Accident on Purpose
Not that facts ever got in the way of Sen. Margaret Dayton's thinking, but now she's mixing them up with fiction and conspiracies. The esteemed senator from Orem was grilling Attorney General Sean Reyes about rumors that the EPA orchestrated the Gold King Mine wastewater spill. KUER channel 7 caught her on tape: "Were you able to discern whether or not there was any truth to the fact that this was an accident on purpose so that they could qualify for Superfund money, or if this really was an 'accident' accident?" Besides the "fer-cute" semantics, Dayton showed that she'd already made up her mind. The EPA has been outed as secretive, lax and negligent, but maybe not quite as underhanded as Dayton would like to believe. A Superfund cleanup could hurt tourism, and that may be what she's trying to protect.
On Shaky Ground
While everyone is scrambling to justify the new prison location in Salt Lake City, legislators seem unmoved by the problems and expense associated with it. OK, the airport is good with it. But did anyone ask the airport about its experience building in that area? The airport spent millions more than expected to shore up the soft soils, and it must maintain 450 acres of wetlands in perpetuity. And now geologists are warning of quake dangers. Oh, and there's a former landfill nearby. There's a reason this area hasn't been developed in the past 150 years, Mayor Ralph Becker said. Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, also noted that the prison relocation commission's consultant, Louis Berger Group, has paid almost $70 million to settle charges of defrauding the U.S. government. Still, we're moving on.
The Ick Factor
Utah's lucky to have Karrie Galloway at the helm of Planned Parenthood here. A staunch defender of women's health, Galloway, speaking to Bill Gephart, responded to Gov. Gary Herbert's knee-jerk reaction to "the baby-parts" videos. No, she's not "disturbed" by medical research. She's disappointed in Herbert and the "political grandstanding" taking place. For the 50 years, PP has been in Utah, has never broken any rules about funding, and received no state or federal funds for abortions. The money it will lose now—less than $300,000—was to provide education and health care for women. "We've made women's lady parts a political football," she said. Herbert is punting at the ick factor of fetal parts being sold. Get over it. No one's profiting from abortion in Utah.