This is an archived article that was published on in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Several front groups supported by the money and philosophy of outside billionaires operate in Utah. Americans for Prosperity praises and directs our local legislators. FreedomWorks endorses Mike Lee and tells Orrin Hatch not to consider a Supreme Court nominee.

Why do we have outside money wielding such influence in our state? Jane Mayer's "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right" is instructive.

Local legislators and voters need to know that Americans for Prosperity is the political arm of Koch Industries; they need to know the connection.

FreedomWorks is an estranged sibling of AFP, but both organizations exist to serve the financial purposes of their billionaire founders. Right-wing politicians on the payroll of these dark-money organizations know well that if they are not sufficiently conservative, they will be out the door quicker than Mike Lee can say Bob Bennett.

Billionaires promoting their libertarian anti-government sentiment, which has gained so much traction and done so much damage over the last few years, have made the Republican Party increasingly irrelevant.

May the good, decent Republicans of our state quit worrying about "taking back" public lands and instead take back good, decent principles of governing.

Dean Olsen

North Ogden