Is there no end to Sen. Mike Lee’s reading and apparent memorization of the Constitution? Lee, a very verbal congressional freshman, held that it would be wrong to vote for the Violence Against Women Act because it oversteps constitutional authority. Like an evangelical Christian who takes the Bible so literally as to condone stoning, Lee finds no room for interpretation—or change—in our country’s founding document. At least Sen. Orrin Hatch found other reasons to oppose the reauthorization. Hatch voted no because he didn’t like added provisions on immigration, same-sex partners and American Indians. Meanwhile, the states’-rights issue smolders, and Republicans can’t even agree on whether gay marriage—much less domestic violence—should be in states’ hands.
The folks of Utahns for Ethical Government are still at it, trying to get the ethics issue on the November ballot for the electorate to decide. But the state and the Legislature are having none of that democracy business. It’s a given that legislators despise initiatives and have made it increasingly difficult, if nearly impossible, for citizens to gather supportive signatures. UEG went ahead and collected 130,000 signatures and 1,000 electronic ones. But the state doesn’t go for this use of technology, and wants those eliminated. The state also argues about the collection deadline, which is anything but clear in the law. The 3rd District Court is considering the issue, while many Utahns wonder why the Legislature is so fearful of an independent ethics commission.
The disappearance of Susan Powell continues to generate interest, even after her husband, Josh, and her two young children are dead. While in hindsight it looks like West Valley City police missed the obvious, The Salt Lake Tribune is now trying to play catchup in a game of too little too late. They are inviting the public to weigh in on the case—as if it hasn’t been front-page news for the past two years. They’ve launched a website called “Where Is Susan?” making the whole thing a little more like a “Where’s Waldo?” game. How does the Trib plan to follow up on these belated “tips,” anyway? If she’s in the landfill, well, tips aren’t going to help now. In the desert? Maybe they’ll be taking field trips. And if someone really has information, why would they bypass the police for the newspaper?