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My First Day

January 12, 2012

Today, January 11, 2012, was my first day as a state senator. Technically, that is not true. Although I was elected by delegates yesterday to replace Dan Liljenquist,Governor Herbert has not yet made my appointment official. But, notwithstanding that little technicality, today has been quite a day.

Here are ten things I learned/experienced on my first day:

1. It’s hard to get to sleep after winning an election. I mean, it’s REALLY hard. At 3:00 a.m., I decided to take an Ambien. (Don’t worry, I have a prescription.) And after taking that sleeping pill, I was still in bed when Lt. Gov. Greg Bell called me at 7:30 a.m. to congratulate me. I was also barely awake a few minutes later when Gov. Gary Herbert called. Funny, I cannot remember any other morning when either of those guys woke me up!

2. People who wouldn’t even return my calls yesterday suddenly want to be my best friend. Although I cannot prove this to a scientific certainty, I am pretty sure that I received as many texts, emails, phone calls, and Facebook messages during the past 24 hours as I have in the rest of my entire life combined. I’m guessing that this is what it might have felt like if I had been popular in high school. (I was kind of a nerd, truth be told.)

3. Utah Senate President Michael Waddoups has a really nice office. And a big jar of peanut M&M’s. (Me loves me some peanut M&M’s!)

4. President Waddoups took me on a little tour, which helped me realize that I don’t really know my way around the Capitol Building. There are a lot of intricate hallways and elevators, some of which are security card protected. There are also underground tunnels that connect to the surrounding buildings and the parking garage.

5. Speaking of the parking garage (which I remember was QUITE expensive to build), the Senators park on the east side and the Representatives park on the west side. The parking spaces are each assigned to specific legislators, but state employees park in them when the Legislature is not in session.

6. There is a room in the West Building (north of the Capitol Building) that is called the Star Wars room. Pretty cool I know. But nobody has let me in there yet.

7. There is a LOT of paperwork to fill out when you start in the Legislature. Like several hours worth.

8. State employees working in the Capitol are not allowed to call me by my first name. After I told the tenth or eleventh person to just call me “Todd” (instead of Senator Weiler), Ric Cantrell pulled me aside and informed me of this silly little restriction. I was very impressed with the state employees who I met today. They were friendly, competent, and laughed at my jokes. (No one told me whether the laughing was required.)

9. My office will be located in the East Building — above the cafeteria. Senators with more seniroity are in offices near the Senate Chambers.

10. I will be sitting on the front row, second in from the west, in the Senate Chambers. Also, I will be voting last (besides President Waddoups) because my last name, Weiler, is the last alphabetically. I have been told that this is a huge advantage.

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11 Comments
  1. Senator Daniel W. Thatcher permalink

    Welcome to the Legislature, Senator Weiler.

    There is a great deal to know, a phenomenal amount of work to be done, and many people to meet. And then the session will start. At the end of the day, it’s worth it. Feel free to call me any time at all, for any reason.

    Daniel W. Thatcher
    Senate 12
    (801) 759-4746

  2. Adam Gardiner permalink

    Aweslme blog. Can’t wait to see what you’re up to this session.

  3. Kim Thomas permalink

    Todd (aka Senator Weiler), you are still as funny as I remember you. Love that you are still so soundly grounded and silly. Just heard your interview with the KCPW. Sounds like that went very well, wish you were representing Illinois. Again, Good Luck and I look forward to reading more about your journey.

  4. Awesome! So excited for you!

    Did you know that my first official date with Kevin was when he took me to the last night of the session to watch his grandpa, Senator John Holmgren, in action? I knew nothing about politics, but if your first look is a behind the scenes one it’s hard not to be in awe. It was a good move on Kevin’s part *wink*

    I’ve loved the capital ever since. Congratulations!

  5. Karra Porter permalink

    Hi, Todd. Looking forward to reading about your experiences. I’m late on the congrats, not because you weren’t Somebody Worthy yet, but because I was a slowpoke getting active on Facebook. But I have to say: Be careful of the no-first-names rule – that may be a slippery slope to becoming insufferable.

  6. Shelly Murphy permalink

    Thanks Todd…. Senator Weiler for this fun, personal ‘First Day on the Job’ update. I appreciate your willingness to include the common folk of your district on your journey. You and all of the others involved in this legislative session are in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for your service, Shelly

  7. Amanda Chamberlain permalink

    My 5 year old son expects a tour of the Star Wars Room if you ever get in therel. It’s good to know we should always elect a Senator with a last name at the end of the alphabet. Thanks for keeping us informed.

  8. Bob Bell permalink

    Todd – Thanks for the update. When will you be actually beginning consideration of legislation? Is there a published list of proposed legislation available publicly?

  9. Rhonda Perkes permalink

    Wow! Well, I am proud to say I gave you the time of day BEFORE you became a state Senator! Can’t wait to follow your blog regularly. I am finding the politics are addicting. (hopefully, Ambien is not!) many congrats and good luck.

  10. James permalink

    Based on your first post I’m looking forward to following your story!

  11. Jan Gates permalink

    Congratulations Todd, I feel strongly that you will honor your pledge to keep us involved. I love the idea of a blog, but now you have to hire someone to read all the comments! lol or recognize that going to sleep at 3am will become your norm. I have gotten positive feed back from the delegates that I talked to before the election, letting me know that so far they think I was right! Good for you! Big shoes to fill, bear with us if we compare you to the previous guy; but we all have faith in you.

    Now, get to work!

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