Saturday, March 31, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune: Utah’s Out-of-touch Lawmakers

Perpetual motion... can't be explained with reason or logic
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein, Genius
Albert Einstein Quotes

Mainstream Utah voters vote the way that Sutherland tells them to. Then they protest. Then they re-elect them. Perpetual motion. Can't be explained with reason or logic.

Stink, Tribune Reader
Tribune Reader Comment
March 31, 2012

Eye-opening op-ed piece in this morning's Tribune, in which Maryann Martindale, Executive Director of the Alliance for a Better UTAH makes the case that "The Sutherland Institute’s new Legislative Scorecard demonstrates that Sutherland’s top-ranked legislators are the most out of touch with mainstream Utah voters, while those ranked lowest are the lawmakers most in sync with the majority":
The Alliance for a Better UTAH examined the voting records of Sutherland’s "top" and "bottom" legislators on issues that were of paramount concern to Utahns in the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions.

Her organization's findings?
... [T]he data seem to suggest that legislators’ voting records were ranked against a scorecard prepared by the Eagle Forum, not the mainstream Utah voter.
For political wonks who closely follow the "antics" of our knuckleheaded Utah legislature, these comparisons come as no surprise, we guess.

Ms. Martindale's money quote:
If legislators are duly elected to do the people’s business, it appears that Sutherland’s bottom-ranked legislators are the ones deserving of the highest scores.
And the beat goes on...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Standard-Examiner: County Attorney Defends Seizure of Stewart Home

For the sake of the private property rights of Defendant Matthew Stewart, we're sure that Stewart will be keeping his fingers crossed that Attorney Swenson has additional valid arguments still up her sleeve.

Weber County Attorney and Utah Attorney General candidate Dee Smith responds in this morning's Standard-Examiner to yesterday's Attorney Emily Swenson allegations that the government's "seizure documents" were improperly served, citing unspecified service of process provisions of the Utah Forfeiture Procedures Act (UFPC), with an additional quote, stating that "service may be made by any law enforcement officer...":
Turning to the apparently applicable UFPC code section, we find this express language, which is quite specific, just as Smith contends:

24-1-4. Civil Procedures.
...(3) (a) Within 60 days of any seizure, the prosecuting attorney shall file a complaint for forfeiture in the appropriate district court and serve a summons and notice of intent to seek forfeiture with a copy of the complaint upon all owners and interest holders known to the prosecuting attorney to have an interest in the property. Service shall be by one of the following methods:
(i) if the owner's or interest holder's name and current address are known, either by personal service by any person qualified to serve process, by a law enforcement officer, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to that address...
In view of the above provision, it would appear that these asset forfeiture-specific special process service requirements have been most likely satisfied, based on the information which has been provided via the public press.

As to the above-mentioned legal questions relating to the adequacy of supporting affidavits, Smith's public statement still leaves those issues publicly unaddressed.

For the sake of the private property rights of Defendant Matthew Stewart, we're sure that Stewart will be keeping his fingers crossed that Attorney Swenson has additional valid arguments still up her sleeve.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Standard-Examiner: Lawyer: Stewart Home Not Seized Properly

Added bonus: Something for our readers to chew on, regarding the "true" motivations of government officials who prosecute these "drug war" asset forfeiture cases

Interesting twist in connection with the Matthew Stewart Shootup matter, with this morning's Standard-Examiner story, reporting that "[p]apers have been filed to halt, if only temporarily, the seizure of police shooting suspect Matthew David Stewart’s home":
Here's the gist, as reported by the S-E's Tim Gurrister:

Ogden lawyer Emily Swenson filed the motion to quash the forfeiture Tuesday in 2nd District Court after consulting with Randy Richards, one of Stewart’s three defense lawyers. She declined comment on any financial arrangement for her involvement in the case...
Swenson is alleging technical violations in the documentation of the forfeiture, saying it lacks a required affidavit and was not served properly. The law’s requirements as to who served the document on Stewart is precise, according to the motion.
That includes an attorney, a county sheriff’s deputy or a designated constable, none of which were employed in serving Stewart, reads the motion, which claims an Ogden city patrol officer served the documents.
We'll confess that we're a mite mystified by the grounds for the motion, which appears to claim that service of the "the seizure documents," by an Ogden patrol officer fails to conform to the law, inasmuch as the governing Utah statute for service of court process (Utah Code Section 78B-8-302 Process servers ) provides this:

(1) Complaints, summonses, and subpoenas may be served by any person 18 years of age or older at the time of service, and who is not a party to the action or a party's attorney. (2) The following persons may serve all process issued by the courts of this state: ... (a) a peace officer employed by any political subdivision of the state acting within the scope and jurisdiction of his employment.
Perhaps the gravamen of the claimed legal defect is that the patrol officer in the instant case lacks the necessary training to properly serve papers within the normal scope of his duties, and/or that unreported defects exist within the supporting affidavit[s] themselves. If there's anyone close to this case who'd like to wade in via the comments section below, we'd love to learn about the "merits" of Ms. Swenson's motion. Failing that, we'll have to wait until the motion is argued in court, we guess.

In the time being, however, here's an extra cranky "something" for our readers to chew on, regarding the "true" motivations of government officials who prosecute these "drug war" asset forfeiture cases:
That's it for now, O Gentle Ones.

And what about it, Weber County Forum readers? Is it just your blogmeister, or are there others who believe that these pre-convictiom "drug war" asset seizures are an egregious and unacceptable encroachment upon American individual liberty?

Who'll be the first to toss in their own 2¢?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

War On Words: NYC Dept. Of Education Wants 50 ‘Forbidden’ Words Banned From Standardized Tests


By: Bob Becker

You're not going to believe it. No, it is NOT an "Onion" story.

This list the bastard child of the harlot of Faith Based Ignorance and the
strumpet of Touchy-Feely-Group-Groperism. The former got "evolution" on the list, and the latter got "slavery" there:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ogden Utility System Discussion Bogs Down in Details - Updated 2x

Council work session reaches less consensus than planned

By Dan Schroeder

Last Wednesday’s city council work session was a disaster in almost every respect. It was unfocused, unpleasant, and unproductive.

