Friday, June 29, 2012

Daily Show: CNN & Fox News Report Supreme Court Decision - Updated

The Supreme Court rules on the Affordable Care Act, and CNN races with Fox News to see which news organization will be the first to mis-report the great decision

Pretty funny, no?

Update 6/30/12 8:42 a.m.: The Standard's Andy Howell expands upon Jon Stewart's "race doesn't always go to the swift" theme with this instructive morning column, detailing the S-E's conservative policy for social networking media posts and noting that "[i]n this age of immediate news and multi-platform delivery, this shows how quickly incorrect information can be disseminated":
And national media-wise, CNN and Fox are taking their well-deserved lumps... from coast to coast:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Breaking: Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law

Roberts joins SCOTUS majority, says Obamacare mandate is permissible under Congress’s taxing authority

Via the Wahington Post,  here's the lead story:
    WaPo also has dozens of other stories on this landmark decision plastered all over its front page, covering all story angles.  Take your pick:
    Read up, folks.  Fascinating stuff.

    Update 6/28/12 9:41 a.m.:  Here's the first local coverage, from the Salt Lake Tribune:
    Stop the Presses! There's much weeping and gnashing of teeth in the GOP camp. No surprises there, of course, since SCOTUS has now handed Republican candidates their #1 2012 General Election issue (on the proverbial "silver platter"), which will no doubt keep GOP politicians "happily" whining well into November.

    Update  6/28/12 9:55 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner is now all over the story too:
    Update 6/28/12 1:47 p.m.: Hilarious added bonus jpeg pic via Jim Hutchins. Pretty danged funny, ya gotta admit:

    Have at it O Gentle Ones!

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    June 26 Primary Election Post-mortem Exam

    No WCF post-election post-mortem can ever be considered complete until our ever-savvy readers have thrown in their own 2¢.

    Via Ricky Hatch's Weber County Election website, we've gleaned the full list of survivors of yesterday's Weber County Primary Election. Each of the candidates named below now qualifies to appear on November Weber County General Election ballots:

    US President (GOP)
    Mitt Romney 
    US Senate (GOP):
    Orrin Hatch

    US House of Representatives District 1 (Democrats)
    Donna McAleer

    State Auditor (GOP)
     John Dougall

    Governor (Constitution)
    Kirk D Pearson

    State Attorney general (GOP)
    John Swallow

    Utah House District 29 (GOP)
    Lee Perry

    Ogden School Board District Precinct 1
    Don Belnap
    David Tanner

    Ogden School Board District Precinct 5
    Shane Story
    J. Scott Handy

    As an added bonus, and to assist our readers in wrapping up their understanding of yesterday's results, The Standard-Examiner carries these post-primary stories this morning:
    And remember, folks: No way can a WCF post-election post-mortem can ever be considered complete unless and until our ever-savvy readers have thrown in their own 2¢, capice?

    That's your cue. You're on, O Gentle Ones.

    Update June 28, 2012 8:00 a.m.:  Encouraging outcome in GOP House 68, where GOP loonybird Bill Wright, author of the ill-conceived HB 363, went down in flames versus GOP moderate challenger Merrill Nelson.

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    2012 Utah Primary Election Real-time Tallies - Updated

    Grab your Orville Redenbachers' and pull up your Barcalounger easy chairs, as the Lt. Guv's website "scoreboard" begins to light up!

    It's 8:00 p.m., and the polls are now closed.  If you'd like to follow real-time election results as they roll in this evening, click the link below, which will take you to the Utah Lieutenant Governors website.  Here's the Lt. Guv's main website link, for those readers who'd like to roam around and check out all Primary Election results, state-wide. Navigate the main menu in the left sidebar to view real-time tallies in every race in every jurisdiction around the state, from U.S. President to local school board :
    For our WCF readers' convenience however, we'll cut to the chase. Here are the Lt. Guv's individual vote tally pages for the specific Weber County ballot races and issues which we've been closely following for the past few months:
    Please take note that the latter link includes tallies on the $65 million Weber School District bonding proposal which evoked a fair number of reader comments under our WCF writeup just yesterday.

    Alternately, WCF political wonks might want to try County Clerk/Auditor  Ricky Hatch's Weber County Election Office website.  We've been tracking this site over the years, and sometimes it's a little more timely than the Lt. Guv's above-linked pages, especially when the Lt. Guv's site gets overwhelmed:
    Grab your Orville Redenbachers and pull up your Barcaloungers, folks, as the Lt. Guv's website "scoreboard" begins to light up!

    Update 6/26/12 8:15 p.m.:  Patience, folks.  After seven years linking vote tallies in seven (countem 7) previous elections, we've learned that it often takes a half-hour or more to get the Lt. Guv's online voter count software moving to display the "real-time" vote tallies, (so called).

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    Final, Final, Final 2012 Utah Primary Election Reminder

    Stay tuned for tomorrow evening's WCF article, where we'll reveal the results of tomorrow's 6/26/12 Utah Primary Election in real-time, as is our 7-year WCF custom

    In advance of tomorrow's Utah Primary Election, we'll once again reiterate the Utah Primary Election data which we set forth in last Saturday's (6/12/12) WCF post, mercifully in even more brief form.  Here are your 6/26/12 Utah Primary Election candidates, folks, digested to the most possibly simple and basic format.

