Gay Episcopal Bishop for Utah?, UTA Lobbyist Michael Allegra & Lobbyists in State positions 

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Gospel Love
An Episcopalian pastor in a gay relationship for 28 years and legally married in California in 2008 is one of four finalists to become the next Episcopal bishop of Utah. Michael Barlowe currently lives in San Francisco, where his partner, Paul Burrows, is the rector of an Episcopalian church. According to Barlowe’s self-penned biography, he met Burrows when they were both beginning their careers with the church, and they have remained together while serving in New Jersey, Iowa and California. Now, their journey may bring them to Utah, where the strongly anti-gay marriage LDS Church is the dominant religion. In his application, he says that Episcopalians in Utah can provide valuable lessons to other dioceses “who are finding themselves increasingly marginal to the majority culture.” It also would be a perfect way to show that God’s compassion and Christian living does not end when two men hold hands.

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Transit Fiefdom
The Utah Transit Authority shuffled its management team April 8, announcing “immediate” changes that promoted John Inglish from general manager to chief executive officer, a position in which he will work on national transportaion initiatives and focus on securing more federal funding—in other words, he is now UTA’s federal lobbyist. Michael Allegra becomes general manager and Bruce Jones, the current general counsel, is now also the director of government operations. Combined, the three earn almost $1 million with bonuses, and that’s without getting raises for their promotions (those will likely come later). While the changes are not “official” until approved April 28 by UTA’s board of directors, they are already in effect, making it clear that the taxpayer-funder UTA considers the public its servants.

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Lobbing Lobbyists
Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, noticed a disturbing trend among legislative candidates this year: Five of them were registered lobbyists. In fact, former Novell lobbyist Steve Handy will replace former House Hot Tub Party Organizer Kevin Garn after Handy won the Republican nomination April 10 (no Democrat or third-party candidates filed for the seat). It’s a trend Ray hopes to see fade away by proposing a bill for the 2011 Legislature that would require lobbyists to resign from their jobs before filing for state office. Now, if only he could do something about those pesky legislators who are also registered lobbyists.

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