Monday, October 31, 2005

Religion and District 3

Last week, Janneke House's campaign manager Cliff Lyon accused Councilman Jergensen of using improper tactics against Polly Hart. When I pressed him for details, he replied simply "What was Eric's position in the church at the time he won?" Ah the "church" thing. On a previous post, Cliff Lyon let us know that he was "in the very fortunate position of being able to invest the bulk of my time giving back to my community." Apparently he's kicking off his "giving back" campaign by tearing up a neighborhood he conveniently doesn't even live close to.

Mayor Anderson

Mayor Rocky Anderson has declared that his motivation in sponsoring a candidate in District 3 is to support diveristy on the City Council. Am I the only one laughing at this? Because he's pushing a white Mormon to replace the current white Mormon. What does this have to do with diversity you ask? Even less than appears. Because not only does he want to replace a white Mormon with a white Mormon, he's replacing him with someone who will always agree with him. So not only is there no change in the ethnic or religious diversity of the Council, there will be LESS diversity of ideas. Obviously, the diversity talk was meaningless. Despite the fact that the Council often goes along with his ideas, Mayor Anderson wants at least one person on the Council who will ALWAYS support his ideas. That's the key piece he's lacking. There is still no one who will ALWAYS support him no matter what. That's what he's found in Janneke House.

Tribal Loyalty

The Tribune reported Sunday that the Janneke House campaign has made party affiliation the central theme of their District 3 race. They've been calling Democrats to warn them against voting for someone who has not prostrated himself before their tribal leaders. I think this insistance on party fidelity is quite -um- interesting considering the House campaign manager, Cliff Lyon, left this inspiring comment on Slcspin a while back: "In today’s partisan climate, I think it is important for all of us, to reach out and find the wide middle ground if we are to emerge from the muck of tribal-loyalty level bickering."

Soccer Stadium in Sandy

A Deseret News editorial today took on the proposed RSL stadium in Sandy. Ever since the stadium was announced as going to Sandy, it hasn't found any friends in Utah's press. In an online chat with RSL fans, General Manager Steve Pastorino declared the project was moving forward quietly and "any negative perceptions are being fueled by the media and not representative of what's actually happening." His comment that "We're making a lot of progress, quietly, to move this proposal forward" underscores the primary problem with Sandy's political boss Mayor Tom Dolan. He just quietly does things. Makes deals, gets things done. Beyond the public eye. Mayor Dolan is a back room man in a position of public trust. He's refusing any debate in his re- election bid which underscores his contempt for open government. Still many come to his defense by declaring him a man that gets things done. But what things? And for whom does he do them?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Senator Orrin Hatch

What can I say. We grew up with you. And that's part of the problem.

Two Provo Mayoral Race Quotes

From today's Deseret News. Mayor Lewis Billings: "It's easy to say you support the arts; it's another to raise millions to support them. We have raised millions, and many know it's not easy raise millions in this community." Ouch. Dave Bailey: "We need to entice commuter air taxi service for commuter service to Salt Lake City" Personally, I don't understand what commuter would be interested in driving to the Provo airport, going through check in, security, a flight, deboarding, and then drive into SLC. Could that ever be a real commuter option? SLC and Provo just seem to be too close for that. A commuter fllight from Provo to Ogden would be believable. But why would you ever make that commute?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Mayor Tom Dolan

Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan is refusing to debate his opponent Gary Forbush. Mayor Dolan quotes as found in the Tribune: "I'm not going to give him a forum to spout misinformation" - That's secred Mayor code for "It's my moustache's job to make me look silly, not Gary Forbush's job." "Tell him to go run his own campaign, I'm running my own." - We all recognize the "I'm not playing with any of you anymore". I know Mayor Dolan is refusing the debate because he's made it abundantly clear he doesn't respect his opponent and he feels he's locked up his re- election anyway. But in refusing multiple invitations to debate, Mayor Dolan shows he doesn't respect our democratic process and that he doesn't respect the citizens of Sandy enough to show up in person and make his case like a man. He's hiding behind his money.

Crazy Utah Connection

Apparently the buzz around DC is that Michael McConnell will be nominated to the Supreme Court. What's the connection? He's one of Oldenburg's law professors. You know, Oldenburg from The Third Avenue. Today he asks: "Will I have class on Monday?"

Bloggers And Candidates

Tyler Farrer at Davis County Watch has posed an interesting question. What do candidates think about blogs featuring so prominently in search engines?

Separated At Birth

Cliff Lyon (Mayor Anderson Comm. Dir. #7) Adam Clayton (U2 Bass Player)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

John Saltas' COP OUT

In this week's City Weekly, John Saltas published a letter written to him by a reader who was asked for i.d. at Target before he could purchase Nyquil. John Saltas then gleefully tied it into Mormon culture and wrapped it up with a hearty "Watch—it’s only a matter of time before Shurtleff moves NyQuil and Sudafed to the Budweiser section." After five seconds online, I found out why his essay sounded a bit thin. From Minnesota Public Radio: Target stores to clamp down on cold medicines used to make meth

Sigur Ros

North Salt Lake Mayor

Davis County Watch linked the new campaign website for North Salt Lake Mayor and Salt Lake City land rival, Mayor Kay Briggs. The mayor has listed an email address for requesting campaign information, but the campaign site also invites people to contact the Mayor directly via his city address. If his campaign website is inviting visitors to contact the mayor, it's reasonable to assume they'll contact him regarding his campaign. Perhaps the Mayor should list a different email.

