Friday, December 30, 2005

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Mayor Rocky Anderson

Mayor Rocky Anderson is hosting tomorrow's Midday Metro on KCPW. Go to the Midday Metro Blog today to ask questions, suggest topics, make comments, and get the ball rolling on what should be a fun morning. Remember to bring your helmet because North Salt Lake Mayor Kay Briggs will join Mayor Anderson for part of the show to "talk".

Were The Senator Buttars Boosters Abducted By Aliens?

It's possible that they were, because they have so far not shown up to defend the Senator on The Senate Site debate over his human origins bill. The Senate Site itself speculated that those who would support such a bill may not be active online. I think that definitely explains part of the problem. But not all of it. After all, there are many ID boosters active online. In the past, sites that have brought up ID have received many different opinions. But then again, those were debates on Intelligent Design. One excellent comment left at The Senate Site by Cliff was "in an attempt to avoid any reference to creationism, Mr. Buttars has produced a bill that actually says NOTHING." I think that is the more compelling explanation for the silence. Intelligent Design is getting nowhere nationally right now so to avoid the problems of other states, Senator Buttars left out ID/Creationism which made the bill meaningless to the many ID supporters who normally show up for the debates. ID supporters know that if they show up for this bill, they will fight a full Creation/Evolution debate in the Utah Capitol. But at the end of the day, even a hard fought victory brings them no closer to their goal. I wouldn't show up either.

The Salt Lake Tribune News Quiz

Have you played the Tribune's news quiz? I scored 115. That means I have no life.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Even "The Gays" Are Welcome

The Utah Eagle Forum is offering a price break for couples attending their annual convention. Accompanied attendees save $10.00 in the cost of admission to the convention. Couples, as noted in the flyer, can be ANY two people.

The Senate Site

Let's face it, it's potentially dangerous for a politician to go "on the record". It's even more dangerous when they allow feedback and scrutiny to share the same space as their statements. Senator Chris Buttars' proposed human origins bill is being completely dismantled by readers at The Senate Site in the exact same place it was unveiled. Senator Buttars originally planned to unveil the bill at the Eagle Forum Convention. The Senate Site is a much more appropriate place to begin discussion of new legislation. The Senate Site is a credit to Utah politics and an increasingly important resource for political junkies.

"We Are Totally Fighting"

Today's Deseret News includes an article on Utah's public officials and their airport parking perks. Everyone seemed to be happy to talk about it except Mayor Rocky Anderson who declined all comment. That's because he and the newspapers are totally fighting right now. In a memo (City Weekly) borrowed from President Bush and cut and pasted onto Mayor Anderson's letter head, the Mayor railed against irresponsible journalists that don't pay enough attention to all of the good things he's doing. He is especially hard on Brady Snyder, who committed the most egregious and horrifying crime imaginable against Mayor Rocky Anderson. He called a "lounge" a club when it really wasn't a club, it just used "lounge" in its name but they also have a separate "lounge" that is a club but it was the wrong "lounge". GASP! In other news, Mayor Anderson's shiny new microscope was delivered today and Mayor Anderson has apparently already loaded it full of hair. According to a city press release made available to everyone but "you know who" because "they know why", the Mayor plans to use the city's time to split each hair and build tiny, flimsy, microscopic crosses on which to crucify himself.

Let's [Not] Talk About Sex

Comment of the day. Regarding Senator Chris Buttars' concern that kids are forming gay/straight clubs to talk sex. "If we wanted to ban all activities where kids talk about sex, we'd have no sports, band, drama, debate, math class, etc." From Bob Aagard.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Senator Buttars And The Windmill Tilt.