The stated purpose of the work session was to reach “consensus” on each of a long list of decisions that will affect Ogden’s utility rates over the next few decades. The city’s consultants, Laura Lewis and Cody Deeter, guided the discussion with the aid of a lengthy slide presentation.

First they brought up each of seven major capital projects that are proposed for the next seven years:
  • Meter replacement, $3,030,000
  • Ogden canyon supply line, $9,000,000
  • Filter plant replacement, $11,616,160
  • Wheeler creek intake to filter plant, $1,515,150
  • Distribution/fire flow/pressure upgrades, $15,814,800
  • Pineview well field protection, $2,000,000
  • New Ogden City wells, $1,675,000
For each of these projects, the city engineer gave a sales pitch—often describing the catastrophes that might occur if the project is eliminated or postponed. The council would then discuss and debate the project, and after the discussion died down, the consultants would ask whether there was consensus to include the project as part of their larger financial plan. (At a work session they’re not allowed to actually vote, so the sign of consensus was head-nodding rather than hand-raising.)

The plan, of course, was for the council to dutifully agree to fund all (or nearly all) of these projects. But the discussions were lengthy and at times contentious. Councilmember Hyer asked how much each project would affect each customer’s bill, and this threw the consultants and the city engineer into disarray as they tried to do quick arithmetic. Councilmember Wicks wouldn’t agree to fund the filter plant through bonding, when residents’ water bills are too high already. Councilmember Van Hooser suggested reversing the group’s consensus on meter replacement, in order to prioritize projects that affect public health and safety. Councilmember Gochnour asked the consultants to prepare multiple versions of their financial plan, with and without various projects.

Whenever any council member suggested eliminating or postponing a project, the consultants or administration (represented by Public Services Director Jay Lowder) would argue and explain why the idea was unthinkable. On two occasions, citizens sitting in the audience attempted to speak, and Chair Garner politely instructed them to write their comments on the cards that were provided.

The discussions of these seven capital projects dragged on for three and a half hours, fraying nerves and producing considerably less consensus than had been hoped for. Adding to the confusion, the list of projects had been modified from the other recent versions that the council has seen, and some important facts were misstated during the course of the debate. But the main failure was the absence of any big-picture discussion of how these projects will affect the rates that we pay and the long-term finances of the Water Utility Fund. There was no discussion of the water utility’s rapidly increasing operating costs, or of the looming $130 million pipe replacement program that the city must face over the next 40 years.

The remainder of the agenda consisted of 12 matters of policy that will affect how utility costs are allocated among customers:
  • Base rate vs. per-gallon rate
  • Users with and without secondary water
  • Simplifying the rate structure
  • Conservation incentives and initiatives
  • Usage data and trends
  • Linking sewer charge to water use
  • Considering lot size in rate structure
  • Discounts for certain users
  • Landscaping requirements
  • More informative bill statements
  • Weber Basin property tax
  • Surplus water sales to Bona Vista
However, with a 10:00 curfew, the council had time to discuss only the first of these items. Regarding that item, it was clear that the consultants and bureaucrats would prefer to put most of the charges into the base rate, which customers pay even if they use no water at all. Such a policy produces guaranteed revenue, which the city needs to pay for all the capital projects. Of course, such a policy also discourages water conservation, making more capital projects necessary in the long run.

The council will discuss the rest of these policy items at its work session this Tuesday, March 27. The consultants will then prepare a comprehensive proposal (apparently in multiple versions), to be presented at the public “town meeting” that is scheduled for Thursday, April 5.

Update 3/27/12 11:00 a.m.: As Professor Schroeder reported in the article above, Wednesday night's special council work meeting was rescheduled to 3/27/12 (tonight), where the continued discussion about Mike Caldwell's Ogden City Bureacrats' proposed new water rate gouging increases will be discussed, somewhere at the tail end of tonight's City Council agenda:
As per usual, we'll keep the lights on in our lower comments section, just in case any community minded readers might want to offer their comments, before, during or after tonight's work session.

Update 3/27/12 2:00 p.m.: Just received this encouraging missive via Dan Schroeder:
Yes, I'll probably be able to live-blog tonight, since they'll be back in the Municipal Building where there's free wifi. However, I'm often not able to sit near a power outlet so battery life on my laptop may be a factor. I'll do my best!
Tune in tonight, folks, for the full lowdown!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Morning 2012 Utah General Election Roundup

A coupla discussion-worthy election-related news items stumbled upon this morning whilst Googling

To promote a little Sunday morning reader conversation, here are a couple of discussion-worthy Standard-Examiner news items we stumbled upon this morning whilst Googling:

1) Weber County Democrats held their 2012 Nominating Convention yesterday, where among other things, they chose candidates for (House) Districts 9 and 10:
Especially tantalizing news in the House 9 race, where convention delegates chose Former Rep. Neil Hansen, D-Ogden, to run against Rep. Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden. Expect a no-holds-barred, bare-knuckled campaign brawl in this race folks, as Demo warhorse Hansen vows to settle a few 2010 election scores with the usurper Peterson.

2) Oddball election-related story this morning, reporting that at some vague time in the future, the U.S. Congress might possibly amend the federal Hatch Act, to "end federal prohibitions on state and local government employees seeking elected office":
So what about it gentle readers? Seems to us that the timing of this "no-real-news" story is suspicious. Does it appear that somebody at the Standard is complicit in Jon Greiner's 2012 Weber County Commission campaign strategy, which appears to be to portray Greiner as a local hero, rather than a willful Hatch Act scofflaw? This morning's Associated Press story is replete with excuses from Greiner that he was somehow "blindsided" by the Hatch Act's prohibitory provisions. What happened to the old axiom, "Ignorance of the law is no defense", we ask? Does it merely apply to the average joe Schmuck... or is it applicable to fancy-pants career law enforcement top executives, former State Senators and would-be County Commissioners too?

