Friday, September 19, 2008

Update on the Ed Allen Letter

Spoke to some people who live in North Ogden.  They are long time patients of Ed Allen and they admitted they have not received a letter from him.  Sounds like a campaign letter to me!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ed Allen - Did he break the law?

Ed Allen recently mailed out a very interesting letter.  Another reader of the blog was happy to forward a copy my way for deep analysis.  This is not your average mailer.  This mailer came as a letter directly from Dr. D. Edgar Allen.  At a glance, one might think this is simply a letter from their doctor talking about the upcoming election.  After closer study, you will see this is a campaign letter and could be breaking election laws or even more?

This letter was sent to this person and their elementary age son. 

The letter states (the grammatical errors are Ed's not mine):

Dear Patient,

As many of you know I am running for the Utah State Legislature.  Some of you are also aware; I served for four years in the Utah State Senate several years ago.  There may be some confusion about how this affects my practices.  The legislature includes a significant commitment of time and resources which I am happy to do because it is so important.

The annual legislative session begins around the 20th of January and lasts for about six weeks.  In addition there are monthly interim meetings which usually last one day.  From time to time the Governor may call special sessions.  Beyond this there are other responsibilities and commitments in serving my constituency.

Currently there are no physicians serving in the Utah State Legislature.  One other physician in the state is running for the House of Representatives this year.  Governor Huntsman and the legislature have formed a legislative task force to consider changes in our system for providing health care.  persons from a variety of backgrounds serving in the legislature are on this task force.  I believe this is very appropriate, but I do feel that the citizens need at least some representation from the medical field.  Also, I believe that there is need for more representation from individuals with a scientific background in the makeup of our legislative body.

During my prior service I had colleagues who were happy to provide coverage for my patients while I was in Salt Lake City with my legislative duties.  That situation will be even better this time.  Coverage will primarily be provided by my associate and son, Dr. Davide M. Allen, who will be assisted by our very capable Physicians Assistant, Galen R. Jones, PAC.  In addition trusted colleagues in Dermatology in our community are happy to provide support and coverage.

I have had many patients express support for this effort for which I am deeply grateful.  I also appreciate their patience and understanding.  I enjoy and have been grateful for the opportunity to serve whether it is in my practice or in the community.  Do not hesitate to contact me with questions and suggestions.

D. Edgar "Ed" Allen, M.D


Here is where it gets interesting!

Thanks to the quick study of some of our community members, you may note the following:

1. Ed Allen has used his patient list and the patient list of his son’s to send out this mailer. The recipient of this mail is (was) a patient of David M. Allen.

 A signed release was not signed for the use of this name for political purposes. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 prohibits information being used for things like sales and advertising without permission.  Talk about unethical use of patient information. Is this against the law? Should the licensing board be contacted?

 2. This is clearly a campaign mailer. Mr. Allen can send them to whomever he pleases as long as he follows election code:

The code states:

1) (a) Whenever any person makes an expenditure for the purpose of financing an advertisement expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, or solicits any contribution through any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, outdoor advertising facility, direct mailing, or any other type of general public political advertising, the advertisement:

(i) if paid for and authorized by a candidate or the candidate's campaign committee, shall clearly state that the advertisement has been paid for by the candidate or the campaign committee;"

There is no mention this was paid for by Ed Allen or his election campaign committee, but it is clearly a campaign letter.  Was this political advertisement paid for by Dr. Allen's practice?  What would the Lt. Governor say about this kind of letter?

3. Also, did anyone outside of District 10 receive this letter? If not, then we know for sure this was an election mailer.

In the end, don’t you love that he is stating, “Coverage will be provided…” instead of “If elected, coverage will be provided.”  I love how he assumes he already won.  If he doesn't win, will he have to send out a mailer to all [District 10] patients letting them know he will be in his office all of January?  We would hate people not showing for appointments thinking he is in the Legislature.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

City Council Meeting Canceled

I should probably check the South Ogden City website more often to avoid such situations. There was a Public Notice posted on the city building announcing tonight's meeting was canceled.

