Author Archives: ptmadmin

Congressional Record

(PTM authored and/or directed legislative processes)

“CBS This Morning with Kathleen Sullivan,” Tuesday, February 6, 1990, Extension Of Remarks, (WED).

“Dornan to Announce Presidential Bid,” Thursday, April 6, 1995, Special Order, (RKD). (Note: More than half of RKD’s remarks were extemporaneous; difficult to keep him on a script.)

“A Real Conservative Position on the Persian Gulf,” Saturday, January 12, 1991, Extension of Remarks, (Mero) (Note: WED graciously submitted my remarks, in my name.) read more

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Requested Input and Instructions, Post-Congress

“School Prayer Motion and Amendment,” February 19, 1994, request to walk Jim Coon through floor processes for his boss (Mero)

“Procedure Regarding Prayer Amendment to Goals 2000,” March 16, 1994, and March 18, 1994, memos to Shannon Davis on behalf of Congressman Sam Johnson to help the congressman pass a prayer amendment to the Goals 2000 bill. (Mero)

“The Freedom of Speech Act of 1997,” introduced by Senator Jesse Helms, requested my assistance from Michele Lynn DeKonty, February 10, 1997. (Mero) read more

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K-12 and Higher Education Records

George Mason University, letter of acceptance, November 5, 1986.

George Mason University School of Law, letter of acceptance, April 19, 1985.

Brigham Young University, letter of acceptance, March 19, 1980.

Northwood Institute of Texas, letter of acceptance, February 24, 1976.

Fairfax County High School, Scholastic and Activities Record, Grades 9-12.

Fairfax County Public Schools, Standardized Tests, Grade 8.

Diploma of graduation, Thomas Jefferson High School, June 13, 1975.

Brigham Young University, Official Grades Transcript, Fall 1980 – Summer 1984, July 25, 1984. read more

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Sutherland Institute Speeches and Other Items

(After I was fired, SI bleached every trace of my 14 years of service from its website…so unprofessional)

Deseret News, Wednesday, August 27, 2014, “Sutherland chief Mero steps down” (Roche)

Salt Lake Tribune, Wednesday, August 27, 2014, “President of think tank is out of job” (Gehrke)

Deseret News, Sunday, May 22, 2016, “Sutherland Institute looks to broaden reach” (Romboy)

“The Sutherland Way: A Call to Responsible Citizens,” booklet, 2010. (Mero)

Event Invitations:

  • Sutherland Institute Legacy Awards, 2009, Wednesday, May 13, 2009.
  • Neighbors in Need: A Benefit Supporting Utah Programs That Help People Become Self-Reliant, Saturday, June 15, 2002.

“The Pro-Family Movement: Lessons I Have Learned in the Trenches,” a speech before the Utah Eagle Forum Annual Convention, January 13, 2001. read more

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The ironies of the LDS Church weaponizing religious freedom

As someone who has had a long and successful career in politics and public policy largely built upon weaponizing every idea from values to ethics to morals to faith and beyond, I know the weaponization of an idea when I hear it.

My most recent example is the speech by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Dallin H. Oaks, delivered recently at the University of Virginia on the occasion of the 2021 Joseph Smith Lecture. If you ever want to listen to a classic presentation on how to weaponize religious freedom, you should take a moment to review Oaks’ speech. read more

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Did My Church Have Me Fired? A Theory.

Writing about leaving a state you’ve resided in for 20 years, through my career’s apex and raising our children through their most formative years, is difficult. We loved Utah and then we did not. There are personal reasons – emotional, spiritual, mental, and even heartbreaking. There are professional reasons – intellectual, relevancy, efficacy, expectations, and even betrayals. These reasons and more finally persuaded me to leave behind dear family and friends. My wife too, grandmother to 17 of 20 grandchildren living close by, was done with Utah. read more

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Unworthy: Missing Chapter #4

Excited to move to Utah to begin my education at Brigham Young University (BYU), I received a rather annoying piece of advice. “Whatever you see or hear, just remember, the Church is true.” I was astonished, even took some umbrage, at the thought that my BYU experience – more so my new life in Zion – would be anything but uplifting.

That was 1980. I graduated in 1984. In between was an eye-opening broadside to my “Gospel sensibilities.” My BYU experience matched my academic GPA – conspicuously average. Nearly every interesting thing I did, I did on my own. The Harold B. Lee Library was my playground, especially the 4th floor containing everything political and the “special collections” room wherein treasures of LDS history awaited. read more

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Unworthy: Missing Chapter #3

I think he’s an asshole.

My SIL is not wrong. Nor is he alone in his opinion. Most of the book prior to these chapters is a testament to this reality. But Unworthy also explains why — the sources of my expressing ass-holier-than-thou thoughts. Even so, I’m not quite sure all of my new understanding and “scary” self-awareness would have changed anything between my SIL and me.

I do not begrudge my SIL’s venting. Nor do I begrudge him his pain. Believing his narrative, as he does, would demand the tone and form of his attack. I get it. I do. And his adamant desire to sever ties with me is a natural conclusion to his narrative. Hey, look, I have written too many “fuck you” letters in my life, personal and professional, to not understand his to me. read more

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Unworthy: Missing Chapter #2

 

I don’t care if this makes you sad. Almost everything about you makes me sad. I think you’re small. I think you’re a bigot. I think you’re a bully. I’m certain you’re an ideologue…It’s hard not to be impressed by [your] utter lack of self-awareness…

 Well, I guess this is what you call burning an already rickety-ass bridge. I told you many years ago that me and my family would be just fine without you in our lives. That remains true today.

The Imposter is made for moments like these. Regardless of how I apply every bit of context to my SIL’s words, they hurt, they successfully made me feel less-than, and they immediately began to work on my memories. I racked my brain. What beyond my early letter to him could make him feel this way, communicate it now after 20 years, and leave him in a position unable to forgive anything? read more

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Unworthy: Missing Chapter #1

You didn’t know who Candace Owens was? never heard of her? and sent me her video in defense of your position? Lol, Jesus Paul, how am I supposed to take you seriously?

The setting is Wednesday, June 3, 2020. It’s 3:39 pm. A friend just sent Sally a video of a young black woman opining about the new wave of aggrandizement, as she sees it, over George Floyd, the black man horrifically murdered by Minneapolis police officers. An hour or two had passed before I viewed the video and, in between receiving the video and watching it, I posted to Facebook an opinion, stating matter-of-factly, that systemic racism does not exist in America. read more

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