Don't let the cat get your tongues...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Standard-Examiner: Herbert Agrees to Fight the Feds

The Standard-Examiner shines the spotlight on what passes for "leadership" from the Utah Governor's Office
The Transfer of Public Lands Act requires that the United States extinguish title to public lands and transfer title to those public lands to Utah by a date certain. Under the Gibson case, that requirement would interfere with Congress' power to dispose of public lands. Thus, that requirement, and any attempt by Utah in the future to enforce the requirement, have a high probability of being declared unconstitutional.
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
HB 148 Legislative Review Note
February 14, 2012
The state has proven itself time and again to be a bad manager of public lands. ... This is a political stunt. It’s amazing that in one quixotic act they’ve offended the U.S. Constitution, the state constitution and the state’s enabling act.
David Garbett, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.
Herbert agrees to fight the feds
March 24, 2012
It’s not a slam dunk, but there is legal reasoning and a rational thought process. But this is the first step in a long journey. There is a lot of education needed to raise awareness.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert
Herbert agrees to fight the feds
March 24, 2012
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. Mencken
The Quotations Page
1880 - 1956

With this morning's latest shining example of Utah GOP silliness, the Standard-Examiner shines the further spotlight on what passes for "leadership" from the Utah Governor's Office:
While Salt Lake City law firms line up in eagerness to reap millions of dollars in fees from the apparently looming federal litigation windfall, Utah taxpayers brace themselves for the "raised awareness" which comes from the prospect of footing the legal bill for a lawsuit which even the Utah Legislature's own lawyers predict to be a dead bang loser from the very get-go.

The world-wide blogosphere sits riveted on the edge of its seat, awaiting your ever-savvy comments in connection with this.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune: Flood of New GOP Delegates May be Good for Orrin Hatch - Updated

Good news is now pouring in for Utah GOP political "moderates" this morning, as the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah political wingnuts...

... suddenly lost their creepy grip on Utah GOP political caucuses last week:
Prior to last week's March15 GOP caucuses we urged non-wacko Utah Republicans to attend their party caucuses and "take their party back." Looks to us as if sensible grass-roots Republicans did just that.

We'll leave our lower comments section open, folks, for those ever-savvy Utah Republicans who'd like to comment about their March 15 caucus "experiences."

In fairness, we'll also entertain comments from "certain" Yellow Dog Democrats, of course, if you know what we mean and we think you do.

Update 3/25/12 3:45 p.m.: Excellent Paul Rolly column in yesterday's Salt Lake Tribune, dovetailing nicely with our own WCF observations and analysis:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Special Council Work Session on Utility Rates Tonight

Consensus to be built now; town meeting later.

By Dan Schroeder

Heads up, Ogden utility ratepayers! The city council will hold a special work session tonight at 6 pm in the Megaplex Theater (2351 Kiesel Avenue, second floor). And according to the agenda, it looks like this is when the council will make the critical policy decisions that determine our future water and sewer rates:
The purpose of the work session is to build consensus between the City Council and the Administration on which capital projects should be included in the CIP and the rates model and to build consensus on which policies should be included in the development of a utility rate structure and related ordinance.

...It is critical that consensus is built regarding the inclusion of project, the timing of those projects, and the structure of the rate ordinance in order to develop a final ordinance for the Council's consideration.

A town meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 5, 2012 to review the Utility Rate proposal as developed by the internal steering committee. The proposal will be developed using the direction given to the steering committee by the City Council from this and other Council work sessions.
In other words, by the time the town meeting is held in two more weeks, the proposal will already be developed (though not yet formally approved).

In case you were wondering, the council will not be taking any public input at tonight's work session. But concerned citizens may still wish to attend, if only to see how these kinds of decisions are really made.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Standard-Examiner: Former Ogden Mayor to Help Morgan Lure a Hotel, "Boost" Economy

“He has the expertise to pull everything together and bring a hotel to town. He’s done it.”

On the heels of January's news that Matthew Godfrey has set up shop in the private sector with a private municipal consulting service, the Standard now announces that Godfry has booked his first paying gig:
“He has the expertise to pull everything together and bring a hotel to town. He’s done it,” sez Morgan City Councilman Ray Little (with a completely straight face).

Hold on tight to your wallets, Morgan City lumpencitizens. Your local economy is about to be boosted!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Matthew Stewart Preliminary Hearing Set for July - Updated

Here are today's stories, along with our own take... who'll be the first to chime in on this?

Unlike Saturday, when all major Utah media were reporting lemming-like, about the vague inflammatory hearsay statements of the one and only search warrant "return" that's actually been placed in public view in re the 1/4/12 Ogden Shootup case, only two steadfast (although yawning) Northern Utah Media reporters were found sitting in 2d District Judge Hyde's 3d floor courtroom, notebooks in hand, for this morning's much-touted Status Conference. Here are their post-hearing stories, for what it's worth:
Yep. There are a few basic things they (one or the other, or both) got right; such as the facts that this matter was tentatively set for Preliminary Hearing on July 18-20, and that today's Status Conference was rescheduled to May 14, 2012 .

Here's however what these apparently sleepy reporters missed, or otherwise failed and neglected to report:
  • The July 18-20 preliminary Hearing date is what's locally referred to as a "soft setting;" and more likely than not, this hearing will again be ultimately continued to a later date.
  • Despite County Attorney Dee Smith's public representations that Weber County prosecutors have already "filled" Defense Councils' discovery requests, appointed Public Defender Albright informed the court this morning that defense discovery requests have NOT BEEN COMPLETED, and that Defense Council doesn't expect such requests to be completed for even yet "another couple of weeks."
  • Although Judge Hyde did orally modify his earlier order, now (as of this morning) allowing Richards' Weber County-located appointed co-counsel, Ryan Bushell, to "also sign motions written by Richards," the main reason for this seems to be, according to reliable WCF courthouse sources, that "appointed" lead Public Defender attorney Albright is "not computer savvy," operates his "law office" "out of his house," and doesn't even own a fax machine. (No. We are NOT making this up.)
  • Prosecution council adamantly and inexplicably opposed Attorney Richards' above "housekeeping type" request, and demanded formal motions, moving and reply papers and argument on this silly issue, which leads us to believe there does exist "bad blood" between the politically ambitious Weber County Attorney Dee Smith and his former partner, Defense Council Randy Richards.
  • Neither the Standard-Examiner nor the Salt Lake Tribune even mentions pending defense motions, which will apparently be scheduled for some uncertain future date.
  • Public Defender Albright, who had heretofore failed to lodge his Rule 8 Capital Murder qualifications with the court, represented to the Court that's he'd belatedly filed them only earlier this morning. This is NOT the kind of Defense Council lapse which should inspire confidence, we'll suggest.
There are today's stories, along with our own take, both implied and expressed.