Senator Buttars' bills on Evolution and Gay/Straight clubs are related: They both address problems Senator Buttars thinks are pressing but do not actually exist in the real world. Evolution: His bill addresses the problem of "opinionated teachers" teaching that man descended from apes and by extension, there is no God. He claims he has heard from "several parents" who are concerned with Evolution education in public schools. There is no actual problem here. Somehow, miraculously, Utah public schools graduate thousands of students each year who not only still believe in God, but in the case of Seminary attendees, know more about God than when they began public school. His concern not only shows a total lack of understanding of what happens in science classes, but also dramatically overestimates the actual amount of science education students receive and retain. Gay/Straight: Senator Buttars claims the clubs are illegal because they talk about sex. It has already been clearly established that these clubs do not talk about sex, but do service projects and provide emotional support for a section of the student population that is FOUR TIMES MORE LIKELY TO COMMITT SUICIDE. I think it's best to leave them alone. Once again, he is writing legislation to combat a problem that doesn't exist. The clubs are not sex clubs. Yet he is ready to write legislation as if they were.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Strangest Circle Ever

Stumbled upon this with the help of Wikipedia. Remember Melvin Dummar? He's the Brigham City, Utah fellow who is 1/16 heir to Howard Hughes' estate (now long gone). Dummar had a sister named Chloe who married Scottish singer Billy MacKenzie so he could stay in America. Billy Mackenzie was lead singer of The Associates and was a close friend to Morrissey, the Irish blooded English hearted singer that everyone knows looks exactly like Miro, owner of The Atlantic. The Atlantic is the best restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is the home state of Melvin Dummar, 1/16 heir to...

Morrissey Is Serving Food At The Atlantic In SLC

Miro is the owner of Downtown SLC's best restaurant The Atlantic (325 South Main Street) He is also A dead ringer for Morrissey and Not afraid to stand up for himself. (as told by Paul Rolly)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Come On, Do It For The Children

Casserole Bar has an interesting post up on Utah's transportation insanity. Naturally, we will always need to build roads. BUT Why should we saddle our families with miles of suburbs in which even the most mundane tasks require a car, insurance, and gas money? Why, in the age of high fuel and insurance costs, do we shackle Utah families to multiple cars when there is clearly a better and cheaper way? Why are billions of dollars made available for roads while paltry amounts for cheap public transit take YEARS to come through? Why are we talking about public transit spurs to the suburbs over the next twenty years when we have the resources to make them happen in the next five? Don't you think families would appreciate having other transportation options? Don't you think families would enjoy putting some of their gas money into their children's college funds or their extra car payment into home improvements? Our policy of "roads now, public transit in the future, we really promise, we totally will, it's really a priority and we're totally planning on talking about it in the future" is foolish.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

More Evolution

The Provo Daily Herald published an editorial critical of Senator Buttars' plan for Evolution education, and as usual, the best part are the comments left in the discussion section. Here are a few of the best: "The churchgoing Christian judge slapped the activist schoolboard down." "Yes, they are almost as narrow minded, stubborn and unchanged by reason as you are." "Communism prohibits belief in God and "forces" alternative thinking upon its youth. See any parallels in America today???" "Sounds an awful lot like that KKK governor candidate in the movie 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou'" "Sounds an awful lot like the cable TV decency act back in the 1980's" "In short, you don't know what the heck you're talking about."


A few resources for the Evolution/ Intelligent Design debate: Rep. Steve Urquhart- Email from BYU professor and interesting discussion in the comments And God Said, Let There Be Evolution... And There Was Evolution In Utah!- Blog dedicated to the Evolution/ ID debate in Utah. Written by Thomas Rassmusen, Eagle Mountain resident and devout Mormon. Very critical of ID. The Senate Site- Statement by Senator Buttars on his plans for Evolution education. Utah State Board of Education- Position statement on teaching Evolution

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Choose Your Own Headline

The Salt Lake Tribune is asking for readers to generate headlines they'd love to see in the paper. The headlines do not have to reflect reality. I gave it a shot and came up with one that mixes two current political stories. "Buttars Loses Opposables to 'Blackberry Thumb' Amputation"

