Our Oddball Reps | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Our Oddball Reps 

More evidence lawmakers think us voters are dumb. Rob Bishop obviously fears the Green New Deal. Plus, the good and the bad regarding clean air and the Legislature.

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Our Oddball Reps
It's official. Our legislators are idiots. We won't go into all the strong-arming around citizen initiatives, except to give you a few examples from the Deseret News. Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, wants to make sure voters know what the initiative is and can remove their names from the petition. And signers' names will be posted online. So much for privacy. And wait. Do we require voters to know exactly what they're voting on? Is there some kind of test? Well, it's obvious that legislators think the voters are stupid. Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, complained that the initiatives took legislators by surprise and would have liked time to negotiate. This, of course, just shows that he didn't listen to his constituents before they were forced into a cumbersome, lengthy and near-impossible ballot initiative effort. Were they not loud enough?

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Death by the Left
Sometimes humor just doesn't cut it. Congressman Rob Bishop, a former speaker of the Utah House and American history teacher, has long been known for his acerbic wit. It wasn't until he left his position as a lobbyist that his right-wing cred became abundantly clear. Now, as the apparent congressman-for-life, Bishop has taken his anti-environmental stance to an extreme. Except for one time last year. As chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, he moved forward two funding bills for parks, land and water conservation. But wait. Here comes the Green New Deal. He hates it. Here's what he told The Washington Post: "And you think the Green New Deal is going to kill you?" the reporter asked. "Killing would be positive if you implement everything the Green New Deal actually wants to," Bishop replied. This was all about a comment relating the idea to genocide. Funny, huh?

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Breathe Cleaner
If you're a positive person, you might be buoyed by actions to clean Utah's air. Four hundred or so hearty and active students skipped school to rally at the Capitol for clean air. You know, it's their lives they're talking about. Well, the governor asked for $100 million toward the effort. But our esteemed legislators didn't see the crisis, and allotted $28.8 million instead. There were some good things, like letting some communities work with the big kahuna Rocky Mountain Power toward 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. Of course, it will cost the customer big time. There was some movement on scofflaw idlers, and the carbon tax bill was sent to study. And everyone rejoiced because it was something instead of nothing. Still, we have depleted uranium, gravel pits and the amazing polluting Inland Port.

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