Who'll be the first to chime in on this?

Update 3/20/12 8:21 a.m.: The Standard carries an update story in the S-E print edition this morning, focusing on the fact that the three-day preliminary hearing set for July 18-20 "is the longest time in recent memory for a preliminary hearing," and that Judge Hyde has heightened courtroom security to heretofore unusual levels, "locking the doors to the courtroom while all hearings are in session," and dividing Stewart supporters from pro-prosecution attendees on opposite sides of the public courtroom gallery:
Conspicuously missing from Mr. Gurrister's story is a link to Defendant Stewart's support website, although the restoration of fundraising is mentioned both in the story headline and the body of Mr. Gurrister's new writeup.

Salt Lake Tribune: Coalition of Utah News Media Serves Public Interest

Democracy works, folks... Use it or Lose It
And we know you pay attention, and so does the Legislature. We heard and saw your response to HB477. Your voice was loud and very clear, and so were your actions. You made us all pay attention. You said, "Don’t turn out the lights. Don’t hide what you do in our name."
When citizens make their voices heard like you did, they live up to the finest traditions and responsibilities of democracy. I hope you feel proud of what you accomplished. It was remarkable. Truly remarkable.

Nancy Conway - Editor, Salt Lake Tribune
Editor’s column: Coalition of Utah news media serves public interest
March 17, 2012

The response was both a concerted campaign by the professionals in the Utah Media Coalition (including The Salt Lake Tribune) and a popular outcry by a great many others, all urging that the law be repealed. In less than a month, it was.

Salt Lake Tribune Editorial
A bright light
March 18, 2012

As the 2012 legislative slips into the realm of history, we'll put the spotlight on two notable Salt Lake Tribune editorials published over the past three days, praising the efforts of everyone from the Utah Media Coalition to individual Utah lumpencitizens for successfully monitoring proposed 2012 legislative bills for accessibility and openness over the full course of the now-adjourned session:
No doubt about it. When withering public scrutiny propels a wacky Utah County GOP legislator like Senator Curt Bramble to behave in such a manner as to actually earn a "Bright Light" award from the media for commitment to open government, that's progress for Utah Democracy, wethinks.

Neck-snapping WCF segue: And while we're on the general topic of what happens politically when steely-eyed Utah lumpencizens speak their minds en masse, to demand sensible and citizen-responsive government solutions to lame and "citizens-be-damned" legislative screw-ups, let's not forget what happened barely three days ago with House Rep. Bill Wright's knuckleheaded HB363:
Democracy works, folks, even here (Utah) the "reddest of all red (neck) states.

Democracy: Use it or lose it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Police Make New Allegations Against Ogden Shootout Suspect

A New Attempt to Demonize Defendant Matthew Stewart and Further Poison the Jury Pool?

We're greeted with a whole swarm of 1/4/12 Ogden Shootout stories this morning, as ALL prominent Northern Utah News Media coincidentally and simultanously report on the contents of a search warrant affidavit obtained from Ogden's 2nd District Court. It's almost as if all important Utah print and broadcast media outlets have each other on speed-dial, or it seems to us:

Utah Print Media:
Utah Television Broadcasters:
Shameless cynics as we are, we'll interpret this latest effort to demonize Defendant Matthew Stewart as yet another mendacious attempt on the part of Weber County prosecutors to again poison the potential Northern Utah Utah jury pool, a tactic which could all but guarantee that a fair trial in Weber County, or any other venue in Utah will become a practical impossibility.

Strange, innit, that prosecutors have no apparent hesitation to selectively release this single inflammatory search warrant affidavit, while the "probable cause" affidavit[s] and other documents supporting the original search warrant continue to remain out of public view and "safely" under the prosecution's lock and key?

As we earlier reported, Weber County Attorney Dee Smith is running for Utah State Attorney General this year. Seems like another interesting coincidence, dunnit? Did Smith's campaign "dump" this "single" search warrant affidavit into a publicly available court file and then "tip" the media about it? And what ever happened to the prosecution's "request" for a gag order? Was that just some kind of smoke screen?

In other related news, Fox13 News ran a related story yesterday, reporting that the Matthew Stewart Support Website has finally received state approval to resume the solicitation and ollection of donations:
Yep we double checked. There's that PayPal Donation Button again:
That's it for now WCF Crime Beat wonks.

So many questions and so few answers...

So who'll be the first to throw in their own 2¢?

Standard-Examiner: Fixing Ogden's Aging Water System a Long, Costly Endeavor

Encouraging to see the Standard reporting on the massive water system cash-eating monster lurking on the near horizon in the wake of the Godfrey Administration's political departure

Mainly for archival purposes, we'll link this morning's Standard-Examiner story, in which S-E reporter Mitch Shaw finally gets around to reporting on the main agenda item of last Tuesday's Ogden City Council work session:
Although this morning's story is merely a rehash of the material provided during Tuesday night's Dan Schroeder live blogging session, it's encouraging to see the Standard however belatedly reporting on the massive water system cash-eating monster lurking on the near horizon in the wake of the Godfrey administration's political departure.

Breaking: Herbert Vetoes Sex-ed bill, Says It Constricts Parental Choice

The lumpencitizens complained by the thousands, and Governor Gary paid heed... imagine that!

Great news from the Governor's Office this morning, from which the Deseret News, Salt Lake Tribune and the Standard-Examiner all report that Utah Governor Gary Herbert has listened to the folks complaining about the idiocy of the 2012 Utah bill which "would have prohibited Utah teachers from instructing students about contraceptives, premarital sex or homosexuality" and wielded his veto pen late Friday, driving a stake through the heart of nutcase House Rep. Bill Wright's HB363 once and for all:
The lumpencitizens complained by the thousands, and Governor Gary paid heed.

Imagine that!

Chalk it up as yet another victory for steely-eyed, grass-roots citizen activism.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Standard-Examiner: Full Slate of Candidates in Weber County

The Standard-Examiner is front and center in reporting on the upcoming 2012 Utah General Election this morning, with a story reporting on the "full slate" of candidates who've filed in Weber County for the various offices up for grabs this election cycle:
Notably, for the first time within recent memory, no Weber County incumbent will stand unopposed this go-round, the Standard reports:
Two Utah House incumbents, Richard Greenwood, R-Roy, and Gage Froerer, R- Huntsville, looked to be unopposed for re-election until literally the last hour Thursday.

