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Richard Piatt ReportingUtah's next chief executive is crafting the state's future from his dining room. That's the base of operations for Jon Huntsman Junior these days. But he's also splitting his time at the Capitol as he heads up a transition team.
Among the festive holiday decorations at the Huntsman home, there is an air of business these days. Sometimes it's a family affair, depending no who's sitting near the workspace. But it is still a productive workspace.
First on the Huntsman agenda, crafting an inaugural address. He's read up on quotes from past Inaugurals; he wants his speech to be brief with a clear message.
Jon Huntsman Junior, Utah Governor-elect: "I want people through it all to understand who I am, and where I'm coming from as their governor, and excitement that I feel in the ability to serve as their governor."
Huntsman's transition team is already working, crafting policy positions and making staff decisions that will create a footprint for his administration. There have been distractions: earlier this week he had to clarify his position on blocking higher levels of toxic waste at the Envirocare landfill.
Jon Huntsman Junior, Utah Governor-elect: “My position on waste is still the same, it won’t change.”
But for the most part, Huntsman is still full of optimism that, with the help of his staff, he can make a difference. Another goal: To run the state with 'transparency'. To that extent he supports certain forms of ethics reform.
Jon Huntsman Junior, Utah Governor-elect: "But I do have a concern about the revolving door as some people refer to it, and that is going immediately from the legislature into the lobbying profession."
With the Capitol under construction, Huntsman is looking forward to an Inauguration at Abravanel Hall and a state of the state address in Fillmore---Utah's original Capitol city. It all marks a significant change in State Government, for the first time in 12 years.