Creationism, Ribbons, Pigs, Senators

Senator Scott McCoy was interviewed yesterday on KCPW's Midday Metro (listen to the interview here). Touching on the topic of intelligent design in schools, Senator McCoy said I.D. was just another name for Creationism and that it's like putting a ribbon on a pig. If this is really the rhetoric Senator McCoy is bringing to the debate next month, that's bad. It's a first class ticket to the sideline and irrelevance. Senator Chris Buttars' poorly thought out plan can (and I believe will) be defeated, but it won't be thanks to the type of argument Senator McCoy has put forward. Rep. Urquhart has some arguments up right now written by a retired BYU science professor. They are arguments that I think will really speak to conservative legislators and help them understand that Senator Buttars' idea is foolish. One point stuck out for me: "It would create a problem where none exists. The problem would be that students would be forced to choose between intelligent design and evolution and, by extension, religion and science. This choice is not necessary and would do harm."

Doug Wright Came To Me In A Dream

It's true. Actually, in my dream I ran into him in a public place. He didn't really seek me out. He told me he wasn't running for Congress and that he decided against it just to spite me and SLCSpin because I had been so sure he'd run. I'm sure he's nice in person, but Doug Wright is just mean in dreams.

Of Beehives And Crosses

Charley Foster points out a potential conflict with the Salt Lake Tribune's position on crosses used for UHP memorials.


From Lara Jones at the Midday Metro blog: "Religion and politics. The favorite blood sport of the Beehive State." It's funny because it's true.

The Big Time

Q: As a politician, how do you know you've hit the "Big Time"? A: When there is a crazy person threatening to kill you. All the greats have at least one. Congratulations to Mayor Rocky Anderson for reaching this milestone of public service. Mentally ill man threatens to kill Rocky- Deseret News Man held in threat on mayor- Tribune

Monday, December 19, 2005

LeRay McAllister

Ex-legislator McAllister dies at 75- Deseret News Republican lawmaker protected open spaces- Tribune My favorite part is from the Deseret News article when Senate President John Valentine eulogizes by taking McAllister's reputation for himself. "In many ways I felt like LeRay McAllister and I engaged in the passing of the torch. LeRay and I would sit there through all those very long executive appropriation meetings, battling out the budget issues."

Councilman Dale Lambert To Retire

I met Councilman Dale Lambert when he was still Candidate Lambert. He's a good guy. It's too bad that so often the people we need most in politics are the ones most able to set it aside. He promised one term, he delivered one term, and now he's gone. From the Tribune's interview with him: Tribune: Can council members who are LDS be unbiased when they vote on things that deal with the LDS Church? Councilman Lambert: "Do I think a member of the LDS Church on the City Council can act independently? I think my colleagues did, and I know that I did. I suppose you could reverse that question, given the seriousness of the religious divide: Can a non-LDS person serve on the council and, if a so-called church issue arises, can they be objective? I think for the most part the answer is yes as well."

Friday, December 16, 2005

You Know, We Have Sculptors In Utah

The newly renovated Utah State Capitol Building will have space for four brand spanking new sculptures at a cost of nearly $400,000. The will not be sculpted in Utah. They will not be sculpted by a Utah artist. The project went to a "sculpture firm" from California. Remember that one time when the 2002 countdown clock (still standing today) was sculpted by a guy from Colorado? Four sculptures to adorn Capitol- Tribune

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ironically Named Strip Malls, The Past, And The Future

Last week, the Tribune ran a story on the new developments on the west bench. Apparently the development ideas are very different from what we've grown up with. from the Tribune article: "The exercise runs counter to development traditions of the late 20th century that spawned sprawl, strip malls and people driving everywhere for everything. 'People have seen the failures from the past thinking,' said Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon. 'This is a blueprint for our future.'" So I guess Councilman Randy Horiuchi is staying far away from this project. In the face of new ideas, he and Mayor Tom Dolan have retired to their bunker to plot the return of the ironically named strip malls.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Atheist Lawsuit And Utah

Today's Utah Policy included a link to Jackalope Pursuivant who pointed out that Mormons don't use the cross as a religious symbol. I've been thinking along those same lines recently and think that while the legal arguments are surely compelling on both sides, we should remember that this situation exists in a specific context. That context is 2005 Utah. What does it mean when a community dominated by Mormonism puts up a cross as a memorial? What does it mean if a cross is used as a memorial for a Mormon officer?

