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Poll Follies 

Pardon My Wild Ride, The ERA Is Still Needed

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Poll Follies
Yes, it was embarrassing and maybe not the best choice for a reader poll. But thankfully, The Salt Lake Tribune editors buried the results on A4, where it would not be confused with any real people to be admired. They then cleverly disguised the poll with their front-page story on the 2020 Utahns of the Year, which appropriately highlighted the heroics and risks of front-line workers who fight COVID-19, calling them "the vanguard of the battle against the pandemic." And then, just for kicks, the Trib editors referred to the poll and what was a "surprising" choice for Utahn of the Year, namely, Eric Moutsos, the ex-cop and anti-masker. Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist helping to guide the state's COVID response, came in second in that poll, which Moutsos deftly manipulated via social media. Readers can only hope and pray the Trib will never again run another readers poll.

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Pardon My Wild Ride
Not to be outdone by Utah's Person of the Year, the state's favorite criminal trespasser won a presidential pardon from Utah's presidential choice, Donald J. Trump. That would be former San Juan County commissioner, now Utah state representative, Phil Lyman, the man who "bravely" led a protest of ATVs through the archaeologically sensitive Recapture Canyon. It was all part of a larger screw-the-feds movement that included an armed group of ranchers taking over an Oregon wildlife refuge. The Bundys, whom a judge once called delusional, and former state Rep. Ken Ivory of the ironically named American Lands Council were among the leading voices of the movement. Lyman, or rather his devotees, paid his $96,000 fine before he started receiving his salary as a state representative. Now, both Lyman's federal conviction and the pardon will appear on his record.

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The ERA Is Still Needed
Just as Wonder Woman 1984 hit the movie theaters, the Women Lawyers of Utah burst the bubble of strength and equity in a study showing that workplace harassment in the legal field increased significantly over the past decade. "Men are almost twice as likely as women to hold a leadership role here, and while 47 percent of men hold a top job, 'only 4 percent of women of color lawyers currently hold a leadership position in Utah,'" The Salt Lake Tribune quoted from the study. Then, there was The Wall Street Journal op-ed disparaging Jill Biden's doctorate because—well, we don't know why. But if Sen. Mike Lee's social media is any example, here is what one of his male followers replied to a female Ph.D. who asked for support of the Equal Rights Amendment. "You're already equal, you Dumb Twit!"

Correction: An earlier version of this article noted Eric Moutsos had provided Angela Dunn's home address to protestors. He denies that he did so. "I didn't give any address out ever," he said to the author in a Facebook post. "I'm against doxing people." We apologize for the error.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
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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