Saturday, July 30, 2005

Speaking of Tom Barberi

His City Weekly article was an interesting read. The prose was nauseatingly condescending (he'd make a good blogger), but still He was on to something important when he linked the "bible thumper" conservative movement to Senator Chris Buttars and Gayle Ruzicka of the Eagle Forum. Some Utah Mormon politicians feel the need to take their cue from the Evangelical movement. They confuse Utah conservatism with Evangelical conservatism. I believe they are not the same. Nor do they make good bedfellows. Just ask the fat guys squatting twice a year on North Temple. Senator Buttars, they hate you.

Tom Barberi

Tom Barberi footnoted his City Weekly column with this line: -Tom Barberi is a freelance writer. In his upcoming run for Sen. Orrin Hatch’s seat as an Independent, his campaign slogan will be “Legalize Adulthood in America.”- What's that about? My problem is, I can only sometimes detect sarcasm.

Alternative Newsweeklies

Here's a great article from the Columbia Journalism Review. The story is actually about blogs, but includes some interesting observations from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies conference in San Francisco. We have an alternative newsweekly. Here's what was observed: "All the newspapers looked the same — same format, same fonts, same columns complaining about the local daily, same sex advice, same five-thousand-word hole for the cover story. The people were largely the same, too: all but maybe 2 percent of the city-slicker journalists in attendance were white; the vast majority were either Boomer hippies or Gen X slackers."

Friday, July 29, 2005

Congressman Matheson: Blue Dog

Many are commenting on the passage of CAFTA. Brian's Utah Weblog John Dougall Here's an interesting angle reported by KCPW. We all know by now Congressman Matheson supported CAFTA. He's done this at the expense of a warm relationship with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi has apparently threatened rogue Democrats with the loss of their committee seats in retribution for their support of CAFTA. Congressman Matheson may not have much to worry about, however, because his district is considered "unsafe". His reputation and position in the house must be jealously guarded by Democrats. I'm not sure, though, how "unsafe" Congressman Matheson is. He won by 15 points, and Chris Cannon is not having any luck finding a challenger. Plus, thanks to the genious leadership of Nancy Workman and Greg Curtis (who should have gone down with the Nancy Workman ship), Salt Lake County may now be permanently on it's way to the Democrats.

Senator Hatch, Where Were You When You Could Have Done Some Good?

"My goal is to save our state millions of dollars and get this highway done so the quality of life of those who work south and live north of the project will be improved." That's a quote from Senator Hatch regarding the (horrifyingly named) Legacy Highway. So, how long has this Legacy thing been going? Senator Hatch, do you think the advocates of the Highway would have liked your help in D.C. years ago? NOW you show up? NOW this is somehow your great cause? When we're a hair's width from an amicable resolution ON OUR OWN? Go away.

Senator Hatch and Election Year Bribery

Senator Orrin Hatch announced money for Utah transportation projects. 1.8 billion Hatch said: "This is the most federal funding ever committed to Utah in a transportation bill and it is long overdue.” Long overdue!!?? Senator, you've been there longer than I've been alive. Why is something as basic as this so "long overdue". Now you show up? It's long overdue because you don't get it done. I'm sorry, I'm not going to cheer you for finally doing your job now that you've got younger, more intelligent, and better looking guys breathing down your neck Before I would have said this nicer, but not now: GO HOME!

Ever Heard of "Dooced"?

Today's Utah Policy linked an interesting article from Florida. It talks about being "dooced" which is to be fired from your job for something you wrote on your blog. Here's the local twist: The term "dooced" came from Utahn Heather Armstrong who was fired for postings on her blog dooce.com. Her plight made her famous across the internet and coined the widely used term "dooced" in honor of her site.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Pete Ashdown: Internet Godfather

I picked this up on utahpolitics.org. Thanks to Pete Ashdown's X- Mission, free wireless internet is available now on Main street between South Temple and 500 South. Get this: It's free to the city and costs X- Mission less than a television commercial to set up and run. I'm officially an X- Mission and Pete Ashdown fan. I think it's pretty clear how Pete Ashdown stacks up against that technological neanderthal Orrin Hatch.