Pete Ashdown

Jeff left this on a previous post: "if people continue to worship Pete’s campaign with words, and not dollars, then how can we, the people who actually understand and support his issues expect Pete to poll out of the lower teens?" The truth hurts. Everyone, let's unburden our consciences and donate some money. It doesn't have to be a lot.


I think Pete Ashdown's recent post on technology and Simon J's problem with KCRW's online stream are probably related.

KCPW's Midday Metro Blog Really Works

KCPW has invited all of us to participate in the Midday Metro show online. So I commented that I wanted to hear Mayor Anderson's take on the recent study that suggests some businesses stay away from Salt Lake City because of cultural concerns. Sure enough, during Mayor Rocky Anderson's KCPW Midday Metro interview, he was asked about the study. It really works!

Pete Ashdown Comes Out Swinging

From Pete Ashdown's Campaign Journal: "Senator Hatch’s stands on copyright have been repeatedly one-sided; protect the recording and motion picture industries. In doing so, he has caused immeasurable harm to technology. My own Internet Service Provider business, XMission, has had to deal with being the media companies’ unpaid copyright police since Digital Millennium Copyright Act became law. Every week, we handle hundreds of spurious complaints with no compensation from these entities for doing so. We’ve also seen the DMCA levied by third parties attempting to thwart the business of their competitors." Pete needs to swing this bat as often as he can. He OWNS this issue, and it's a big one.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Mountain View Corridor

The same person responsible for Eagle Mountain News also writes Mountain View Corridor. Naturally, it's all about the Mountain View Corridor.

Eagle Mountain Again

Eagle Mountain Mayor David Lifferth has resigned. He leaves behind a very turbulent and divided political scene at Eagle Mountain. If the following email is any indication, the bad feelings in Eagle Mountain are probably his fault. This email exchange was posted at, an online forum for Eagle Mountain residents: Hello [Mayor Lifferth], Currently I am writing an article about the redesign of the sewer treatment plant and the bid process. I am particularly interested in the agreement made with Senator Baird and the reasons for the selection of Stantec. If you have any input to contribute about this or related events that may ensure that the truth is disseminated, I welcome your input. On a related note, I have heard that David Blackburn was removed as public works liaison because he was not a "team player." If that is true, could you give me your position on that, such as what would be meant by being a "team player"? If not, do you have any input on why he was removed from this position? Thank you for your time, Alison Moore Smith ****** Alison, I will happily answer your questions and probably embarrass you and the other intentionally clueless at eagleshare. However, I will not respond to your email requests until you publicly state that you were wrong as with the other intentionally clueless at eagleshare about one thing after another. Lets start with: Alison: "I am disgusted for two reasons: (1) The obvious political motive of the survey (i.e. the timing and the questions)". The truth, if it is of any interest to you, is that the survey was planned and contracted before I became mayor and before there was even a full time mayor in Eagle Mountain. The survey was conducted by Dan Jones on their time frame. I have told you this before, and you intentionally ignored the truth because it didn't meet your political agenda. Correct you inaccuracy from this, and other clear examples of you being wrong. If you will and then we can move forward to enlighten you on your current requests. I have been about as patient and long suffering as I can be. I am no longer going to sit by and let people who don't know what they are talking about float trial balloons as if they are truth and not allow them to go un-corrected. I am about to go on the offensive against you and the other intentionally clueless at eagleshare. Ask Greg Kehl, Harry Bakken, and Rick Pierce what that feels like. David Lifferth Mayor of Eagle Mountain There is more about this at Eagle Mountain News: Former Mayor Views Any Questions or Opposition as a Threat.

