of·fend·ed

  • əˈfendəd/
  • adjective
  • resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult.

Whether its a flag, a religion, a dress, a political party, or something someone said or did (or perhaps didn’t say or do), a segment of our culture today is quick to “take offense” at something someone else did.

Let’s clear that up right now: someone else cannot “offend” you – however, you can choose whether or not to take offense at something someone says or does.

Someone else cannot make you mad, happy, sad, or offended – you, and you alone can control how you react to the world around you.

Learn and apply that one relatively simple lesson, and you’ll be much happier in life.

Politics:

  • Poly, meaning many;
  • Ticks, blood sucking bugs.

Chapter 1: The Background

I’ve always hated politics.

In high school, one of my teachers offered an extra-credit assignment to write a letter to our Congressional Representative about an issue we’d been discussing, then report back with their response (if any). This was back in the days before email and web-forms were the primary forms of communication with elected officials.

I was one of the only students who completed this assignment, and the only one who reported back with a response.

I learned a few things about politicians that day:

  • kids don’t really matter to elected officials, because they’re not voters
  • form-letters and canned responses are the norm, because listening to constituents is too hard – it gets in the ways of restricting liberties

I took my concerns to my dad. His parents lived through the Great Depression. He was a child in the 1940’s. He was witness to “government meddling”. He’d given up on the system years before, refusing to even vote.

I was young and naive. I thought I could change the world.

My mother was an early elementary school teacher and drank the Kool-Aide of the teacher’s unions. They were less a union, and more a political action and special interest group, lobbying for laws that would take away the rights, responsibilities, and role of parents.

I don’t hold these stances against my parents. Their conclusions were made based on a lifetime of their experiences.

I still felt that I needed to fight for the Divinely inspired vision the founders of our nation had fought for.  I couldn’t give up on that. I had to be the torch-bearer for my generation.

Chapter 2: The Beginning

I never missed voting in an election, not once – general or primary. But  I didn’t know about Utah’s Caucus and Convention system. They don’t teach that in school. My parents didn’t teach me about it.

Instead, I told my new wife that I thought we needed to attend this “neighborhood caucus” thing – not even knowing what it was. The first round we just went to see what it was all about: neighbors, meeting in a small room, learning what it meant to be a Republican, then electing people from our neighborhood to represent us in political matters so we could go about our lives.

A lightbulb went off in my head. These elected neighborhood representatives (“Delegates”) would be that voice – a megaphone – between the individuals and those elected to protect our liberties. Instead of listening to tens of thousands of voices all screaming about different topics, elected officials could focus their attention on a few hundred (or a few thousand for Federal positions) Delegates. Perfect!

But the system, as inspired as I felt it was, wasn’t being used to its potential. People didn’t know about it. Those elected to fill the positions of Delegate and Precinct Officers were going through the motions, not fulfilling the responsibilities they were elected to. (I’m not innocent in that respect either.)

Two years later, I attended my neighborhood caucus again. This time I ran. I was elected as an alternate State Delegate and as the Vice Chair of the Precinct. Due to personal events in the life of our elected Precinct Chair (who was also an elected State Delegate), I was called on to fill-in a State Delegate, attend the State Nominating Convention, and run the Neighborhood Caucus the next time around.

At that State Nominating Convention, something amazing happened: an incumbent U.S. Senator, Bob Bennett, yelled at, belittled, and scolded the elected Delegates. He readily admitted to casing what he called “unpopular” and “Toxic Votes” (the bailouts, the ill-named Patriot Act, the indefinite detention provisions in the NNAA, TARP, and more). He said we didn’t know anything, and that if he had to cast those votes again, he would – despite knowing they didn’t have popular support, and knowing the elected delegates were opposed to them.

When the dust settled, he came in third-place – not enough to put him on the Primary Ballot. He’d just been fired. He knew it, and the “swamp” knew it, too. They couldn’t allow that to happen again – it meant that the People had the power – not the Aristocracy, the Media, and the Establishment. How dare we?!

