Sometimes the Sutherland Institute has a good point, as in its latest missive. Paul Mero begins by extolling the virtues of Sutherland’s independent voice, based only on its core principles. He can say what he wants without fear of reprisal. This is all good. But then he says he just wishes the Count My Vote supporters would “be honest about their motives. Just say it—moderate Republicans are tired of being out of power in office and certain Utahns would like to assume that power.” He sends you to CountMyVoteUtah.org to prove his point. Maybe he’s right that the caucus system isn’t at fault for poor voter turnout. But he rants about CMV’s exclusionary claim, pitting civic against voter participation. The problem with this is that many civic-minded voters do not attend caucuses because they can’t stand the loud and bitter dialogue that characterizes the fringe. That’s today’s politics, and why more voters count themselves out.
Government sometimes is an exercise in futility. Just look at what’s happening with the Affordable Care Act: No law goes unchanged, and no battle ever ends. On a more local level, take a look at the township of Millcreek. In November 2012, a supermajority of voters thought they’d snuffed out the idea of incorporation. But wait. Now, some residents have started a petition to annex to Holladay—and this time, there would be no vote. A majority of landowners would have to sign a petition, activating another feasibility study by Salt Lake County. There are only 800 signatures of 5,000 qualified voters, but it’s enough to kick in the study, which opponents say will cost $120,000 just to prepare. Just goes to show: Never say never.
Utahns probably won’t know for a couple of months whether a nuclear-power plant on the Green River is a go. But at least the issue is getting a provocative and public airing before a 7th District judge in Price. Intuitively, you’d think that a nuclear-power plant sucking 53,600 acre feet of water from the Green—in a desert area that’s ecologically fragile—would be a bad idea. But Blue Castle Holdings convinced the state engineer, Kent Jones, that they’ll just be pumping it back in, all clean and slick—no problem. Nevermind that they have only a fraction of the finances needed, and no assurances that Rocky Mountain Power would even be interested in buying the power. Blue Castle keeps marching on. There must be a pot of gold at the end of this nuclear rainbow.