The Ambivalence of Paul Rolly

Sometimes Paul Rolly is right on. Other times he is way off. And on occasion, he's both in the same day. Right on: Senator Curtis Bramble has no business giving a lecture on civility in politics. In fact, he has no business lecturing about politics period. I got on his case a couple of posts ago, I'll probably do it again. His RDA legislation "for the children" was crap. When I see him transfer the money for the soccer stadium into next year's education budget, then he'll get some credibility with me. Way off: Hey Paul, back off the cops. So, you're wondering how much taxpayer purchased gas they "guzzled" during their five minute idle at the gas station. How about a few tablespoons. Even more stunning than Paul Rolly publicly repeating this woman's tantrum is that there are people out there who hold the police in such low esteem that the would write down the license plate numbers as if they're criminals. If this self important champion of taxpayers would identify herself, I'll gladly personally reimburse to her the 5 cents used by the police that evening. It'd be her responsibility to make sure it's distributed among the other taxpayers of the city.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Mayor Anderson: Train Wreck

In his column Sunday, Frank Pignanelli responded to the question of whether he thought Mayor Anderson would run for another term: "Absolutely (don't believe rumors to the contrary). Where else could Rocky get a job that allows him glamorous opportunities to schmooze with Robert Redford and European Union bigwigs while the City Council performs all the necessary grunt work to keep the city operating?" Pignanelli's response reminded me of the leadership philosophy of Steve Urquhart: "Leadership is quiet. Lack of leadership is a train wreck, punctuated by big speeches and grandstanding." Remember the "rally" Mayor Anderson held that dissolved into a shouting match with the mayor of North Salt Lake? Quietly bailed out by the City Council. Remember when the City Council quietly organized the Salt Palace Expansion money while Mayor Anderson delivered zingers about Mormon legislators to the newspaper? Remember the Mayor's State of the State speech that sparked a junior high slapfest with Davis County while the City Council quietly maintained and built a relationship with Davis County politicians that is currently saving our a$$ in the land dispute? Remember those big speeches at the whatever international conferences while the only downtown renewal project of his two terms is executed fully by the Mormon Church? MAYOR ROCKY ANDERSON'S ADMINISTRATION IS A TRAIN WRECK PUNCUATED BY BIG SPEECHES AND GRANDSTANDING

Friday, July 22, 2005

Hey, Scott Perry of Salt Lake City: Go to Hell

Every Friday, I do a roundup of public forum letters for KCPW. Each week, there is guaranteed to be at least one moral outrage letter (I took my kids to see a movie and the actors were potty mouths, blah, blah, blah) several topical letters according to news content (Scientology, Karl Rove, etc.) several "George Bush is the real terrorist" letters, and at least one axe grinder subtly (or not so subtly) aimed at Mormons. Here's this week's axe grinder: Just a friendly reminder to all who are compelled to fly our nation's flag on Pioneer Day: 1) Pioneer Day is not a federal holiday, and 2) early on, our pioneer forefathers wanted nothing to do with the United States of America. Thank you for respecting Old Glory. Scott Perry Salt Lake City This letter is so wrong on so many levels.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Dude,

You left your car at 2nd and University

Republican Party Intrigue

Last week, the Chairman of the Utah State Republican Party's Central committee's Constitution and Bylaws Committee announced that no proposed amendments to the state party constitution or bylaws would be considered at the next convention unless they receive the endorsement of that committee. This move by Committee Chairman John Solomon was endorsed by State Party Chair Joe Cannon and ends the longstanding Utah Republican Party practice of allowing state delegates and central committee members to propose amendments. At the meeting, when National Committeewoman Nancy Lord said she was "deeply troubled" by the new rule, Senator Chris Bramble was quick to retort that he was "deeply troubled" that some party members can waste everybody's time by bringing up the same issues year after year at the convention. God forbid someone should waste Senator Bramble's time by participating in the political process.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Steve Urquhart is Running For U.S. Senate

It's official. He even has a campaign website set up. This is every political junkies dream come true.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Real Salt Lake Press Release

According to a Real Salt Lake Press Release, the World Cup Qualifying Match between U.S. and Costa Rica brought in 15,477 out of state visitors and, $12,700,000. This number includes NEITHER the amount of money locals spent NOR the considerable national and international media attention brought to Salt Lake City. It seems we will have no trouble seeing a return on public money invested in a soccer stadium downtown.

