Last Man Standing
If you're a Utahn who has it in Salt Lake City for whatever reason, you should vote for Greg Hughes for governor. Not to get too political, but Hughes, the former speaker of the House, was the brains behind landing the Inland Port in the only undeveloped area of Salt Lake City. At the recent GOP convention, Hughes came in second behind Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, while former Gov. Jon Huntsman and former Utah GOP chair Thomas Wright were spit out from the ballot. This, despite both of the latter professing undying support for Trump. Huntsman is not to be forgiven for joining the Obama administration as ambassador—but what about Wright? The convention is historically a home to far-right conservatives, as Utah Policy notes. Given that Wright's running mate is none other than 1st District Congressman Rob Bishop, it's hard to get more conservative than that. Cox and Huntsman are ahead in the general polls, but the question remains: Who, or what, is a real Republican?
Our choices lately seem so black and white. Life vs. money. Hate vs. love. Business vs. people. Men vs. women. The majority of people in this country would choose to play it safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But then out came the guns and flags for either Trump or white supremacists, and Michigan's governor refused to bow down. The small but intimidating minority saw state after state buckle in response, and Utah was not far behind. It's bad enough that Utah Gov. Herbert chose to "ease" restrictions barely a month after they were put in place. He's just so sad that some people won't wear masks. Then Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson caved, removing misdemeanor penalties for violations. And who's in charge of this tepid rollout? Former state Sen. Jim Dabakis calls out the governor, whose commission has no Hispanics, Democrats or epidemiologists, among others. Don't bother choosing between black and white. It's all white.
Don't despair yet. There are people and organizations still looking out for you, your children and your dogs. Just reading The Salt Lake Tribune headline is enough to give you hope: Southern Utah's Best Friends pays $6.3 million to buy state land that was proposed for frack sand mining. Southern Red Mines held the mining rights to 12,000 acres of federal land and had a business plan that involved selling to oil and gas producers to extract around a feature named Red Knoll. Best Friends, which operates a 37,000-acre animal sanctuary, was rightly concerned about the water supply and of course, the tourism industry. It can't get much better for Southern Utah, adding to the good news that Kane County also nixed the Lake Powell Pipeline. The future for this stunning area lies not in mining, but in tourism, recreation and conservation.