Julian Hath On Atheists V. UHP

Mr. Julian Hatch- I operate the political site SLCSpin and have a small question for you. I'm sure you are aware of the legal action being taken regarding the Utah Highway Patrol memorials. I kow you have been actively involved in Atheist causes in Utah and I am curious to know your statement or opinion on this legal action? This is for public consumption, of course. Anyway, I look forward to your reply. I've enjoyed following your campaign so far and wish you the best of luck.-Ethan Millard Hello Mr. Millard, I just got back home to the internet after spending the past few days working on environmental problems out in the canyons of the Grand Staircase Escalante NM when I saw your email--sorry for any delay. I wasn't aware of your blog and glad to hear you care about my campaign for US senate challenging Senator Orrin. As for the question about the American Atheists lawsuit over the UHP crucifix's along the highways and on public land I have not seen anywhere that Pete Ashdown or Senator Orrin have made any comment about it. I would expect them to try to eventually take advantage of this since they can gain votes by standing with the religious majority in Utah. It is easy pickin's to kick minorities around. I did not file the suit, am not a named Plaintiff, and have not had a chance to review it yet. I do support citizen's using our court based legal system to try to resolve problems, especially when it involves our government. Apparently, the state agencies have never been willing to discuss this problem and atheists were forced to file litigation. If this lawsuit is frivilous or unwarranted then I trust a federal Judge will dismiss and the government can then file Abuse of Process and wrongful Use to get their costs for defending it. But I personally doubt the state will prevail in this matter and if that is the case, our leaders are wasting money as well as trashing the rights of atheists. It is well established that there is a wall of separation between government and religion. What I can't understand is why the government felt compelled to run to the media and drag all of us through this issue---without doing that, no one would even know about this lawsuit. Hundreds are filed every month in our state alone. From what I have read so far in the media, if you replaced the word "atheists" with "Jews" or "Mormons" you would have what Atty General Shurtleff believes is hate-speech. I am against Hate crime laws since I feel it will limit our free speech rights and end up persecuting opinions but I understand that Orrin, Shurtleff, and perhaps even Ashdown all support such laws. That is just one more reason to vote for me in 2006. I wouldn't want to call Shurtleff a bigot but am very concerned that this man, the media, and many people portraying themselves as loving Christians are so hatefully lambasting all unbelievers in religion---it's almost like a lynch mob mentality---maybe they can crucify the atheists on UHP crosses! I have personally seen dummies dragged through the streets and hung on light poles in Escalante, Utah with enviromemtalists and even President Clinton written on them. One time it was the Garfield County Deputy Sheriff who used the patrol car to do lynch them. It is not a funny or excusable. I hope citizen in Utah can take a deep breath and find something better to do with their time, especially during the Solstice holiday season. Thank you for covering my campaign on your blog---when I get a chance I will take a minute to see if you covered my campaign announcements---The Deseret News has never writtten a word about it----I guess they don't want citizens to know who the candidates are against Orrin---so much for Democracy in Utah! I hope to change that and see there is a clear choice in the election even if Republicans are the only ones that can possibly win. I heard Ashdown actually thinks he might become a Senator next year---I'd love to place a bet against him---no one has a chance against Orrin. I believe in democracy in our Republic---but that requires truth and a open, fair, and active press. You help get the issues out there with your blog and I appreciate it! We care at the Green Party and think we can make a difference! Seasons Greetings, Julian Hatch

Friday, December 09, 2005

Eagle Mountain City Hall

According to the today's Tribune, Eagle Mountain may name their city hall after former Mayor Kelvin Bailey. Eagle Mountain News has addressed this idea twice now (here and here) and thinks Eagle Mountain should remember that part of Mayor Kelvin Bailey's legacy is also faking his own kidnapping which not only brought Eagle Mountain a robust round of embarrassing press, but also involved the FBI.

Nancy Workman

Today's Tribune confirms the confirmation of the rumor that Nancy Workman suffers from dementia and amnesia. The most amazing part of the article is when Nancy Workman asserts "my name's been cleared." NOT TRUE. Escaping prison does not necessarily clear your name. Ask OJ, MJ, etc. Nancy Workman re- entering politics is the best news the Democrats have had since Mayor Rocky Anderson re- ignited rumors he may be leaving politics.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

American Atheists

Charley Foster takes a detailed look at the legal questions around the Atheist/ Highway Patrol memorial fight.