    Just so's you'll get a feeling for the relative strength of our WCF preferences in regard to these primary candidates, for what it's worth, we've also taken the effort to attach little tell-tale emoticon icons below:

    US Senate (GOP):
    Orrin Hatch
    Dan Liljenquist ☠☠☠

    US House of Representatives District 1 (Democrats) :
     Ryan Combe
     Donna McAleer

    State Auditor (GOP):
     John Dougall ☠☠☠
    Auston Johnson ☝☝☝

    Governor (Constitution):
    Kirk D Pearson
    Brandon W. Nay

    State Attorney general (GOP):
     Sean Reyes
     John Swallow ☠☠☠

    Utah House District 29 (GOP):
    Brad Galvez
    Lee Perry

    Ogden School Board District Precinct 1:
    Don Belnap ☠☠☠
    David Tanner ☝
    Allen Smith ☝

    Ogden School Board District Precinct 5:
     Shane Story ☠☠☠
     J. Scott Handy ☝☝
    Clark Hogan
    Jim Hutchins ☝☝☝

    Still a mite foggy about the issues involved in tomorrow's primary election?  Here; read this then:
    The polls open at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow (6/26/2012), and close at 8:00 p.m.

    Stay tuned for tomorrow evening's WCF article, where we'll reveal, around 8pm, the results of tomorrow's Utah Primary Election in real-time, as is our time-honored 7-year WCF custom.

    The Weber School District’s $65 Million Bonding Proposal - Another Issue on Tomorrow's Primary Election Ballots

    A $65 million bond issue slam dunk... or will it be back to the drawing board for the Weber School District?

    There's one more ballot issue we'd like to address this morning, as we stand on the cusp of tomorrow's Utah Primary Election. An examination of tomorrow's Weber County primary ballot reveals that there's an important public bonding issue which has somehow wriggled onto the ballot, i.e., Weber School District’s $65 million bonding proposal, which would allow the district to build five new schools and update two existing ones. The Standard-Examiner story provides the gist:
     Note: The above-mentioned bond proposal will appear on only the Weber County ballots of those voters who reside in the Weber School  District, of course.

    In a circumstance where this new bonding is being "framed" by proponents as a measure which will not raise taxes, it would seem that Weber School District officials have their ducks lined up with tight-fisted Weber County voters who might otherwise drive a stake through the heart of any bonding proposal which would create $65 million in new public debt.  While it's likely, therefore, that this bonding measure will have smooth sailing in tomorrow's balloting, there is at least one fly in the ointment, as set forth in yesterday's Standard-Examiner guest commentary by M. Royce Van Tassell, Vice President of the fiscally conservative and highly-influential Utah Taxpayers Association:
    So what about it, O gentle Ones? Is this $65 million Weber County School District bonding proposal essentially a slam dunk? Or will the procedural irregularities and outright trickery which Mr. Van Tassel illuminates convince cash-strapped Weber County taxpayers to reject this measure and force the the school district to reprise this bonding measure "at a later date?"

    And what's your individual take on this proposal? Will you be voting for or against it?

    Are there any other issues which we've missed?

    How about a little reader discussion on this?

    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Deseret News: Sean Reyes Sues Attorney General Opponent John Swallow For Defamation

    The latest development in the Utah GOP Attorney General bare-knuckle battle royal, which would turn practioners of the fine sport of American Professional Wresting green with envy

     In our relentless quest to assemble the most pertinent information concerning Tuesday's Utah Primary balloting, we'll highlight the most recent development in the GOP State Attorney General's race, where GOP AG candidates Sean Reyes and John Swallow are waging a bare-knuckle battle royal, which, with the latest campaign development,  would turn practioners of the fine sport of  American Professional Wresting green with envy. Earlier this week, candidate Reyes took candidate Swallow to task for what Reyes characterises "malicious attack ads," adding that "I was warned that if I ran against John Swallow, my family and I would be targets for brutal lies and attacks."  Here's the riveting audio clip:

    Reyes is right, of course.  As those of us who've followed candidate Swallow's political career already know, hard ball politics-wise, this campaign is not Mr. Swallow's "first rodeo." 

     Now however, according to the Deseret News, Reyes is turning the tables and cranking up the heat another notch himself:
    Predictably, as the D-News also reports, Swallow's lawyers, not to be outdone by Reyes's lawyers, are now working feverishly to draw up a lawsuit of their own.  Surprise of surprises.

    Just about what you'd expect from a couple of Republican trial attorneys, we guess.

    Take heart however, folks.  Rest assured, there actually will be a level-headed and fully grown-up Utah Attorney General candidate on the ballot in November:
    In the interim between now and Tuesday however,  we suggest you all pull up your popcorn and LA-Z-Boys folks, to sit back and enjoy all the fun.  It's definitely getting interestinger and interestinger, innit?

    Saturday, June 23, 2012

    Standard-Examiner: Brad Galvez, Lee Perry Vie for House Position

    The floor's open for any WCF political wonks, who'd care to point out a dimes' worth of difference between these two GOP candidates

    In the interest of assembling the most robust collection of information possible prior to Tuesday's Utah Primary election, we'll pick up where we left off yesterday and highlight Friday's online Standard-Examiner story, which calls attention to the two candidates vying for nomination in Utah's newly created House District 29, in which race two current GOP House incumbents,  Rep. Brad Galvez (District 6) and Rep. Lee Perry (District 2) are battling it out in a contest where only one of them will have the chance to return to the state legislature next year for the 2013 legislative session:
    Click the links below to view each candidate's campaign website:
    The winner of the June 26 primary will face Democrat Heidi Britton and the Constitution Party's Sherry Phipps in November.

    The floor's open for any WCF political wonks, who'd care to point out a dimes' worth of difference between these two Republican candidates.

    Consider that your morning challenge.

