Poll Power | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Poll Power 

Also: Oil, Gas & Jobs; Bigot Ban

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Poll Power
We in the media just love public opinion polls. To what end, we’re not quite sure. Maybe it’s to validate what everyone already knows or maybe it’s to change public policy. Whatever. This past week has seen two polls that lend credence to political thinking on the right and on the left. One, an AP-GfK poll showing that despite rising signups, people are still deeply dissatisfied with Obamacare, has sent joy throughout the Republican establishment. The other was a Brigham Young University poll showing that a whopping 76 percent of voters support using federal dollars for full expansion of Medicaid. But those same 76 percent voted in legislators and a governor who’ve turned their backs on expansion.

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Oil, Gas & Jobs
The Ute Indian Tribe has found the best of all worlds in plans to construct a 1,000-megawatt natural gas-fired plant on the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. Not only will it provide cleaner air, but also some 950 jobs for the community. These are valuable jobs in a needy community that can’t draw on gaming for revenue. The decision also seems to solve problems created by the dirty and troublesome Bonanza Power Plant, which has been beset by EPA fines. Daily newspapers reported the Ute plans at the same time as the AP reports the government failing to inspect thousands of high-risk oil and gas wells, some in Utah. Meanwhile, the EPA has been dealing with another oil leak, this one in Grand County near the Green River.

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Bigot Ban
Anarchy: a state of society without government or law; political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control. Really, Governor Herbert? Is that what you think will happen if the courts allow gay marriage? It would hardly be the first time a state law would be overturned. There was the New York law, for instance, allowing schools to fire teachers who belonged to “subversive organizations.” Oh, and then there was the Supreme Court rejecting Texas’ anti-sodomy law, and, of course, Alabama’s anti-miscegenation laws. No, states are not always right when they make laws, and the United States doesn’t disintegrate every time a state law is slapped down. Herbert specifically excoriated Oregon and Pennsylvania for not defending the ban on gay marriage. But sometimes it’s best to quit trying to justify fear and loathing. 

Twitter: @KathyBiele

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More by Katharine Biele

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