Rights & Initiative B!
(News Item 1 for 10/26/03)
Summary: Despite ample citizen warning and
outrage, the state senate unanimously confirmed radical
anti-property zealot Derek Pullan to become a fourth district
Senate Disregards Pullan's Marxist Opposition to Your Right to
Howard Stephenson Defends Pullan as a "Remarkable Nominee"
Updated Performance Report Reflects Pullan Confirmation
4. Why Not
Congratulate Your Senator?
1. Senate Disregards Pullan's
Marxist Opposition to Your Right to Own Property
In our original
alert on Derek Pullan's judicial nomination by Governor
Leavitt, we presented Pullan's aggressive attacks on your
property rights, specifically his support of property
confiscation (forfeiture) without due process.
To recap, Pullan, who moves to the judiciary from his
position as Wasatch County Attorney, led the effort of the
private property confiscation lobby to repeal a
resolution overwhelmingly passed
at the Republican Convention in 1998.
This resolution resolved that forfeiture should be allowed
only if (1) the property owner is convicted of related
criminal wrongdoing, (2) full due process is restored, and (3)
forfeiture proceeds are directed to the General Fund or
preferably the Crime Victims Reparation Fund.
Without prior notice, Pullan was given an opportunity to
convince the Republican Party Central Committee to support
repeal of the convention resolution. Pullan sought to replace
the resolution approved by the delegates with a
resolution written on behalf of
Pullan's resolution was written prior to the innocent owner
safeguards enacted in Initiative B, passed by 69 percent of
the voters in 2000. In the resolution Pullan insists that:
"...Existing constitutional provisions, statutes, and
rules of civil procedure protect the property rights of the
'innocent owner' who is unaware that his or her property is
being used in furtherance of criminal activity."
"...The Utah Republican Party, by and through its Central
Committee, hereby acknowledges that local law enforcement
agencies are best able to allocate forfeited property and
proceeds in accordance with law enforcement needs."
As we have outlined in many previous alerts, such was not
the case. Prior to Initiative B, innocent owners could easily
have their property confiscated by profit hungry confiscation
squads. In fact, the Supreme Court in at least one case found
the conduct of the confiscators to be unlawful by a 5-0 vote.
It is despicable that Pullan, whose office profited from
forfeiture revenue, could hold to such a menacing position.See our
Rights section for details on Initiative B and subsequent
efforts to destroy it.
Rather than deny Pullan's nomination, the Senate has acted
to further poison our courts. Pullan will now have virtually
unchecked power to harass and destroy innocent owners and to
further his unconstitutional, anti-property positions.
2. Sen. Howard Stephenson Defends
Pullan as a "Remarkable Nominee"
Sen. Howard Stephenson,
President of the Utah Taxpayers Association,
wrote in a recent article, that Pullan was a "remarkable
nominee." Then, incredibly, Stephenson goes on to admit:
"There were many in the
public who said he [Pullan] should not be confirmed because of
his advocacy for the state GOP central committee to overturn a
resolution passed at the state convention in 1998. The
resolution encouraged protection of private property rights by
restricting the use of asset forfeiture for those accused of a
crime. Two years later Initiative B, which was opposed by
Pullan and most law enforcement agencies, was enacted by
voters with a nearly 70% favorable vote. Now Pullan may face
judicial decisions about enforcement of a law he opposed."
So, why did Stephenson vote
for him? Because Pullan promised the senators that:
"He would be bound to enforce
the law, regardless of his own opinions."
Oh really? And what of
the oath Pullan took as Wasatch County Attorney to uphold the
constitutions of America and Utah? If he is willing to
trash those documents as an elected officer, why should anyone
believe that he will do no less as a judge with virtual
lifetime tenure? Given the opportunity to legislate from
the bench, which law should we reasonably expect Pullan will
uphold? The law of the land or Pullan's law?
If you would like to sell
Sen. Stephenson some beachfront property in Kansas, now is the
time. Contact him at:
Sen. Howard Stephenson,
Note: For more information on
the growing betrayal of Stephenson and the Utah Taxpayers
Association, see "Why
Are Utah Republican Legislators and the Utah Taxpayers
Association Supporting Harmful Tax Increases?" put out by
the national Americans for Tax Reform.
3. AU Updated Performance Report
Reflects Pullan Confirmation
Because of the serious nature of
this betrayal, Accountability Utah has updated this year's
Legislative Performance Report to reflect this confirmation
Read the new report.
Note: This report is in
Download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat.
Reports are ideally designed to be self-mailers, and to be printed out—front and back—on two 11"
x 17" pages. This updated report contains an
additional, free-floating insert.
instructions for exact layout.
Accountability Utah will also
keep a history on Pullan's judicial decisions. Citizens
who go before his court, or who attend his court, are
encouraged to report on any property rights abuses they
If anyone would like to help us
track Pullan and other rotten judges, please contact us.
4. Why Not Congratulate Your
Your senators seem to think that
your private property rights are unimportant. Not one of
them felt the need to oppose Derek Pullan's nomination. Why
not express your appreciation to them?
If you need help finding your
senator, visit our
elected official contact page. Please feel free
to share any interactions you have with us at
If you have comments or
suggestions, please email us at