At that Caucus, I was elected as the Precinct Chair, County Delegate, and State Delegate. I had learned what a Delegate was supposed to be. I wrote more letters, made more phone calls, and met with more elected officials over those several months than I had in all previous years of my life – combined. I even created, managed, and maintained a website for my little Precinct where I shared my letters to (and responses from) elected officials, posted their votes on key issues, and called my neighbors and fellow Delegates to action to make sure our voices were heard.

Chapter 3: The Middle

A year later, as Precinct Chair, I attended the County Organizing Convention. At these conventions, we hear from and elect individuals to carry out the purposes of the County Party. The next level of leadership below Precinct Chair was  “Leg Chair” (Legislative District Chair), the gentleman holding that position was running unopposed. I’d never met the man, I didn’t know who he was or what he stood for, and didn’t feel that it was right to vote for him without the information. I asked if he could take a few moments to introduce himself to us. He said that without an opponent, it wouldn’t be fair to give a speech. I didn’t follow his logic, but I decided to nominate myself to run against him – forcing a pair of 3-minute speeches, one from him, and one for me.

He chuckled and offered me the floor. My speech was simple: “Hi, I’m Joe Levi from SY08. I really don’t want to be Leg. Chair, I just think before casting our votes, we should know who we’re voting for – and no one should ever run unopposed. People deserve a choice.” That was it. He took the mic and gave his speech, answering the questions I’d raised earlier. The election was held. He won – but I got a quarter of the votes. I’d hit on two points that resonated with people: they want a choice, and they want to who they’re voting for.

A few short months later I got a call from the Leg Vice Chair: the Leg Chair I’d run against had resigned due to scheduling conflicts. The Leg Vice-Chair became the Leg Chair and offered me as an interim appointment to fill the position of Leg Vice-Chair until the next election. I accepted the offer and appeared before the County Executive Committee. My story was shared with them and a vote was held to confirm (or deny) my interim appointment. It passed unanimously. My Precinct Vice-Chair stepped up to be Precinct Chair and I began attending monthly meetings of the County Executive Committee.

Chapter 4: The Storm

It was during that time when I learned about a group of people who called them “Count My Vote” (CMV) and were trying to pass an Initiative via the signature petition route to change the law to disallow political parties from picking their own candidates. Who was “Count My Vote”? Follow the money.

  • The Ruling Class: the political elites, the “Establishment”, and now referred to as “The Swamp”
  • The Aristocracy: the very rich who can “buy votes”
  • The Mainstream Media: by eliminating (or rendering powerless) the elected Delegates, campaigns will shift from meeting neighborhood representatives to buying ads on TV, Radio, Newspaper, and printed mailers – all of whom will make significantly more money from selling their services to candidates, who will have to get money from major donors to fund their campaigns (thereby purchasing influence).

This group (through their followers) started attacking people who were defending the Caucus and Convention system. One such victim was Phill Wright, then-Chair of the Davis County Republican Party (DCRP). I saw the DCRP Secretary (Kathleen Anderson) attacking Phill Wright as these meetings.

I had been asked to serve on the Ethics Committee and was elected to its Chair. Our committee heard a complaint brought by Secretary Anderson against Chairman Wright. An Ethics Committee is chartered with the solemn responsibility of hearing allegations, weighing evidence, and recommending the appropriate remedy – privately, discreetly. This is the way private organizations are meant to operate and to self-regulate. The process protects the innocent while allowing for fair remedies to be recommended for the guilty. Secretary Anderson made her complaint public, deciding to try her complaint in the court of public opinion. After a thorough investigation, her complaint was dismissed as “unfounded”.

Soon the Vice Chair (Lisa Bingham) joined in – entering her attack as a monolog as her spoken resignation letter.

I leaned over to my Leg Chair and whispered: “Who are we going to run for Vice Chair?” I already had my answer, I was hoping she would give another name that I could get behind. She said “you” – and my life changed.

I didn’t know who Phill Wright was. He seemed like a decent man, but he was taking flack and being attacked, and being too reserved – not defending himself against their volleys. I didn’t want the job, but I knew it wasn’t fair for him to be taking all the arrows. The Party needed its leader. I committed myself to take those arrows so he could do the job he was elected to do. I didn’t make that public knowledge.

The election was set and I ran in a field of 7 candidates. After multiple rounds, I won.

Immediately after winning the election, I resigned from the Ethics Committee, feeling that there needed to be a separation between Party Officers and what I considered to be the committee with oversight of “Internal Affairs”.

That’s when “they” started courting me…

(to be continued…)

The Leftists have called for a boycott of Amazon because of their relationship with the National Rifle Association.

Let’s counter that boycott by buying something through Amazon on March 1st, 2018!

Here are a few items you might want to pick up tomorrow. If you don’t see anything you like in this list, make sure you buy something on your own list… and if you’vd let your membership lapse: #JoinTheNRA

Books

Gun Accessories

Flashlights

Background

We often take for granted the ease at which we can retrieve “stuff” over the Internet. Recently, at work, I was asked what sounded like an easy enough question, but the answer was based upon multiple layers of prerequisite understanding. A simple question turned into a fairly lengthy explanation.

Just in case that explanation is helpful to you, I’ve posted it here for you.

How do we ask for “stuff” on the Internet?

… and what, exactly is a “URI”? And why do we call it that instead of a “URL”?

Universal

  • The industry-accepted standards (de facto or ratified) for addressing and/or identifying resources via web technologies.

Resource

  • A “resource” is a “thing”. That thing may have references to, requests for, and/or dependencies upon other resources.
  • Most commonly, “resources” are HTML documents, images, CSS files, JS files, icons, videos, audio files, .PDF files, etc.
  • A resource may also be a reference to an action or intent (dial a certain phone number, send an email to a specific address, send a text message to a certain number, open an installed application to a certain state, etc.).

Indicator

  • Resources are “indicated” and how they are handled depends on the context of the request (protocol/pseudo-protocol handler requested, phone vs. desktop computer, etc.).
  • Like most web technologies, we cannot explicitly control how a device handles these. The best we can do is “indicate” to the device (the “User Agent”) how we would like it to handle our request.
  • The reason we use URI instead of URL, is that the “indicator” part of a URI helps describe how a resource might be handled, not just how a resource should be “located” (the “L” in “URL” stands for “Locator”).

Protocol/Pseudo-Protocol Handlers

  • This is the first section of the URI and indicates the protocol by with the resource should be requested. The most common are http:// and https:// Both indicate to use the “Hypertext Transport Protocol”, the first being the standard variant of the protocol, the second being the “Secure” (encrypted) variant of the protocol.
  • Other protocols include (but are not limited to) FTP://, FTPS://, SFTP://, archie, gopher, etc.

Pseudo-protocols handlers are things like:

  • mailto: to ask the User Agent to send an email using their configured email client to the supplied email address (with subject and body content optionally supplied)
  • tel: to ask the User Agent to open the configured dialer app and pre-populate the supplied phone number (user must interact with the “call” button to instantiate the phone call)
  • skype: to ask the User Agent to open the app which handles Skype Communications and open a communique to the supplied Skype user
  • wire: to ask the User Agent to open the app which handles Wire Encrypted Communications and open a communique to the supplied Wire user
  • etc.

Although the protocol/pseudo-protocol handlers are not case-sensitive, the industry-best-practice is to refer to them in uppercase in documents like this, but in lowercase when in use (like on web pages).

IP Address

Think of an IP address like a “phone number” for your computer. In order to call you, I have to know your number. Since it’s unlikely I have it memorized, I usually consult with a directory (a Rolodex, your business card, my hand-written address book, a phone book; the company Active Directory, LDAP, the address book in my smartphone or computer; etc.). This “directory” lets me look up your name, which is associated with your number, which my phone then uses to call your phone.

Computers operate much the same way. Their “phone numbers” are called IP addresses. There are currently two primary versions of IP (Internet Protocol): IPv4, and IPv6.