Vandals In Orem

I don't know what's more incredible. That this story even made the news: Vandals spray-paint 3 Orem locations Or that the Orem Police insist they don't know what the offending initials 'LCB' represent. Lower Class Brats, man! Get with it, Orem!

Mayors And City Councils

The Deseret News has an editorial up today condemning legislation that would force cities to hire managers to take over many duties now performed by the Mayor. The editorial's most profound point, however, was only loosely tied to the original topic: "Utah's many cities have a lot of problems. But the political tug-of-war many mayors and city councils experience is a part of good, representative government." NO Mayor should EVER be allowed to stack the deck in the City Council. No matter how much you may like the Mayor, it's poor and dangerous politics.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Separated At Birth

Mayor Tom Dolan Monopoly Guy

Non- Partisan has an article up on "Non- Partisan Fiction", or the fiction that municipal elections are truly non- partisan. The author Gordon S. Jones makes the case in the article and later comments that party involvement is as unavoidable as it is important. Party affiliation gives the voter important information about the candidate. Whenever this topic is debated, a great point is always brought up. What is the Republican way to fix gutters? What is the Democrat way to calm traffic? I have yet to hear anyone convinvingly address this simple argument. It is a shame some candidates are willing to divide neighbors along party lines in an effort to win a position. It generalizes neighbors into two competing camps in which they probably don't belong. It squelches acive participation because individuals are unable to openly support the candidate they wish for fear of being generalized into a camp they don't actively sympathise with. Non- partisan elections are a way for neighborhoods to survive the democratic process without bloodshed. In other words, party recommendation not only are meaningless as a source of candidate information, but accomplish little other than irresponsibly and inaccurately labeling people.

I Thought You Were Dead!

After a long break, Beehive Donkey comes out swinging.

Stadium Legal Problems

Today's Tribune includes an article by Derek Jensen that outlines a potential legal problem for the proposed Sandy soccer stadium that results from the fast and loose backroom way the stadium was arranged. Naturally, Speaker Curtis and Mayor Dolan have downplayed the problem. There is clearly a long way to go before a stadium is built. The Sandy site has been very controversial among the general public, the political leadership, and the press. There is a sort of contingency plan hiding in the back of RSL executives' minds that remains unexpressed to the general public. It may be possible for RSL to build only practice fields at the site in Sandy and a stadium in another, better location. Perhaps even downtown, the first choice location of the Checketts family.

Final Stretch

Lavarr Webb at Utah Policy has some final advice for municiple campaigns.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Yellow Cab And Political Irony

A commenter named Jason took me to task on my previous post on Yellow Cab, but also made a really good point. "the cab companies think that the expense of outfitting vans is too expensive. They don't realize that they don't have to have the large, multi-chair accessible transport vehicles of flex-trans. A conversion van with a lift and restraints would cost less than $10,000 on top of the vehicle cost. Also, there are federal grants for making vehicles accessible available even to businesses." Perhaps, Jason, you should bring that up with Don Winder and/or Yellow Cab. They're part of your campaign after all. Unfortunately, cab reform is nearly impossible in Salt Lake City partially thanks to Yellow Cab's heavy investing in strategic municipal election campaigns. But the City Council was successful in defending their disability ordinance. So that's good. I never said I think Janneke House is somehow anti- disabled. I'm merely pointing out what I stated in the title. She didn't do her homework on the endorsements that have been passed down to her. Most likely because it's not actually her campaign. Otherwise she surely would have seen the delicious irony in a campaign boasting "Equality for All" scheduling an event hosted by Don Winder.

Janneke House Didn't Do Her Homework

Mayor Anderson gifted his loyal Yellow Cab Co. to Janneke House as an endorsement. Janneke needs to decide whether she wants the Yellow Cab endorsement or keep her campaign slogan "Equality for All". She can't have both. Yellow Cab is one of three cab companies that enjoy a service monopoly in Salt Lake City. The monopoly is regulated to ensure that affordable service is provided to all residents at all hours. The Salt Lake City Council, particularly Councilman Eric Jergensen, passed a provision to require cab companies to provide a handicapped accessible vehicle option. This provision came after hearing testimony from disabled city residents who have been forced to spend the night at SL International Airport because they arrived too late for any transportation other than the cab monopoly. Yellow Cab's attorney, Don Winder, has aggressively fought this provision, insisting it would be too expensive for the cab monopoly to provide accessible vehicles for disabled residents. A few weeks ago, Don Winder filed a lawsuit in behalf of a medical transport company to block the provision , no doubt understanding that if his lawsuit was successfull, Yellow Cab would not be expected to provide a vehicle for disabled residents. Mercifully for Salt Lake's disabled residents, Don Winder's lawsuit failed and the City Council's provision will be implemented despite Winder's two- front assault on equal transportation options for disabled persons. Perhaps an even more profound slap in the face for disabled transportation than the Yellow Cab endorsement is that Don Winder himself is hosting an open house for Janneke House on November 4th. Whoops.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hard Hitting News

