Tuesday, February 28, 2006
One of Pete Ashdown's former business competitors has endorsed him for U.S. Senate. "Even as a competitor, Pete very clearly was interested in doing the right thing for his customers, potential customers, and the people of Utah. He consistently made the best decisions to help his customers, and then figured out a way to make sure that the resulting course of action was economically viable. I may be a little simple, but that seems like exactly the kind of decision-making I'd like from more politicians." Pete Ashdown For U.S. Senate
Monday, February 27, 2006
There's Only One Way To Write Music
This picture was appropriately featured in an article at the National Institute On Drug Abuse. Maybe this picture has something to do with the Senator renaming Salt Lake County "Salty" Lake County. I can just see him blogging franticly at 4am with his office windows open and his shirt off. His necktie is pulled across his forehead, collecting beads of sweat as they tumble off his hairline. The Senator trips the words across his tongue over and over in a dilated daze until he finds "Salty" which makes him laugh till he falls off his chair onto the ground where he stays until 2:30pm. Then when he wakes up, he has all the rhyming couplets to a new patriotic song in his head.
Real SLC Leadership Is With The Council
The Salt Lake City Council rode to the rescue on multiple occasions to rescue the City's policies and interests suffering at the hands of Mayor Rocky Anderson's leadership. The Salt Palace expansion, the Davis County land deal, and the Nordstrom/ Main Street deal are all examples of the City Council stepping in to protect city interests that were endangered by Mayor Anderson's bizarre confrontations and nutty intransigence. That the City Council is Salt Lake City's only hope for leadership under Mayor Anderson is illustrated again by comparing the written opinions of Mayor Rocky Anderson and Councilwoman Jill Remington- Love regarding the city's insurance plan. Councilwoman Remington- Love's opinion is thought out, reasoned and respectful. Mayor Anderson's opinion is the same tired old "my way or the highway" and "I can't believe you're so stupid" rhetoric that has plagued SLC for six years and relegated SLC to second class political status.
Only Mayor Rocky Anderson Gets Awards
As reported in the Salt Lake Tribune: 70% of Salt Lake City employees feel their hard work goes unrecognized. Tales of low morale in Mayor Anderson's administration are not surprising. What is silly is that 70% of the employees feel their efforts are ignored by a boss who has spent much of the recent months trying to get everyone to notice his accomplishment: The World Leadership Award which he won alongside Nigeria (who won 3). Nigeria is the subject of today's harsh Deseret News editorial. Mayor Anderson can't stop explaining how the World Leadership Awards prove his great leadership. Yet, as the Deseret News article points out, Nigeria (who won THREE of Mayor Anderson's Awards this year) was listed by Transparency International as the world's second most corrupt country.
Friday, February 24, 2006
This Is What's Wrong With Politics In Utah
From today's Paul Rolly Lobbyists Sue and Cap Ferry lobby the legislature on behalf of both Real Salt Lake and the Utah Hotel and Lodging Association. The two are at opposite ends of the hotel tax idea. Lobbying firm Tetris' client Salt Lake County is currently being raped by Tetris' other client, Sandy City. Some people argue that Utah politics are great because they are efficient. Well, with people playing both sides, how can I argue with that?
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Wait, Was That A Threat?
Utah Conservative posted an email from Rep. David Cox. Rep. Cox opposes the "School Choice" reform including vouchers and tuition tax credits. In his email, Rep. Cox insists that vouchers are actually bad for private schools because they will open the door to government regulation and rob private schools of their independence. On the very same website, Rep. Cox insisted he was fighting for local control of public schools. So he'll fight tooth and nail for local control of public schools, but somehow is powerless to prevent the state control of private schools? Considering Rep. Cox is one of the legislators who has the power to force state regulation of private schools, it sounds to me like Rep. Cox is making a threat. It's kind of like being told: "God forbid you should meet an unfortunate accident".