    Friday, June 22, 2012

    Standard-Examiner: Pay, Teacher Morale Issues for Precinct 5 Ogden School Board Candidates

    In truth, there are several great choices in the Precinct Five race, none of whom answers to the name Shane Story

    The Standard-Examiner is "firing on all cylinders" this morning, with this pre-Primary Election story, putting the spotlight on Ogden School District Precinct Five, wherein School Board incumbent Shane Story faces three challengers in the primary election — J. Scott Handy, Clark Hogan and Weber County Forum favorite Jim Hutchins:
    In truth, there are several great choices in this race, none of whom, in our never-humble opinion, answers to the name Shane Story, however.  And in keeping with the theme of our earlier article this morning, wherein we touted the benefits of electing school board members who actually know a little something about public education, we'll remind our readers that Jim Hutchins is an actual professional educator too.

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

    The floor's open, O Gentle Ones.

    Standard-Examiner: Don Belnap Challenged for Place on Ogden School Board

    Novel Concept: Howbout electing a professional educator like David Tanner to "financial planner" Don Belnap's School Board slot?
    As I reviewed the past performance of the school district in Ogden, I felt a little frustration. My feeling was that maybe they were not making decisions based on educational foundations. There isn’t, in fact, an educator on the Ogden School Board at all, and there are in Davis and Weber. I’m running because it’s time for an educator to step up to the plate and take the lead.
    David Tanner - Precinct 1 Ogden School Board Candidate
    Don Belnap challenged for place on Ogden School Board
    June 21, 2012

    To our considerable delight, the Standard-Examiner provides more information on Tuesday's upcoming  Ogden School Board Primary Election races, with the below-linked story focusing on the Ogden School Board’s Precinct One seat.  Read up folks... looks like it might come down to a two-man race, inasmuch as School Board challenger Allen Smith apparently doesn't believe its important to return S-E reporter Nancy Van Valkenburg's phone calls:
    Our take? Vote for anybody except board incumbent Don Belnap. This morning's S-E story informs us that, wonder of wonders, "David Tanner, 45, is a Weber School District educator, teach[es] fifth grade at North Park Elementary in Roy. "

    Howbout this for a novel concept, folks? Howbout electing a professional educator like David Tanner to properly fill "financial planner" Don Belnap's School Board slot?

    Just a thought.

    Standard-Examiner: Newcomers Seek Congressional Nod

     Read up, folks... time's running short

    The Standard provides a helpful story on its website this morning, drilling down on the Utah 1st District Congressional District primary race, highlighting biographical facts and distinguishing a few of the positions of Democratic Party candidates Ryan Combe and Donna McAleer, who are vying for their party's Primary Election nomination to face GOP incumbent Rob Bishop in the General Election in November.  We've spliced in links to each candidate's campaign website, of course:
    Read up, folks. Time's running short. Primary election balloting's set for this coming Tuesday (June 26).

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Lawmakers Do the Right Thing with Liquor Law Changes

    State legislature enacts a quick fix to Utah's long festering liquor license "bottleneck"

    Just like clockwork, the Utah legislature responded to Governor Herbert's call to action, and held a 1-1/2 hour powwow yesterday to enact a quick fix to Utah's long festering liquor license "bottleneck", with lopsided favorable votes of 26-1 and 57-10 in the State Senate and House respectively. The Trib's all over the story again this morning, with post special legislative session reports by Trib columnist heavyweights Robert Gehrke and Peg McEntee:
    Curious about how your local legislators voted on this stopgap curative bill, which, incidentally, was sponsored in the House by Ogden's own Rep. Gage Froerer? Happily, all Weber County situated legislators, in both the Senate and the House supported Gage's efforts with their "aye" votes. Yes... even the ever-pious Senator Stuart Reid voted to expand Utah's liquor license quotas.  Just as sage WCF reader Blackrulon has repeatedly reminded us, in Utah, ultimately, "money talks"...most of the time, at least. 

    And which notable state legislators cast nay votes, standing firm against the increased availability of demon rum?

    1) GOP Nutcase State Senator Margeret Dayton, for one (no surprises there) and 2) GOP Utah State Auditor Primary Election candidate John Dougall. Both of these idiots are quite obviously "wacked out" beyond belief.

    Hopefully those WCF readers among us of the GOP persuasion who live in the 21st century and are philosophically inclined to be pro-economic development will take careful note of Mr. Dougall's curious "nay" vote as they visit their Primary Election polling places next Tuesday.

    Ninety new liquor licenses in a State as big as Utah seems to be a mere drop in the bucket to us, by the way. Sodden question: Will the Utah legislature be back with a similar fix next year? And the year after that?  Howbout the novel concept of letting the free market decide and abandoning the (socialist) principle of artificially limiting the numbers of Utah liquor licenses altogether?

    The floor's open for your comments, folks.  Who'd like to put a cap on Utah's latest likker law fix?

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    North Ogden City Solicits Bids from "Utah Economic Development Wizards"

    Anybody wanna bet whether Boss Godfrey's new economic development consultant firm will be selected by the "genius" political hacks in North Ogden City to fill this "custom designed" Request for Proposal bid? 

    Fascinating missive we received in our WCF email in box a coupla days ago from sharp-eyed and Gentle Reader Smaatguy, who actually devotes the necessary time to reading mind-numbing SE legal notices: day to day, and front to back.

    Here's the brief missive we received from Smaatguy on June 16th:
    Something to watch...They have a Request for Proposal out in the Standard for economic wizards...hizzonna I'm sure is going to be part of that...if not already. 
    Here's the legal notices ad link which gentle reader Smaatguy mentions. Weirdly enough, it's suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from the SE website.  Fortunately however, we found it still available elsewhere:
    Anybody wanna bet whether Boss Godfrey's new economic development consultant firm will be selected by the "genius" political hacks in North Ogden City to fill this apparently "custom designed" Request for Proposal bid?

