finds another girl and marries her, but she leaves. He has had 10 women.
He is taking 70,000/year for welfare for each of his wives. He had way too many issues and it cost me my job.”
4/25/2008 2:26:47 PM Question I lived in Juab County, in Eureka. I knew that you were going to have a hard time.
4/25/2008 2:27:15 PM Answer David Leavitt I won my own precinct and the polygamist districts. I lost all the others.
4/25/2008 2:27:48 PM Question How do you feel about the pre-emptive attack on the nation we think needs to be attacked.
4/25/2008 2:28:09 PM Answer David Leavitt “We must be strong and I don’t believe that we should attack. We only punch when punched. We are there now and need to move forward. I don’t trust the media. I have seen enough to know that each person has their agenda.
I think that we have got to understand that if we are mortgaged up to 90% of our economy. 62trillion is our unfunded debt. It is foolish of us to borrow money to be the worlds policeman. We have to have the right interests. We should only protect Americans on our soil. If we are there to keep America free by attacking there. I think that we need to engage in a clean analysis of how well we are protecting our own.
If I get to Congress and get a bigger piece of the picture then things might change. I do not think that we should be there to be a peace keeping force. We are keeping attention there.”
4/25/2008 2:32:03 PM Information I think it is a personal grudge.
4/25/2008 2:32:16 PM Answer David Leavitt I think that the WMDs probably went to Iran.

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