I found a tarantula this summer. Little did I know that KSL would have put me in the news for it. It's actually my second tarantula. I could be a Utah celebrity! edit: I just re- read this post and confused myself. I did not call KSL about a tarantula. But if I had, I could have been in the news and that's just silly.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Poverty in Utah

Utahania has an interesting graph up showing the distribution of poverty in Utah by county.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Janneke House Doesn't Know Her Opponent, Doesn't Understand Her Endorsments

Quoted from Janneke House campaign website: "Eric [Jergensen] needs to be called out for not speaking out clearly on his position on gay rights" So what does this mean? Well, it means Janneke House is confused by her endorsement from Equality Utah and that she doesn't know her opponent. Equality Utah has in the past praised Councilman Eric Jergensen for his work on the council in support of their shared agenda. Specifically, he has been praised by Equality Utah for co- founding Salt Lake City's first Human Rights Commission. More recently, SL Metro: Utah's Gay and Lesbian Biweekly Newspaper included Councilman Jergensen in an article titled "Candidates Support Gay Rights, Benefits". On top of that, Councilman Jergensen has co- sponsored a plan that would guarantee benefits for domestic partners and is more likely to be in place for families long before the Mayor gets out of court. Completely ignoring (or more likely not knowing) the Councilman's record Janneke House has attacked without providing a single supporting bit of evidence. You know, evidence. Like what I just gave supporting the Councilman's record. Janneke House must be confused over the endorsement by Equality Utah. This organization is politically heavily invested in Mayor Anderson. That is why she has their endorsement. It's founder and chair, Jane Marquardt, was Mayor Anderson's first choice for this race. She has also contributed over $6,000 to the Mayor over the past few years.


I have made clear my great esteem for and fear of Pete Ashdown. A few weeks ago, he brought up the Salt Lake City Council's resistance to Utopia as a reason to not support Councilman Eric Jergensen in the District 3 race. So obviously, I wanted to know more. Pete was right, Councilman Jergensen voted to reject UTOPIA , but... I doubt UTOPIA will be brought up by Mayor Rocky Anderson's side for one simple reason. Mayor Anderson made the recommendation that the City Council decline participation in Utopia. The Salt Lake City Council Minutes regarding UTOPIA The Utah Taxpayers Association reaction to Mayor Anderson's memo rejecting UTOPIA

Yet Another Reason To Support KCPW

You really truly could win something cool. Yesterday, Simon J. at Forma Line won an Apple G4 iBook. Lucky guy. It pays to support KCPW. Don't forget about the iPod Nano. You know you want it.

KCPW Has Cool Stuff

As I was cruising KCPW to make an online pledge, I checked out the gifts they were offering and I made a wish list of pledge gifts I would get if I had all the money in the world. Passes to Red Butte Garden: I haven't been to Red Butte since shortly after they started charging for entry. We used to go up there during High School and shoot photos. After the fee policy, we just found a place along the road where two fence posts were far apart and we slipped under the chain link. Gift Certificate to Sam Wellers: The only single retail establishment where I have spent an entire afternoon and evening. G.C. to Dodo Restaurant: The only good food at The Gateway. Except McDonalds. G.C. to Cafe Molise: I had a potato gnocci dish there and I couldn't stand up afterward. I mean that as a compliment. G.C. to Desert Edge: Rare Roast Beef. Nuff said.


It's time to make a pledge to KCPW. Utah's bloggers owe a lot to KCPW for a few reasons. 1. They put bloggers on the air in an attempt to understand and publicize this growing and very crazy online community. 2. They are the official news source for political junkies. NO ONE does local politics better. 3. They have committed to the general online political world. Perhaps you've noticed the KCPW Political Calendar at 4. Their website is a great political resource for the high tech world because they offer podcasting and their interviews are available online if you aren't able to catch them live. One more reason to pledge to KCPW: Online pledges are entered to win an iPod Nano. If you're not coveting the Nano, it's because you haven't seen it yet. Do it now, the drive is almost over.

I Know Why Cliff Lyon Was Replaced

At least it may be part of the reason. On the newly discovered Jen's Green Journal, Cliff Lyon commented on a post saying "My perception of the media was low before taking that stint [Comm. Dir. for Mayor Anderson]. It is lower now than I could have ever imagined." If you're a Mayor facing a public relatioins crisis and have NO relationship with the local press, would you be satisfied with such a spokesperson?

Mayor Anderson's City Council Campaign

Mayor Anderson's District 3 endorsement list for Janneke House contributed almost $10,000 to Mayor Rocky Anderson's 2003 campaign. According to The City Of Salt Lake Campaign Finance Reporting System. It was $9,718

A Secret Cabal Of Rockys

How many people in Salt Lake City go by the name "Rocky"? Only two. And they both run the city. Mayor Rocky Anderson and Deputy Mayor Rocky Fluhart. Weird.

