Thursday, October 7, 2010

Open Container: Six Pack on the Dashboard

Posted By on October 7, 2010, 11:49 AM

Above the Fold Ale: It's the next big scandal to rock the gubernatorial race: Tailgate-Gate!---

Yesterday, I rode to the gubernatorial debate at Utah Valley University with Peter Corroon's campaign manager and future Utah governor, Donald Dunn, because I was scheduled to ride back with Corroon to interview him for our election previews. At Point of the Mountain, a Suburban came up on us in the HOV lane fast and, like a good Utah driver, rode our asses for a minute or two.

As Dunn pointed out to me that it was Gov. Gary Herbert's security detail, the Suburban whipped past us by crossing the double lines of the HOV lane. As they did this, I offered to flip the governor off, but Dunn declined. (For the record, that's not a personal attack against Herbert, and I would flip off Corroon if Herbert's people asked me). We did, however, keep the governor's vehicle in sight (although we stayed, properly, in the HOV lane) until they exited at 800 South in Orem.

I found this whole event funny, and tweeted it. However, since I don't have a smart phone to monitor Twitter -- I tweet remotely using a text message, very 2008 -- I had no idea that my smart-ass little tweet caused a minor tweetstorm. The tweet went mildly viral, with a few of my Twitter followers commenting that this was further proof of Herbert's arrogance.

Even better, it apparently prompted a series of discussions among Herbert's people, and an eventual clarification for me that, actually, the governor's security detail are law enforcement and the double-line law (and other traffic laws) don't apply to them. There may have also been another car that the detail was trying to shake, and that when they blew past us they had no idea who was in the car.

Fine, good, thanks. Detail didn't break any laws, and may have been protecting the governor. I understand that they have a job to do. However, I also stand by what I saw first-hand: The governor's Suburban was being driven like basically every other Suburban in the state, loaded with people and driving like they are about to miss the Second Coming.

What disappoints me is that people didn't actually seem to seize much on my other tweets, which primarily focused on the bizarre fact the coffee is essentially a forbidden substance at UVU. Nobody in the student center -- you know, where students hang out, eat, drink and so forth -- actually serves coffee. (The 7-11 style espresso machine in Scoops N' More doesn't count.) That required a short hike to the library for a "Starbucks," which was actually a combo deli/rice bowl/smoothie place that had self-serve Starbucks coffee. They also had a push-button espresso machine, but the only thing I saw people getting from that was the Only in Utah "Strawberry Steamer," which is strawberry syrup and steamed milk. It's the new Ovaltine, apparently.

My point? I used to tell people to never go to Utah County without a flask of whiskey. But, the warning is now even more dire: Never, ever go to Utah County without caffeine, and try to avoid the governor's security detail. Or better yet, all Suburbans.

Political Pocket Rockets: Ahh, the debate. I actually had a whole post worked up in my head with an analysis of the debate, but that isn't as fun. Here's my semi-short analysis: Herbert did better controlling his temper (no slapping his knee or punching Rod Decker in the nose). He's also building his entire campaign around his successes, which is probably smart unless voters actually start asking him what he is going to do, not what he has done. Corroon continues to hammer at the I-15 thing, and it has traction. But ... he runs the risk of becoming a one-note candidate that grinds on people. He told me that he would love to talk about all of his plans, but people only ask about the campaign finance stuff. Well, why not put a campaign finance reform plan on your website, and emphasize there's many other plans? Corroon has won a couple of rounds, but is still a ways behind. He needs something else to push into the single-digit range. Also, it was a college-centric crowd today, but the candidates barely focused on college issues, even with many questions about tuition increases. Those were simply reasons to talk about education generally. Also, neither candidate ever addressed things important to 20-somethings.

Bonus Rockets: Mike Lee gets $$$ from Sen. Jim DeMint. Anonymous Republicans attack Herbert, plus Jason Williams take on The Side Track blog. James Evans escapes 2004, sues Batman and Robin (or, depending on your political perspective, Penguin and The Joker). Breaking: Matheson safe.

Utah Beer: FLDS continue to flail away. NW Quadrant/Pleasantville continues to seem like a bad idea. Summit Co. sheriff's race getting nasty.

Leisure Time Lager: The U.S. Supreme Court tries to find a way, any way, to shut down the Westboro Loony Bin.

Josh's Java: Roy Halladay is a bad mofo. Also, go Giants!

Weekly Weizen: Open Container has a new civility policy. Utah's king of music parodies. The Devil Makes Three.

The Six Pack on the Dashboard update is published most weekdays. To subscribe to an e-mail version, send a message to josh@joshloftin.com or tweet me @joshloftin. For an RSS feed of the Open Container and all of the other City Weekly blog posts, visit the Salt Blog at cityweekly.net.


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