BCS Busting, Mark Shurtleff's Withdrawal & Unity Utah | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

BCS Busting, Mark Shurtleff's Withdrawal & Unity Utah 

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BCS Busting
To give every college football team a national championship shot, Matthew Sanderson, a U of U graduate who worked on Arizona Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, has formed the Playoff PAC. The federal political action committee is raising money to elect politicians opposed to the Bowl Championship Series to Congress in what may be the only realistic way to repair a system that often punishes success. As with the Utes in 2008, TCU could find themselves undefeated yet only playing for third place. Undefeated Boise State may be left out of the BCS bowls altogether—also like last year. On Saturday, Nov. 14, the Utes go to TCU, in a huge game for both teams. Then, on Friday, Nov. 20, Boise State will storm into Logan for a game televised on ESPN2. Reinforcing the BCS injustices is that the Aggies could actually gain more by losing, because a BCS trip for the Broncos could provide more than $1 million for schools in the Western Athletic Conference, which Utah State belongs to. Go ahead, Aggie fans, cheer for the Broncos and while you’re at it, toss a few dollars Sanderson’s way.

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Election Dud
Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s withdrawal from the U.S. Senate race means a 2010 election with almost no drama. Shurtleff’s challenge to Republican Sen. Bob Bennett seemed to make the incumbent sweat, something that no other challengers have done. There may be only one person who can make things fun in 2010: U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Twitter-happy, airport-security-fighting Republican. The time is right for him to challenge the incumbent senator. As an added bonus, a Chaffetz run for the Senate would also open up his House seat, which is in a district chock-full of, shall we say, interesting politicians.

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Trained in Zion
The new executive director for the National Stonewall Democrats, Michael Mitchell, cut his teeth fighting for gay rights in Utah as the first executive director of Unity Utah (now Equality Utah). In 2004, he was a leading voice of opposition to the constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage despite a well-run campaign against it. He left Utah a few years ago to work with the American Civil Liberties Union gaymarriage initiative. Gay rights may be a long-time coming in Utah, but the inhospitable environment may provide the best training possible for aspiring activists.

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