IPv4 addresses look like 255.255.255.255 (where each octet can be 0 – 255). We have more devices than IPv4 addresses today – and have been limping along which how to address that for some years now. One solution to the shortage is IPv6, which, among other things, changes the formatting of the IP address. Without getting into a lot of detail, this would be like making your phone number 30 characters long, including both letters and numbers – and you thought memorizing an 11-digit phone number was hard!

DNS (Domain Name System)

Just like your smartphone or the white pages help you look up a person’s phone number by their name, DNS is a system through which User Agents can look up a computer’s address by an “easy to remember” name:

  • JoeLevi.com
  • Lifetime.com
  • HomeDepot.com
  • etc.

DNS uses TLDs, Domains, and subdomains to pair computers names with their addresses.

Top-Level Domain (TLD)

Back in the early Internet, we had .COM, .ORG, .NET, .EDU, .GOV, .MIL, and a very few other Top-Level Domains. As new countries started using the internet, they got their own country code TLDs (.TV, .LY, .UK, .AU, .MX, etc.). Eventually, the ccTLDs got repurposed:

  • .TV (the ccTLD for the country of Tuvalu) was repurposed for Television stations, shows, and related sites
  • .LY (the ccTLD for the country of Libya) was repurposed for URL shorteners (bit.ly, etc.), and “plays on words” (happi.ly, etc.)
  • etc.

Today we have a lot of other TLDs (.site, .booking, .lawyer, .gop, .republican, etc.).

Domains registered under these TLDs are controlled and maintained by “registrars” like Register.com, MyDomain, GoDaddy, Google, etc.

The TLD is not case-sensitive.

Domain

The highest level a person or company can register and associate with a computer is the Domain (JoeLevi.com, Lifetime.com, etc.). By registering the domain, that entity has control over where it is pointed and the contact information associated with it.

The Domain is not case-sensitive.

Subdomain

A subdomain is used to add specific uses to the domain:

  • mail.something.com, smtp.something.com, pop3.something.com could each be used for various email services
  • ftp.something .com could be used for a file-share accessible (via http, https, ftp, ftps, or sftp)
  • www.something.com could be used to access the web server (via http or https)
  • Uk.something.com could be used to access the version of the website specific to visitors from the United Kingdom
  • etc.

Folder/Directory (“route parameters”)

From a skeuomorphic or even “desktop computer” analogy, a Domain could be considered to be a building belonging to a corporation, a Subdomain could be a filing cabinet inside that building (labeled WWW or MAIL, etc.), and a Folder or Directory could be considered a handing folder inside that cabinet with its label (CUSTOMER SUPPORT, WARRANTY REGISTRATIONS, etc.).

Inside those hanging folders can be individual documents (TABLE-OF-CONTENTS.doc, 2017-REGISTRATION-REPORT.xls, etc.), and/or manila folders (2017-REGISTRATIONS, 2016-REGISTRATIONS, etc.).

Inside those manila folders can be individual documents, and/or even more manila folders.

And so on.

Folder/Directory names ARE case-sensitive, and industry-best-practices tell us they should be in all lowercase.

Like the “file cabinet” analogy, a webserver can get set up like your desktop computer, with drives (cabinets), folders, subfolders, and files within then. This is ironically called a “digital analog”.

Unlike the “file cabinet”/desktop computer “digital analog”, most modern websites do not use static folders, subfolders, and files. Instead they utilize a concept called “routing” that goes something like this:

  • https://sub.domain.com/(parameter 1)/(parameter 2)/(parameter 3)

In this example, the values of “parameter 1” and “parameter 2” might correspond to particular “folder” of contents, but might also display pages “within” it in a certain way.

  • · If the value of “Parameter 1” is “products”, the data retrieved and formatted might come from the a table called “products” in the database
  • If “Parameter 2” is representative of a category of products (“basketball”, for example), the site may do something like this:
    • Limit the database request to just products of type “basketball”
    • Style the page with the color-scheme of the “basketball” product line
    • Pull in the text and images that relate to the “basketball” product line
    • Display a list of products within the “basketball” product line
  • If “Parameter 3” is representative of a specific model number or sku of a particular product (“12345”, “6405”, etc.), the site may do something like this:
    • Display the particular product including its featured image, and related image set
    • Display the variations and packaging options for the particular product
    • Display the stock/inventory level of the particular variations/packaging options for the particular product
    • Allow the customer to add the specific variation/packaging option for the particular product to their shopping cart
    • Display marketing information about the particular product
    • Display technical specifications about the particular product
    • Display assembly instructions for the particular product
    • Display helpful videos about the particular product
  • etc.

