Convention of Statesmen


Mark Shurtleff for Senate in 2010

The text of his announcement speech on 20 May 2009, 12:30 PM:

Today I'm officially launching my campaign for United States Senate to represent you – the good people from the great state of Utah in service to our blessed but troubled nation. And to my primary opponent, Senator Bennett, I sincerely say, thank you for your service. We gave you 18 years to do the people’s work. But that is time enough, and the winds of change, they are ablowing.

Not the bigger government, corporate welfare, radical liberal nannyism type of change promised and now being implemented by Obama. But, starting today, we the people of Utah, we the people of the United States, are "Taking Back America!" No more taxpayer-funded bailouts. No
more government owned businesses. No more ever-expanding federal entitlement programs. No more slouching toward socialism!

My family and I have been eager to let you all know officially that I am launching this campaign. I know it may have been long in coming, as we have struggled with the question of where the greatest need lies, and how best I might serve that need. Because in the end, it all comes down to my motto as your Attorney General, one I borrowed from Cicero and John Adams: “The people’s good is the highest law.” The people’s good is the highest priority of government. It has been my commitment and sworn oath as your Attorney General, and it will continue to be so as your United States Senator. As we stand before you today, we couldn’t be more excited and energized-- and from the calls, letters, emails, texts and yes, even tweets we have received, we are not alone! I’d like to thank you for your support and for loving our country, and I need you to join the team!

First, a word about my family. I love them and honor and thank them, for they assuredly sacrifice a great deal to share me with you. And that is most true for my dear wife, M’Liss. She is an extraordinary and talented woman and a wonderful mother who loves this country and this state as much as I do; who is as worried about the direction of our country and the future of our
children and grandchildren as you do; and who is willing to shoulder the additional burden at home, so that I might serve you.

Let me tell you why I want to be your senator. Many disturbing trends over the last few decades have left us angry and asking how did we get where we are today. How is it that Washington, and even our own Republican representatives, have abandoned conservative principles, again, principles, to create the monster we now call federal government. This is not the America envisioned by General George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Has the nation of Abraham Lincoln, conceived in liberty - that government of, by and for the people - perished? This is not the America of even our grandfathers and our fathers. And it is certainly not the America I want to leave my children!

Last fall, the majority of Americans voted for “change”. But I don’t believe they knew that the change they would be getting would be bigger government, more taxes, more spending, more inside-the-beltway mentality.

We have seen the change proposed by the Obama administration. And frankly, he can keep the change. We’ll keep our freedoms!

Truth be told, Obama is not the root cause of our current economic crisis; we cannot change this country by sending back the same representatives and senators who contributed to the problem. Einstein quipped: “insanity means doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result” - and he was right. If we want to change Washington, we must change horses and with the Democrats in control, there is no better time than now. Enough is enough!

Mitt Romney said it best last year when running for president: “Washington fundamentally is broken, and people in this country want to see change, and that’s not going to happen by somebody who’s been there, for whom Washington is a way of life."

And what is the change I want? We must take back America by putting a stop to spending money we don’t have. We need a constitutional balanced budget amendment! I want to do in Washington, what our state Senate and House of Representatives have done here in Utah with our budget. I want to stop the reckless expenditure of money! I want every federal program to be accountable for results and I want that accountability to come from the people at the state level. Washington has turned upside down our inspired system of federalism that places very limited power in the hands of the feds and most of the power in the people and their state and local government. I want to be that voice in Congress, and that federal partner, that fervently
believes in and supports the states’ rights platform just announced a moment ago by the new Patrick Henry Caucus.

Congress has usurped too much federal power—power that should be returned to the people and the states, including the power to control our public lands and deny access to water and grazing and mining rights clawed out of the wilderness by the sweat of our ancestors brow; and allow access to only a select few. What is more, we need access to those lands for responsible recreation with our families and it can be done carefully, so it does not harm the scenic treasures of Utah!

To take back America, the tax rate must go down—we simply can’t afford and must not require Americans to spend 50% of our earnings on combined taxes, federal, state, local and sales. Add it up—at the higher brackets it’s over ½ of what we earn. And we most certainly cannot restore America’s world-leading economy by taxing out of existence the very foundation of that economic greatness: American small business owners.

And I want everyone who earns money to pay something, even if it’s only a little—there should be no free rides—it violates the principles of thrift, industry and paying your own way, which builds self-confidence, pride of achievement and industry. America has grown soft with giveaways, and we need to grow strong once again. Where does it all end? My answer is that it
must end here. And it starts today—join me in taking back America!

We gave the prior Republican administration, and a Republican senate and a Republican congress a chance to make real change, and frankly they blew it.

So many of my friends today ask me, what happened to the Republican Party? What happened to smaller government and more personal responsibility and freedom? What happened to the proper balance of federal control versus state and local control?

When Senator Bennett first ran for office he promised us 12 years in Washington. He said that was all he needed to get done what he promised to do. Then he asked for one more term—he was in leadership and could help us. So we gave it to him. But instead of promoting principles of individual responsibility he let us down and looked upon government as the solution.