But their respective House District 12 and District 8 races drew Democratic challengers just before the close of business Thursday, said Weber County Elections Administrator Jennifer Morrell.
In the aftermath of Tuesday's highly-attended Democratic Party caucuses, it would appear that Weber County Democrats are approaching the 2012 election races with an encouraging new vigor.

Notable among those candidates who came in under the wire for yesterday's filing deadline is former Ogden City police Chief and "retired" one-term State Senator Jon Greiner, whose Commission candidacy we predicted in last week's WCF article. With three public "retirements" now already under his belt, Greiner is poised to become a "quadruple dipper," as he readies for the April 12 Weber County Republican Party Nominating Convention, where he'll attempt to battle it out for Craig Dearden's soon to be vacated Weber County Commission Seat against veteran County GOP warhorse Matt Bell, the current Weber County Republican Party Chairman.

We'll also make note of an important development in the Ogden School Board race, where Weber County Forum reader and past contributor Jim Hutchins has thrown his hat into the ring for the District 5 School Board seat.

Over the course of the next 233 days remaining until the November 6 General election, we'll be closely following the Ogden City School Board races. In recent years, the Ogden City School Board has suffered considerable mission creep, putting what should be the main object of providing robust education to Ogden's City's school children on the back burner, while recklessly sacrificing direly-needed tax increment dollars to equally reckless Ogden City economic development projects. In that connection, we'll be closely following and touting Mr. Hutchins' school board candidacy, and the candidacies of any other Ogden City School Board hopefuls who are likely to exhibit the necessary intelligence, energy and dedication toward restoring as a first priority the goal of excellence in the Ogden City School System .

Keep your eyes on our right sidebar 2012 Election Module, by the way, folks, where within the next day or two we're planning, if all goes well, to begin displaying the full array of election articles, websites, candidate profiles and all other information necessary to assist Weber County voters in making wise decisions for all contested offices in the 2012 Utah General Election races.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Standard-Examiner Jumps Aboard the Doonesbury Censorship Bandwagon

Sodden question: If the Standard chooses to get onboard the censorship bandwagon with relatively innocuous material like this, just what else will the Standard hide from the print edition public view?

There's a fascinating development affecting our home town newspaper this week, in the wake of the Standard's inexplicable decision to "pull" a week's worth of Doonesbury comic strips parodying a controversial "ultrasound law" which was enacted by the Texas legislature this year. In truth, it's a national phenomenon, inasmuch as many American newspapers have been acting on concert to censor these hilarious but hard-hitting Doonesbury satire pieces. Here's the lede from an online outfit publishing from the website (be sure to click the embedded links):
All this week, “Doonesbury” is running a series of comic strips about the ultrasound laws that have popped up recently. The first strip features an abortion patient being sent to the “Shaming Room.”

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise in our current political climate that some newspapers have decided not to run the strips about abortion. Or that the list of papers that have opted out of running the strip is dominated by publications in states where ultrasound laws have come up.

Of course, you can read the strips online if your newspaper is afraid of humor about the news.

Jamil Smith took a look at some of the papers censoring the strips and found a pretty ridiculous excuse...

Read on:
Here's what the local stir's all about folks. Although the Standard has joined in on this gutless Doonesbury boycott, it's nevertheless provided these strips on the S-E online edition, a web publication which we guess we can now fairly characterize at the "Standard-Examiner's Grown-up Edition":
Frankly we don't get it. As political cartooning goes, this material seems pretty tame to us.

Compounding the problem, the Standard complains that it's received (predictably we think) a large volume of uncomplimentary form letters (the Standard inaccurately labels these as "plagiarism" and doesn't reveal whether these are emails of old fashioned snail mail), a situation which the S-E editors elucidate in this morning following Letter to the Editor "sample" piece:
In truth, we believe S-E reader Mary Platek (and her thousands of other co-authors) make a danged salient point.

Sodden question: If the Standard chooses to get onboard the censorship bandwagon with relatively innocuous material like this, just what else will the Standard hide from the print edition public view?

Who exactly is the Standard trying to protect?

Middle aged, male State Legislators, perhaps?

Update 3/15/12 10:00 a.m.: The Trib's Pat Bagley offers his own clever cartoon strip this morning, which we'll label as parody-upon-parody:
Too funny, no?

Update 3/15/12 10:51 a.m.: The Wall Street Journal carries on this topic a short interview with Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau himself:
Update 3/16/12 10:25 a.m.: Check out this savvy and upbeat "take" from Newsday:
Maybe print media news censorship really ain't that bad, after all.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday Morning Weber County Forum News Roundup

A few interesting items assembled this morning whilst Googling, on an otherwise S-L-O-O-W news day

Here are four (count-em 4) interesting items for our readers' consumption this morning, submitted in the interest of inspiring a little WCF discussion:

1) Just as predicted by WCF Reader Official City Hall Souse yesterday morning, and subsequently confirmed by Dan Schroeder during last night's marathon City Council Live Blogging session, the Standard-Examiner now reports that 26-year OPD veteran Mike Ashment has been selected by the Caldwell administration, and was last night appointed by the City Council, to fill the permanent position of Ogden City Chief of Police, which has been vacant since Chief Jon Greiner's 12/28/12 "retirement":
Looks like a great pick to us; but what say our readers about this?

2) The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Senator Mike Lee is up to his old tricks, i.e., basically "[t]hreatening to hold his breath until he turns blue and faints, falling down on the floor screeching and squalling and pounding his fists and feet," like a two-year-old who didn't get his way:
Can we see by a show of hands how many of our gentle readers are proud to have this guy representing the State of Utah in the U.S. Senate?

3) The Standard provides this thought provocative Letter to the Editor, for our Weber County Forum friends who are planning to attend tomorrow night's GOP Neighborhood Caucuses:
We're no big fans of Orrin Hatch, we'll disclose, but remember Hatch's Senate seniority. If tomorrow night's GOP caucus attendees are short sighted enough to replace Orrin with Davis County corporatist Dan Liljenquist, or any other unproven newcomer for that matter, we'll be stuck with yet another "freshman" Senate "new kid on the block" (like Mike Lee); and you can bet your boots the chances of the Hill Air Force Base local economic "cash cow" will have a heightened chance of being placed on the BRAC "chopping block." Something to think about for would-be Weber County GOP political apparatchiks... at least those who DO actually have that capacity.