    No doubt about it, the crazed "leaders" in North Ogden City Gummint are most certainly capable of making a bone-headed move like this.

    Suffice it to say, we'll be keeping a close eye on this.

    Standard-Examiner: Ogden Transfers $1 Million to Help Construct New Water Treatment Plant

    A mere warm-up for the bigger decision  over the upcoming $13 million bond, whereby the interest rate will be higher, the payment period will be 15 times longer, and it won't just  be another city fund making money off the council's mind-boggling ineptitude

    Fresh off the City Council's passage of Ogden City's bassackwards new water rates scheme, which effectively penalizes water conservation, and rewards the biggest water users with discounted rates, the Standard-Examiner reports this morning that the city council has taken action to jump-start the process.  Here's the lede:
    OGDEN — A month after raising water rates to pay for needed infrastructure improvements, the city is moving around some money to begin one of the improvements early.
    On Tuesday night the city council approved a resolution that will allow the city to borrow $1 million from the sewer fund and lend it to the water fund in order to expedite the construction of a new water treatment plant.
    Read Mr. Shaw's full writeup here:
    Regarding the whole concept of transferring a cool mil to the water fund, which is already flush with cash, Gentle Reader Dan S. hits the nail on the head, we believe:
    Mr. Moffett is incorrect. The loan is not necessary because the water fund has a $6 million cash balance that it could easily tap into for the design work. But bureaucrats always prefer to do things the most complicated possible way, it seems.
    Hold onto your wallets, Ogden City lumpencitizens.  Consider this a mere warm-up for the bigger decision  over the council's upcoming $13 million bond, whereby the interest rate will be higher, the payment period will be 15 times longer, and it won't just  be another city fund making money off the council's mind-boggling ineptitude.

    Comments, anyone?

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    Matthew Stewart July 18 Preliminary Hearing Called Off Due to Emergency Surgery

    Bad news for a politically ambitious county attorney who'd like to get this case wrapped up prior to the November election, we guess

    Both the Standard-Examiner and Salt Lake Tribune report this morning the latest development in the Matthew Stewart shootemup matter. Just as we predicted back in April, Stewart's July 18-20 preliminary hearing has been called off:
    Sure as shootin', County Attorney Dee Smith's crack prosecution team opposed the defense motion to take this important hearing off calender, just as they've reflexively opposed every motion the defense has filed in this case, meritorious or not. The fact that a gut-shot defendant who's undergone emergency abdominal surgery will be stuck in intensive care for a couple of  weeks, and recuperating for an undetermined time after that, apparently ain't good enough for a politically ambitious county attorney who'd like to get this case wrapped up prior to the November election, we guess.

    Salt Lake Tribune: Herbert Calls Special Session to OK More Liquor Licenses, Fix Ed Funding

     Better late than never, we guess... Must be an election year

    Fiddling No More
    Just as it was beginning to appear that Utah Governor Gary Herbert, and the Utah state churchislature legislature would continue "fiddling around" until commencement of the 2013 legislative session in January, the Salt Lake Tribune reports this morning that the governor is finally getting around to taking action to immediately address the pressing crisis of Utah's liquor license "bottleneck", along with the prickly problem of a $25 million shortfall in the state education budget, resulting from (oops) an "accounting error":
    Better late than never, we guess.

    Must be an election year.

    Utah: The  best managed state?

    Well... that's what they keep telling us, at least.

    Sunday, June 17, 2012

    Salt Lake Tribune: Tribune Wins National Watchdog Journalism Award

    Don't ever let anyone tell you that old-fashioned watchdog journalism is dead

    A Weber County Forum Tip O" the Hat to The Salt Lake Tribune, this week's recipient of a highly prestigious peer-to-peer national journalism award. Here are the lead paragraphs from this morning's Trib story:
    Boston • The Salt Lake Tribune on Saturday received a national award for service to the First Amendment for its coverage of HB477, the bill the 2011 Legislature passed and later repealed that would have dramatically weakened Utah’s open-records law.

    Investigative Reporters & Editors, a national watchdog journalism organization, presented the newspaper with a prestigious IRE Special Recognition Award for Service to The First Amendment at a luncheon at its annual conference.

    Nearly 1,200 investigative reporters from around the country gave the paper a standing ovation during the presentation, and IRE board members praised the importance of The Tribune’s work.

    The award from IRE recognized The Tribune staff for their "reporting, editorial stance and lobbying efforts to keep Utah’s open-records laws intact."
    Check out the full story here:
    The Trib fought like a badger to raise public awareness of the Utah Legislature's ham-handedness with respect to the ill-conceived HB 477.

    Don't ever let anyone tell you that old-fashioned watchdog journalism is dead.

    Saturday, June 16, 2012

    Standard-Examiner: Primary Competition Should Raise Interest in 2012 Elections

    Special invitation to those readers among us who are fully up to speed on Ogden School Board politics to chime in with your comments, informing us who are your School Board candidate favorites and which candidates don't cut the mustard, in your own ever-savvy opinions

    As we advance to within ten days of the 2012 Utah Primary Election, the Standard-Examiner carries a timely Dave Greiling column this morning, highlighting a few of the contested races which will appear on Top of Utah primary ballots, published with the obvious journalistic intention of heightening reader interest in the upcoming June 26 Primary Election balloting:
    For the sake of clarity, we'll pick up where Dave left off, and summarize those contested races coming up on June 26, including both the races which Mr. Greiling highlighted, and also the ones he missed.  For the sake of simplicity, we've limited our summary to those races which will appear on Weber County Primary Election ballots only. In those instances where candidates have taken the trouble to publish campaign websites, we've also provided those live links:

