Label Maker | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Label Maker 

Also: Questionable Actions, Light 'Em Up

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Label Maker
Just as the Sutherland Institute sent a post about how Libertarians are really conservatives comes news that Libertarians are witnessing a resurgence in the United States. Conservative Republicans may really be small “l” libertarians, who are taking over GOP strongholds, like Nevada. Since Libertarians resist labels, no one really knows what they are. But as the Sutherland Institute’s Paul Mero searched the Internet, he came up with “evidence” from a Heritage Foundation report. “Libertarian friends, we suspect you are actually conservatives under a different name. If you wonder, reading this wonderful essay by the great Russell Kirk may help clarify things,” he said. Longtime L-turned-l libertarian Jim Dexter quipped: “Conservative attack on Libertarians: First, mischaracterize. Second, exaggerate. Third, write monotonously so no one will ever finish reading it.” Yep, Kirk’s eight pages were written in 1988.

Questionable Actions
Speaking of question-mark Republicans, Merrill Cook was back in the news, as the Utah Supreme Court dismissed his challenge to the initiative ballot process. Well, they actually sent him back to District Court to seek relief from the draconian 316 days that the Legislature gives you to collect signatures around the state. Cook is backing a “lawful employment initiative” to keep illegal immigrants from working— something the Legislature probably agrees with. But they don’t agree with initiatives. Meanwhile, Utahns for Ethical Government lost their bid in the right court for an ethics initiative and can now go to the Supreme Court, passing Cook going the other way. Their issue, too, is signatures—how many and whether they can be electronic. Boy, the Legislature really cleared that up, didn’t they?

Light ’Em Up
What with all the wildfires, and a drought draining Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert finally decided—sort of—that there can be a ban on fireworks if any of the 243 cities here say so. Public lands are a no-no, and the state forester can ban shooting in unincorporated areas. Herbert spoke in bold timidity only after a closed-door meeting with legislators and lawyers, and he still managed to enrage the Second Amendment types. Yes, he was probably picking on them since trucks, campers and homeless people are as much to blame for fires as shooters. All this sparked Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, whose law lengthens the time you can set off fireworks, into action again, saying cities can’t issue all-out bans.

Twitter: @KathyBiele

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

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.

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