You know you’re in trouble when the person conducting the GRAMA working group—Lane Beattie—says this: “As a person who thought I somewhat understood GRAMA, I want you to know I didn’t.” It became obvious that that was the case soon after the first few meetings of the legislatively empowered group, which just forwarded a stunningly insipid report to their uber-lawmakers. Good grief. Not only did they recommend that text messages be off-limits (guess how we’ll conduct the government’s business now), but they weren’t quite sure about e-mail correspondence. Even Senate President Michael Waddoups was shocked and amazed that they hadn’t tackled the “thorny issues.” Indeed, Beattie, a former Senate president himself and now Salt Lake Chamber head, seems to be the go-to guy for a lot of things, but it’s hard to say why. Unless: real estate developer, Olympics officer, oh and member of the Utah Predominants.
Fire the Cannons
If for no other reason than to point out Republican hypocrisy, it was nice to see that the Federal Election Commission is keeping up on old fines and miscreants—even if it means nothing. Former Rep. Chris Cannon has now racked up $45,000 in fines for alleged violation of campaign-finance laws. Reports say he owes more than $137,000 to outside companies, too. Not to pick on Cannon, but don’t the Republicans say they want to run the country like a business? Well, he and his brother Joe took over Geneva Steel in 1987, but the two just fought and sued until it went bankrupt in 1999 and shut down for good in 2002. Both have managed to resurrect themselves—Joe as GOP chair and then Deseret News editor, and Chris, of course, as congressman. Whatever their financial fortunes, one has to wonder if the country should be run this way.
Mr. President, what are you thinking? Barack Obama’s not touching present ozone standards because, gee, our economy is bad and what, we need more pollution to boost business? You’ve got to wonder about the nation’s priorities. Obama still stands behind nuclear as an energy option. There are no lessons learned from Japan. Besides politics, there must be some feeling that meltdown can’t happen here and lung power only matters if you’re trying to make a point in a congressional hearing. Cherise Udell of Utah Moms for Clean Air says only polluters will benefit from a lack of standards.