Some Legislative Emails To Be Public

Senator Dave Thomas heads the GRAMA ( Government Records Access and Management ) task force. On The Senate Site, he explains the plans of the task force regarding making legislative emails open to the public. Right now, only emails that are printed become part of the "record". According to Senator Thomas, "The GRAMA Task Force has proposed changing the law by opening most E-mail up to GRAMA requests, with the exceptions of E-mail between legislators and their staff, and E-mail between legislators and their constituents." The constituent emails are exempt to protect the privacy of the public. That seems reasonable. The staff emails are exempt to "encourage open discussion between legislators and their staff". That seems rather flimsy.

Utah's Green Bloggers

Yesterday, Utah Policy profiled two green blogs Dee's Dotes Jen's Green Journal Today, they were added to the Utah Policy list of blogs. They are both interesting reads. For those of you who thought the Green Party only ever goes camping and sings songs about Ralph Nader, you should read Jen's Green Journal's History of The Utah Green Party's Split. It's an interesting look into the politics of the Utah Green Party.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Website For Salt Lake County Democrats

From: Anonymous Re: Democrats pray for an end to learning curve "Not that this will keep you from complaining, but here is the county party's website that has been up for some time now. Maybe it helps to do some research on things every now and then." For the record, I don't complain. I unfairly and indiscriminately criticize.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Janneke House Endorsements

Janneke House endorsements as listed today. Equality Utah: This type of endorsement in such a small race always sets off alarms in my head. So what now? All gays in the district are voting for her? Probably not. Janneke House is willing to take her domestic partner benefit cues from the Mayor, so she's Equality Utah's candidate. Despite the fact that the best hope for benefits lies in Councilman Jergensen's plan. Mayor Rocky Anderson: This is the core of the campaign. Because he is Mayor, he can be forgiven for living outside the district. Senator Scott McCoy: Also doesn't live in the district. There are mixed feelings about him in District 3 while questions surround the way in which he gained his seat. Many feel it was an unwanted last minute coup. District 3 is very loyal to former Senator Paula Julander (who did not support Senator McCoy) and House Minority Leader Ralph Becker (who may challenge the Senator next election) both of whom are supporting Councilman Jergensen. Jane Marquardt: Mayor Anderson's first choice for this campaign. Backed off after finding little support within the district. Donald Dunn: Famously loyal to his West Side. Maybe he'll also endorse a District 1 candidate. Pat Shea: Don't know much about him. Lawyer. Oddley connected for a 24 year old to pull out of her pocket. Probably just another quid pro quo. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees): Alarm bells head are ringing. So now all the government employees of District 3 are voting for her? Not likely. Carpenters Union: So now all the carpenters in District 3 are voting for her? Meaningless endorsement.

Janneke House Forced To Outsource Campaign Staff

Salt Lake City District 3 candidate Janneke House recently revealed her campaign staff that only underscores her lack of District 3 grassroot support. In a stunning move, at least half of her staff doesn't even live in Salt Lake City. Rather, they're high profile gifts from Mayor Rocky Anderson. Campaign staff: Cliff Lyon: Manager- Called in by Mayor Anderson to fill in for Deeda Seed when she quit/was fired. When he was replaced he told the press he was overqualified for the job anyway. But he's not too qualified to do another favor for Mayor Anderson- manage the city council campaign of a 24 year old sycophant. Cliff lives in Holladay. Jan Lovett: Staff member- Former candidate for Utah Democratic Party Chair. Strongly endorsed by Mayor Rocky Anderson. Cliff Lyon worked for her campaign. Lives in House District 50 (Southwest Salt Lake County). Kind of a long commute to knock doors.

Info On Nick Floros/ D.A. Yocom Thing

In a previous post, some questions were raised about the Nick Floros/ Salt Lake County/ D.A. Yocom won't prosecute Democrats thing. Here is some bacground on the subject. Former Salt Lake County employee claims sexual harassment at work County settles woman's suit against Floros

Sold To Sandy

This sign appeared at last week's game against Colorado. You can find its context here at the Cavaliers Brigade website and forums.

A Response For The Taxpayers Association

The Utah Taxpayer Association email has also made its way to where it's being discussed. One commenter named RSL Punk spurned the Association's evidence and offered some of his own: "How's this for some anecdotal evidence: I spent $400 last year on two season tickets, $100 on a jersey, and about $6-10 per game on food. I was not, nor would I ever have been, in the habit of hopping on a jet to California to watch the footy. What would that money have paid for otherwise? My book and CD addiction. But since that's fueled mostly through Amazon (and the Utah "use tax" is voluntary), that $40 or so in sales tax I spent was "new" tax money."

I Didn't Sign Up On Their List

But I got their email anyway. The Utah Taxpayer's Association just sent out an email newsletter that outlines their opposition to using public funds for a soccer stadium. It was by far the weirdest opinion I have ever read. Here are their examples of "arguments being used to defend RDA". “RDAs promote economic growth because my wife used to fly to Milan to buy fur coats but now she can buy them at Gateway which was subsidized by an RDA.” and “Subsidies for RSL will promote economic growth because I will attend soccer games in Sandy instead of traveling twice a year to LA to watch soccer”. Apparently they couldn't find any examples from planet Earth. By the way, can you even buy fur coats at Gateway?