4) The Tribune caries an informative story this morning, outlining the differences between nut-case House Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden's ill-conceived HB363 and the current law:
Gotta say we loved this Bill Wright quote, by the way, "Homosexuality does not relate to sexuality. It’s a whole different thing." This Wright guy obviously knows what he's talking about, right?

This idiotic bill hasn't been signed into law by Governor Herbert by the way folks; and "the governor likely won’t make a decision on whether to sign the bill into law until next week," the Trib reports. In the meantime, angry Utah citizens are raising quite a ruckus about this bill:

"[The bill] has spurred much of the opposition to HB363 — including veto requests from the Utah PTA, the Utah Education Association and nearly 40,000 people who had signed an online petition as of Tuesday afternoon," according to Trib reporter Lisa Schencker.

In that connection, we'll helpfully provide links to both the online petition and Governor Herbert's web-based email contact page, for those of you who haven't yet gotten around to giving the Good Guv an "earful" quite yet:
Remember folks; be firm... but extra polite.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Council to Consider $180 Million in Utility System Upgrades

Get ready to pay, Ogden residents!

By Dan Schroeder

Tonight’s city council agenda is a busy one. First comes a special session to approve the mayor’s appointment of a still-unnamed individual as Ogden’s new Chief of Police. Then comes an RDA meeting to approve the development agreement with Boyer Company for the new IRS building. (The agreement basically pledges $500,000 in tax increment, to be collected over the next five years, to Boyer.)

After these formalities, the council will hold yet another work session to discuss the utility systems. Readers will recall that last week, council members held a public hearing on utility rates and got an ear full from unhappy citizens. Tonight, the council will hear the administration’s pitch for funding $180 million in utility infrastructure upgrades. Needless to say, this cannot be done without raising utility rates even higher.

Since the work session agenda packet weighs in at a whopping 120 megabytes, I’ve extracted its most important parts and packaged them as two smaller files. The first piece includes the council staff summaries of the water and storm sewer “master plans,” along with the administration transmittal letters and the draft council resolutions that would approve these plans. The second piece is the water system master plan itself, minus the lengthy appendices and some large maps (removed to keep the file size below 10 megabytes).

The most expensive piece of the proposal by far is a systematic replacement of the city’s water pipelines over the next 40 years, at a total estimated cost of $129 million. Fortunately, this replacement doesn’t have to be done all at once. In fact, the replacement program can be postponed several years with little harm. But it cannot be put off indefinitely, and the city absolutely needs to start planning now.

More urgently, the proposal includes three major water system upgrades over the next five years: a major upgrade to the water treatment plant near Pineview Dam ($9.8 million); replacement of the pipeline in Ogden Canyon ($9 million); and a long list of “distribution and fire flow” improvements throughout the city ($12.3 million).

The council has known for years that the treatment plant upgrade would soon be necessary, but chose in 2007 to postpone this project and leave it unfunded at that time. It’s perplexing, though, that the minutes of the council meetings in 2007 don’t mention any other urgent, unfunded water projects. I’m trying to learn more about why these needs are seemingly coming out of nowhere.

Also perplexing is the cost of the treatment plant upgrade. The new master plan puts the cost at $9.8 million, but the staff summary puts it at $13.1 million. I’ve been told that the difference represents additional work in or near the plant that the city engineer has requested. Let’s hope the council will scrutinize this additional request carefully. Perhaps, though, the council will be relieved that the request is still far less than what they were apparently told in 2007, namely $46.6 million.

After the first five years, the biggest proposed expense becomes pipe replacement. But there is one other line item that merits extra scrutiny: a $3.7 million request for digging some new wells to augment Ogden’s water supply. The master plan clearly states (on page 60) that these wells won’t be needed for 20 years, yet includes this line item in the budget for years 6 through 10.

The timing of projects is important, because it determines the extent to which the city must borrow money to pay for them. Over the long term it’s much cheaper to pay cash, but there may be no way to raise enough cash for the short-term needs. That’s why the city borrowed $50 million for water and sewer projects in 2008, and we’re now paying about $2 million per year just to cover the interest on those bonds. The city’s consultants are now proposing another $34 million in bonding and a corresponding increase in interest paid.

Will the city council go along with the consultants’ proposal to borrow another $34 million? Or will they work to fund more of the needed projects with cash and thus lower Ogden’s interest payments—and residents’ utility bills—over the long term? The answer will depend on whether they hear from more of their constituents:
Update 3/13/12 6:55 p.m.: Heads up, people. Dan S. is now live blogging from the City Council Chamber. Click "comments" to follow his real-time remarks.

Standard-Examiner: Dee (Smith): Attorney General Campaign Won't Hurt Current Job

With a little luck, Smith will find some time to campaign between press conferences

It's official, folks. As the Standard-Examiner predicted last week, Weber County Attorney Dee Smith has now filed as a candidate for the Utah Attorney General's Office:
With a little luck, Smith sez he'll find the time to campaign between press conferences.

In an interesting wrinkle to this story, the Standard also reports that Smith's candidate filing has apparently prompted Libertarian Andrew McCullough to throw his hat into the ring with his own Utah Attorney General candidacy.

“We’re against the death penalty, and he's a death penalty guy,” McCullough said. “So I had to file.”

Great to hear that Utah death penalty opponents will have this most excellent option, we believe.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Standard-Examiner: Utah 2012 Elections Start with Caucuses

Caucus Night Admonition: Take back your Utah political nomination process from the claque of highly organized political zealots who've been gaming the caucus system for as long as most of us can remember

To kickstart the Monday morning discussion, we'll offer a quick reminder of this week's neighborhood political party caucuses, which as far as we're concerned will be among the most important political events of the 2012 Election Season. In brief, Utah Democratic and Republican Party caucuses are scheduled for these dates:
March 13, 2012 - Weber County Democrats - 7:00 p.m.
March 15, 2012 - Weber County Republicans - 7:00 p.m.
The Standard-Examiner provides additional info here:
Notably, "... Republicans require its caucus attendees to be registered Republicans to participate in their meetings, area Democrats have opened their caucus meetings to anyone," this morning's S-E story reports.