    US Senate (GOP): Orrin Hatch and Dan Liljenquist

    US House of Reprentatives (Democrats) District 1: Ryan Combe and Donna McAleer

    State Auditor (GOP): John Dougall and Auston Johnson

    Governor (Constitution): Kirk D Pearson and Brandon W. Nay

    State Attorney general (GOP): Sean Reyes and John Swallow

    Utah House District 29 (GOP): Brad Galvez and Lee Perry

    Ogden School Board District 1: Don Belnap, David Tanner and Allen Smith

    Ogden School Board District 5: Shane Story, J. Scott HandyClark Hogan and Jim Hutchins

    We hope all Weber County Forum political wonks took action to make sure you were registered to vote on June 26, by beating last Monday's Primary Election voter registration deadline. Mr. Greiling also hits the nail on the head, wethinks, when he says, "[i]t will be interesting to see if the number of contested races this time around spurs more voters to go to the polls."

    And what about these Ogden School Board races?  Except for Board incumbents Don Belnap and Shane Story, and one of your blogmeister's favorites, District 5 candidate and frequent WCF contributor Jim Hutchins, most of these School Board hopefuls are generally unknown around these parts.

    In that connection, we'll issue our special invitation to those readers among us who are fully up to speed on Ogden School Board politics to chime in with your comments, informing us who are your School Board candidate favorites and which candidates don't cut the mustard, in your ever-savvy opinions. The same applies to any other candidates on the June 26 Primary Election ballot roster, of course.

    The floor's open O Gentle Ones.

    Who'll be the first to throw in your own ever-savvy observations and remarks?

    Friday, June 15, 2012

    KSL Radio: Streaming Video of This Morning's KSL Doug Wright Show's Orrin Hatch/Dan Liljenquist U.S. Senate Race Pre-primary Debate

    Listen up folks; and don't forget to lodge your ever-savvy comments below

    Here's something that Weber County Forum political wonks might want to watch, as we approach the November 2012 General Election... a streaming video of this morning's KSL Radio Doug Wright Show's Orrin Hatch/Dan Liljenquist U.S. Senate race pre-primary debate:

    Listen up folks; and don't forget to lodge your ever-savvy comments below.

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

    Salt Lake Tribune: Utah Ranks Second Among The Next Economic ‘Boom States’

    Sit back and enjoy the upcoming Utah economic gravy train, folks

    Chirpy puff piece from the Salt Lake Tribune, reporting that a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report compared states throughout nation, and says the Beehive State’s economy ready to take off.

    Here's the lede:
    Washington • Utah’s economy is growing and a new report comparing states throughout the nation says it is ready to explode.
    Citing the state’s burgeoning tech sector and its spike in exports, combined with a lenient regulatory structure and low cost of living, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranked Utah second in a list of "the next boom states."
    Check out the full Matt Canham story:
    Funny... not a word about Utah's abysmally low wages. Realistically speaking, you'd think that's the one Utah economic factor which these "Chamber of Commerce Types" would be raving about the most, no?

    Predictably, Governor Herbert, who stands for re-election in November,  is milking this story for all it's worth:
    "It is an attitude. We are saying to the marketplace that we value the entrepreneur and the businessperson," Herbert, a Republican, told the crowd that included business leaders. "We’re going to make sure we have government that gets off your backs and out of your wallets."
    And the U.S. Chamber's numero uno state, poised to set its local economy on fire?

    North Dakota? C'mon. Gimmee a break.

    Read the Trib story. We are not making this up.

    Sit back and enjoy the upcoming Utah economic gravy train, folks.

    Open Letter From Our Friends At Utahns For Ethical Government


    Last week, Judge Todd Shaughnessy of Utah's Third District Court ruled that UEG had one year in which to gather initiative signatures (a win for us), while also ruling that e-signatures were not valid for initiative purposes (a win for the State). The judge held a status conference with both sides last Friday, and both we and the State will appeal the decision to the Utah Supreme Court within four weeks. This means UEG needs money now and is asking you to give (you can use PAYPAL on our website (Press the "Donate" button in lower right sidebar) or you can send a check to Kim Burningham at the address below). Please keep reading, because we're at an exciting turning point.

    Before our appeal can be submitted, the State must give us a complete count of qualified and disqualified signatures and counting procedures used by county clerks in (1) the three Senate Districts where validity of some e-signatures (or some disqualified handwritten signatures) would have enabled qualification, and (2) the other 23 Senate Districts where the State has already indicated unofficially that we had sufficient handwritten signatures. We will be "auditing" the counts, and part of our argument on appeal is likely to be that counting procedures across counties lacked uniformity and therefore denied voters the equal protection of the laws. We are confident of ultimate victory and a place on the November ballot.

    Our funds are depleted from our earlier signature drive and minimal operational needs. Our attorneys donate their time at no cost, but we must immediately raise $15,000 for court costs (we believe they won't be extensive) and initial preparation for a late summer and fall campaign, including a survey to assess voter perceptions and clearly identify our message (the bigger ticket item).

    If each of the 1,000 supporters who read this memo would give $15, we would have what we need. We know that this is an unlikely rate of return, but please prove us wrong! If only 300 of you would give $50, we'd also make our goal. We leave it up to each of you to do the math, but please do not ignore this request. No Super PACs have asked if they could adopt us - we're strictly grassroots.

    Please give as generously as you can. You may pay by using PAYPAL on our website, or mail a check to Kim Burningham at 932 Canyon Crest Drive, Bountiful, UT 84010. Make checks out to Utahns for Ethical Government. Contribute what you can NOW.

