As mentioned in a previous piece, Carolyn Phippen is former staffer to U.S. Senator Mike Lee and current board member of Utah Citizens for the Constitution. She made the announcement that she would enter the race at a campaign event in Draper’s historical park on Nov. 1.
Phippen’s campaign has been centered around the economic issues that are facing Utahns, particularly when it comes to the federal budget. In The Review’s conversation with Phippen, she discussed how the government had grown outside the parameters that it was meant for.
“We have to cut, and priorities have shifted, often times, away from the fundamental responsibilities of government,” Phippen stated about what she called America’s spending problem. “When that happens, the most fundamental responsibleness of government becomes neglected, and they begin to not perform well in those [responsibilities].”
As a registered lobbyist for Freedom Front of Utah, Phippen recognized the importance of lobbyists in the budget-making process (00:19:00). She stated that having lobbyists was important to give perspective on certain issues or people who may not be represented in the process. However, she identifies the “carve outs” that are made to big industries with powerful lobbyists are a problem when creating budgets.
When it came to controlling the growth of the budget, Phippen identified that entitlement reform was needed, saying that block grants would make the administration of these programs more efficient to local constituencies (00:27:07). However, she warned of how this harms a free market.
“As a society, if we make that decision, first of all, it’s not the role of the federal government, and there could be a place where state government could do that if the people chose,” Phippen began. “But then at that point if you allow it to operate in a free market, there are potentially some issues because of the funding stream that will distort the market.”
Wrapping up her thoughts on the budget, Phippen issued a stark warning about if the country did not get out of the habit of deficit spending, “We either choose to get out of it, or we are forced out of it.”
During The Review’s conversation with Phippen, the topic arose of how she would get her policies passed with the current partisan gridlock of Washington D.C. Phippen described herself not as one who seeks compromise as much as she seeks common ground (00:14:38). She also described some of the infighting within the Republican party as being strategic: “Sometimes people will say to me, ‘We need to all agree.’ No, we don’t all need to agree. Sometimes those disagreements can push people into a corner enough to get a piece of what you want even if it’s not the whole thing.”
“We are headed so completely in the wrong direction that just starting to turn us in the right direction, however incrementally that might be, might be good enough at this point,” Phippen said. “We are not going to get fully in the right direction without some pain; we’ve gone too far.”
In closing, Phippen argued her case to students on why she would be the best choice for the Republican nomination. She cites her record that she has been someone who has consistently stood for balanced budgets and constitutional principles.
“I am a staunch constitutional conservative,” Phippen began. “This is what I want people to know: I’m doing this because I care about this nation as an idea, but the reason I care about that is because I care about the people who make up this nation. That is what this is truly about. … You will know going in that I want to hear from you.”
This year, the Republican party of Utah has opted to do a caucus to decide its nominee for senate. Caucus will be held on Mar. 5, 2024, and delegates will vote for who the party nominee will be in their state convention. If any candidate gathers enough signatures to force a primary, there will be a statewide vote for the Republican nominee.
For more information about Carolyn Phippen and her campaign, visit her website. For more information on how caucuses work and caucus night information, visit the Utah GOP website along with the website for the Lt. Governor’s office.
Editor-In-Chief of the UVU Review (2022-2024)
Starting with the Review in 2021, I have strived to tell every story in a fair and balanced way. As Editor-In-Chief of this organization, I promise that every paper you pick up, and every article you read will be everything the story has to tell and nothing in between.