On March 4, 2016 Donna Burnham announced via her friends at the Daily Herald that she was running for the Utah House District 2 seat that is being vacated by David Lifferth (R). This district includes Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs. But before voters do anything crazy–like put her in charge of voting on even bigger government budgets–they really ought to learn a little about her not-so “conservative” record in Eagle Mountain.
During Burnham’s tenure as an Eagle Mountain City council member the city’s employees and elected officials regularly used the city’s credit cards to buy meals for themselves, their colleagues, and sometimes even their family members at area restaurants and stores.
After I discovered the true scope of the city’s eating disorders I asked Burnham and the other council members to remove all the food money from the city’s FY 2016 budget during the city’s annual budget hearing. This is part of what Burnham had to say when she refused my request:
Audio clip: http://eagleshare.org/audio/donna-short.mp3
Burnham actually bragged about paying for two of her own meals! What kind of politician does that? Maybe someone who is used to taxpayers footing the bill for her?
In fact, during one infamous Christmas party at Mayor Heather Jackson’s house, Burnham and the other council members ate food which was purchased using money the mayor (or her assistant) got by inappropriately cashing the city’s annual cash rebate check from Costco. This private party was also famous because the mayor had her personal assistant help her clean her house before her political guests arrived.
If you want to understand why Burnham thought it was worth bragging about paying for her own meal after a State Library Board meeting, all you’ve got to do is browse these summaries of the city’s meal purchases:
The city’s 2010-2013 credit card statements are chock full of examples of city employees and elected officials who used taxpayer money to pay for meals before and after public meetings. It seemed to be a common practice to use any excuse available to justify eating out on the taxpayer dime. And it doesn’t appear that Burnham had any problems with these expenditures while they were happening. She only seemed to discover her conscience after I exposed the city’s spending problems.
But it gets worse! When I tried get copies of all of the city’s credit card statements for the 2010-2013 period, Mayor Pengra refused to turn over many of them and I never heard Burnham once condemn the cover-up. Instead, she actually defended the city’s leaders and their spending habits.
List of missing credit card statements: http://eagleshare.org/pdfs/missing-cc-statements.pdf
Audio clip supporting leaders: http://eagleshare.org/audio/donna-support.mp3
Voters should not reward Burnham with higher office after she failed to protect them in Eagle Mountain. She’s obviously just a campaign conservative who turns into a political windsock the minute she gets into power. And the winds of government are generally not friendly to taxpayers.
If you want to learn more about Burnham’s true record on the Eagle Mountain City Council, please read the following report. It’s a doozy.
Pigs in Suits: A Citizen Audit of Eagle Mountain City’s 2010-2013 Credit Card Statements
If you want to learn more about how Burnham sees herself, you can find her campaign website here: