Utah Republicans could get blindsided by more ballot propositions

Photo by Keith Bacongco

The recent midterm elections had significant turnout in Utah. In interview after interview, it became obvious that ballot questions were a strong motivator for voters to get out to the polls. Proposition 2, which would legalize medical use of marijuana, was often cited as a top draw. Combined with left-leaning issues such as Medicaid expansion and an independent redistricting commission, all appearances are that this was a large factor in Democratic turnout. That helped Democrats in several legislative districts as well as Ben McAdams in CD4. Given the large turnout…

Last night’s CD4 loss means all Utah GOP leadership should resign

By all rights, Utah’s 4th Congressional District should have been an easy victory for any Republican candidate. The partisan lean ranges from R+13 to R+20 depending on who you talk to. Since its creation, however, Republicans have had a hard time showing numbers anywhere near that. Jim Matheson won by a few hundred votes based on his existing popularity in CD2, having switched to run in CD4 after redistricting. Mia Love won against Doug Owens, a rather weak and feckless Democrat who felt more like their typical sacrificial lamb, by…

If you want to honor Brent Taylor, end this generation’s Vietnam

News broke over the weekend that North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor, an Army National Guard reservist, had been killed in an attack while deployed in Afghanistan. The community lost a well-liked political leader, his family of seven lost a husband and father, and the nation lost yet another military man to a war without end. Indeed, we’ve now been involved in Afghanistan for over 17 years, a slogging and directionless military action whose intended purpose no longer seems clear at all. It has clearly become this generation’s Vietnam, a war…

[video] Color Country Politics Podcast – Episode 2: In a Big County

Jesse Harris, Jennie Hendricks, and Iron County Assessor Cindy Bulloch co-host Iron County Commissioner Mike Bleak to talk about what a county commission does, their successful collaboration with state and federal agencies on Kanarra Falls, and the glamour of driving a parade float (no, really). Music by Amoebacrew licensed under Creative Commons: https://soundcloud.com/free-cc-music/… Original image for the logo by The Greater Southerwest Exploration Company licensed under Creative Commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsec/40… Twitter: https://twitter.com/ColorCountryPol Facebook: https://fb.me/ColorCountryPolitics Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/1/114359881… YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjwF… Website: https://www.colorcountrypolitics.com

Medicaid Expansion: A bum deal for Utah

Utah has spent many years trying to find a middle road on Medicaid expansion. Most of the concerns have rightly been about trying to make sure that costs are contained before moving forward with any plan. Activists in Washington DC who wanted full as-is expansion cut a check for $342K (oh the irony of the group being named Utah Decides) to make sure the question would be on the ballot. Setting aside the obvious odiousness of a giant pile of DC money attempting to decide which way the state goes, the…

AirBnB opponents in Cedar City miss the mark

There’s no politics like local politics. After an incident in which a tour bus was parked overnight in a residential neighborhood for a swim team renting a house on AirBnB, the residents of the area started a push to try and ban all nightly rentals in R1 zones. The planning commission rejected the proposal 5-1 last week, but the city council chose to hear more from both sides of the issue at last night’s council meeting. Opponents, however, failed to make a particularly cogent case for a full ban. The…

Mark Shurtleff’s version of justice looks a lot like payback

Watching the legal cases against Mark Shurtleff and his hand-picked successor John Swallow collapse was very hard. I was one of the first voices calling for Swallow to resign (which it took him a year to do), and the case by all appearances seemed to have been killed by incompetence, not on its own merits. While I continue to believe that the two of them are guilty as sin, the legal system performed as it should, placing as much emphasis on process as substance. This is the foundation of a…