"You've got to stand for something / Or fall for anything." -- John Mellencamp ---
Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, unveiled his immigration bill today at a Capitol Rotunda news conference. Pretty much every news organization covered it, including Eric S. Peterson here at the Weekly. If you don't like Peterson's, pick your non-alternative newspaper poison (or watch TV news tonight): Trib, D-News,Daily Herald, and Gov. Herbert.
Sandstrom showed up alone and was greeted by a crowd of people opposed to his bill. He spoke, and eventually they started booing him. He told a white reporter she wouldn't be suspected of being an illegal immigrant. Most impressively, at least from my view at the now fully-stocked Epic Brewery, was that he stood his ground, spoke his opinion and never permitted the announcement to become a public relations debacle. In fact, I dare say that this performance will boost his stock significantly among fellow legislators.
And as for the bill? Well, it's pretty much as promised. I won't delve deeply into it, because it's Friday and I'm heading off to the Grand Teton and Driggs, Idaho for a week. In short, this bill will get a lot of attention and it will do wonders for Sandstrom as a politician -- if he's successful with this and U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz runs for Sen. Orrin Hatch's seat in 2012, he's now one of the front-runners for Chaffetz's seat -- but in the end, it won't mean a lot. At some point, the federal government is going to trump all of the states, be it because of courts ruling based on existing law or Congress actually, amazingly doing something. Oh, and as for the actual problem of illegal immigration? About the only ways to fix that are either open the borders or find a way to keep the economy in the toilet.
Here's some other tidbits to get you through the weekend:
* My story last night about the Deseret News layoffs went viral today, getting front-page treatment all day by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and a mention by Jim Romanesko. Locally, it received treatment by Glen Warchol and was reposted or retweeted by about 15 local media people. Why does all of that matter? Because, despite all of that attention, I have not heard one word from Deseret News management after the fact. Logically, if I were wildly off-base (or even somewhat), I would get a call demanding correction or retraction. In fact, the only response I know of is an internal memo -- remember the internal part -- that told employees that no final decisions have been made, they would be the first to know, all media requests should be sent to upper management and, ironically for an e-mail forwarded to me, that "all emails from the leadership team remain within the organization." For a company looking to embrace the digital future, they sure struggle with Web 1.0 concepts.
* Mike Lee continues his crusade against the 14th Amendment and so-called "anchor babies" while Sam Granato continues to point out that Lee has "extreme" viewpoints. Meanwhile, a Texas representative takes the concept a step further and says those "anchors" could actually be doing more than securing citizenship, they might be planning a terrorist attack in 2042.
* Down in Sanpete County, where I grew up, a cultural war is brewing. In the north are Damn Hippies, while in the south are Rebel Polygamists. Case in point: this sustainable community in Spring City.
* Gov. Gary Herbert and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon have their first non-debate, in Cedar City. Anytime a debate involves phrases like "defunct programs," people lose interest. C'mon, candidates. Gloves off.
* Finally, as mentioned above, I'm off the the land of real beer, bigger mountains and camping. I'll be gone for a week, so no updates -- which is odd, I know, considering that I only started this thing a few days ago. But remember, people, this is my damn thing, and I'll do what I want.