Monday, October 17, 2005

No Surprise

Mayor Anderson's "Alliance for Unity" still lists Dr. J. Bernard Machen as one of its members. Who is surprised by this? Here is the best part- from the Mission Statement: "We recognize and accept that there are religious, political, and cultural differences in our community, and encourage respect and civility in public discourse and actions, especially when we disagree."

Soccer As Group Therapy

Things have been tense for Real Salt Lake fans since falling into a political mess with the announcement of the Sandy stadium site. On the 28th, RSL will play Chivas USA in the ultimate soccer grudge match. Ambulances are on standby. On the forum, a user named rabble- rabble has suggested that all frustrations be taken out on the unsuspecting Chivas. His list included: Mayor Rocky Anderson State legislature Mayor Tom Dolan State Senator Bramble Sandy City Salt Lake City and for good measure he threw in: U of U football BYU football So maybe after the 28th, Real Salt Lake fans will enjoy some peace and Chivas will have their turn with Mayors Anderson and Dolan.

Misquote vs. Misconstrue

I promise I didn't misquote Senator Hillyard. For an earlier post, I pulled this Sen. Hillyard line from The Senate Site: "So much of my work as an attorney and legislator leaves me feeling like I have not accomplished anything" I thought it was pretty funny. Now it says: "So much of my work as an attorney and legislator leaves me feeling like I have not accomplished anything immediate" An old Utah Policy newsletter verifies the original version. I felt I needed to clarify this only because anyone following my link to The Senate Site will read the new version which makes it look like I dishonestly left out an important part of the Senator's quote just to get a laugh. Although that sounds like something I'd do, I didn't actually do it.

Slow News Day

From Survey: Eagle Mountain Residents Mostly Happy- A recent survey finds Eagle Mountain residents are by and large happy and comfortable. Oh brother.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Beer, Soccer, and Sandy

This Deseret News article asks the question: Will (soccer) stadium sell beer? Dave Checketts said: "I have a problem with the notion that people can get drunk at a game and get behind the wheel and drive home. Are we going to sell alcohol at the stadium? I don't have the answer to that today." For Dave Checketts, former president of Jazz, future owner of NHL team and former president of Madison Square Garden to say drunk driving is making him think about not allowing beer at soccer games is positiveley laughable. Checketts didn't answer the question because it may not be his decision. It could be a political one and it may have been already made. There is already speculation that the sweetheart deal Sandy has passed off to RSL came with strings attached such as a ban on alcohol sales.

There Is Some Good From All This

There is a silver lining to the boring Mayor Anderson liquor purchase debate. The Mayor is instituting some transparency measures to make the city's information more accessible to the public and head off any future scandals by holding himself and the city to a higher level of disclosure. As much as Mayor Anderson and his fans complain about criticism and belittle and blacklist his detractors, the Mayor's actions prove that criticism of the government remains an important part of Salt Lake City politics. The threat of political consequence is often the only way to get a politician to act. Ethics reform goes nowhere at the state level because there is too little general criticism of the current ethics laws and there is absolutely no current political consequence to legislators who refuse to back ethics reform. Maybe we should have a conference on the importance of criticizing the government. Oh, wait... Tribune: Rocky coughs up his share of bar tab DesNews: Rocky to repay $457.88

Senator Curtis Bramble: Not Cool Enough For Soccer

When the newspapers reported on the RSL stadium announcement, they neglected to mention that Senator Curtis Bramble was again targeted by Real Salt Lake's die hard fans. Of all the politicans present, he was the only one to hear boos. You may remember that Senator Bramble sponsored the RDA legislation that he alleged was to protect education dollars but many believed was a simple attempt to sink SLC's chances of building a downtown soccer stadium. A political retribution designed for the mayor. His house was later targeted for some very mild teenage fun in the form of chalk on the sidewalk and an inflatable soccer ball.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Democrats Pray For An End To Learning Curve

Salt Lake County Democratic Chairperson Megan Risbon has had a rocky start. Her inaugural effort was the ill- advised endorsement of a candidate in a non- affiliated municipal race. Her man, Derek Dyer, brought home 74 votes in a district with 16219 registered voters, a majority of whom are Democrats. The county party still doesn't have a website. She was severely and publicly criticized by Mayor Rocky Anderson for involving herself in the Italy expense scandal: "I have a hard time understanding why she's even involving herself in this. She knows nothing about the facts or the issue" She was recently humiliated on KCPW (you can listen here) by Republican counterpart James Evans. When she was asked for evidence to back her press- release claim that Evans voted against ethics reform, she could provide none but promised to "do some research". Evans then proceeded to mention he had supported the ethics reform of Representative Ralph Becker, a Democrat.

Why Politicians Hire Spokespeople

The Senate Site illustrates a growing interest by Utah political figures to appear more open to the public and to speak more directly and frankly. You know, unfiltered. I think it's great. But they need more practice. Senator Lyle Hillyard posted yesterday on his passion for gardening, but he could have left this line out: "So much of my work as an attorney and legislator leaves me feeling like I have not accomplished anything" Hmm.

RSL Stadium

From today's Tribune: SLC doesn't want to pay for Sandy stadium Salt Lake City Councilman Dale Lambert: "the public knows what's going on. This is an issue frankly all citizens of Salt Lake County ought to care about - ethics and full, honest disclosure in the use of taxpayer money"

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Utahania: The stadium couldn't be in SLC because if it were built in SLC, then the city council and/or Deseret News would use it for the public execution of women who attended school. Duh. Real Salt Lake Blog: The only restaurants around are nasty chain places (I'll make an exception for VI since I love their $4.99 French toast).

