Election Consequences | Private Eye | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
Support the Free Press.
Facts matter. Truth matters. Journalism matters.
Salt Lake City Weekly has been Utah's source of independent news and in-depth journalism since 1984.
Donate today to ensure the legacy continues.

News » Private Eye

Election Consequences



City Weekly pays tons of money to Adobe software annually. Adobe runs most of our operation in nearly all departments. If we could use Adobe for distribution, we would. As much as we hate their prices, we also wouldn't be around without their software. The Utah headquarters for Adobe sits to the east of Interstate 15 in Lehi. For that, Adobe should thank its lucky stars today.

In that area of Utah County, I-15 marks the boundary between the U.S. Congressional District 3 and District 4. Adobe therefore is represented in the U.S. Congress by John Curtis. To date, Curtis has been a stable and sane voice among Republican representatives—"domestic terrorism was inspired by and encouraged by the president," says he, regarding events at the U.S. Capitol last week. He voted to certify the Biden electoral victory. Curtis can be annoying to Democrats, but he's not insane. For that alone, Adobe and all the other tech companies in the Curtis realm can be thankful.

The same can't be said for those poor souls on the other side of the freeway. Those tech companies, barely a football field or two from Adobe's HQ are in the same boat as me, being represented in Congress by newly elected Burgess Owens. Thanks to the evil pencil that drew up Utah's current congressional districts—intended to overwhelmingly elect only Republicans—my Murray home wound up in the same district as those tech firms west of I-15—plus Copperton in the Oquirrh Mountains (and just below that community, the new massive Amazon distribution center), Goshen, Moroni and Fairview. Yeah, me and Gov. Spencer Cox were penciled into in the same congressional district, despite the fact that neither he nor I have ever bumped into the other at the post office. I have no friggin' idea where the people of Fairview buy their gas, anymore that Cox knows the directions from my home to the Murray liquor store.

We are both saddled with Burgess Owens, though. In his first official vote as our congressman, Owens voted not to certify the presidential electoral college count. It's been said a million times, but the voting that sent Owens to Congress by a thin margin— with votes being counted days well beyond Election Day—is the same process that he voted not to certify in the presidential race. What is unique, however, is that Owens is the guy that hundreds or thousands of Utah tech companies in his district are represented by in Washington D.C. Which is to say—just like me—they have no representation.

Owens is a pawn of right-wing political interests. That can't be good for Utah tech. Our own president says, "Big tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country." There's no reason to think Owens believes any differently. Yeah, yeah. We aren't supposed to take Trump literally. Really? Tell that to the family of the U.S. Capitol Police officer who was bludgeoned to death by Trump supporters last Wednesday. Just hours later, Owens voted to dispute the election. If that doesn't tell you the temperature of the blood in Owens's veins, nothing will.

If I were sitting back at the helm of a big tech company looking for some raw land to locate on, I wouldn't choose Utah. If I were a Utah kid in a garage tapping out lines of code, developing the new software that would change the world, I'd grab a map and find me a place outside of Utah to set up my new company. Or if they choose to remain here, move to Provo or Orem and have a saner man like Curtis represent them. A Democrat will never win in that district. Neither will a resident of Monticello or Blanding which are also in the 3rd Congressional, despite those residents having so very much in common with big tech interests.

You know, it's as if the grand plan to gerrymander Democrats from having a voice in D.C. is backfiring. All it's really done is allow for crazier and zanier Republicans to find high office—and in the process, disenfranchise their own centrist base along the way. Who coulda predicted that?

Farther north, my downtown Salt Lake City rep, the equally malleable bootlicker Chris Stewart also voted not to certify the presidential election. He supposedly flew Air Force bombers. To do so, he had to trust his instrument panel. If he didn't, he'd crash or maybe nuke Mexico City instead of Pyongyang. He therefore knows science and facts. Yet, despite all evidence to the contrary, he tossed election facts and science, standing right there behind the lies of a stolen election. If more harm comes to our country, I rank persons such as Stewart as the most culpable.

Today, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce released its updated Utah Economic Outlook and Policy Statement. I scanned what I could, but it seems far more optimistic than what I hear on the streets of Salt Lake City. So be it. Chris Stewart has done not a whit for downtown Salt Lake City. Meanwhile, Marriott International, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Goldman Sachs have suspended contributions to congressmen who voted against certification. Oopsie, Chris? If I were downtown dynamo Goldman Sachs, I'd think twice about sticking around in Salt Lake City. Really, what's the point? To be represented by a man who has a habit of crapping on anything not resembling one-person rule?

Remember the shouts of "elections have consequences?" Well, yes, they do. So, Utah, in electing the likes of Owens and Stewart, really can't complain if big tech and big enterprise take a pass on our fair state. Their bed is partisan, scare-the-base politics. Utah will pay the price.

Send comments to john@cityweekly.net.