Casing considerations

As mentioned previously, the domain, subdomain, and TLD are not case-sensitive, but in practice it’s generally all lowercase (to emphasize the visual importance of the Domain) or in all-uppercase (to match the stylistic implementation of the URI:

  • www.lifetime.com
  • www.Lifetime.com
  • www.LIFETIME.com
  • WWW.LIFETIME.COM
  • www.joelevi.com
  • www.JoeLevi.com
  • www.JOELEVI.com
  • WWW.JOELEVI.COM

Utilizing mixed casing for the subdomain is advisable to help with readability:

  • www.Lifetime.com
  • www.EmotionKayaks.com
  • www.TheLifetimeSettlement.com.

Everything after the TLD should be all lower-case except in rare cases. Even though on our server, the same page will be returned for www.Lifetime.com/myproduct, because of casing, search engines will consider it to be different from (and will be indexed separately from) all of these, splitting search engine ranking between them:

  • www.Lifetime.com/MyProduct
  • www.Lifetime.com/MYPRODUCT
  • www.Lifetime.com/MYproduct
  • www.Lifetime.com/myPRODUCT
  • www.Lifetime.com/MyPrOdUcT
  • www.Lifetime.com/mYpRoDuCt
  • etc.

This is referred to as “search engine schizophrenia” and is a fantastic way to kill your search engine ranking.

Default Documents

The document that is loaded from inside a folder by default (without having to supply the filename and extension). This could be:

  • index.htm
  • index.html
  • home.htm
  • home.html
  • index.asp
  • index.aspx
  • index.php
  • default.htm
  • default.html
  • default.asp
  • default.aspx
  • etc.

The best practice is to omit the default document from the URL string so search engines and other linking sources point only to the folder, so if your technologies change, the folder structure is still intact, and you don’t lose all your page indexing and SEO-mojo when you switch from one tech to the other.

Link rel canonical

To overcome the challenges of including/not including:

  • default documents
  • sub-domain

And to address the casing issues associated with “search engine schizophrenia”, the industry has adopted as a defacto standard the link rel canonical meta tag. This tag, essentially, tells the user agent “I really don’t care how you came to this page, but rather than giving you an error message or redirecting you a bunch of times, I’m going to load the page anyway, but THIS is what the REAL URI of this page/resource is”.

Not every user agent respects the link rel canonical tag, and not all of them treat it the same way, but it’s the only thing we can reliably do to “suggest” to the user agent what the actual address for the resource should be.

Got all that?

I got involved in the Utah Republican Party because I didn’t like what I saw going on in Washington, D.C, and even in our own State.

I felt like, despite my vote being counted at the ballot box, my voice wasn’t being heard after the votes had been counted.

I got involved in my local Precinct and began learning how the system worked – it was a steep learning curve. I felt overwhelmed, but I stayed the course and I learned the process.

I’m writing you to share what I’ve learned, and recap what’s going on so you’ve got more information.

You probably already know a lot of this, but just to make sure we’re on the same page, here’s a little background…

Why do we have Parties in the first place?

The Utah Republican Party (UTGOP) is made up of individuals like you and I and our neighbors who voluntarily associate under a set of fundamental values. In political-lingo, those values are called “Planks”, and together they make up our “Platform”. Each political party has their own Platform made up of Planks which are descriptive of the core values members of those Parties wish to protect and defend.

That’s the whole reason for Political Parties in the first place: to protect and defend those core values.

To ensure that’s being done (and that our elected officials are casting votes which protect and defend those values), people voluntarily associate into Parties (which is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and is why the Parties challenged SB54).