KCPW's Midday Metro Online

KCPW's Midday Metro has gone online. Discuss the topics of the day. Ask questions for guests. Give feedback and suggestions. Sounds fun. Check it out. By the way, don't forget KCPW is looking for legislative media interns. Trust me, it's the only cool internship available during the legislative session. You don't have to get anyone coffee (er, I mean Diet Coke). Instead of playing flash games online and making photocopies or just doing your homework, you get to make a real contribution to the coverage of the legislature.

Progressive Redefined

Some of you may remember how often Cliff Lyon mentioned the word "progressive". That term was thrown around indiscriminately and used to describe his favorite people and things. A few of his progressive champions were: Dave Bailey- candidate for Provo mayor: Cliff Lyon identified him as the vanguard of the new movement of progressive Mormon Democrats. Dave Bailey, however, repeatedly insisted he was a conservative Republican. Southwest Carpenters Union: Cliff Lyon identified this union as the future of the progressive movement. This union endorsed President George W. Bush and nationally is in third place among unions for amount of money donated to Republicans. So what brought on this radical redefinition of 'progressive'? I think it's less a re- definition and more a mis- defenition. Perhaps it has something to do with Craig Axford, co- chair of the Utah Democratic Progressive Caucus and current Utah Democratic Party staffer who Cliff Lyon has been trying to get fired. A ham handed attempt to out progressive a progressive.

More Nancy Workman?

A comment on a previous post mentioned former Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy Workman has decided to run for Salt Lake County Clerk. That was news to me, but according to a KCPW (official political junkie station) report, she really is considering it and will finalize her decision this week. County Cartel (the commenter), theorized she's running not to beat her friend Sherrie Swensen, but to rid herself of the pesky leftover campaign cash and to make a middle finger type statement to Salt Lake County Republicans. Salt Lake County: Never boring.

Bring Home The Bacon

The job of a U.S. Senator seems to have been boiled down to one line: Bring home the bacon no matter what. In this week's City Weekly, Ben Fulton questions the wisdom of such politics particularly when it comes to homeland security. His example? Why Senator Orrin Hatch, of course.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Doug Wright and District 2

Republicans have learned their District 2 lesson: Avoid a convention conflict at all costs. That's why Rep. LaVar Christensen is being pressured to stay out of the race against Congressman Jim Matheson. Rep. Christensen is well known and would likely make a strong showing at the convention. He will also tie up much of the fundraising resources of the Utah State Republican Party. This would complicate the plans of Doug Wright, who has decided to run and who many Republican insiders believe has the public profile to bring home the restless, fence- hopping Republican voters of District 2. An early Republican coronation, however, wouldn't signal the end of Doug Wright's problems. Congressman Matheson spent almost $2 million in his last race, so Wright needs that much at minimum. Doug Wright, however, doesn't have the political network to raise that kind of money. He'll need to rely on powerful benefactors who can donate their networks, and he'll need them unencumbered by rival candidates.

Motorcycle + Governor = Cool

I think it's now official. Governor Jon Huntsman is cooler than any other politician in Utah. Honestly, who can beat this? Hat tip: Utah Policy to

The Museum of Blog*

Picked this up from Mike Jones at Utahania As an Architecture thesis, his brother is designing a museum dedicated to blogs, blogging, bloggers, etc. As part of the thesis, he has begun a blog to document the project.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Craziest Lines From The Daily Herald Online Discussion Of Eagle Mountain Racism