This Just In

Rep. Steve Urquhart will make his announcement within the next two days. Look for it on his blog. Speaking of Steve Urquhart, Reach Upward has posted on his reasons for no longer supporting Senator Hatch and and on his interest in supporting Rep. Urquhart.

Hatch Loading His Shotgun For Urquhart

According to his recent post, Rep. John Dougall was recently upgraded from Senator Hatch's Christmas card list to his personal call list. Apparently in an effort to head Rep. Urquhart off at the pass, Senator Hatch called Rep. Dougall and personally asked for his help. If Senator Hatch had read Dougall's post on a possible Urquhart win, he would have known that Rep. Dougall thinks very highly of Rep. Urquhart and said some very positive things about a possible run for Senate. Reading closely, however, Rep. Dougall carefully reigns in his compliments at the end with: "IF Utahns are ready for a change, Urquhart would be a great choice" (emphasis added) Then again, the two of them did appear together on KCPW's Midday Metro to lavish praise on each other's blogs. Perhaps people will line up more decisively once Rep. Urquhart actually announces his intent to run (or not run).

Monday, July 18, 2005

People I Want to Fight

Burt Reynolds (actor) Mike Jones (rapper)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Where Is She Now? Nancy Workman

Today's Utah Policy Daily caught up with former Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy Workman. Always ready to remind everyone of the fact she's not in jail, Workman said: "I am loving life. My integrity was restored." Oh really? Apparently Ms. Workman is having difficulty seeing the difference between -not doing anything bad and -not going to prison. Her integrity was restored only to those who believed her "I don't pay attention" defense. And even with that, all she did was trade a badge of guilt for a badge of stupidity. The stupid badge kept her out of prison but truthfully the guilty one holds her integrity.

Mark Shurtleff Calls Out Warren Jeffs and His God

That KSL story I linked to below contained this amazing quote from Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff: "He's been able to escape justice all these years; he continues to be a fugitive from justice. My challenge to him is 'come forward! If you really believe God is fighting your battles, put Him to the test!' I don't [think he'll come forward] because I think he's a coward." Come on, who isn't impressed by that statement

End Age Discrimination Among Polygamists

Here's an absolute gem from Charley Foster at State of the Beehive. It seems Malaysia considered legislation limiting potential polygamous men to women over 65 as a second wife. Am I the only one or does this sound like the perfect solution to the polygamy problems of the four corners. Which of those guys arrested last week would be interested in polygamy if he can't use it to pull 14 year old tail. That's kind of a crass comment, I know. But I'm against the sexual exploitation of minors.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Where Do You Rank?

According to utahgrassroots.org, the Utah Senate is slightly more liberal than the House of Representatives. In its 2005 annual report, the conservative organization gave the following scores: (out of 100) Utah House: 57% Utah Senate: 48% Governor Huntsman's score of 54% puts him about average among his capitol hill compatriots but makes him the most conservative of our most recent governors. Governor Olene Walker scored 33% (because grandmas can't say no to anything) and Governor Mike "The Hair" Leavitt's score of 27% apparently makes him a Democrat in sheep's clothing.

Attention Political Junkies:

Tune in to KCPW's Midday Metro tomorrow (Thursday 10am) morning for: A one on one interview between Bryan Schott and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean A rebuttal by Utah State Republican Chairman Joe Cannon And an interview with Michael Isikoff (Newsweek) regarding the Karl Rove CIA thing. I'm salivating just thinking about it. Especially the Howard Dean/Joe Cannon face off. Sooo juicy. Phil Windley at utahpolitics.org also can't wait for tomorrow. Submit questions for Midday Metro guests at midday@kcpw.org.

