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New Legislator Tips 

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Congratulations on your successful election bid for the Utah Legislature! If you are a Republican, congratulations on withstanding the rigors of running unopposed and please accept our compliments on how readily you have taken to suckling at the engorged teat of your party’s monolithic apparatus! Isn’t the milk creamy and delicious? Decades and decades of undistinguished though highly lucrative service await you—if you keep your mouth shut (apart from its constant suckling motions)!


If you are a Democrat, it’s best if you don’t get too comfy! Don’t even open your briefcase. In fact, don’t bother reading any further. Because your seat will soon be gerrymandered out of existence!


For those of you reading on, here are a few things you should know before getting started on your inaugural year as a Utah legislator:


Voting: Voting is easy in the Utah Legislature! Simply wait for your handlers to tell you when to raise your hand! And then go home! It’s just that easy!


Debate: In a two-party political system, debate is an important venue for resolving conflict and arriving at legislative solution that represents all sides of a given issue. In Utah, debate is purely ceremonial—or a little-used last resort when members of the opposing party have not yet been gerrymandered out of existence.


Writing Bills: Not familiar with how to write a bill to be presented before the House and Senate? Don’t worry—that’s why we have lobbyists! Sit back, let them do all the work and all you have to do is act as a sponsor. If a citizen or someone from the press accuses you of being a lapdog for lucrative special interests, act offended —and then go on a wonderful, all-expenses-paid trip to Costa Rica!


Lobbyists: Lobbyists are paid representatives of corporations and other special interests. They write bills—and pay you for the privilege! Actually, new gifting laws make it difficult for them to bribe you. (Wink-wink.) Think you know where you stand on, say, dumping more nuclear waste in Utah? Why not wait and see what Mr. Hundred-Dollar Bill has to say?


Secret Meetings: The public’s business can only be conducted behind closed doors, far away from their prying eyes. Secret meetings are an easy way to get things done without public meddling. If you’re worried about backlash, think about the last time any legislator has been held accountable—and return to your party’s aforementioned milk-engorged teat.


The Environment: Here’s a fun metaphor for you—your Republican Party overlords and the special interests they serve are an enormous dirty bottom; the environment is cheap, easily replenished toilet paper. Wipe, crumple, repeat.


The Press: The Press hate freedom and America. They are all pro-Saddam, anti-fetus, liberal perverts who hate Jesus. It is not only permissible to lie to them—your country requires it. Why not pass some legislation to limit their powers, too?


Serving the Public’s Best Interest: See “Lobbyists.” Suckle at milk-engorged, etc.


And that’s pretty much everything you need to know about being a Utah legislator! If you have any questions or concerns, try lining your pockets with thousands of dollars. And if questions or concerns persist, just sit quietly until the end of your term.

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About The Author

Joe Bartenhagen

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