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Rolly: When dealing with candidates, get cash in advance

Published January 27, 2011 8:34 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When supporters of embattled former Cottonwood Heights cop Beau Babka held a rally Wednesday to protest felony charges against him, Peter Hillyard wasn't there.

Babka, who unsuccessfully ran for Salt Lake County sheriff as a Republican last fall, is facing charges that he used a Cottonwood Heights credit card to gas up his personal vehicles, totaling $48.17. The felonies are for alleged misuse of public money.

Hillyard, owner of Shout Signs, had his own problems with Babka's discretionary use of finances.

When Babka ran for the 3rd Congressional District in 2004, that time as a Democrat, Hillyard was hired to design and produce Babka's campaign signs. The total bill: $7,500.

But when Babka lost, Hillyard didn't get paid, so he sued Babka in small claims court.

Hillyard lost the case after Babka's attorney argued, and the judge agreed, that Babka didn't owe Hillyard the money. The Committee to Elect Beau Babka owed the money, and that entity no longer existed.

Hillyard appealed to 3rd District Court and he and Babka reached a settlement that would pay Hillyard $6,000.

But Hillyard lost in a bigger way.

Because he sued a Democrat, he no longer gets jobs with Democratic candidates. He believes he has been blackballed as a troublemaker.

An irony here is that Babka lost that congressional race six years ago to Republican Chris Cannon, who now is haggling over court orders to cough up $110,000 in unpaid bills to campaign consultants. Most of that is owed to an advertising firm that helped him in his unsuccessful bid for re-election in 2008.

Hillyard says he has this advice for future consultants: If you do work for a politician, you better be sure he or she will win. Otherwise, get the money in advance.

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People aren't patriots, guns are patriots • The Utah House on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed Rep. Carl Wimmer's bill that would designate the Browning M1911 handgun as the official state firearm because, as Wimmer noted during the debate, "this firearm has defended liberty and freedom."

The next item on the House agenda was a resolution honoring the Navajo code talkers for their "bravery and ingenuity …that gave the United States and Allied Forces the upper hand they so desperately needed in the Pacific." The resolution also supported the Navajos' multiyear project to build an educational, historical and humanitarian facility that will "educate both young and old and conserve the instruments of freedom gifted to the American people by an awe-inspiring group of young Navajo men who served the country during World War II."

Wimmer, R-Herriman, voted against it.

While most House Republicans voted for the resolution that sailed through with a 60-5 vote, Wimmer was joined in the opposition by fellow Patrick Henry Caucus cheerleaders John Dougall, R-American Fork (who, to be fair, also voted against Wimmer's gun designation bill), Mike Morley, R-Spanish Fork, and Ken Sumsion, R-American Fork, and fellow gun promoter Curt Oda, R-Clearfield.

Perhaps they want the Navajos to show their birth certificates before they give them any credit for anything.

prolly@sltrib.com