Just like in our Republic, where we elect Representatives and Senators to represent us at both the State and Federal levels, in the UTGOP we elect representatives who will help nominate candidates to the ballots and organize the Party and its operations.

The Constitution of the UTGOP clearly states the State Central Committee (SCC) is the “Governing Body” of the Party and sets its policies and procedures – they are the “Legislative Branch”, if you will. The Party Officers (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer) are the “Executive Branch” – they “execute” the direction and policies set by the SCC.

It is literally the duty of the Party Officers to execute the policy set by the SCC – not to determine what the direction and policies are. Unlike a former President of the United States, the UTGOP doesn’t tolerate circumventing the legislative body with a phone and a pen.

I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone – and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions… — Barack Obama

Are you okay with our Party being run this way?!

Meetings of the SCC

The SCC should meet quarterly, but can (and should) meet more often if circumstances dictate. According to the Party’s governing documents, these “Special Meetings” can be called either by the Party Chair or by 25% of the voting members of the SCC – the method for doing so is even described.

That’s what happened recently: more than 25% of the SCC called for a Special Meeting. They satisfied all the requirements described in the Party’s rules, and on Saturday, 16 December, 2017, the SCC met.

About 70 members of the SCC were credentialed, but the Party Chair and Vice-Chair weren’t present to conduct the meeting. A quorum (the minimum amount necessary to conduct binding business) is around 40 – this meeting had almost double that.

According to our rules, the Party Chair conducts meetings of the SCC, but just in case he cannot (if he gets caught in traffic, is out of the state on business, etc.), our Party rules say the Vice-Chair takes over. Without the Vice-Chair present, our Party’s rules are “silent” on what to do.

Thankfully, Utah Republicans were wise enough to include a “catch-all” in our Governing Documents: when our Party rules don’t cover something, we fall-back to Robert’s Rules of Order. Under Robert’s Rules, if the Chair and Vice-Chair are absent, the body (in this case the SCC) elect a person to conduct the meeting. (Interestingly, this elected person is immediately dismissed as soon as the Party Chair or Vice-Chair arrive, at which point they conduct the remainder of the meeting.)

“Contentious” Meetings?

Historically, meetings of the SCC could be described as “contentious” – sometimes taking an hour or more just to decide the agenda!

Some people like to look at that as a negative thing, and claim it’s indicative of the SCC being “dysfunctional”. I respectfully disagree.

The way I see it, your elected SCC members are passionate about making sure your voice is heard and your points of view are represented in those meetings. Our Party rules (and Robert’s Rules, for that matter) are there to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to hair the voice heard.

December’s Special SCC Meeting

Last week’s Special SCC Meeting had more than twice the minimum amount of SCC members needed, and in the absence of the Party Chair and Vice-Chair, the body of the SCC elected a registered parliamentarian to conduct the meeting.

I’ve been to quite a few SCC meetings (both as a member, and as an observer – you don’t have to be a member to go and watch). This meeting was the most smooth and professional SCC Meeting I’ve seen – ever.

Now you know.

Heads UP

It looks like there is a coup happening RIGHT NOW in the Utah Republican Party!!

  1. Why doesn’t Chairman Anderson want the SCC to meet and resolve the Party’s legal costs tomorrow?
  2. Why does he want to put off the meeting until the end of January?

Is this why?

Background

Because he plans on declaring bankruptcy and “restructure and reorganize the Party” next month!

No, that’s not a conspiracy theory, those are HIS OWN WORDS.

“If we don’t return to the black by January, I will declare bankruptcy. I am committed to that. We will go into court and we will declare bankruptcy. At that point, we will restructure and reorganize the Party.” – UTGOP Chairman Anderson, 01 November 2017

What does “restructuring and reorganizing the party” mean?

The rich aristocrats and political elitists behind CMV have already registered the name “Republican Party of Utah” with the State. They likely have a whole new Platform, Party Constitution, and Party Bylaws written and ready to go.

Chairman Anderson has referred to the “Utah Republican Party” as the “Republican Party of Utah” on numerous occasions – which seemed like an innocent oversight until put into context.

Before being he was a candidate for Chair of the Davis County Republican Party, Rob Anderson and his wife signed the CMV petition.