Link Here "It would be nice if developers would list the percentage of idiots in their neighborhoods." "I think I will suggest that some hispanic families move in to Eagle Mountain too. They are very hard workers, have great families and you never see them on the news or the police beat in any crime-related stories." "And right now, my next door neighbors are from Mexico (legal, mind you). And they too are wonderful. They are always bringing home cooked mexican food over." "WHY DOES EVERYONE TAKE OFFENSE AT EVERY LITTLE THING?" "Sure, it might bait in people who are afraid of blacks, but how's that a problem either?" "It was clearly sexual harassment but could she complain, oh no, for these boys were being bused into her school by the same idiot types who threaten to move more blacks into our neighborhoods." "Before we start getting all worked up over how many blacks do or do not live in Eagel Mountain, has anyone taken the time to check to see how many sex offenders live there?" "Living in NYC, SC, and MS, I had plenty of opportunities to experience situations with people of color. Predominantly, those were the ones causing troubles." "So you think just because a hundred and, fifty to two hundred years ago someone in your linage was a slave, that gives you some kind of entitlement?" "I am a resident of Eagle Mountain and I think the people criticizing the citizens of Eagle Mountain are just as racist and judgemental as the ones you are accusing of it." "brown, red, yellow are all people of color..."

Another On Senator Orrin Hatch

Just a small note on the previous Senator Hatch post. Things made more sense when we all believed he never came to Utah. Knowing he is here as much as other Senators just deepens the mystery of what Senator Orrin Hatch actually does with himself and his 30 years in the Senate.

County Councilman Randy Horiuchi

Give the man credit for publicly explaining his side of what happened at the (terrifyingly named) Fort Union Family Center. According to Councilman Horiuchi, the Salt Lake County Commission was correct on their zoning and RDA, but wrong in not ensuring the development was carried out according to law. I particularly liked this line: "I accept the economic kudos the project brought the county, but I must accept the regulatory responsibility for the outcome." That seems fair. This whole issue has brought up a common complaint about the Councilman: He's too chummy with developers and is too willing to tread into "grey area". I think the fact that Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan broke Republican ranks to endorse Councilman Horiuchi speaks volumes. We all know how Mayor Dolan operates.

Senator Orrin Hatch

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Senator Orrin Hatch spends 27% of his time in Utah. According to various people interviewed for the story, that's about average. While this story will no doubt be trotted out by Senator Hatch the next time someone criticizes his absence, it doesn't address the problems Utah has with its most senior Senator. If he does spend as much time in Utah as Senator Bennett, why do Utahn's feel abandoned by Senator Hatch while Senator Bennett enjoys "go to guy" status. Why, if Senator Hatch is so committed, has he become his own charicature, the opulently appointed smiling one trading a political favor to Carley Simon in exchange for her performing his song. Senator Hatch, we give you 30 years, and you give us THIS?

Monday, December 05, 2005

An Amazing Discussion

The discussion forum at The Daily Herald(Utah County) regarding the Eagle Mountain/Bigg Homes racism problem is extremely interesting. Perhaps I'm naieve, but I was truly amazed at the number of overtly racist arguments brought forward in defense of Bigg Homes and the idea of living in a white only neighborhood. Of course, there is also a great amount of outrage.

Fair Housing

Charley Foster has some detail on the legal aspect of the Eagle Mountain/ Bigg Homes racism problem.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Hits Just Keep On Coming

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Federal Fair Housing Act

Did Bigg Homes violate the Federal Fair Housing Act when it published racial information on its website? Charley Foster discusses it.

And Your Point Is?

From today's Tribune: At a speech on the Iraq War, Senator Orrin Hatch met a soldier from Utah who has served in Europe, but not Iraq. This prompted Senator Hatch to remark: "See, not every soldier is being sent to Iraq."

We Need Help With Our Image

Taliban, child brides. What's next? I think a significant aspect of the response to the Eagle Mountain racism story is the presence of outrage and the absence of surprise. Racism alive and well in Eagle Mountain?- Utahania "bigg"er just got WHITER!- Tales of Wit and Charm Lack of Diversity a Selling Point???- Eagle Mountain News Web Site for Development Cited Below-Average Black Population- KSL Utah developer pulls racial data from site- Salt Lake Tribune Builder's racial boast spurs controversy- Deseret Morning News Racial Bias Boasted On Home Builder's Web Site- KUTV Site boasts of low black population in Eagle Mountain- Daily Herald Hooray! No black people!- Sploid Web Site for Development Cited Below-Average Black Population- The Snoop Zone Utah homebuilder used race as selling point- Cocoposts Lovely, lovely people- Little Brown Bird Of Snark Sad, yet effective(?) advertising- blobert How Many Black People Does It Takes to Make White People Uncomfortable?- The Truth* Just Wow- Article Online