Mayor Ross Rocky Anderson Gets Really Excited
You can tell Mayor Anderson himself wrote his official opinion of the City Council's insurace coverage plan. Check out his word usage: "blatantly discriminatory, overwhelmingly, the greatest extent possible, unprecedented, unsupportable, historic, tremendous, wholesale disregard" This is one of the many reasons Mayor Anderson is no good at City Hall. His ideas are the best in the world, "historic", "tremendous opportunites". Ideas he doesn't like are "unsupportable" crap. Hm, no wonder nothing gets done.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
World Leadership Award
Utahania's observations that the World Leadership Award means little as an actual award make a lot of sense considering three of the nine awards went to Lagos, Nigeria for education, health, and science & technology, and one went to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for urban renewal. Come on, THREE to Nigeria? Sounds like everyone who sent in their 3,000 pounds won an award.
Senator Orrin Hatch Fashion Alert
According to the GQ Style Guy, you can wear a button down collar with a tie and even a sport coat, but NOT a suit. Who started that "Senator Hatch is one of D.C.'s best dressed" rumor?
Award- Winning Senator Orrin Hatch
That's right, Senator Orrin Hatch has won an award. He was awarded World's Worst Person of the day on MSNBC's Countdown With Keith Olbermann. Watch the video here. From Countdown: "Always important to remember, senator, just because somebody might have brains, that doesn't mean they aren't in your back side". I think that's an awkward way of saying "Senator Hatch, your brain is up your @$$". Which is true.
More On Mayor Ross Anderson's Weird Award
Utahania has some more information and interesting analysis on the mysterious award Mayor Anderson keeps holding over everyone's head. Apparently, if you make the "shortlist" then have to pay an extra 3000 pounds for the judges to consider you. From Utahania: "I am skeptical of awards that (1) require a fee to win (2) use self-nomination. This sounds to me like the "join the Who's Who list" ads that one used to get coming out of High School."
"They Believe Whatever I Say. Watch This."
Senator Orrin Hatch delivered this line at his event in St. George: "we've stopped a mass murderer in Saddam Hussein. Nobody denies that he was supporting al-Qaida" Senator Hatch then interpreted his statement like this: "I pointed out that the current insurgency in Iraq includes al-Qaida, under the leadership of al-Zarqawi, along with former elements of Saddam's regime." You liar, you did not say that.
Sigh.... Thirty Years
The United States Senate has been Senator Hatch's LA-Z-Boy for way too long. Imagine a person that spends everyday in his recliner chair munching rich food. That's what Senator Hatch has become intellectually. Soft and pudgy. But why should he care? What are they gonna do? Elect a REAL Senator? Don't look now Utah, but I think Senator Orrin Hatch is making fun of you. Hatch puts spin on 'brainless' comment- SL Tribune Never Say Die MISS- City Weekly If I only had a brain...- The World According To Me
Mayor Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson Is A Sulking Child
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Mayor Rocky Anderson's Award
Also mentioned in Mayor Rocky Anderson's letter to City Weekly is that he was disappointed he didn't get more coverage of his "World Leadership Award". John Saltas performed a perfunctory examination of the evidence and found it severely lacking. Here's my own expanded version. I know this is kind of a simpleton way of doing it, but if you search "world leadership award" on google (controlling for the "adult" world leadership award), you come up with about 50 results. If you specify "Utah", you come up with 43. So Mayor Rocky Anderson has complained to no end that we're not bowing at his feet, yet he seems to be the ONLY Mayor who has really received ANY publicity at all out of NINE winning cities. Plus, a generous portion of those hits come from local news sources. So why is Mayor Anderson upset? He's received his due. Perhaps it's because he feels like the award should make him immune to media scrutiny. Sorry Mayor, no politician should ever get that. Not even you.
Rob Miller At The Legislature
Rob Miller spent Friday at the Utah Legislature He has some photos and details some of the people he met. Check it out at The Utah Amicus
Nixon Was Also Missing His Sense Of Humor
The City Weekly had some great insight into Mayor Rocky Anderson this past week. John Saltas revealed that City Weekly had recieved a nasty letter from the Mayor after publishing a cartoonish image of him on the cover of the magazine. This reminded me of Charley Foster's assesment that Mayor Anderson's relationship with the media is "positively Nixonian".
Suppose we take the Utah Legislature at its word. They receive lobbyist gifts, but... Gifts do not buy access, Reps will talk with anyone about anything anyway and Gifts do not decide votes. Why do lobbyists (who are very smart) continue to drop thousands of dollars into the legislature when, according to the representatives themselves, they could do the same thing for nothing?
