Civil Disobedience Is Fun
These days, comparisons are the justification for almost any act, illegal or not. If you want to justify the occupation of an Oregon wildlife preserve, you compare it to Henry David Thoreau's 1849 essay titled "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience." Or you compare it with Occupy Wall Street, and the Ferguson and Baltimore riots. Oh wow. Do we recall that Thoreau didn't think voting or petitioning for change would accomplish anything? And he was writing during a time when the country supported slavery? And he didn't write the Constitution? We don't own slaves anymore, so something did, in fact, accomplish that change. Anyway, a motley group of Utah supporters took a road trip to Oregon in support of Ammon Bundy, and posts about this and Thoreau have been all over social media. It was so fun, apparently, protecting someone else's private property rights. Even if they didn't ask for it.
OK, it goes without saying that Michael Clara ruffles feathers. To the Salt Lake City School District, he is also a massive legal headache. It's not that Clara has no good ideas, it's just that he never lets go, seldom listens to the other side and doesn't recognize efforts at collaboration. So when Clara was fired from the Utah Transit Authority, there was likely a collective sigh of relief. But not everything is karma. And in this case, the public trusts UTA less than it trusts journalists and politicians. Clara has worked for the agency for 20 years and was fired after warning about problems with some bus stops and shelters. The warnings came as UTA was trying to get Proposition 1 passed. Whether the two are related is unknown, but even though Clara is an at-will employee, you can be sure we'll be hearing more about this.
Both daily Salt Lake City newspapers had a negative take on the new method for getting on a ballot. Whether it was "hits a snag" or "causing more strife," both papers noted that perpetually pissed-off GOP Party Chair James Evans wants the lieutenant governor to quit verifying signatures until the party makes some pronouncement. Well, that didn't go well, and the lieutenant governor's office will just do what it's planned—without Evans' approval. Meanwhile, candidates are out getting signatures, and many say it's been good to interact with the grass roots. Of course, it turns out to be expensive, too. According to the Deseret News, some have paid $8,000 to professional signature gatherers. Ostensibly, they'll be returning with comments to the candidates.