    As ever, we appreciate your support in time, money, and understanding of the need for legislative ethics reform. This is a critical time to combat inertia and demonstrate citizen support for our efforts. We must prepare our appeal and be ready to move forward when the Supreme Court rules. Your help now will be important to improved ethical safeguards in the future.


    Utahns for Ethical Government

    Kim R Burningham, Chair

    Executive Committee: Sheryl Allen, Vik Arnold, Rob Ence, Dixie Huefner, David Irvine, Craig Johnson, Tom Sakievich, Alan Smith, Carmen Snow, Karl Snow

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Paul Rolly: Wimmer Blames the Messenger for All the Confusion

    "Of course, the hullabaloo was all the media’s fault"

    More developments in the highly entertaining Carl Wimmer job/no job story, which has been an item of WCF merriment and mirth since early last week. Paul Rolly reports this morning that Wimmer's quit complaining about the Nevada GOP and is now laying the blame on the media:
    Rolly: "Of course, the hullabaloo was all the media’s fault."

    Monday, June 11, 2012

    Western Governors Conference Report: A Snapshot of the Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation

    Nice to observe that Mayor Caldwell wasn't just goofing off this weekend and that hizzoner  was willing to travel all the way to Cle Elum, Washington, to tout Ogden City's notable outdoor recreational marketing virtues, don'tcha think?

    Interesting news from the Western Governors Conference, which is just now a little more than midway through its June 9-12 2012 annual meeting agenda. The highlight of this meeting is a recently released study, prepared by a Florida outfit called Southwick & Associates, finding that "outdoor recreation in America is more than half a trillion dollar industry," outperformed only by the Financial/Insurance and Outpatient Healthcare industries. Get a load of this interesting report, folks. It's a real eye-opener:
    Just what the doctor ordered, wethink, to spur western state governors to take a second look at their own states' outdoor recreation industry promotional opportunities. Hopefully our own Governor Gary Herbert will take note, as his cronies in the legislature jockey for legislation which might compromise Utah's relatively pristine public recreation lands.

    Among the featured speakers at this week's Governors' annual shindig, interestingly enough, was Ogden City's own Mayor Mike Caldwell, who took a little time off from his busy workout schedule, and addressed the WGA assemby yesterday, putting Ogden City in the spotlight as the poster child for successful outdoor recreation industry marketing.

    While we were unable to find the full text of Mayor Caldwell's WGA address after a fair amount of morning Googling, here's an excerpt gleaned from yesterday's WGA press release which no doubt provides the gist:
    Ogden’s strategic investment in recreation infrastructure and promotion of our vast natural resources through world-class events has been the catalyst to attract and recruit an outdoor recreation economic cluster. That cluster has been an integral part in the revitalization and economic growth of our community. This movement has also galvanized the community around a vibrant, healthy and active lifestyle ranking Ogden in the top 10 of America’s best cities to raise a family by Forbes Magazine.
    Yesiree, the jointly issued  WGA/Southwick & Assocs. report is a real eye-opener in its own right; but it's also nice to observe that Mayor Caldwell wasn't just goofing off this weekend and that hizzoner  was willing to travel all the way to Cle Elum, Washington (of all places), to tout Ogden City's notable outdoor recreational marketing virtues, don'tcha think?

    Sunday, June 10, 2012

    Standard-Examiner: Monday Last Day to Register to Vote in Primary

    If you don't bother to register and vote in the June 26 Primary, you'll be equitably disqualified here on WCF to whine about the results

    Helpful 2012 election-related  article in this morning's Standard-Examiner, reminding S-E readers of a Monday's fast approaching voter registration deadline.  These selected paragraphs provide the gist:
    People who want to vote in the June 26 primary elections but aren't yet registered have to sign up on Monday or miss their chance (...).
    Voters may register in person at their respective county clerk's office or on-line by visiting The deadline is Monday.
    "Registration is coming to an end. If they miss the deadline, and if they are not already registered, they can't vote in the primary," Davis County Election Coordinator Pat Beckstead said.
    Read this morning's full S-E story here:
    Once again, here's a live link to the Utah State Government Elections Site, where you'll find a full array of helpful voter registration information, along with this easy to complete online voter registration form:
    For those readers who'd prefer to register in person, here's a Google Map for the Weber County Clerk's Office (2380 Washington Blvd Suite #320, Ogden, Utah 84401), to help with your navigation:

    View Larger Map

    Those with questions or special needs can call 801-399-8036 in Weber County, (or 801-451-3420 in Davis County).

    Snoozers will be losers, according to the old ax.

    And remember, folks, if you don't bother to register and vote in the June 26 Primary, you'll be equitably disqualified here on WCF to whine about the results.

    Friday, June 08, 2012

    Salt Lake Tribune: Wharton: Whatever Became of the Heidelberg Restaurant?

    The most historical building in a town filled with historical buildings

    Interesting story in yesterday's Salt Lake Tribune, putting the focus on a Utah historical landmark which Weber County Forum readers who are a little bit longer in the tooth will remember as having been at one time one of the most notable fine dining establishments in the whole Beehive State.  Check out the story, which is a pretty informative read:
    The Rock Mill - Farmington, UT
    Readers who'd like to learn a little more about this important and unique Utah landmark property owe it to themselves to visit the website:
    Incidentally folks, the current owner, Tom Owens, also happens to be, or used to be, a, long-time (legacy) WCF reader.

    Owens is right, wethinks: It is "pretty shameful that society doesn’t protect heritage buildings."

    WCF Hat Tip to Tom Owens, by the way, who cared enough to save it from the wrecking ball with his own dough, thus far at least, despite our general society's notable cultural preservation failings.

