Money for Nothing | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Money for Nothing 

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Money for Nothing
Sen. Orrin Hatch is out raising money. He has a lot of it, and, you know, he needs more. Not that he's running for re-election or anything. Just because he can, and well, there's a yet-to-be-built library to commemorate him. Here's the problem, and it's not about Hatch. It's about the influence of money in politics. Yes, money has long played a big part in electing politicians, but ever since Citizens United, that part has grown exponentially. Corporations are now people. Just so you know how insidious this can be, politicians can raise money for their re-election campaigns at the same time as their foundations raise money for other things. Hatch held back-to-back fundraisers like this last year, according to Politico, with donations from $3,000 to $100,000 a pop. Opensecrets.org notes that politicians who leave office can keep their campaign organizations running forever. Politics is just very green.

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Let There Be Six
And now there are six. Count them—six ballot initiatives. The latest one is what we call the anti-vote petition. It's actually called Keep My Voice, which means political insiders really want to be the ones deciding who gets on a ballot. Utah Policy clarified the name as "Freedom of Association," meaning that insiders would have the freedom to associate with the people they want on the ballot. KMV is coming up late in the game against the Count My Vote (CMV) initiative, aka "Direct Primary Election Act." It's late because each of the six initiatives must achieve 113,000 signatures in 26 of the 29 Senate districts by April 15. Besides those two, there are petitions for medical cannabis, Medicaid Expansion, fair redistricting and school funding. The plethora of initiatives might send a message to the Legislature that their constituents aren't being heard.

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It's About the News
We get it. The man was a prophet—at least to about 16 million people worldwide. But, still, Thomas S. Monson lived in the world, and during a time of some conflict as well as success within the LDS Church. So it's a little stunning to have 192,000 followers sign an online petition to The New York Times complaining that his obituary chose to "attack and disparage" him. They somehow compared his obit to Fidel Castro's, thinking the NYT was more "neutral" to the Cuban dictator. Maybe we should recommend the documentary Obit, which details how the NYT decides to cover the death of newsworthy people. It's not about how kind they were. It's about how they navigated the times in which they lived. It's about the news—not a eulogy. But Mormons need to get over it. No doubt, Monson will be perfect in heaven.

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