Response to Anonymous Comment Regarding RSL at RES

I recieved this anonymous comment to the post New Stadium Woes: "Hmm. I think [Salt Lake County Councilwoman]Jenny Wilson is on to something. Keeping REAL at Rice Eccles solves several problems. One problem is the question of how long REAL will stay profitable in Utah. The other problem is the silly fight between Sandy, Salt Lake City, and Salt Lake County. It seems to me that politicians in all areas are fighting for a soccer team that no one seems to fully believe will be profitable." The commenter brings up an interesting point but I see things a bit differently. First, I believe Salt Lake politicians are not fighting over something no one believes will be profitable. I think they are fighting over it because they believe it WILL be profitable. Second, Real is averaging 17,000+ in attendance. That makes them the number two draw in the country. And they aren't even winning. Third, Real Salt Lake is recieving more media coverage locally than most other teams. Some teams, such as the Los Angeles Galaxy, waited years for regular radio broadcasts. Real has every game in both english and spanish. Both major newspapers have writers assigned to Real and stories of the team have appeared in both newspapers almost daily since the season began. On television, 2,4,5, and 13 allocate generous amounts of air time to covering games, team news and interviews with coaches and players. Few other teams in the league have this much media respect even after ten years. Since the sports media follows public interest, I am led to believe there is generous interest and support for the team beyond the 17,000 that attend games. If you can pack a stadium and secure media contracts, then you've got a profitable franchise.

More Reasons Real Salt Lake Needs it's Own Stadium (Downtown)

More reasons Rice Eccles Stadium is a terrible permanent home for Real Salt Lake: First, Major League Soccer has insisted every team have its own facility. They correctly understand that it is the only way a team can be profitable. Second, RSL is getting RIPPED OFF at Rice Eccles. RES takes 90% of concessions and 27% of merchandise! So lame. Especially the merchandise. RSL has to hand over more than a quarter of its sales from its own apparel. Third, scheduling conflicts. Who gets the field when they both need it? Fourth, can RSL or its fans ever truly call the place home? Even if legal papers put the teams on equal footing (would the U ever agree to that?), the stadium will be home of the Running Utes FIRST AND ALWAYS. Why should a major league sports franchise with 17,000 plus fans per game accept the backseat like that? Fifth, the San Jose Earthquakes are playing on a converted university field and now they're being sold to Houston. Sixth, RES is too big. There is all kinds of wasted space that degrades the fan and player experience. It's better for both fans and players to experience a full house. A better fan experience turns the curious into fans and fans into season seat holders. Conclusion: Rice Eccles is a football stadium. Real Salt Lake is a soccer team. Two different teams, different sports, different needs. Another successful major league sports franchise will bring in far more money and opportunity than we could ever spend on a stadium. We just need a leader with the courage and imagination to move forward because this is a project that will benefit the entire county.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Staying at Rice Eccles is a Bad Idea for Real Salt Lake

In a Deseret News article, Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson advocated Real Salt Lake remaining permanently at Rice Eccles Stadium. She divided the issues in two categories. The first were "brick and mortar". Let's look at those. First, the field at RES would need to be widened. That would degrade the fan experience for both football and soccer attendees. The front row is already at least six feet off the field. Imagine how high it would be after you take out the first several rows. (unless you completely rebuild the seating to lower it, or the field to raise it, but at that point you may as well build a new stadium) Taking out the first several rows would make the field wide enough for soccer but too wide for football. Football already has generous sidelines. Widening the field would place the front row far away from U football action. Would RES be willing to decrease the price of front row tickets because the wide field makes them worse seats than they were before? Second, the team facilities at RES are no good and would have to be redone. Third, field turf. Soccer is a different sport than football and should not be played on field turf. RSL players are already talking about how the turf is harder on the body than grass and in the long term many wonder if it may shorten a player's career. Remember, soccer players move and run continuously with no time outs. This is unlike football in which the action occurs in short spurts with generous pauses. So, remaining at RES means the seating will need to be rebuilt, the field will have to be replaced, and the facilities completely remodeled. Just build a new stadium and solve all the problems at once.