Since the meeting is canceled, what will happen to the discussion of a bond for a new rec center? The way they talked at the last meeting, this was an urgent matter and things need to happen right away.  Are they just going to move forward now with out notifiying the public of what is happening? For more information see my post from the last city council meeting (See Here)

Random Thought:

As for the public notice, the word "canceled" caught my eye.  One might think the word is spelled wrong.  Though both are technically correct (See Websters Dictionary Here), it is always interesting to see the word canceled spelled with the letter "L" twice.  

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ed Allen Sighting

With the Leg District 10 race heating up, and only two months left to go.  It is no wonder that we are seeing lots of Ed Allen signs all over the neighborhood.  I have actually seen him on one or two walking campaigns over the past two weeks.  But the most interesting sighting I have seen, was this weekend.  The South Ogden LDS Stake held their annual 5k Fun Run on Saturday.  It is always a great event and very exciting.  My whole family participates every year and really enjoy the event.    At the beginning of the race they announced where the nurses station was, they also mentioned a doctor would be on hand if there was any problems.  The announcer quickly announced that Dr. Ed Allen was here.  That is strange.  Why is he here!  According to his voter profile on he lives at 4317 Fern Drive, which is not in the South Ogden Stake; infact that would put him in the Weber Heights Stake.  Was he invited to attend by someone?  Also isn't he a dermotologist?  I might break out in a rash from sweating but I think I can handle it.  Well Mr. Allen spent most of the time behind the time keepers table.  He messed up putting peoples times in the correct order and we all had to go back and personally put them in the correct order.

Thanks for the visit to our stake Mr. Allen, I hope it won you a vote or two.  Gotta love campaigining at church events.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

South Ogden City Council Meeting - 9/2/2008

Tonight I had the great pleasure of attending our city council meeting. I haven't been able to attend a meeting for sometime do to my school schedule. However, now my Tuesday's are free; so I will be attending as many as I can. I thought it would be helpful to blog about what I observed in tonight's meeting.

Two things stood out tonight as very interesting:

1. Through Weber County, the city now has a service called City Watch Notification System. (See Link) This system, if you follow the website you will learn, is an emergency notification system; however they city may use it for other professional needs like last minute meetings, notifications, etc. When an alert is triggered via a recording that a city official calls in; An automated phone call is sent to thousands of people through out the city to warn us or give us instruction. This was purchased through a grant given by Home Land Security and is a very exciting project. I think it can be great for the city. Interesting enough, they had asked all of the city council to go through an emergency training from an online website. Mayor Garwood commented, "No one has emailed me the link." It was quickly pointed out that it had been emailed out, he had just deleted it. He promised if it was re-emailed he would get it done.

2. The South Ogden/Weber County Schools Recreation Center. This one drove me crazy. For sometime now there has been talk about a recreation center for the city of South Ogden. It was in our survey (see link) we filled out last year. South Ogden City has been working with the Weber County Schools to use part of South Ogden Junior High as a facility for recreational services. Part of the complex would be remodeled and developed to accommodate this project. The cost would roughly be $2 Million. The building is primarily designed for basketball, but could be used for other purposes. With the option of having a walking track around it. However, the building will only be open from 5 pm to 10 pm. Scott Darrington, city manager, recommended that we bond out the project (aka - DEBT). He also recommended we "Pork Barrel" (see link) an additional $500,000 for a new building and a conference room at the city works department.

The most interesting part of the project is the talk of bonding and the pork barrel spending. I work in the financial industry. If someone came to me and asked for a loan for a tennis court or a gym, then they told me they were positive that the revenue generated would not be enough to cover the debt; we would not do the loan. This is exactly why we are in a housing crisis. People got loans they could not afford. Scott Darrington specifically said, "This will not be a revenue generator, this will not generate near the revenue to pay the cost of the debt." My jaw dropped to floor at this statement. Is the City Council really going to ask the tax payer to put the city into debt $2.5 Million with no hope of making the payments with out raising taxes. In addition, the rec center can only be used for five hours a day. Does this make any business sense? If I ran my business this way, I would be out of business. Why would we go into debt for something that makes no money! Why don't we find a better solution?


Lastly, I emailed the entire city council my post on the Raymond Avenue project. Councilman Wayne Smith and Mayor Garwood both responded. But nothing was said at the city council meeting. Jon Andersen was there and I did talk to him. He said that they have called the company, he also said the cement and landscaping will be fixed; so not to worry. I will keep you all updated.