Midday Commentary on Last Night’s News — May 21, 2015

Day Whatever of no new coverage/opining in the Trib and mostly elsewhere about the Mayor McAdams/Rep. Miller allegation shin-kicking-accusatat-a-roo. For the record, Bagley’s Elephants Doing Horrible Things of the Day.

• Oh, every news outlet did manage to do a story on a new charge in the John Swallow case. (Dnews) Money laundering. Nothing like what is accused in the former issue. No, sir. There, we’re simply talking about theft of $30,000 in campaign funds, questionably rented campaign space, hiding said accusation until after an election, and more!

• So we’re left with the City Weekly. The last bastion of investigative news in Utah that doesn’t start with Worse“Get” and end with “Gephardt.” Stephen Dark does a yeoman’s job of breaking down what’s happened. There’s too much there for me to even be snarky about. Just go read it.

And then there’s the Hub. That’s us, for those not paying attention.

Bob Aagard bemoans the fact that Democrats won’t step up and be responsible.

“The biggest hook the Democratic Party has had in Utah is their relative stand on ethics for elected officials, especially compared to their Republican counterparts. That stand is quickly eroding with the deafening silence from Democratic leaders.”

• Dan Burton doesn’t want Rep. Miller to resign. At least not yet. fleshwound

• Jesse Harris talks about how various politicians respond to scandal. Fall on your sword, or fight to the end?

I guess if you’re not into all that, there’s news elsewhere:

• Utah is expected to hit a million school kids by 2050. People are urged to plan. As if they aren’t. It bothers me to no end that we get comments like this: (Trib)

“It’s a joke, in my mind,” said [Nolan] Karras, co-chairman of the advocacy group Education First. “There’s nobody that looks beyond the current [legislative] session.”

Look, I like Karras. A lot. But if these folks think that dozens of school districts, the state school board and the Legislature haven’t considered and planned for the future of education, then what they’re really trying to do is sell you something. We have a stable property tax base used mostly for education. All Utah income tax goes to education. The Legislature has created Rainy Day funds to pay for education in tough economic times. Districts have what amounts to rolling bonds to pay for new schools. The STEM initiative is in full force, and the State Board has been tasked with finding a proper way to get technology in schools. School funding took a huge step forward in equalization with a $75 million tax increase this year. Not to mention the incredibly health charter school district that is bringing innovation and experimentation to public education.

• Utah lawmakers took prison relocation on the road. The problem, of course, is that everyone on that road wants it left in Draper. (Trib)

• Rep. Dan McCay wants to take another swing at police body cam rules. Remember folks, the body cam protects both you AND the police officer from unfair accusations. (AP)

And if none of that interests you, maybe you should put down your phone and pay attention to the road. There’s a good case for why humans shouldn’t be driving.


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