All of the talk about how the Legislature doesn't need ethics reform because they're all honest guys rings very hollow when you consider the $45 million payoff about to go to Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan. In other news, House Speaker Greg "Double Dippin" Curtis was seen entering Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon's office late last night carrying a baseball bat and two very burly "interns". Real Stadium: County should not be blackmailed into support- SL Tribune
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Rep. Steve Urquhart
Rep. Urquhart will live blog his day as Majority Whip at the Utah State House of Representatives tomorrow, Monday Feb. 20. As far as I know, it will be a first for the Utah Legislature.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
It's nice to see people of importance pick up the Internet as a communication tool. The latest to do so is Rob Miller, Vice- Chair of the Utah Democratic Party. His site, The Utah Amicus, is a blend of political topics wth plenty of local attention. It's a great and interesting read that I recommend.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Representative Rocky Anderson
The more I think about Mayor Anderson in the Legislature, the more it makes sense to me. As a legislator, you can talk all day long. At the end of the day, if nothing is done, responsibility is shared between a few hundred people and it's easy to tell your constituents how hard you tried but that it was everyone else's fault. That would work out well because Mayor Anderson has no one else to add to the list of people to blame for the utterly unspectacular two term flameout that was his career as Mayor: His Employees The City Council Mayor Corraddini The Legislature The Mormon Church The Media Democrats Republicans The Gateway Downtown Landlords Davis County I know there are more. I just can't come up with them.
A Place For Mayor Rocky Anderson
Someone commented on the previous Mayor Anderson post "He is a fierce advocate…if I had legal problems; I’d hire him as my attorney." That made me think that while it's clear his place is NOT City Hall, it might actually be at the State Legislature. I think it might actually be fun to see him up there.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Mayor Rocky Anderson
Mayor Rocky Anderson first ran promising to revitalize Main Street. Two terms later, things are worse than they were and the Mayor never talks about it anymore except to periodically kick the Church development in the shins in a weak attempt to feel he is still relevant. Only two things have held his interest as Mayor: 1. The Olympics because it gave him a chance to rub shoulders with important people and travel the world basking in the light of other people's work and looking busy. 2. His environmental initiative: Perhaps because it's his only success since he started, he's been tricking his plan out all over the globe, sending award applications to organizations spanning the four corners of the world. His groupies love to tout the exposure the city gets, but the awards are simply a cheap way to stretch a month's worth of work into a two term legacy. As if the number of trophies would help us forget that he's wasted our time.
According to a Tribune article, Mayor Rocky Anderson hasn't raised any money this year. Face it, he may throw in the towel. He should. If he hasn't figured out his job yet, another term is just going to waste our time. Remember our last two term Mayor? She was just as liberal as Mayor Anderson, more controversial, had more legal problems and distractions and brought home Gateway, Traxx, and The Olympic Games. Mayor Rocky Anderson has squandered his time. Too bad. Move on.
The Legislature's Busiest Intern
An Example Of Good Ethics
Pete Ashdown is exactly the kind of representative we need. Unafraid to be open and transparent. Read his latest post on this topic. Instead of finding reasons to not release information, how about finding ways to be transparent as possible. This is where technology can play a great role which makes Pete Ashdown a natural choice.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Carrie Dickson, longtime Salt Lake County Republican participant and spouse to new Salt Lake County Republican Vice Chair Dana Dickson will run against Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swenson, a Democrat.
Finally you can email SLCSpin. On the sidebar to the right is an email address you can use for purposes including but not limited to: Complaints about fat jokes Complaints about Senator Orrin Hatch jokes Complaints about offensive language in the comments Threatening me with libel suits Other legal threats Hot tips Enjoy!
My proposal to make it a pain in the butt for Legislators to accept gifts received this anonymous response: "hmm...paper work..sounds like a job for my student intern" D'oh!
My Own Ethics Proposal
Here's my own proposal to deal with lobbyist gifts and reporting. All gifts of any value including meals must be reported BY THE LEGISLATOR within 24 hours of receipt. The report must include: Name of Legislator Name of Lobbyist ALL clients of the lobbyist Description of gift and its value (including meals) All legislation that intersects with any of the lobbyist clients. The Government must post the report to the Internet by the end of the following business day after receiving the report from the Legislator. That's right. Take all the gifts you want. Have fun with the paperwork.