Ronald Reagan often said that government is the problem, not the solution – I echo that with all my heart! While I was successfully suing the country’s largest private mortgage companies as attorney general to try to keep the housing bubble from bursting under its own weight, Congress, and yes, Senator Bennett, looked the other way while government sponsored
monopolies known as Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac were coddled and supported, which led to over confidence on Wall Street and poor risk assessments by insurance companies, and that is what led directly to the collapse.

And last fall, Senator Bennett personally huddled behind closed doors with [the] Fed. Chair Bernanke and Secretary Paulsen and engineered the seven hundred billion – that’s billion with a “B” – Wall Street bailout. He did not just vote for it — he says it was his plan!

When the 2006 and 2008 elections came around, Democrats saw something we missed. The new generation was interested. They wanted to know, “What is this thing we call government? What is it supposed to do for me? What am I to do for it?” The kids that we have worried about handing the national debt to — well they are now growing up, and they want to know why. The Democrats stepped in with their ideals; they appealed to the future of America, and they won and that will prove to be a disaster unless we stop it and return to a limited government based on preserving personal freedoms and individual liberties.

We conservatives can all see that we are over 100 days down a dangerous slippery slope to socialism. The rumblings can be felt nationwide. We are ready to bring our party back to life, and the time is now. We can no longer support Republicans who vote against our ideals and represent Washington to us instead of us to Washington. It’s time to get back to basics, in a modern, available and transparent way. Indeed, we need to take our country, our America, back!

Over the next few months I will present my plans on how we will take America back—back from the bureaucrats who run everything back there.

Back from the politicians who belong to that most prestigious of clubs in the country. Back from spendthrift pork barrel policies and back room deals.

Back to the core principles upon which America was formed in the first place. And, hopefully, back from the nationalization of our free market system, back even from the brink of socialism!
In the not too distant past, conservative principles prevailed and government served its proper role and purpose, which was to serve as a barrier, a shield, and a shelter to allow you and me and our children to find happiness—to make our own happiness. Now it’s time again for the people of Utah to gather together and elect a senator to represent them in Washington, so that citizens can go about their daily lives without having to look over their shoulders and behind their backs, so that they can get their education, support themselves, and raise their families.

Well, Utahns, I want to be that person for you! As your attorney general I have fought hard to protect citizens, families, children…and most of my most successful programs like the Amber Alert, War Against Meth, Internet Safety Education and the Child Abduction Response Teams, were all developed and implemented through public-private and nonprofit partnerships – not taxpayer dollars!

I know that the law is meant to protect us –not to control us and your senators are supposed to represent us –not manage us. In the words of Glen Beck, “We surround them!” They are our servants, not our masters. Let me serve you! I know it is unusual to challenge someone within your own party, however, 24 years in the Senate, which is what it would be if Bob Bennett were to win again, is simply too long. I know he will raise the tired argument that his seniority and leadership positions in the club allow him to better serve us.

And it is true that in Washington seniority matters, but not if that seniority is taking us in the wrong direction. More of the wrong medicine never cured anybody. Besides, I live by that old saying, “Leadership is action, not position!” Even better, Leadership is the right action! We cannot simply wait, as the good senator has suggested, for the political pendulum to swing
back, hoping and praying not too much damage will be done in the meantime.'

Time is of the essence in saving our country. And it is not just for us. For well over a century all of humanity around the globe has looked to the strength of American democracy as that light upon the hill that cannot be hid. Last week in Israel I met with Prime Minister Bebe Netanyahu. He told me that the fate of his great free democratic island in a sea of totalitarianism, anger and hatred is directly linked to our success as the leader of Western civilization. He is right and I promised him I would do my part to strengthen and support that critical political and cultural alliance.

Fellow patriots, at the Salt Lake Tea Party on April 15th, I recalled the words of the leader of the Sons of Liberty, Samuel Adams, that the time for talk is done and the time for action has come. It is time for a new generation of leadership who will not go along with the old guard. It is time for true change and I pledge to fight hard for that change and to tirelessly serve you, to secure and protect your God-given rights of life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness and to fervently represent your deeply held convictions.

Today is a day of action. Today, right now, we the people must step up and together we will take back America, one senate seat at a time!


At this time, I offer my strong endorsement of Mark L. Shurtleff, Utah's current Attorney General, in his run for the U.S. Senate against Senator Bob Bennett. It is my belief that Mark will stand for Utah and her citizens, defend the Constitution to the utmost and not kowtow to the pressure of the Washington, D.C. elite.

Please go to and offer your support in as many ways as possible, even monetarily if you are able.

Over the course of the next 18 months, you will find me blogging about different points of Mark's stances on issues that matter most to Americans. I encourage you to research his record and understand, even when not popular, Mark upheld the rule of law as outlined in the Constitution of the United States. It is time to Take America Back and he is the man who can do this better than Bob Bennett.
Mark Shurtleff for Senate in 2010 Mark Shurtleff for Senate in 2010 Reviewed by Candace Salima on Thursday, May 21, 2009 Rating: 5