Midday Commentary on Last Night’s News — June 2, 2015

Ken Ivory goes on Trib talk today tell them that, yes, he does know where the line is when it comes to advocating for an ideal even if, I don’t know, something something good government group files a complaint. Honestly, this is a good question. If part-time lawmakers vote for a bill that helps their industry and potentially ends up putting money in their pocket because of it, does that make it unethical?

Let’s say that a doctor votes for Healthy Utah and is a very public advocate for it. Does that mean he’s just voting to enrich himself? Or does the doctor believe it’s the right thing to do? If you believe the latter, then it’s hard to make a case against Ivory in this instance. If he’s following all the proper protocols, then big deal if he is taking tax dollars to advance the position of elected officials in various counties and states that he also believes in, right?

Anyway, he’s on Trib Talk tackling allegations against him a day after they were made. Which is more than I can say for some people.

• Also, KUER (and really anyone else) can we please, please look into organizations that call themselves “good government groups” before running their claims, or at least before you call them that? Just because they give themselves names like Campaign for Accountability or, I don’t know, Alliance for a Better Whatever doesn’t mean they don’t have their own political agenda. It takes five minutes on a web site to figure this stuff out.

• The times, they are a-changin’ in Utah. Ben Winslow brings us the story of a transgender candidate for Midvale City Council. She’s part of a number of LGBT candidates across the valley running for office. (Fox 13)

“Hawes-Tingey said being transgender “is only one aspect of who I am.” She pointed to her service on the Midvale Community Council.

“I’m also a software engineer. I’m a Navy veteran, I’ve studied dance for a number of years,” she said. “I don’t define myself only on my gender identity.”

• Those unfeeling monsters in the Utah Legislature passed a bill last session that will be improving access to autism treatment. Jerks.Wind

• The Trib continues its series on potential prison sites, this time in Utah County. I think that maybe lawmakers just want to see reporters standing around looking windblown.

• The newly launched chapter of Americans for Prosperity have wasted no time going straight to the heart of the matter: Healthy Utah. The Koch brothers-funded group sent out mailers to those opposing the governor’s Medicaid expansion plan.

[Evelyn Everton, director of the Utah chapter] said any form of Medicaid expansion “is a risky proposal based on fuzzy math, shaky promises and a false hope that Congress will hold up their end of the deal” that could force tax increases.

Obviously the governor’s office disagrees. Fight

“The governor’s spokesman, Marty Carpenter, said Healthy Utah “has won the strong support of the health care industry, the business community and people across the state.”

“Carpenter said Utahns “prefer to determine our own path forward without the interference of outside groups.””

• Incredibly good long read of the day, My 977 Days Held Hostage by Somali Pirates. Well, not me obviously, but journalist Michael Scott Moore.

I had just been wondering how many of the guards I could shoot before they shot me. I smiled. I was – or had been – a peaceful man. I didn’t want to kill him, or anyone. But I was going nuts.

• The TSA basically fails every test, letting fake bombs through 67 out of 70 times. So I guess maybe stealing my Swiss card and then getting intimate enough with me to smoke a cigarette afterward was a waste of time? Oh, TSA director resigned because of it. That’ll fix everything.

And if none of that interests you, perhaps the world’s largest functioning whoopie cushion and the world’s most unimpressed cat will.

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