Friday, December 02, 2005

Passing Out Credit

The Sierra Club issued a report on positive development in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City was featured for a number of reasons. Trax, Gateway, and the LDS Church development are all listed as positive achievements. It's interesting to see the individuals singled out for praise. Among them, Mayor Anderson. Those who remember the early days of Mayor Rocky Anderson may recognize the irony in him being praised in the same report as Trax and Gateway. Do I even need to mention the LDS Development? Each of those have taken place completely independent of the Mayor. Perhaps he was included as an "advocate" for liveability issues. Fine. But where's the beef? This city needs more walk and less talk from city hall. Report: Albuquerque and Salt Lake City Beacons of Better Building- New West SLC rides TRAX to national spotlight- Tribune

A Cool Thing About The Internet

When a Salt Lake Tribune editorial compared the state tax reform task force to a bad Santa Claus The Senate Site was able to rebut the editorial with their own version of events. By the way, the state government is not Santa Claus.

Here's A Fun Game

Mike Jerman of the Utah Taxpayers Society was interviewed on KCPW's Midday Metro yesterday Count how many times he mentions the Internet sales tax before he says the words "Internet sales tax". He must be uncomfortable advocating the Internet sales tax considering the organization he represents.

More Oddly Phrased Comments

Rep. Roz McGee was interviewed for the Inside Utah podcast. She was asked who would fill in the details of the till fuzzy tax reform proposals she has been a part of. Rep. McGee said "I'm sorry, I cannot answer that question". This surprised Jennifer Napier- Pearce who quickly moved on. I'm pretty sure she meant to say "I don't have an answer for that question".

Wayne Holland Is NOT A Candidate

It's now been confirmed through numerous sources that Wayne Holland is NOT a potential candidate for U.S. Senate, Blair Feulner just poorly phrased his question.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

"No Other Candidate"

Okay, I finally have the skinny on the mysterious votes for "No Other Candidate" in the Salt Lake County election results. It's not possible to deliberately cast a vote for "No Other Candidate" when there is only one candidate in a race. There is a mask on the Vote-O-Matic (voting machine) that prohibits punching holes where there is no actual choice. It is, however, possible to cast a vote for "No Other Candidate" in error. In other words, if you improperly insert your ballot into the voting machine, your card will not line up with the available choices. In Salt Lake County District 5, Councilwoman Jill Remington Love was the only candidate. Three votes were recorded under "No Other Candidate". This means three people improperly inserted their ballots and attempted to vote for the Councilwoman. There are a few ways to vote in error. You can overvote, and vote for both candidates. Or undervote and vote for neither. But those errors are not shown in the results. So why is the "No Other Candidate" error listed? The answer is the County felt it was important to show the public that when results for only one candidate were shown, that it did not mean another was left out. So the "No Other Candidate" profile is included in the results to show the candidate ran unopposed. The software that is used cannot be manipulated to hide vote counts, so when the "No Other Candidate" profile is included, it must also include the number of error ballots of that type. The new computer voting machines will include the phrase "No Other Candidate" in single candidate races. But it will not be possible to cast a ballot in error for "No Other Candidate" because there will be no ballot to insert incorrectly. Also, screen prompts will help voters avoid other errors such as overvoting or undervoting.

Wayne Holland?

Today, Pete Ashdown was interviewed by Blair Feulner for KCPW's Midday Metro. Blair Feulner asked Pete if he saw Wayne Holland as competition for the Democratic Party nomination. The question surprised me, because it implies Wayne Holland is interested in running for U.S. Senate. I hadn't heard that before. I'm pretty sure Blair meant to say something else. They should stick with Pete.

Turn On Your Radio

To KCPW's Midday Metro and listen to Pete Ashdown talk about technology and politics. Or you can listen online. If you can't listen now, listen to the stream later, or podcast it. It's great to be a political junkie in the new millenium. So many options.