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Election 2012: Predictions

By on Nov 9, 2010 in Featured, News, Politics | 0 comments

Last week, the curtain closed on the 2010 election season. It mostly goes without saying that it’s been a a pretty wild midterm season (even though I just said it…), thanks primarily to the Tea Party insurgency. Utah wasn’t left out of the fun, either, despite becoming even more of a one-party state. Thankfully, for political junkies, that one party has a few sub-parties, most of them trying to out-conservative each other. Enough rambling, eh? After all, what I promised was predictions for 2012. A disclaimer: These are predictions made from my gut, which means I have not asked any of the politicians if they predictions pass the “sane” test. Frankly, most of them probably don’t, which makes them fun. After all, if I simply said that every incumbent is going to run for the same office, would you want to read any further? No. Okay, the predictions: U.S. Senate: Jason Chaffetz vs. Jim Matheson. This isn’t a crazy suggestion, especially with Chaffetz. He may not be committing to run against Sen. Orrin Hatch, but he is certainly not denying it. It wouldn’t surprise me if Hatch doesn’t even run, but chooses to retire rather than face the same fate as Sen. Bob Bennett. As for Matheson, I think two things happen to push him towards the Senate. First, the next two years will be tough for him in the House. He’s lost many of his Blue Dog friends and the Republicans are going to corner to “fiscal conservative” market, basically leaving Matheson in a congressional limbo. Second, redistricting Republicans could try to make Matheson’s district more conservative, or even push him into the new 4th District. His response will be to try to beat them in a statewide race, which he very well could do. Chaffetz still wins, but it’s very close. U.S. House, District 2: Morgan Philpot vs. ????. If indeed this district does get more conservative in redistricting, it would do so by having less Salt Lake County. Philpot earned his stripes among party faithful with his campaign this year, and while an open seat would bring out a dozen Republicans, Philpot will have the groundwork in place to win this seat. As for the Democrats, I’d love to say that they will have a legitimate heir for Matheson, but who? U.S. House, District 3: Gary Herbert vs. Steve Urquhart: In redistricting, this district picks up Washington County so as to carve more of Utah County and southern Salt Lake County into District 2. Chaffetz’s jump to the Senate opens this seat, and multiple Republicans will jump in. Herbert joins the fray, surprising everyone who expects him to run for another term as governor. But as with all governors, he dreams of Washington, D.C., and 2012 is his best shot. Urquhart has been chomping at the federal bit for years, and this gives him a shot. Herbert wins in a primary, which (of course) means he wins the seat. U.S. House, District 4: Peter Corroon vs. Josh Romney: I’ve said for months that Corroon’s gubernatorial bid was really a dry run for a U.S. House seat, and although he lost a lot of goodwill with his late negative tactics, he solidified his credentials as the No. 2 Donkey (Matheson being No. 1) with the Democratic base. Frankly, most Democrats were happy just to see one of their candidates actually throwing punches. Oh, and he proved he could raise serious cash. That makes him nearly a lock for the party’s nomination in the 4th District, which will be as close to a “Democrat friendly” seat as possible. Most likely, it incorporates a good chunk of eastside Salt Lake County and heads northeast, capturing Summit County and most of the Uinta Basin. As for Josh Romney, who lives in the Millcreek area, the possibility of being on a ballot headed by Mitt Romney for President would be very attractive. It would also make Josh Romney pretty much unbeatable, meaning that the Republicans would, once again, have all of the federal seats in Utah. Governor: John Valentine vs. Ralph Becker: With Herbert out, all of those would-be challengers become legitimate candidates. I think Valentine wins in a primary against a much more conservative opponent. He’s well-funded and likable, making him popular with moderate Republicans. As for Becker, well, who else? Becker at least has a recognizable name, experience at the state level, an ability to fundraise and executive experience. Plus, in 2012 he can run for governor without risking his position as mayor because he would run for re-election in SLC in 2011. Valentine would win, but at least Becker would make him work. Attorney General: Mark Shurtleff vs. Sim Gill: Shurtleff flirts with both the governor and Senate races, but in the end stays the course. Gill runs with two years under his belt as Salt Lake County District Attorney. He also runs the same campaign he ran against Lohra Miller, which is essentially one of ethical superiority. On a state level, however, it flops, and Shurtleff wins...