    So what say our gentle readers about all this?

    Standard-Examiner: Ogden's App Lab Plugs Into $1M in Federal Funds

    Ogden’s burgeoning mobile app industry gets a $1 million federal boost

    US Gimmint Uncle Sugar
    The Standard-Examiner picks up where it left off on 4/27/12, with this morning's encouraging news that "Ogden’s burgeoning mobile app industry just got a [giant] financial boost from the federal government," with a brand new federal grant, ringing in to the to the tune of a cool one million bucks:
    Ogden taxpayers will have some skin in the game with respect to this project too, as the Standard also reports that "the city will kick in $285,000 for the purchase and renovation of a building at 2314 Washington Blvd. Another $145,000 will go into a loan fund that will be used for business loans associated with the program."

    While we continue to have our concerns about the appropriateness of involving cash-strapped Ogden taxpayers in subsidizing economic development projects like this, we'll resist the temptation to gripe about it this go-round, inasmuch as the projected Ogden City payout appears to be a drop in the bucket, especially when compared to such projects during the madcap, free-spending  Boss Godfrey years. Moreover, taking into account the projected jobs, revenue and investment which can reasonably be expected to flow from this project in the years to come, we'll chalk this up as an Ogden good news story, folks, all in all.

    Of course that's just us... what about you?

    Thursday, June 07, 2012

    Carl Wimmer Takes Job As Nevada GOP Political Director - Not! - Updated

    A special WCF Tip of the Hat to the ever-oafish Carl Wimmer, for providing a little much needed pre-Utah Primary Election comedy relief.

    Poor old Carl Wimmer! Three days ago, the former Utah GOP legislator, Patrick Henry Caucus founder and unsuccessful US Congressional candidate, was gleefully walking on air and packing his bags to move to Nevada, to take up office as the Nevada Republican Party's new executive director:
    Oops! Seems there's developed a slight "fly in the ointment." Nevada State GOP officials now say they don't know nuttin' about Carl's new gig:
    No problem, though. Even though everyone knows Wimmer ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer, we can all rest assured that he's now devoting his considerable energy, Don Quixote-like, to "to clear up confusion about whether he was the Silver State’s new GOP political director or not":
    Our pet theory?  As one insightful Trib reader suggested, the Nevada GOP probably decided they'd be hiring a "Winner," not a "Wimmer," which would be an easy enough mistake for anybody to make.

    No doubt about it, here's another Utah political story we'll be keeping a close eye on.

    A special WCF Tip of the Hat to the ever-oafish Carl Wimmer this morning, by the way, for providing a little much needed pre-Utah Primary Election comedy relief.

    Update 6/9/12 8:00 a.m.:  Carl traveled to Vegas to straighten out the confusion; unforunately for Carl he winds up empty handed. The situation's deteriorated so badly, that Chuck Muth, a Nevada-based political consultant, said based on Wimmer’s public criticisms of the party ("They’re not just dysfunctional, they’re non-functional"), he [Wimmer] likely wouldn’t work in Nevada politics ever again:

    Wednesday, June 06, 2012

    Standard-Examiner: Idaho Lifts 'Ban' on Five Wives Vodka - Updated

    Idaho State Liquor Division "folds" like a cheap lawn chair

    Here's the latest in the "Five Wives Vodka" guerrilla marketing story, folks, which has been simmering on the WCF front-burner for the past week or so:

    Too funny.  The Idaho State Liquor Division "folds" like a cheap lawn chair:
    All's well that ends well, we guess.

    Update 6/7/12 7:00 a.m.:  The Idaho Statesman is on on the story too, confirming that indeed it was Jonathan Turley's strong attorney letter which tipped the scales, and also reporting that the Idaho State Liquor Division's policy flip-flop included a nice apology from the Idaho Likker Division for disparaging Ogden's Own Distillery's (OOD) fine "Five Wives" vodka product:
    The Statesman story also hints that the controversy actually may not be resolved to the point where OOD might be willing to call off its legal dogs, as the Idaho ban isn't actually 100% overturned, but the new policy will merely permit Idaho on-premise licensees and retail consumers to purchase the "Five Wives" product by "special order," which is still a bit of a hassle, according to OOD spokesman Steve Conlin.

    We'll continue to follow developments in this fascinating local story, Of course.

    What about it Gentle Readers? Who among us doesn't believe that the Ogden's Own Distillers will do everything possible to continue to play this controversy to the hilt?

    Standard-Examiner: Democrats Debate Who Will Face Bishop in November

    It's refreshing to have some good candidate choices as we approach the June 26 primary, don'tcha think?

    As a postlude to last night's Weber County Democrats congressional candidate debate, the Standard carries this Mike McFall story, reporting on the defining issues and positions of 1st Congressional District Democratic Primary Election candidates Ryan Combe and Donna McAleer:
    The Standard received considerable criticism of its lax and belated coverage of the recent Democratic State Nominating convention; and the publication of this morning's quite robust story makes it clear, we believe, that the Standard will not in the convention aftermath repeat that same unfortunate mistake.

    Check out Mr. McFall's story, WCF readers.

    It's refreshing to have some good Democratic Party candidate choices as we approach the June 26 primary, don'tcha think?

    Update 6/6/12 7:30 a.m.:  The Salt Lake Tribune is all over the story too:

    Tuesday, June 05, 2012

    Fox 13 News: Five Wives Vodka Sees Boost in Sales After Idaho Ban

    Ogden's Own Distillery rakes in the bucks on the heels of the kind of publicity that money can't buy

    As a followup to our earlier writeups on the subject, and amidst the doldrums of another s-l-o-o-w news day, one WCF-topical story rises to the surface this morning. Fox 13 News reported yesterday afternoon that as a result of the national furor over the Idaho banning of "Five Wives Vodka," sales of the Ogden City produced  liquor product with the funny label are flat-out booming:
    Incidentally, we checked with our local favorite Utah DABC package store yesterday afternoon, and were told that they're all sold out.

