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Self-absorbed Mike Lee 

Sen. Mike Lee blocks a public lands bill. A few cities embrace ranked-choice voting. Plus, what's Jason Chaffetz spouting off about now?

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Self-absorbed Mike Lee
Good grief, Mike Lee. You're just as bad as His Majesty in Chief. We get that you like the limelight, that you like being the one big guy in Congress to put a stop to, well, just about anything if you can make some obscure legal point. But maybe instead of being so self-absorbed with your superior intelligence, you might consider the good of the country. Yes, like Syria. Despite the stunning resignation of the Secretary of Defense, you told the Deseret News, "If the president says that we've done that, I believe him. The president has access to more intel than the rest of us get, and I trust his judgment on this." Now, that's just silly because "the president" has never paid attention to "intel." And now you're all in a huff because Congress won't stop presidents from creating national monuments in Utah. You single-handedly blocked a huge and popular public-lands bill. Wah, wah.

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Leaps for Democracy
At least there are a few cities willing to make the leap for democracy. West Jordan and Lehi have risen to the challenge and appear ready to experiment with ranked-choice voting next year. Utah County Clerk Amelia Powers is ready to give it all a try, Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake City, tells City Weekly. Not so much all the other municipalities in the state. The Legislature passed a pilot project to test RCV, but the opt-in deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. Chavez-Houck tried to persuade cities like Salt Lake that the benefits include lower costs, increased voter turnout, "voters feel their votes aren't wasted," and there's less "vitriolic campaigning," she says. But many councils still don't understand the RCV system, and voters might lose the opportunity.

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Jason 'Pariah' Chaffetz
Little Jason Chaffetz told Fox News (of course) that he's uncovered a "dirty little secret" in Congress—that there's lots of unauthorized spending going on, and that "the president" can get his border wall—or "steel slats"—by just pulling this stunt. Mr. Lock-Her-Up seems to ignore the fact that the slats are a huge public issue, and it would be politically difficult to snatch money from some other fund—like the Pentagon. NBC fact-checked that one. Chaffetz is on a roll, starting with telling Medicaid recipients to give up their iPhones and seamlessly slipping into a rant about immigrant children making the dangerous decision to walk thousands of miles to seek asylum in the U.S. Now that The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board disrespected his political ambitions, the Hill agrees that he's become a national pariah.

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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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