Last week, Holly Mullen announced to her
Facebook friends that she is considering a
run for the Salt Lake County Council. The
seat she may seek is the one being vacated
by Jenny Wilson, daughter of former Salt
Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson. Ted Wilson
and Mullen are married, which makes
Jenny Mullen’s stepdaughter. Most Salt
Lakers are aware of that connection.
What some are not aware of is that for
nearly two years, Mullen was editor of this
newspaper. If we thought that would be a
feather in her cap, we’d brag about that.
However, given that our first take on this
subject is that we think she would make an
admirable council member, we don’t want
to handicap her chances by her having to
claim any affinity for us, past or present.
The future is a given: She’s not going to like
us. Few politicians do, let alone politicians
who once walked our hallways.
Working here cannot be seen as an
advantage for Mullen. Indeed, when The
Salt Lake Tribune reported that announcement,
one online poster code-named “theharv”
pretty much disqualified Mullen,
based on her association with City Weekly:
“I think having worked for the City Weekly
should discredit Holly and render her completely
unfit to win an election. What a
crap-hole of a publication—and I’m a lib,”
he or she wrote.
It’s clear that we have finally succeeded in alienating everyone in town when a selfproclaimed “lib” thinks so poorly of us. That’s no badge of shame around here, by the way, because as a general rule, we have as much use for “libs” as we do right-wing nut jobs. That’s patently unfair for “lib” to hold Mullen to our low standards. Heck, you take the emotion out of it, and it boils down to us having to pay Mullen to hang out with us. Under that circumstance, “lib” would take the money, too.
It’s never fun when an employee leaves
a company, especially a well-liked employee.
OK, I lie. Sometimes it’s fun. But neither
is it fun when a former employee sticks a
claw in you. When Mullen left, I was interviewed
by a reporter for a local paper as to
her departure. I told the reporter that we
don’t comment on personnel matters, and
that we, in fact, are contractually obligated
not to. I was asked if there were any bad
blood, and I told the reporter there was not,
that I liked Mullen, had recruited Mullen
and wished the best for Mullen. That was
about all I could say. I told the reporter
that, just days prior,
I had responded to
friend request and
had made her a friend
That’s how I came
to know she didn’t
like hanging out
with us. Among other
things, she wrote on
her departure words
to the effect that she
didn’t fit into our
Whatever. I’m stupid,
but I’m not blind.
At that time, her Facebook profile listed
her religious views as something like “sabbatical
from LDS.” Now, her profile lists her
simply as LDS. That spiritual rebirth might
not have occurred if she were still working
at City Weekly. Many think the mailbox
for the devil’s workshop sits in front of our
office at 248 S. Main. But there have always
been a good number of righteous souls here,
representing many faiths. Some were drinkers.
Some were LDS. Some were LDS drinkers.
Some were neither.
But, politically, being on sabbatical from any religion around these parts isn’t a good thing. Just look at Rocky Anderson. He forever danced around his religious roots. One week, he’d proclaim to be a wine sipper. The next week, he’d be spotted with a scotch and water. One week, he was publicly proud of his LDS heritage. The next week, he would make some crack about the local culture. Soon enough, he was getting it from both sides. If that happens with Mullen, she can’t claim she didn’t see it coming.
I’d send her a Facebook message, but I’m no longer listed as a friend. In fairness, and in deference to all the troubles that have beset Facebook, maybe I was never there in the first place, or maybe it was a Facebook glitch. Maybe. I doubt City Weekly publisher Jim Rizzi was ever there to start with. Given a recent Mullen Twitter tweet about him, it’s clear some animosities die hard. It’s a good thing he doesn’t write this column.
But I do. I think
the silence restrictions
in the documents
signed by Rizzi and
Mullen nearly a year
ago when they reached
their “mutual decision
to part ways” have
expired, so I can say
this: Good luck, Holly
Mullen. You’ll be a worthy
addition to the Salt
Lake County Council
should you decide to
run. You have the chops
and the passion. If this is indeed your
“ninth life,” then it’s because you are not
withering here with us in your eighth.
Time to be grateful, eh? In the final chapter,
we all end up where we’re supposed to
be. Journos are supposed to be critical of
politicians. We will be.
From a former mayor of Dallas, Texas, (Laura Miller) to a U.S congressman from Kentucky (John Yarmuth), alumni from newspapers like this one in the alternative press comprise a surprising number of lawmakers and elected government officials. It would be nice to see Mullen join those ranks, despite the fact that we remain a blot on her resume. There’s only one thing I’d ever ask of her, anyway: What’s with all the bike lanes?