Ratepayers were the big winner this legislative session, thanks to advocates like citizen activist Claire Geddes fighting for the little guy. First there was the feel-good House Bill 388, to ask voters if they want to expand public transit—for a price. The problem is that money going to public transit hasn’t exactly been used well, and the idea of raising taxes—and $91.5 million—to supposedly increase the bus service UTA already cut didn’t sit well with legislators. The word “bus” was never used in the bill. Then there was HB243, also sold as a “clean air” bill. It would provide another “ongoing revenue stream” through an opt-out utility charge going to a new bureaucracy that would decide how to use it. These nebulous bills aimed to clear the air using muddy language.
Let’s clarify the reason for Utah’s high fertility rate. It’s not due “in part to the state’s long-standing definition of marriage.” It’s due, in part, to the long-standing beliefs of the LDS Church, which promotes the bringing of little souls to Earth. While the state is indeed run predominately by Mormon men, some of whom helped craft Amendment 3 banning gay marriage, it is in no way credited for high fertility rates. That is one of the arguments in the state’s appeal to the 10th Circuit Court. That, and the just plain bizarre statements that “active liberty” would come to a screeching halt—and more. Take a read of the appeal. It’s hyperbole at its best.
We just had to save our sweet little caucus system in Utah. Sure, there was a so-called compromise which lets political wannabes go after signatures to get on the ballot. Isn’t that kind of like making them run two campaigns? The argument against direct primaries was that only rich people could win. That ostensibly is because the general public is so dumb it will only vote for someone with a slick, expensive campaign. And you can totally trust the few people who know how to manipulate caucuses, because they’re in the know. Caucus season is about to start, and we’ll see just how the candidates fare. Maybe we’ll get another Mike Lee; just an average attorney, not super rich—who did have to sell his house, didn’t he?