    On the heels of the kind of publicity that money couldn't buy,  Ogden's Own Distillery is predictably raking in the bucks.

    OWD proprietors are "makin' hay while the sun shines," alright; and as an added bonus... they're putting Ogden City "on the map," wethinks.  That's what our WCF readers like, right?

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

    It's been a mite quiet around here of late.

    Sunday, June 03, 2012

    Weber County Democrats June 5th Congressional Candidate Debate

    With the politically savvy Doug Gibson moderating this debate, it's bound to be one lively and informative event

    Attention all Weber County Democrats, and all other otherwise politically-leaning folks who are likely to vote in the upcoming June 26 Primary election.  The Weber County Democratic Party website provides a heads up of this coming Tuesday's (June 5, 2011) intra-party debate, where the two Democratic candidates who qualified at the State Democratic Convention to square off in the Primary to run for GOP incumbent Rob Bishop's Utah 1st Congessional District One seat will put their best feet forward to garner your June Primary support. Here's the full text announcement, via the WCDemo site, along with a coupla extra live links which we've added for our WCF readers' convenience:
    Dear Weber Dems, Here’s an important date to put on your calendar: Tuesday, June 5th at 7 pm in the auditorium of the Pleasant Valley Branch of the Weber County Library, just across the street from Ogden Regional Hospital.

    A debate will be held that night between our two excellent 1st District Congressional candidates, Ryan Combe and Donna McAleer. The debate will be moderated by Doug Gibson, the Editorial Page Editor of the Standard Examiner.

    I’m sure Doug will have some tough questions of his own for our two candidates, but we’d like to give you a chance to submit questions. Please send to me at, and we’ll forward them to Doug.

    Let’s pack the house that night and show Weber County there are more than a handful of Democrats in our community!

    Steve Olsen

    Chair Weber Dems
    Date: June 5, 2012
    Time: 7:00 pm
    Where: Pleasant Valley Library
    5568 S Adams Ave
    Washington Terrace, UT
    The Standard-Examiner also carries a brief announcement this morning in its hard-copy edition.

    With the politically savvy Doug Gibson moderating this debate, it's bound to be one lively and informative event.

    Mark your calenders folks.

    We hope you'll all plan to attend.

    Saturday, June 02, 2012

    Standard-Examiner: Idaho Liquor Division Willing to Work with Five Wives Vodka Producers

    Whaddaya know?  A near complete 180 degree turnabout within the span of one single day

    More breaking news in the "Five Wives Vodka" guerrilla marketing story.  The Standard Examiner reports this morning that the Idaho Liquor Division, duly embarrassed by the tidal wave of bad publicity, and under threat of percipient legal action, is now suddenly "willing to work with a broker to explore solutions that enable Five Wives Vodka, produced by Ogden's Own Distillery, to be sold in that state"  "The use of viral marketing to get publicity has been brilliant," the the formerly intransigent director of the Idaho State Liquor Division,  Jeff Anderson, admits:
     Whaddaya know?  A near complete 180 degree turnabout within the span of one single day.

    As an added bonus, here's an interesting background story from the Idaho Statesman:
    Be sure to check out the savvy reader comments beneath this latter story, which reveal that Idaho residents seem to have no higher regard for their own bumbling home state liquor regulation agency than do the thirsty lumpenciticens of our Beehive State for our correspondingly inept Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

    Seems like every time Big Gummint meddles in what should be the free private market, we always see the same ham-handed results, dunnit?

    Friday, June 01, 2012

    Standard-Examiner: OUR VIEW: The Vodka War

    Keep your heads down, folks...  The Standard predicts there's an upcoming Utah-Idaho trade war

    In the wake of Wednesday's Standard Examiner story, (which reported that local Ogden hootchmaker, Ogden’s Own Distillery, has had its vodka product rejected for sale in the state of Idaho because the "label on the vodka offends women and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"), the OAD vodka brand is definitely relishing its fifteen minutes.  This morning's Standard follows up Wednesday's story with this strong editorial, which keeps "Five Wives Vodka" right up front in the local limelight:
    Smith, Beatty & Conlin (Std-Ex Pic)
    We gotta hand it to OAD proprietors Beatty, Conlin and Smith, who, in the finest spirit of opportunistic American free enterprise are making hay with this little tempest in a teapot, and cashing in big-time on all the free publicity. This morning's followup editorial reports that the story's now gone viral, and the SE editorial board is exactly right. Here's a brief sampling of the array of stories on this topic now appearing at various prominent sites across the web:
    And that's just the tip of the iceburg.  There's more... much, much more.

    Here's our reco.  Why not mosey on down to your local Utah DABC package store and score yourself a bottle of this fine locally-made artisan product right now?  Not only will you be supporting a local Ogden business, but you'll become a participant in history... in a roundabout way.

    And if you're a non-imbiber, howbout a nice "Free the Five Wives" T-shirt for your next Two-five Drive Farmers Market summer morning stroll? We're sure these fine and attractive pieces of apparel will be de rigueur on the streets of Ogden 'til the cold weather hits around November.

    And keep your heads down, folks.  The Standard predicts there's an upcoming Utah-Idaho trade war, probably something akin to the storied Hatfield-McCoy West Virginia-Kentucky "border war" back in the days of yore, we reckon.

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

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