The Senate should consider that passing the House's ethics reform bills is not an admission of guilt. It's a guarantee against abuse. "Trust us, we're honest guys". The problem is they ask for our blind trust. Face it, they don't give us enough information to warrant our trust. Lobbyist reporting rules are a joke. The conflict of interest forms are toothless. They require no detail and many legislators simply offer a smug "none", as if they have no conflicts of interests because they live in caves.
Senator John Valentine On Ethics Reform
"The present system seems to work. We haven't seen abuses in the present system,"- Senate President John Valentine in a Deseret News article speaking on ethics reform. Here's the problem with Senate President Valentine's statement: What do you expect him to say? He's the Senate President!
Legislature and Ethics
I've been kinda hard on the Legislature this year, and I have my reasons. But I'm really cheering the on the House in their ethics reform bills. Too bad the Senate has to be the bad guys on this. They don't have to, they could be the good guys. Anti-gift bills looking like long shots- Deseret News Is this necessary?- Utah Conservative Does my inaction make me look bad?- Woods Cross Citizen
Legislature And Soccer Stadiums
I received a comment from a Legislative intern named Chayce whose boss was a sponsor of the Hotel Tax Bill for the RSL stadium. He makes some fair points, one being Mayor Corroon doesn't technically need to hand the money over to RSL. I pointed that out yesterday, and he's right. However, It's disingenous for the legilature to point a loaded gun at Mayor Corroon and then say "of course, we can't legally force you to do what we say". Mayor Corroon is vulnerable and we all saw what happened the last time a prominent Salt Lake politician incurred the wrath of the State Capitol. These demands on Salt Lake County destroy the idea that this bill levels the field between counties. Also, it should be remembered that Mayor Corroon is expected to fork over $45 mil to RSL. The thing is, it'll take us decades to recover $45 mil from the hotel tax. SLCo's share of the money will be tied up for years to come. We can't use it on anything else but the $150 million bad idea about to go in across the street from possibly the worst restaurant in the County, The Mayan. While the other Counties in Utah are spending their shares how they wish, SLCo will need to go back grovelling to the Legislature for money. Doesn't sound very fair to me.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Mayor Peter Corroon was on KCPW's Midday Metro talking about the RSL stadium. He clarified that although the stadium money would be paid in the form of a 20 year bond. I think it was significant that he had no real answers. The whole gist of the conversation was that there were no hard numbers, but the County "supports" RSL. I think Mayor Corroon is really kind of being led along in this. He insists that if the deal isn't sweet enough for the County, he'll refuse to hand over the cash. But in doing that, he upsets the Utah Legislature and severely upsets Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan. And who's one of Mayor Dolan's major allies? The powerful County Councilman Randy Horiuchi. It would be bad for Mayor Corroon to make enemies within his own government and party. So I'm not holding my breath that Mayor Corroon is going to be able to hold his ground. His criteria for an acceptable project is weak anyway, most likely we'll see Mayor Corroon sign off on the project no matter what the form.
LaVarr Webb is a regular champion of the Utah Legislature. He makes good points about balancing the budget, etc. Reach Upward expanded a bit on the topic today, and on the virtues of a part time legislature. But Webb's remarks only cover parts of what the legislature is doing this year. Consider that they are making the hotel tax permanent to give money to the counties for the tourist project of their choice. EXCEPT for Salt Lake County, who is being forced to use their cut to build the RSL stadium in Sandy. The legislatures actions in this from the beginning have been one big political gift to Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan. It's significant the Legislature that cries the loudest for Federalism is now making SLCo budget decisions AND The renowned legislature of fiscal conservatives has NO QUESTIONS for the project. It's money that must go Mayor Dolan's project, no questions asked, no accountability. No one has any idea how much this project will cost and the Legislature is issuing a blank check! Amazing.