Here's more from the Salt Lake Tribune, in an article co-authored by Demo and GOP State party Chairs Jim Dabakis and Thomas Wright, respectively:
For information on precinct caucus locations and other particulars, Weber County lumpencitizens should check out these party websites:

Libertarians and Others:
Still unsure of your voting precinct, even after visiting these sites? find your precinct via Weber County's snazzy Graphic Information System (GIS) -based precinct locator:
If all else fails, call the Weber County Clerk/Auditor's Office at 399-8400. Tell 'em Rudi sent ya's.

In our opening paragraph, we opined that these party caucuses "will be among the most important political events of the 2012 Election Season;" and we're not just "whistling Dixie" about that. Here's our reasoning folks:

These party precinct caucuses are the venues in which delegates are elected to the respective Democratic and Republican state party nominating conventions, where the candidates who will appear on 2012 General Election (and June Primary) ballots will ultimately be selected by these same delegates. Typically (especially in the GOP process), the March caucuses are often dominated by well-organized fringe groups like the "Eagle Forum" and other politically bat shit crazy non-mainstream folks. So in many cases, party nominating convention outcomes are already pre-determined upon conclusion of the March caucuses, mainly because more moderate although less "foamy-mouthed" Utah voters have failed to attend their party caucuses to thwart the selection of delegates who are politically "extremist."

If you've grown weary of sitting on your thumbs griping during the two years between General Elections about the poor quality of candidates who are nominated and ultimately elected in Utah, you'll take us up our our strong admonition, turn off the boob-tube on Tuesday and Thursday nights, attend your party caucuses, and take back your Utah political nomination process from the claque of highly organized political zealots who've been gaming the caucus system for as long as most of us can remember.

That's our take and we're stickin' with it.

And what say our gentle readers about all this?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Standard-Examiner: Incumbents File Early in Weber County - Updated

It gets interestinger and interestinger, dunnit?

With the November 6, 2012 election "looming" a "mere" 239 days from now, the Standard-Examiner zooms in on the first murmurings of local political activity, with a couple of morning stories reporting on those candidates who've already taken advantage of Utah's now open one-week candidate filing window. Here's the lede from the S-E's main story:
OGDEN — Weber County’s first filers in the 2012 election were mostly incumbents, including several legislators who made it down despite being up late Thursday night for the Legislature’s final day in session.

Friday was the first day to file for elective office in Utah, ranging from the U.S. Congress to local school boards and county commission seats.

Candidates have until 5 p.m. Thursday to file.

You can catch Charles Trentelman's full S-E writeup here:
In the second story, the Standard puts a special focus on the Senate District 20 race, where incumbent GOP State Senator Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City has already drawn a couple of challengers, namely Democratic Party candidate Sunset City Councilman Brent Andrews.

Read Mr. Saxton's full S-E story here:
As regular WCF readers will recall, Senator Jenkins suffered a serious "foot-in-mouth" political problem in mid February, when he railed on the Senate floor about SB116, and Senate resolution, SJR8, which called for a constitutional amendment to allow property tax waiver for national guardsmen on active duty, an amendment which would add a "whopping $1.o3 to the average Utah residential property owner's annual property tax bill, if enacted by the voters in November." Some political wonks would predict, following this public gaffe in a Senate District populated by a large active-duty and retired military demographic, the not-so-glib Senator Jenkins may now be, candidacy-wise, "low hanging fruit," as a result.

For Sen. Allen Christensen's District 19 Senate seat, take a look at the challenge of former Ogden City Council candidate, the Libertarian Party's 2012 State Senate candidate, Courtney White.

There's also one more Weber County race upon which we'd like to focus our attention. We were delighted to learn this morning from the first linked SE story that current Weber County GOP Chairman Matt Bell has entered the Weber County Commission race, in the hope of filling departing Commissioner Dearden's soon to be vacated Commission seat. Your blogmeister worked elbow to elbow with Matt in connection with Weber County politics over the course of the better part of two decades. If you're looking for a candidate who combines the traits of intelligence, honesty, strong work ethic, high ethical character and the ability to work well with others, you'll have to look long and hard to find a better Commission candidate.

Speaking of the race for Commissioner Dearden's seat, we have it on good and reliable authority that yet another possibly dark-horse GOP candidate will be entering the Commission race very soon... This guy, believe it or not.

No, we are not making this up.

It gets interestinger and interestinger, dunnit?

Update 3/11/12 10:00 a.m.: The Standard announces the imminent candidate filing of another Weber County incumbent, this time for state-level office:
Sodden query: Was last week's Dee Smith press conference stunt nothing more than cheap pre-election political posturing?

Update 3/12/12 8:30 a.m.: We received an email this morning with a link to Democratic Party 1st District Congressonal candidate Ryan Combe's campaign website. Be sure to check it out:

Friday, March 09, 2012

Utah Post-2012 Legislative Session Wrap-up

Sign the Petition... Consider this an early opportunity to accomplish something useful and positive this morning folks.

Now that the 2012 Utah legislative session has drawn to a close, here's a wrap-up of the most important legislative "achievements" of the now completed of the latest round of legislative "madness," gleaned straight from the pages of the Salt Lake Tribune and Standard-Examiner morning editions:

Salt Lake Tribune:
And for those readers looking for a little post 2012 Regular Session activist action, the Trib also reports that "[t]housands of people have signed an online petition urging Utah’s governor to veto a bill lawmakers passed this week to prohibit instruction about contraceptive use during sex education classes and allow schools to drop such classes altogether":
Unfortunately, for unknown reasons, the Trib neglects to provide a link to the actual petition; so we'll pick up where the Trib left off.

In that connection, and for the benefit of those readers who agree with us that HB363 is possibly the most irresponsible legislation of the 2012 session, click the link below to view and Sign the petition that the Trib merely mentions, urging Governor Herbert thusly: "Governor Herbert, please veto HB363. Our children need to be given enough information about sex and contraception that they are able to make good decisions concerning sex":
Consider this an early opportunity to accomplish something useful and positive this morning folks.

