Riverton Gets a Utah State Liquor Store
Since there are only three Salt Lake County liquor stores south of 2100 South and west of Interstate 15 (!), the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control was actually mandated by the state in December to build a new store to service the citizens with a perfectly legal substance, even though the Riverton City Council is vehemently opposed to having a hooch hut in its fair city. “They are a commercial venture for the state of Utah, but they do not have to follow any of the rules other commercial ventures follow,” Riverton Mayor Bill Applegarth told the Deseret Morning News. “That’s of great concern to me.” Yeah, tell us about it.
BEST CAMPAIGN SIGN RECYCLING
XMission founder Pete Ashdown, Democratic challenger to Utah’s incumbent-senator-for-life Orrin Hatch, fought the good fight and came closer to victory last November than many expected, and you may have noticed that his campaign materials did not list a specific year: Hold on to those lawn signs—Ashdown may take another run at it.PAshdown.org
BEST CAMPAIGN FOILER
Satan, Re: John Jacobs
Republican 3rd Congressional District candidate John Jacobs’ assertion that none other than Satan was thwarting his primary campaign against five-term Rep. Chris Cannon may have ultimately sunk him last election season, but when it hit Drudge.com, it at least generated some funny blog chatter: “The devil is impeding his efforts? How self-important can you get?” was answered with “Bush sent Laura out to campaign for [Jacob’s] opponent—Chris ‘Open Borders’ Cannon—so maybe it’s the ‘devil in a blue dress’ he’s talking about.”
BEST POWER BROKER Readers’ Choice
Jon Huntsman Jr.
He shot down nukes in the west desert not once but twice, sweet talked the Legislature into putting money in schools and resurrected a soccer stadium deal everyone thought was dead. Junior’s best power play may yet prove to be going against the Utah grain to endorse John McCain for president over golden boy Mitt Romney. Not that we subscribe to the conspiracy theory that McCain was brainwashed in Vietnam to run for president as a “Manchurian candidate” and Huntsman is his Chicom handler. Then again, Huntsman does speak Mandarin …
2. Larry H. Miller
3. Dave Checketts
BEST USE OF POLITICALLY EXPEDIENT FAUX STUPIDITY
Salt Lake County Republican Party Chairman James Evans
In his speech at an Aug. 30, 2006, anti-Bush rally, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson accused pro-war Republicans of “slavish, blind obedience” to President George W. Bush. James Evans wasted no time in purposefully misinterpreting the mayor, saying, “I can’t believe he just called me a slave,” and demanding Rocky’s censure by the City Council. When a Washington, D.C., mayor fires a staff member over his use of a racist-sounding but innocent word, it might just possibly be attributed to ignorance—but Evans is too smart to think he can get away with acting stupid just to make political points.
BEST LONE DEMONSTRATOR
It’s one thing to march en masse against George W. Bush during an anti-war rally in downtown Salt Lake City. It’s another, several months before the war rally, to get out on the streets carrying a sign demanding Bush’s impeachment—by yourself. Bergan has walked 400 miles up and down Salt Lake City streets over the past four years making his lone protest against the U.S. war in Iraq. Now he stands on street corners collecting, he says, as many thumbs up as he does birds. The 54-year-old out-of-work optician has lost three signs to irate citizens but that hasn’t stopped his urgent sense of civic duty one iota. He’s Utah’s last angry man, it seems, and we’re all better off for him.
BEST CHILD SUPPORT
Guardian Ad Litem
Guardians, state-appointed attorneys who represent children in court cases, often find little favor with the right or left. But spend time watching then-GAL (now Commissioner) Anthony Ferdon, one of boss Kristen Brewer’s 31-strong legal crew, and you’d see passion in action. It became clear quickly that a GAL at the top of his game has only one thing on his agenda: looking after children betrayed by the one love that should have protected them. While a GAL can’t undo that betrayal, he or she can at least help ensure it doesn’t happen again.