Stuck In The Middle
I like Mayor Peter Corroon. His style of open government and fair and honest dealings is EXTREMELY rare in Utah. Utah's politicians tend to use the following definitions: Open Government = Closed Government Fair and Honest = Mormon We all know they're not the same. Mayor Corroon has some problems though. He's being trapped in a no win situation. He's about to be forced by the legislature to sign a check to RSL for a stadium. If he does it, the RSL boondoggle will come down on his head when the County has to bail out the project. If he refuses, he loses his next election. On one side, he's pinned down by the Legislature. On the other side, he's pinned down by SLCo's most powerful mayor and it's most powerful Councilman, Randy Horiuchi. It's no surprise that the Mayor known for his openness is about to have his career ended by backroom wheeling and dealing. IT'S YOUR GOVERNMENT! RESTRAIN THEM! Because they REFUSE to restrain themselves.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Ridin' That Train
Mayor Rocky Anderson's riding the Olympic train as far as it will go. Why not? It's been four years and it's still the only train in town. I wonder if he wore his 2002 parka for his free trip back to Italy. Actually, I shouldn't disparage the Mayor's accomplishment. To avoid death by the Mayor's personality cult, I'll give the Mayor his due. He has an environmental policy that's won a lot of awards. Good for him. But still.. Which makes you a better filmmaker: 1. Make one movie that wins ten awards. 2. Make ten award winning movies.
What About Larry?
A comment left reminded me that I haven't explained the LHM connection to the RSL Stadium. It's not actually my idea, but it's been cruising around the county for some time. RSL has insisted it has some of the private funding lined up through a not yet revealed major investor. Everyone has surely noticed that the location for the stadium has fallen right across the road from the LarryLand White Trash Emporium. So what do you get when the Legislature signs Mayor Corroon's name to a blank check to be cashed across the street from LHM homebase? "Krazy Larry's Sokker Hyperplex"
When Fat Men Attack!!
Saturday, February 11, 2006
In a KUTV story, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon said he felt $45 million was too much money for taxpayers to put up for RSL. I completely 100% agree. Mayor Corroon, please encourage RSL to reconsider downtown. This project is becoming too big for Salt Lake County to support. Salt Lake County does not need a "soccer city". It needs a stadium. It's truly ironic that RSL declared cost to be the primary factor in a move to Sandy, but is now faced with a project skyrocketing in price with no end in sight. May I suggest taxpayers grant RSL's first request of $25 million, use it to purchase land downtown and provide needed infrastructure.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
The link in the post below isn't doing its thing, so here's the actual text: 76-7-102. Incest. (1) A person is guilty of incest when, under circumstances not amounting to rape, rape of a child or aggravated sexual assault, he has sexual intercourse with a person whom he knows to be an ancestor, descendant, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, or first cousin. The relationships referred to herein include blood relationships of the whole or half blood without regard to legitimacy, relationship of parent and child by adoption, and relationship of stepparent and stepchild while the marriage creating the relationship of a stepparent and stepchild exists. (2) Incest is a felony of the third degree.
We all know incest is a third degree felony and includes what the Jeffs' society is doing in the Utah/Arizona border towns. I know everyone is a little gun shy about prosecuting these kinds of things, but what happens when you engage in incest with the intent of bearing children knowing those children could have a terrible birth defect?
We All Knew This Was Coming
Birth defect is plaguing children in FLDS towns- Deseret Morning News Exclusive Report: Braided Bloodlines- KSL-TV Not a bad bit of reporting. One part that stuck out for me was that until a few years ago, there were only 13 cases worldwide of this defect. In the border towns alone there are 20 children afflicted.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Lincoln Day Dinner Report
Utah Conservative has a good post on the Utah County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner. Predictably, I picked up on these two ideas: "the Brambles were fit to be tied that anyone would challenge them" and "Sen. Hatch tried to tell jokes, and they were embarrassing and it was a disaster"
The Senate Site
sarabellum stumbled across a piece to a very expensive puzzle the other day. She found a Warren Jeffs business card. (and she has a picture of it) It's a card for HydraPak Seals. Here's where it gets weird: HydraPak is apparently owned by Warren Jeffs' brother. Here's where it gets weirder: HydraPak manufactured the O- Ring that destroyed the Space Shuttle Challenger.
