Ballot Madness | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Ballot Madness 

The push back against the ballot initiatives; the war on golf and the state of Washington takes up the fight against coal.

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Ballot Madness
For a while, everyone was worried about election fraud. Dear God, those illegal aliens were being bused into cities to vote in droves! Of course, that was untrue. Now you have to wonder what's behind the efforts to derail the four ballot initiatives in Utah. Apparently, certain people don't want citizens to exercise their right to vote, and it's not because of undocumented immigrants. It's because "the people" aren't smart enough. First, let's get this straight. Signing a ballot initiative petition is not voting—it's allowing a measure to get on the ballot so you can vote. And yeah, you can change your vote in the meantime. You can study the issues. Instead, we're getting hyperbole and fear-mongering so you don't have to worry your pretty little head about these matters. The Deseret News calls the medical marijuana petition a false choice, and warns "against pursuing an emotional rush to pass a reckless initiative." What are they smoking?

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In a Divot
Let's take a moment here to warn the golfers of the world that, like the newspaper industry, you are going down. Well, not quite, but it's time to start thinking about your future—unless you live in Mar-a-Lago. The Salt Lake City Council is—again—trying to figure out how to pay for public golf courses or even if it should. The city would have to subsidize the courses big time, and that's not likely to happen. Meanwhile, Rep. Chris Stewart came to the aid of Wingpointe near the airport with a bill to remove fair market value from the FAA's leasing requirement. Really? It's that important? The Deseret News thinks it is. Closings outpaced openings in the past decade, according to the National Post, and that's because millennials are rethinking their pastimes. If golf courses are to survive, there needs to be some innovative thinking.

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Coal vs. Washington
Good on Washington state for standing up for itself. But watch out as coal-loving states like Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Kansas, South Dakota and Nebraska whine their way into the hearts of a dying business. They argue that Washington is violating the Interstate Commerce Clause by denying permits to let coal pass through its ports. You know, it's the environment, stupid! But Washington is up against some formidable opponents, including the Farm Bureau and, of course, Trump. Meanwhile, "Energy" Secretary Rick Perry is looking at shoring up coal and nuclear with a decades-old law, according to The Hill. And the feds gave Utah's biggest coal producer a $19-million royalty discount. Get your gas masks ready and never mind states' rights.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

More by Katharine Biele

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