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mayor Anderson, You ARE The Government

Isn't it ironic that Mayor Rocky Anderson's latest "Freedom Forum" is on the freedom to criticize the government. But according to this story, the Deseret News has been blacklisted and isn't receiving any press releases or statements on the possible investigation of Mayor Anderson's spending during his trip to Italy. Most likely in retribution for writing articles critical of Mayor Anderson.


SL Trib: Soccer Stadium Deal: Salt Lake City taxpayers are fouled I think the Utah Republican Party has a secret plan to destroy their party in Salt Lake City. That's the only way I can understand their tactics in this.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Comment of the Day

From: Anonymous Re: Disaster (RSL Stadium) "Moving the state's only interesting sports franchise to a bedroom community sounds like a decision only a politician would make."

Visit Beautiful Salt Lake: Worst City Ever

Mayor Anderson's denigration of Salt Lake City (Taliban comment) makes people not want to live here and reinforces negative and false stereotypes about Salt Lake City. Read all about it here.

District 3 Politics

A commenter in a previous post felt Councilman Jergensen should be nervous that a newcomer brought home 30% of the vote in the primary. Of course he shouldn't rest on his laurels, but there is no reason for him to be very nervous either. The primary is the test of a candidate's base. There is less interest in the primary than the final, so the voters in the primary tend to be those who vote regularly and are strong backers of their candidate. Considering Janneke House is unknown and her campaign is small, the 536 votes she did bring in were probably Mayor Anderson's. And I think that's basically the number she can expect to get from him. Of course others will show up for the final, but the poor turnout for her I think shows a lack of energy around the campaign and that her campaign will be unable to turn out voters in the kind of numbers Councilman Jergensen is dealing with.

When Realtors Attack

A follow up of a previous post on Travis at Gazelem's problem with his realtors. The 2005 Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS® allows a Realtor to be charged with violating the Code of Ethics. The allegation has to refer to the violation of a specific Article of the Code. Others with legal experience would probably read this better than I but It seems to me that an ethics charge could be brought against Kristen Averett and James Reed of Prudential for violating Standard of Practice 1-4 of Article 1: REALTORS®, when seeking to become a buyer/tenant representative, shall not mislead buyers or tenants as to savings or other benefits that might be realized through use of the REALTOR®’s services. According to Travis' account, he chose Averett and Reed to buy and sell his homes in part because they promised to charge only 5%, not 6%. But then they presented him with a contract for 6%. Which they refused to change.


Monday, October 10, 2005

More Taliban

Rants and Raves: "all the while blaming the citizens for not being 'open' enough to understand him" Two Stupid White Guys: "Actually, Rocky's life is like a Truman Capote novel, with a little bit of San Francisco thrown in."

A Name For The New Stadium

In another thread at, there is an interesting and sometimes humorous discussion going on what name should be given the RSL stadium or what company should purchase the naming rights. Some of the better suggestions are: Totally Awesome Stadium Squatters Stadium Deseret Industries Field The Green Jello Bowl Funeral Potatoes Pitch Polygamy Porter Park Pioneer Park The Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson Memorial Stadium

New Soccer Stadium

Here's an interesting read. There's a conversation thread at a Real Salt Lake Forum that discusses the potential new stadium. What has struck me about this ongoing conversation among the die hard of RSL's fans is They overwhelmingly favor a stadium downtown. Even among participants living in Sandy, downtown is the favorite site. However The majority of participants believe the stadium will be built in Sandy despite downtown being preferred by both the fans and Checketts family. This is because people see the downtown v. Sandy stadium competition as a competition between Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. It's one that most are positive Mayor Dolan will win and probably has won already. Mayor Anderson, make them eat crow. PLEASE!! Hello? Hello? Mayor Anderson, where are you? Oh, you're over there.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I Would Have Spewed Liquid Out My Nose

had I been drinking when I read yet another gem from Charley Foster left at a previous post. On Mayor Anderson's Taliban/Kafka comment: "I'm not insisting that people be literal. But Kafka-esque Taliban? It's how a radicalized middle-class liberal arts sophomore complains about the instructor uncool enough to give him a D+. There's no perspective. But I appreciate the way it combines the spoiled 60's malcontent with the new millennium malcontent."

Ripped Off

Travis at Gazelem is having some problems with his Prudential realtors. According to his post, Prudential promised one number, produced a contract with another and when he asked about the discrepency, Kristen Averett and James Reed (of Prudential) promised to fix it later and told him to just sign it. Now, big surprise, they didn't adjust anything and are holding him to the contract he signed.