An 'Off' Day
Everyone has them. Today is mine. I'm falling a little behind. Two corrections: The picture window broken was at Pete Ashdown's campaign HQ, not X- Mission. The politico- basketball was between the Executive and Legislative branch. The Legislature's combined House/Senate team beat the Governor's office. The Judicial branch didn't play. Their robes put them at a disadvantage.
More Pete Ashdown
Utah Politics has an interesting Pete Ashdown interview. "Why do I want this job? Because I believe I can do it better."- Pete Ashdown
I was not surprised to hear that the homemade campaign sign Pete Ashdown's father made was destroyed. It must be embarrasingly obvious to Senator Hatch's supporters that Pete Ashdown is everything Senator Hatch is not. Successful in business A Utahn
Good Job Utah Senate
The Utah Senate beat the House of Representatives in basketball last night Senate: 63 House: 54 They played at the Delta Center. Lucky. Does LHM have to report this?
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Do You Know What That Sound Is?
Don't Be Senator Hatch's Step Stool
I was saddened but not surprised to hear that someone threw a brick through the X- Mission window (15' window by the way) after Pete Ashdown signed up to run for U.S. Senate. What do you really expect? Compare the two. Pete Ashdown has dedicated his life to Utah. He brought the Internet to Utah. His business employs people. Contrast that to carpetbagger Senator Hatch and his fake accent. We gave him our money, our trust, and thirty years of our lives. What did he give us? Just enough thinly veiled religious references to keep the Senate perks flowing. Oh, and a big loafer print right on our foreheads.
So the word has spread: Doug Wright is out. The full text of his bizarre press release was posted here yesterday. I recommend you read it as an example of the fact that anyone can write a press release. Wright is not right- Utah Conservative Radio host Wright will not seek GOP nomination for Congress- Tribune Radio host Wright won't run for Congress- Deseret News
Monday, February 06, 2006
Former Governor Mike Leavitt
Rep. Roz McGee
She has an unexpected accent. It's not a Utah accent, but it's very strong. I heard her today say "Ah Buhleeve"
Doug Wright Not A Candidate
Looks like my dream was right on the money. February 6, 2006, Salt Lake City, UT "After seriously considering a bid for the 2nd Congressional District seat, KSL Radio personality Doug Wright has decided against declaring his candidacy for 2006." "With broad support, both in Utah and Washington, D.C., and enthusiastic grass roots encouragement, Wright is confident that he would have prevailed in both the convention and primary. He expressed concern however, that, If Republicans are to have a chance of winning the seat; we must not go down the same path that we have traveled in the last three election cycles. " "In recent speeches he has also shown reservation about reliving the past with a contentious and resource draining Republican Convention, followed by a bitter and divisive Primary; all of which have proven to be a formula for disaster. By choosing to not participate in a potential replay, Wright feels that the Republican Party will have a better chance of reclaiming this most important national office." "A recent inductee into the Utah Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Doug Wright has been a highly respected opinion-maker for almost three decades. His interest in politics can be traced back to early Utah pioneer roots and his great grandfather Stephen H. Love, a two-term President of the Utah State Senate, candidate for Congress and also for Governor." "In referring to Wright's seriously considered 2006 run for the congressional seat, a column in the Deseret Morning News recently said, He is clearly the candidate Matheson fears the most." "Wright will maintain an active role in Utah politics and public affairs and looks forward to continuing his popular radio show. The Utah Policy Daily has described The Doug Wright Show as A significant factor in Utah politics, and further noted that the value of getting on Wright's show is now on a par with getting an audience with newspaper editorial boards or getting a press release published."
Lavarr Webb had this to say in today's Utah Policy: "If our Legislature ran Utah the way Congress runs the country we would toss our lawmakers out of office headfirst." Honestly, I think that is absolutely false. I can't think of anything this legislature could do that would endanger their jobs. One of the main problems Utah has politically is the complete lack of accountability. And besides, our D.C. reps are absolutely complicit in the irresponsibility of Congress, yet they themselves are in little danger. Consider: The Judiciary Committee is a running joke thanks to Senator Hatch. Where's the accountablity?