Six Pack on the Dashboard

By on Oct 1, 2010 in Music, News, Politics | 2 comments

Above the Fold Ale: Dear Gov. Gary Herbert, I get it. I understand. Things are rough and never seem to improve. It’s like your stuck on the front 9 during a bad game of golf. Your tee shots are hitting the fairway and kicking into the rough. Approach shots are two-hopping through the green and into the sand. Putts are lipping out. To make matters worse, your opponent is getting balls to ricochet off trees and into the fairway. He hits a shot thin and it turns into a beautiful bump-and-run. It’s the kind of game that, personally, has driven me to get in losing sword fights with trees or break my big toe kicking my bag. It’s hard, days like these, and it only makes it harder when people tell you everything will be okay. You fear, in your gut, things are not okay. Here’s a tip, though: Play your game. Your opponent is counting on pushing you over the edge, and right now, it appears to be working. Every counter-punch you have thrown actually hurt your hand more than his face. News conferences have been derailed by aggressive supporters and surprise revelations. Your subordinates are flaunting their independence. Your best friends are having sex in your backyard. You requested an audit, but that only seemed to confuse people. So yes, it’s ugly and getting uglier. Questions are being raised, but the answers only create more questions. The questions are also eroding the confidence people have in you, because people are starting to cast you as either corrupt or incompetent. Remember July? That was a good month. Lots of vacation. Parades and picnics. No stupid memos or embarrassing questions. To fix what’s gone wrong, reassert your power. Make it clear that, as one of our greatest presidents said, that you are “the decider.” People need to be fired, demoted or otherwise taken to the woodshed. Everything, and I mean everything, needs to come through your office. Stand up and tell the people that the state is doing well, all things considered, and the only mistake was actually one made by the Legislature when they gave UDOT entirely too much power. Tell the people that if they re-elect you, the problems will get fixed, and then dismiss any accusations that you caused the problems as bald-faced lies. And, for God’s sake, stop meeting with big donors in your office to thank them for donating. Alternatively, do what I always want to do: Pack up, move out. Put on Atherton’s “Pale Summer” and play it loud. Start at the first track and play it straight through, like they did when people could actually take a long road trip without worrying about the environmental fallout. Drive fast, head west. By the time you’ve played the album twice — and yes, it’s that good — you’ll blow across the state line, where you can stop in Wendover, grab a six-pack of real beer and put money on the S.F. Giants to win the World Series. From there, find an empty road, crack one of those beers, and relish the freedom. Happy Friday, governor. Enjoy the weekend, such as it is, because you’re in for a slog of an October. Political Pocket Rockets: AG Mark Shurtleff spoke in D.C. this week, using testimony written by the macro-brew lobbyists. Morgan Philpot tries the failed strategy of referencing obscure procedural things for a political attack. Utah Beer: Two new TRAX lines opening next summer. Salt Lake City laying off 40 more people. Moab tailings continue to disappear. The Deseret News, apparently worried that people have forgotten its own incompetency, launches a new, even more ludicrous initiative. Mark my words: This type of thing won’t stop with arts coverage. Leisure Time Lager: Wondering what to do with the heavy wad of obsolete crap thrown in your yard this week? Pete Ashdown has an idea. Josh’s Java: The Giants are going to win the N.L. West pennant tonight or tomorrow, but they will still kick the shit out of the Padres on Sunday because of this idiot. It’s called free agency, dude. Your team should try it for somebody besides a washed-up shortstop. Weekly Weizen: Scott Renshaw reviews The Social Network. Ted Scheffler revisits the Metropolitan. The Big Gay Blog looks at the crazy assistant AG in Michigan who hates the gay student body president of U of Michigan. Just once, can a homophobic person not be so blatantly closeted? Come on. The Six Pack on the Dashboard update is published every weekday. To subscribe to an e-mail version, send a message to or visit here. For an RSS feed of the Open Container and all of the other City Weekly blog posts, visit the Salt Blog at...