Friday, October 07, 2005

There's Going To Be Violence

October 12th is the next of Mayor Rocky Anderson's Freedom Forums. This one is "Freedom to Criticize the Government" so of course it's about himself heroically "indicting the Bush administration" but it's NOT about the local media criticizing him (the government) because as he enlightened us in his press release, the media is actually "nothing more than a bulletin board for dishonest government propaganda". But the local media refuses be a bulletin board for HIS government, which is of course why he thinks they're like the Taliban who used media as a bulletin board for propaganda. But the local media refuses to be the Mayor's bulletin board which is why they are like the Taliban. Mayor Anderson is truly one of the great intellectual pretzel makers of our time. According to the release, panelists include Ken Bingham of Oblogatory Andecdotes and Paul Mero of The Sutherland Institute, so I'd take along a helmet if I were you.

Why Derek Dyer Won't Be In The Finals

Derek Dyer basically had no campaign beyond the endorsement of Megan Risbon (SLCo Dem Chair) which was predictably meaningless considering the most prominent of the Salt Lake City's Democratic grassroots workers are backing Councilman Jergensen. Derek Dyer brought home 74 votes. He should have had that many people sign up to volunteer for his campaign. But he didn't. So his presumed base backed the incumbent he had no visible campaign (of actual people) and so he brought in even fewer votes than the 2001 last place finisher Jon Schumann.

A New Name For The Intermodal Hub

Today's Tribune talks about the new light rail spur to the Intermodal Hub. First, I am very uncomfortable with the term "Intermodal Hub". I don't like saying it. It sounds weird. Perhaps we could give it a real name. Like the "Gateway Something Something". Or the "Legacy Something Something". Or better yet, "The Ross C. 'Rocky' Anderson Memorial Something Something". Or we could hire the romanticist liars at the Boyer Company to come up with a name like "Rural Neighborhood Tree Crossing at the Enchanted Deer Forest". My point is, they should build two Trax stops between the "Hub" and the Delta Center, not just one. Really, I think this is something worth spending extra money on.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Some District 3 Numbers (that are keeping Mayor Anderson up at night)

In 2001 Polly Hart trailed Eric Jergensen in the primaries by only 333 votes. She lost by 8% in the final election. In 2005, Janneke House trails Eric Jergensen by 612 votes and she recieved 224 fewer votes than Polly Hart While Eric Jergensen increased his vote share by almost as many votes as were recieved by Derek Dyer who recieved just over half the number of votes enjoyed by 2001's last place primary finisher Jon Schumann.

Comment Of The Day

Is from Charley Foster Left on an earlier post. "How on Earth is it at all Kafka-esque to not have your city reimburse you for booze tabs? Ah the angst! The stark, existential terror!"

Mayor Rocky Anderson's Taliban Roundup

Deseret News: "The Taliban, as we recall, was not a cabal of disgruntled newspaper editors but was made up of political leaders who could not abide dissent." Standard Examiner: "Unlike the alcohol-purchasing policy he assumed, wrongly, to be the hallmark of a hayseed city, we're certain the mayors of Portland, Denver, San Jose and Las Vegas who embrace those policies don't court international attention by mocking their own cities." The State of The Beehive: "Why would anybody call somebody who was not the Taliban, 'the Taliban'? I mean, really." City Weekly's Frost Bytes: "Add Mayor Sparky to the list of Americans whose genius is more appreciated in Britain than stateside." Utahania: "Would the Taliban portion be the obnoxious street preachers or someone else?" Utahania: "I suppose Portland, Denver and Las Vegas are live under the Taliban too because you can't buy alcohol for visitors using city funds there either." MangledCat: "I'd not be going too far out on a limb to guess that Rocky's comments to the Gaurdian were anything but a light-hearted joke."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Eric Jergensen Woke Up In A Great Mood

He has every reason to. Not only did he enjoy a 64.24% blowout yesterday in the 4- way primary election but he did it by turning out more voters in this year's primary than he did in the 2001 primary even though overall District 3 turnout fell by more than 6%. 2001 Primary turnout: 17.95% Jergensen vote tally: 1093 2005 Primary turnout: 11.17% Jergensen vote tally: 1148 See the results here

One More Hat In The Ring

Roger I. Price of Huntsville, Utah is hoping to be the Personal Choice Party candidate for a run for U.S. Senate next year. Check out his website, a kind of libertarian stream of consciousness page that is actually an interesting read.

Mayor Rocky Anderson Clarifies

In today's Deseret News, Mayor Anderson clarified his Taliban comment, insisting he wasn't talking about the Mormon Church but about those who question his use of taxpayer dollars to by alcohol and for good measure, those who report it, namely the Deseret News. But the fact that he continues to characterize the policy as the product of a narrow minded religion despite identical policies in existence in arguably progressive western cities without this religion demonstrate that Mayor Anderson isn't fighting a fight for his right to party, He's fighting a culture war against Mormons and the fact that the alleged "Mormon Agents" on the City Council completely rolled over for him and the Church has publicly remained complacent about it Robbed Mayor Anderson of his chance to be a victim of official religious bias. So he put his cross back in his closet and fell back on his old standby. Insults. Like comparing Mormonism to the Taliban. Or blaming his problems on other people (the press).