New Stadium Woes

As reported in the Deseret News: Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson wants Real Salt Lake to consider staying at Rice Eccles Stadium permanently to avoid the cost of a new stadium. My cynical side is telling me the real reason for this position is to avoid siding with the politically unpopular Salt Lake City against the newly politically powerful suburban politicians (Curtis, Dolan, etc) who want the stadium either in the suburbs or absolutely free. Of course, free and in the suburbs would be the best for them, but only the parking is free in Salt Lake City's suburbs. When I mention Curtis and Dolan, I should also mention County Councilman Randy Horiuchi. Remember when he (a Democrat) was endorsed for re- election by Sandy Republican Mayor and Wal- Mart afficionado Tom Dolan? That was also not free.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Ask Howard Dean

Bryan Schott of KCPW will be doing an interview with Howard Dean tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. Do you have a question for Howard Dean? Bryan is asking listeners to email him with questions for the man himself. bschott@kcpw.org Hey, this is as close as we're going to get to interviewing Dean ourselves. I'm going to ask for funny childhood stories about Mayor Corroon.

Howard Dean Visiting Utah

I saw this at Democracy for Utah. They got it from Mayor Coroon- Who no doubt got it straight from the source because Mayor Corroon is Howard Dean's cousin. Not a bad cousin to have. Charley Foster's coverage of this was priceless. Man, that never gets old.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Mayor Anderson

Today's Tribune ran an interesting article on Mayor Anderson. It's titled, "Rocky revered outside Utah" That's great, but SLC NEEDS ITS MAYOR!!! We're wrapping up two terms with Mayor Anderson, and what do we have to show for it? Island parking on 2nd and 3rd South. His "Bridging the Religious Divide" went great, just ask Leslie Reynolds- Benns. What about the development in the NSL owned land? The City Council was quietly doing fine blocking development until Mayor Anderson got involved and the whole thing degraded into a shouting match with the NSL mayor. Perhaps he felt he needed a sequel to the juvenile bumper sticker war he had with Davis County earlier this year. A mayor is supposed to promote and organize and push new economic opportunities and developments, but the only new thing to hit downtown was conceived, organized and funded entirely by the LDS Church. We got spanked on the Salt Palace expansion and the RSL stadium. We have no leadership. I'm with him, though, on the (terrifyingly named) Legacy Highway thing.

Tribune Correction

Today's Tribune listed a schedule for Real Salt Lake. Unfortunately, it's the wrong schedule. You can see the real schedule here.

Friday, July 08, 2005

KCPW and Utah Policy

As many of you may know, Slcspin has been hanging on the side of the KCPW train for about a month. You can hear "Letters to the Editters" fridays during Midday Edition. (if you can't tune in, you can still pull it up on the site) Another local internet political entity has also jumped on this train. LaVarr Webb and Utah Policy announced their new relationship with KCPW. Even more than before, this will make KCPW the go- to news source for political junkies (and well- informed non- junkies) Of course, KCPW has long had a leg up on other local news sources that are too busy covering car accidents and great summer grilling tips to cover local politics in more than a perfunctory way. Also, Rep. Urquhart and Rep. Dougall were on today talking about their blog, listen to it on the same link.

Senator Mike Leavitt

Deseret News political savant Bob Bernick Jr. wrote today that he wouldn't be surprised if Senator Orrin Hatch ran AGAIN in 2012. Bob wouldn't be surprised but I sure would. Mike Leavitt will be out of the cabinet and after another couple years in the private arena will be looking for a new political job. Senator Leavitt anyone? You know he kinda wants it. He's got the hair to do it. Or does he?