Much of the language from the CMV petition was put into a bill called SB54. The Party challenged SB54, and one part of it was struck down as unconstitutional. The Party appealed the opinion to challenge the Constitutionality of the remainder of SB54.

After being elected as Chair of the Davis County Republican Party, Rob Anderson and his wife (while both were serving on the SCC) consistently voted to end the legal challenge, and against continuing the legal challenge.

When running for Chair of the Utah Republican Party, Rob Anderson stated: “I am not the ‘Count My Vote’ Candidate”.

After being elected as Chair of the Utah Republican Party, acting against the policy set by the SCC, while waiting for the 10th Circuit Court to return their opinion on the Party’s challenge to SB54, Rob Anderson announced he had instructed the Party’s attorney to end the lawsuit.

The SCC re-asserted their role as the Governing Body of the Party, and instructed Chairman Anderson and the Party’s attorney to continue the legal challenge.

The SCC formed a Special Committee with complete oversight of the legal challenge, as well as its funding to ensure Chairman Anderson couldn’t go against the established policy and attempt to end the legal challenge again.

This committee negotiated the current legal bill, secured funding to cover it, and remove the “legal debt” from the Party. A Special Meeting was called to present this to the SCC and obtain the signature of Chairman Anderson on the agreement.

Chairman Anderson refused to sign the agreement, and instead had it rewritten to put him in charge of it.

Chairman Anderson declared the Special Meeting “invalid”, and the Party has sent out several emails telling SCC members not to attend, told SCC and Party Staff has been calling SCC members, telling them not to attend the Special Meeting.

Why? It looks as if Chairman Anderson is “running out the clock”. In his own words, “If we don’t return to the black by January, I will declare bankruptcy. … At that point, we will restructure and reorganize the Party.”

What better way to keep the Party from paying its bills than refusing to sign the agreement to do so, and attempting to prevent the SCC from meeting before his planned coup of the Utah Republican Party?

“The next State Central Committee (Meeting) will be held on Saturday, January 27 as previously scheduled.” – Rob Anderson, Chairman

AFTER he’s planning to “go into court and … declare bankruptcy”. “At that point, we will restructure and reorganize the Party.”

Never trust a talking lizard trying to sell you insurance.

To recap, while taking my wife on a date, parts from a tiny house being towed hit my brand new car. That should be a simple claim, right? Unfortunately, the party at fault has GEICO for their insurance.

At first, everything seemed okay. Then it went downhill, fast. The following is my #GeicoHorrorStory. Hopefully, you’ll learn from my pain.

NOTE: I am not a lawyer and none of the following is legal advice.

So far, GEICO has reportedly paid the body shop for the physical damage to my brand-new car. GEICO has said they will mail a check to me for reimbursement of the rental car (as of this writing, that hasn’t arrived).

“GEICO isn’t going to cover it”

That’s what my insurance provider told me. In his estimation, they were going to skirt accepting responsibility by claiming my damage was due to “road debris”.

Thankfully, I had a dashcam which recorded the whole thing – including the other party on the side of the road inspecting their tiny home for damage. What sort of damage? The siding had peeled off from one side and the front.

Shortly after I mentioned the dashcam footage to my insurance carrier I got a call from GEICO, who had apparently had a change of heart and would now “accept responsibility for the damage”.

Lesson Learned

  1. ALWAYS DRIVE WITH A DASHCAM!
  2. Here’s the footage, in case you missed it:

GEICO Preferred Repair Facility

From the very beginning, GEICO schmoozed me – well, they acted like it. They wanted to make this as easy as possible, or so they said. What a great opportunity to entice a person to switch from their insurance provided to GEICO: make the claims process a breeze.

The preferred repair facility was over an hour away from my house, and at least 45 minutes off the path of my daily commute. That’s where GEICO wanted me to go to have their adjustor inspect the damages. That’s where GEICO wanted me to go to have my car fixed. That’s where GEICO wanted me to pick up and return the rental car.