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


The City Weeky published this letter by Brooke Heath of Park City: 'Fulton states, “supporting a flawed politician with good principles is no vice.” It is a vice when the flawed politician degenerates from alternative voice to ineffective crusader to counterproductive zealot who is an embarrassment to the cause. Fulton argues former Mayor Deedee Corradini “placated the establishment,” yet Anderson has essentially lived off of her leftovers: Olympics, light rail, Gateway, etc. Obviously her progressive collaboration was more effective than his manipulated martyrdom. Apparently, Fulton and the Rockettes prefer ideologically pure impotence over an effective leadership. The only thing Anderson has excelled at is verbalizing contempt of white Mormon Republicans. That is not “diversity,” it is not “alternative voices,” it is not “progressive.” It is just hate—the mirror image of contempt for ethnic Democratic Jews, which is a vice.'

Private Lives, Public Service, and Blogging

Yesterday I followed up a Paul Rolly bit with a few sharp words for the new Senate Site blog. To my surprise, The Senate Site provided the first comment of the post in it's own defense. They deserve positive credit for that. The Senate Site brought up a great question that every blogger has to consider. "Should we keep every comment, regardless of content?" When I first opened SLCSPIN, I struggled with this question. After a while, I decided to let every comment stand (except spam) regardless of content. I've never regretted this decision even though I've had some comments in the past that could have been deleted for explicit content. I left them in. I have my reasons. However That is not necessarily the best policy for every blog. The Senate Site mentioned a policy of deleting comments that personally attacked family members of those politicians who participate in the blog. I think that is completely appropriate. It's also reasonable to create a policy regarding explicit content and encourage readers to make their points with mild language. But what about a comment like the one The Senate Site received that apparently toes a line between personal and private finance and campaign finance. It's a line that needs to be clarified by some ethics reform but that's another topic. So that's the question for bloggers and readers. Your State Senate is blogging (they deserve credit for that). Where do you want them to draw the line with comments?

Mayor Rocky Anderson: Time To Apologize

Picked this up from Utah Policy. Mayor Rocky Anderson told The Guardian (UK) "I truly feel like we're in the middle of a Kafka novel sometimes, with a little bit of Taliban thrown in." Mayor Rocky Anderson clearly knows less about Afghanistan Than he does about scoring political points by religion baiting. I've never asked for this before because we voted for him, so we should live with him, but Comparing Mormonism to the Taliban is one step to far. Mayor Anderson, it's time to apologize.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Salt Lake City Council

Jill Love, Eric Jergensen, and Dave Buhler are the Salt Lake City Councilmembers who have been working on the new insurance coverage for live in dependents. Whereas Mayor Rocky Anderson's executive order was not intended to provide benefits but to pick a political fight on behalf of a specific group The City Council's alternative is fair, equitable, and makes the most sense for the families of city employees. Councilmembers Love, Jergensen, and Buhler understand their responsibility is to the city employees and their needs, Their responsibility is to not separate them into groups and pretend to make political statements on their behalf while leaving them without insurance benefits.


The Deseret News had a story on Senate Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich. Two points stuck out for me. The first is that he may run for another term "if only to break the Senate membership record". And that it is important for him to see his Price district boundaries unchanged "to keep a (Democratic) senator from Carbon County, which we've had since statehood." Senator Hatch understands those politics. Tradition!

Give the Boyers Credit

For coming up with a good name. It's tragically good. According to the Deseret News, The Boyer Company is naming their Sandy gravel pit proposal "Quarry Bend" Now that sounds like a nice rural place I'd like to live. Imagine a citizens surprise when upon travelling to "Quarry Bend" they actually find "The Parking Lot Formerly Known As The Gravel Pit".

The Senate Site

The Utah Senate is blogging. And unlike Senator Hatch's so- called "campaign blog", you can actually leave comments. But only the right kind of comments. According to Paul Rolly, a comment was deleted from a Senator Bramble post because it referred to how the Senator might pay for a potential congressional campaign. As we know full well in Utah, politician's methods of recieving and spending money is none of our business. In a juicy irony, Senator Valentine posted a description of the evils of Chinese censorship and said he hoped it was "not descriptive of the Utah Senate".

Saturday, October 01, 2005


If you didn't have a chance to listen to Mayor Anderson explain himself on KCPW, you can listen to it here. Shawn at the Casserole Bar listened. You should too.

Senator Orrin Hatch and Governor Jon Huntsman

From Today's Deseret News: Gov. Huntsman endorses Hatch's re-election The News noticed that the end of Senator Hatch's next term (if he is re- elected and doesn't die) is 2012 The same year Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. has promised to step down as Governor of Utah. Governor Huntsman is believed to harbor a secret Senator fantasy. It would be messy if the only route to its fulfillment were through a young incumbent Senator. It's much cleaner to have the ancient Senator retire and anoint GJHJr. his successor. Mike The Hair Leavitt is clenching his fists and biting his lip right now.

On Senator Orrin Hatch

From today's Tribune: Yucca squabble aside, Huntsman backs Hatch as senator The Tribune wondered why Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. would back Senator Orrin Hatch when: -They have big differences over the storage and transportation of nuclear waste (a huge issue for the Governor) -They have big differences over who should lead the Utah Republican Party. The Tribune mentions that Senator Hatch may chair the Finance Committee, but I can't believe Governor Huntsman is backing the Senator because now after three decades he might have finally tripped into the right place to be of service to Utah. I think that argument doesn't hold water. The Governor isn't that naive. Senator Hatch hopes the voters are, but the Governor is looking at something else.