From Far-Right Field
It’s not newsprint anymore, but The Salt Lake Tribune gave front-page space to a far-right candidate with virtually no chance of winning the election. And yet, once again the media (we know who we are) promotes the most outrageous stories on their platforms. It’s not exactly clickbait, but it’s close. The story is about Jake Oaks, an Independent American Party candidate running for Utah County Clerk. To say Oaks is “confused” about the Constitution—whether it be the U.S. or Utah’s—would be kind. If he wins, Oaks has committed to denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples, which Troy Williams of Equality Utah notes that he cannot do. “Over my dead body,” tweeted Derek Kitchen, whose 2014 lawsuit helped establish nationwide marriage equality. Yes, this was a fun—if frightening—story to read, but the Supreme Court hasn’t come for marriage equality … yet. Meanwhile, the IAP has ballot access in only one other state than ours. If you think the Democrats have no chance of winning, the IAP has even less.
Well, since the government is unlikely to do anything reasonable about Utah’s water problem, it’s time to take it to the cheap seats. A “Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics Poll shows Utah residents are willing to step up in this urgent crisis,” the paper says. Half of the respondents say bring on incentives for water-wise use. Stunningly, 5% say there’s no need to worry. We know there is, of course. Not very many want restrictions with penalties for cosmetic water use and even fewer think water companies should charge higher rates. Good for the paper asking questions, but the 195 comments took the questions further. What about population, development, weird stormwater rules—oh, and agriculture use, which takes up the large liquid majority? As usual, the powers that be don’t want to mess with businesses, but residents are fair game—even if they won’t make much of a difference.
The Utah Attorney General’s Office: a place where the fight against the federal government—and specifically Joe Biden—finds a home. The latest is an attempt to back out of an executive order to “prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation” for its various food assistance programs. Sean Reyes and 22 other AGs are suing the administration because of the regulatory chaos that will ensue. Or as Vanity Fair puts it: “22 Republican States Sue Biden Admin for Right to Discriminate Against LGBTQ+ School Kids.” You heard it right. Republicans appear poised to do their own damned discriminating. They don’t like the idea of updating policies and signage because, well, it’s just too hard. The ACLU says it’s really about having the right to deny lunch money to LGBTQ+ kids. Instead of “pray away the gay,” Utah wants to starve it away.