I asked if GEICO would compensate me for my time and mileage to use their preferred location, each time they avoided committing to do so, but offering that I could have the work done at a location of my choosing, but that I might be on the hook for any costs above what they’d cover, and they wouldn’t warranty the repairs, and I’d have to take care of the rental car separately.

They still wouldn’t commit to reimburse me for my extra time and mileage.

Lessons Learned

  1. Don’t be pressured into going to their “preferred” facility.
  2. Don’t feel pressured in making time for their adjustor to inspect the damage, or driving to their location to be inspected. Their client injured you, whatever they want they can do on your timeline, at your location, and at your convenience.

GEICO Preferred Rental Car

GEICO wanted me to rent a car with Enterprise. Unfortunately, the Enterprise rental agreement isn’t compatible with using the car for work – which I do all the time in conjunction with the company I own and operate, and for anyone who drives for Uber or Lyft (I’m a Lyft driver).

I asked if GEICO would rent the car and just hand me the keys. They wouldn’t agree to this.

The next problem was that GEICO didn’t want to rent me a “comparable” car. Their definition of “comparable” essentially boiled down to “the same number of seats”. Sure, that’s one part, but my Chevy Volt gets 70+mpg – their alleged “comparable” would have gotten half that. Every mile driven in that car would further damage me.

Eventually, I was able to convince GEICO of this, but they refused to help me find a rental vehicle with comparable mileage, and they refused to help me find a rental vehicle with comparable usage allowances.

Ultimately, I found a custom solutions provider which could rent me a Volt (albeit a few years earlier, and without quite the same MPG rating), and offered a rental agreement compatible with my use-cases. It took a while to research this and work out the details, but again, GEICO was unwilling to help find a realistically “comparable” rental vehicle.

Lessons Learned

  1. First, make sure everyone’s okay.
  2. Next call the police. WAIT FOR THEM TO ARRIVE.
  3. Call your insurance company, report the incident.
  4. Laywer up. Don’t even deal with their insurance company. If they call you, politely advise them who your attorney is, what his phone number is, and that all communication needs to go through him. Period.

GEICO Asks For More Information

I had to go back and forth with GEICO to get them to update their case file so I could log into their website and submit the information they were requesting of me. I had to help troubleshoot this, and they kept pushing back. “Just submit the information at GEICO.com”, they’d say. Yeah, but I can’t log in because it says the information you have on me is incorrect! ARGH! Finally, after a considerable amount of time trying to figure out what information they had wrong, and providing the correct information, I was finally able to log in and submit the documents they needed.

My custom solutions provider (the one who rented me a Volt to replace mine, while mine was getting repaired) gave me a receipt which detailed the item (the car), the number of days rented (9), the daily rate, the total, and that it was “Paid in full”. Apparently, that wasn’t enough for GEICO. They said it had to list the days it was rented, too.

More time talking with the custom solutions provider. More time while they prepared an amended receipt. More time while I uploaded that to GEICO’s website. More time while I discussed this on the phone with their representative. More time being told they’d mail out a check, but my house “was just an empty field”, and “am I sure that’s the correct address”. More time while they tell me they won’t pay for the time they’ve made me put into providing details they shouldn’t really need.

It’s all starting to feel punitive – like GEICO is punishing me for being the victim.

If I want GEICO to pay for the damages their client inflicted on me, I have to put in just a few more hours of work, I have to waste just a few more hours that I could spend making money, spending time with my children, taking my wife on that date which was so rudely interrupted.

Lessons Learned

  1. Don’t insure through GEICO. They might have good rates and a talking lizard, but if this experience is indicative of how they do business, anyone that you damage will hate your insurance choice.
  2. If I am to be compensated for the time and expenses which GEICO ASKED ME TO PROVIDE, my solution is to take their client to court.

Though I have never been a GEICO customer in the past, it’s clear to me now that I will never be a GEICO customer in the future. If you deal with GEICO, perhaps my experience will be relevant when your policy is up for renewal.

Please take a moment and share my #GeicoHorrorStory with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and your favorite social networks.

All this over the remaining damages – less than $700 – which GEICO refuses to pay.