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…

[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

Why critics are wrong about opposition to Prop 2

On August 23, 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its opposition to Proposition 2, the citizen initiative seeking to create a state marijuana program. Speaking on behalf of the Church, Elder Jack N. Gerard of the Seventy said, “The Church does not object to the medicinal use of marijuana, if doctor-prescribed, in dosage form, through a licensed pharmacy.” He continued, “Our hope and expectation is to bring the broader community together, including all those who have a lot of experience and understanding in what we can…

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…

Don’t Bogart the facts

Most Utahns do not know what it is like to smoke pot or use cannabis in any of its commercial forms. I do. I smoked lots of pot when I was a teenager – lots of it. I bought it. I sold it. It’s no secret among people who really know me and I do not mind talking about it. I do not care who knows about it. My kids know. Any close co-worker knows. I unhesitatingly reported it on my application to get a Top Secret security clearance when…

Is a full-time county commission inevitable? Maybe not

A recurring theme in Iron County is candidates for county commission pledging to do the job full-time. Currently, the position is classified as part-time, but the demands of committee assignments (currently creeping up on two dozen for each of the three commissioners) and compensation of $50K/year plus benefits has produced a perfect storm of demanding 40 or more hours a week to keep up. This is not specific to Iron County either as other growing counties are going to be running into many of the same issues. Even if going…