Councilman Dale Lambert

Salt Lake City Councilman Dale Lambert is not running for re-election. While you can read about it in both papers, it's best to read Lamberts entire statement which was posted by Brian Watkins. Councilman Lambert included a little backhand at west side candidate Leslie Reynolds- Benns with "It (the election) also should not be an election about religious affiliation - those who wish to make that an issue exacerbate divisions in our community." I think I should point out to Leslie Reynolds- Benns that Councilman Lambert is a Democrat and Michael Clara is hispanic. So why isn't she their champion? After all, she's come out against the white Republican Mormon conspiracy. I'm fairly sure Ms. Reynolds- Benns doesn't read this blog. But she's bound to google her name someday...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Leslie Reynolds- Benns and Socialist Realism

On another note, I have a hard time taking seriously anyone that takes a quote from a socialist realist novel (Mother, no less), and passes it off as some sort of mantra.

Leslie Reynolds- Benns and Westside Politics

A west side Latino political activist and UTA planner may be a thorn in the side for new city council candidate Leslie Reynolds- Benns. Michael Clara is quoted in today's Tribune saying: "The blame is always on the white Republican Mormons" and according to the Tribune, Clara considers that talk to be childish. Funny, white, Mormon, and Republican is exactly how city council candidate Leslie Reynolds- Benns described everything that is wrong with Salt Lake westside politics. Clara was apparently taking a shot at Reynolds- Benns. Please, let there be more.

Show the Flag Some Respect

In one hour, it will be July 4th. Many of us will display the flag. Many of us will display the flag incorrectly. Come on, let's do it right. Ed Partridge at Part of the Plan will show you how.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Tribune's Numbers Are Wrong

Derek Jensen's story on the efforts to resolve the RSL stadium debate is a pretty good one. But... Derek Jensen said: "The team has been averaging 12,000-15,000 fans in its inaugural season." Wrong. According to information easily available on the team site, here are the tallies for home league games: 25,287- 16,254- 18,621- 12,581- 17,861- 40,589- 15,112 Derek claims the team brings in between 12 and 15 thousand but RSL has brought in less than 15,000 only once. By the way, these numbers put RSL third in the league for attendance.

Crosshairs on Hatch

According to Lavar Webb in today's Utah Policy, Steve Urquhart and Pete Ashdown met for lunch to get to know each other. Apparently, Steve Urquhart is seriously considering a primary challeng to Senator Hatch.

Heather May's List of Potential Candidates (extremely premature)

I just can't leave this story alone. It was sooo juicy. Here it is, more than a year out, the list of people contemplating a run for Salt Lake City Mayor. According to Salt Lake Tribune's Heather May. Joe Hatch, Ralph Becker, Dave Buhler, Eric Jergensen, Nancy Saxton, Molonai Hola, and Frank Pignanelli.

Megan Risbon- Drop It

The more I think about it, the more I believe that Salt Lake County Democratic Chairperson Megan Risbon's campaign to bring party politics to Salt Lake City's non- affiliated races is less a strategic party move and more of an ill fated "follow Rocky into battle" move. Except Rocky left her high and dry. Ms. Risbon already alluded to coordinating with Mayor Anderson to find a Democratic candidate to run against District 3's Eric Jergensen. This was to be only one aspect of a larger party effort in the municipal election. Mayor Anderson wanted Megan Risbon to find a Democrat not because it's important for the party, but because Councilman Jergensen and the Mayor do not see eye to eye on a number of issues. Mayor Anderson clearly cares nothing for Ms. Risbon's county strategy because he has endorsed a Republican for Mayor. Ms. Risbon's strategy is dead in the water because Salt Lake City's progressive wonder- boy has endorsed a Republican and the core of District 3's Democrats are all backing the incumbent Risbon has sworn to unseat. That's all right, it was a poor, poor idea to begin with.

Utah's First Lady- So Much More Than Hot

I've been working on the next KCPW Letters to the Editters roundup and I came across what is possibly the best single line from any letter. It's profound on so many levels. "Utah is fortunate to have a first lady who is not only attractive but also compassionate"