Update 3/11/12 9:00 a.m.: The SL-Trib editorial board provides another good 2012 legislative session summary this morning:

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Standard-Examiner: Utah Lawmakers Enter Final Day of "Calm Session," So Called

Let's just stand back and watch it all unfold with our crackpot legislature, eh, people?

Thanks to the sharp-eyed and alert editors of the Standard-Examiner, we're reminded that today marks the final day of the 2012 Utah Legislative Session... you know, the end of the 45-day period in Utah's midwinter when the nuttiest folks in the land gather together to basically pass message bills to ensure their re-elections by their "facilitators," the equally wacked out Utah GOP sheeple, er, voters. Here's this morning's Standard-Examiner heads-up story wherein our beloved home town newspaper's unpaid reporter surrogate, i.e, Josh Loftin from the Associated Press, convinces at least the apparently lo-paid and politically detached night shift headline copy editor guy that the The Standard should publish a facially ridiculous story like this, under an even more politically indigestible headline:
Don't count on the Standard-Examiner for the truth, people. Remember. The Standard's main business plan objective is sellin' newpapers!

Here's a a very nice SE Reader counterpoint, posted by a very savvy SE commenter, by the way:
Hmmm. Let's start with this legislative session: Parents no longer have a choice to have sex ed taught to their kids, the legislature reaffirmed that you can be fired in the workplace based on your sexual orientation, if you are trying to quit smoking, you can no longer use an e-cigarette, you can no longer smoke hookah in hookah bars, they reaffirmed that you still cannot buy liquor on Sunday and they did not expand liquor licenses despite a growing population (aka prohibition), teens can longer use tanning beds and parents have no say in the matter, cities can no longer decide where bill boards will be placed (only the legislature can), cities can no longer create local idling ordinances, forced patriotism in the schools, teachers could be charged with a misdemeanor for using the word "democracy" to refer to the U.S. government in the classroom, schools must now teach only the positives of capitalism and not refer to any negatives (misdemeanor charge). My favorite this year is that the legislature legalized nepotism in charter schools and passed legislation to hold traditional public school teachers accountable for test scores but not public charter school teachers. My second favorite bill: it is now a felony to get a job on a farm or meat processing plant with the intent of taking pictures or recording animals being mistreated. In fact, it is now illegal to take pictures of anyone's mistreated animals whether you are trespassing or not - TheKingsCourt.
Calm session? My ass!

Tonight's the big nite when the nitwit legislative GOP morons typically spring their very most crackpot bills at the last minute.

Let's just stand back and watch it all unfold, eh, people?

Cranky reader comments are invited, as always...

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune: Still Reporting on the Matthew Stewart Case, Sometimes Badly - Updated

Just to set the record straight, here are the basic rules for Utah lawyers regarding pretrial publicity, folks

We'll highlight two more news items in the fast developing 1/4/12 Ogden shootout case, both of which appeared on the Salt Lake Tribune website during the past couple of days, which stories we''ll reel off in reverse chronological order below:

1) The Trib reports this morning that 2d District Court Judge Hyde has stepped up to the plate, in an apparent attempt to help regulate the two sets of attorneys in this case, who've evidenced a painfully obvious lack of cooperation and coordination which to date has resembled, with respect to law and motion and discovery procedure, frankly, a "Chinese Fire Drill" :
In effect, Judge Hyde has now set up a sort of formal defense counsel chain of command, requiring private attorney Randy Richards to clear any further motions and related discovery requests through appointed public defender William Albright, who thus becomes the judicially ordered defacto lead counsel in this matter. Although Attorney Richards might not agree with our assessment in this regard, we'll applaud Judge Hyde's obvious creativity in re this matter. In spite of Judge Hyde's possible inclinations to simply remove Mr. Richards from his position of Defendant Stewart's chosen lawyer in this case, we believe that Judge Hyde has instead adopted a thoughtful and Solomanesque, "middle of the road" solution, which will in the long run not only honor Defendant Stewart's preferred defense lawyer preference, but will at the same time keep the other two publicly appointed defense lawyers working on a zealous defense of this matter, rather than copping an early "plea deal." No, this is NOT the perfect solution. Yes, it's better than the alternative, which would be to see Judge Hyde remove Mr. Richards from the case.

2) For sake of archival consistency, we'll now refer to yesterdays lame Trib Story, wherein (rookie?) Trib reporter Aaron Falk wrongly creates the impression that "modern developments" have created a scenario where prosecution and defense counsel are somehow free to cavalierly "try their cases in the press" with no holds barred:
Just to set the record straight, here are the basic rules for Utah lawyers regarding pretrial publicity, folks, along with telling excerpts. Despite Mr. Falk's oddball story, the traditional rules, which require restraint on the part of legal counsel, still apply during litigation in Utah courts:

Utah Rules of Professional Conduct , Rule 3.6. Trial Publicity:
(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.

Rule 3.6. Trial Publicity
Utah Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.8. Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor:
The prosecutor in a criminal case shall: (e) Exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6.

Rule 3.8. Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor
State Bar Rules - Article 3. Standards of Professionalism and Civility:
A lawyer's conduct should be characterized at all times by personal courtesy and professional integrity in the fullest sense of those terms. In fulfilling a duty to represent a client vigorously as lawyers, we must be mindful of our obligations to the administration of justice, which is a truth-seeking process designed to resolve human and societal problems in a rational, peaceful, and efficient manner. We must remain committed to the rule of law as the foundation for a just and peaceful society.

Conduct that may be characterized as uncivil, abrasive, abusive, hostile, or obstructive impedes the fundamental goal of resolving disputes rationally, peacefully, and efficiently. Such conduct tends to delay and often to deny justice.

3. Lawyers shall not, without an adequate factual basis, attribute to other counsel or the court improper motives, purpose, or conduct. Lawyers should avoid hostile, demeaning, or humiliating words in written and oral communications with adversaries. Neither written submissions nor oral presentations should disparage the integrity, intelligence, morals, ethics, or personal behavior of an adversary unless such matters are directly relevant under controlling substantive law.

Article 3. Standards of Professionalism and Civility
Fascinating to compare the rules with the heretofor demonstrated conduct, Innit?

Update 3/7/12 5:30 p.m.: The Standard-Examiner is all over the defense counsel reshuffling story, too:
Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones.

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