Senator Chris Buttars Exagerrates
Match the two phrases "Senator Buttars wrote his Evolution bill after..." 1. hearing from a few parents whose students had learned they descended from apes 2. hearing from several parents whose students had learned they descended from apes 3. hearing from a lot of parents whose students had learned they descended from apes 4. becoming sick of hearing from parents whose students etc etc. Answer: all of the above Senator Buttars has declared each of the above situations. It's still unclear how many parents contacted Senator Buttars before he wrote the bill. I would say his very first comment most accurately represented reality. Senator Buttars was contacted by "a few parents". Everything else he inflated for rhetorical effect.
Rep. Margaret Dayton Is Magic
I do a bit of work for KCPW when I'm at the legislature, and I let Rep. Margaret Dayton know I was interested in recording a conversation with her. Her assistant came out to see what I wanted and to let me know Rep. Dayton had to meet Congressman Bishop and didn't have time. I told her I just needed a few minutes when she left the House Chamber then I found out: Assistant: "She's upstairs wating for Congressman Bishop to leave the Senate" Me: "I could just talk with her while she's waiting in the hall" Ass: "No, that's not possible [audible 'ding ding' sounds in the House Chamber] and as you can see, there's a vote going on right now." Me: "So she's in the House Chamber voting?" Ass: "Yes" Two locations at once. Not bad.
Why "Buttars v. Monkeys" MUST FAIL
Let There Be Evolution In Utah referenced a comment left at the Senate Site. It illustrated the severely damaging consequences to Senator Buttars' bill. It was written by a Junior High student. Here's part of it: "I believe that you have a certain obligation to your church and to your God to stand up for the things that are in this bill. As a Mormon, I believe that you are suppose to take this opportunity and try to help our Great state of Utah find some truth, some light in the dark world of Science!" A JUNIOR HIGH STUDENT! This bill forces students to choose between science and religion.
Oh, I guess if you make it a big joke, it's okay to dress down at the legislature. One of the representatives alerted the Congressman to the fact that many in the legislature were sporting sweaters and no ties (in honor of his visit)? One was even wearing no socks. So if you're a lovable joker, then you get away with it. If you're the press, you're part of a conspiracy to smear the reputation of the legislature.
Congressman Rob Bishop
If you've been following the Tribune's Planet Legislature, you know the media has been criticized by lawmakers for not dressing appropriately. Congressman Bishop is addressing the house right now wearing a sweater and an open collar button down shirt.
Rep. Urquhart- Stand Up Guy
State Of The Beehive and Democracy For Utah have referenced a New York Times article that talks about Utah's "Buttars v. Monkeys" bill. Thanks to Rep. Steve Urquhart (a biology major in college), the bill looks doomed. I was genuinely surprised to see this bill progress. I was not surprised to see Sen. Buttars propose it, because for a while he has been inspired by the frantic evangelical conservatives of other regions, but I really thought the bill would never make it out of committee. Then I thought it would never make it out of the Senate. I'm glad to see Rep. Urquhart standing up to a genuinely bad idea.
Friday, February 03, 2006
Toyota Prius: Not Welcome
Green Jello wonders why the Toyota Prius is the only hybrid vehicle excluded from the hybrid vehicle state tax credit. Maybe one of the legislators was in an accident with a Prius. Or maybe a Prius made fun of him at a party.
Another One For Pete Ashdown
Livin It One Day At A Time- "for the first time, I’m urging people to take a look at a Democrat and give him a chance."
Rebecca Walsh reported Rod Decker had found a new place for his coat after it was "hidden" to teach him a lesson about leaving his junk under the tables outside the house chamber at the Capitol. I don't think that's why his coat was hidden. I think it was just a practical joke. On one of the first days of the legislature, I approached a House green- jacket and asked where the coat check was. He told me to leave my stuff on or under one of the long tables placed around the chambers where no one will touch it.
Sometimes Bloggers Need Lawyers Who Are Bloggers
Charley Foster recently posted a demand from the Deseret News to retract a comment made by Cliff Lyon. Charley has followed up with some legal analysis of when a person can be held responsible for 3rd party comments on his site. I'm glad Charley is nearby. Just because we are excercising our 1st Amendment rights doesn't mean we can't get into some legal trouble.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Shawn from Casserole Bar has moved out of the state. I always enjoyed reading Shawn's Casserole Bar and his other contributions around our local blog community. He is missed already. Goodbye Shawn, and good luck.