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Rocky’s Stones



News Flash: According to a recent Salt Lake Tribune report, Rocky Anderson will not be elected mayor of Pleasant Grove or Layton any time soon. It seems that some folks in those burgs don’t like Rocky. The morning paper quoted one Pleasant Grove woman grumbling that nobody in her LDS ward has anything nice to say about the Salt Lake City mayor under a headline screaming: “Anderson: The Mayor Utah Loves to Hate.”

We have to wonder, though, who exactly do folks in that woman’s ward regard highly? Do they speak well of the Republican-controlled Legislature that makes all its important decisions behind closed doors in the Republican caucus? Do they speak highly of UDOT and Gov. Mike Leavitt who snudged the environmental process in planning a questionable freeway and then let construction contracts that included delay penalties, knowing full well that they’d be sued? Do they speak kindly of the Utah Alcohol Beverage Control Commission that deemed that wine lists couldn’t be posted in restaurants in stark violation of the First Amendment?

Well, they probably do. And as long as the public’s business is not being done in public, and as long as they can’t see what they don’t like, old what’s-her-name in Pleasant Grove and the people in her ward are just fine. Ignorance is, they say, more blissful than Prozac.

Like him or not, there’s not much hiding behind curtains where Rocky Anderson is concerned. He wants clean air; good transportation systems; and a viable downtown with—heaven forbid—nightlife. Things apparently deemed evil in places like Davis and Utah Counties. Well, here’s some advice for those who fear our straight-shooting mayor: Don’t vote for him.

Unlike the Utah Legislature and places like Layton and Pleasant Grove, we have a mayor who has the stones to tell it like it is. Oh dear. They can gossip all they want in church, but they can’t vote him out and that really chafes their cheeks.

Meanwhile, politicians like state Rep. Kevin Garn use Rocky as a punching bag for cheap shots in the daily press. You’d think that Garn, who is seeking the congressional seat being vacated by Jim Hansen, was running against Rocky. Creating evil where none exists isn’t exactly a new political ploy, particularly for the self-righteous, although it’s proven effective.

No doubt it can be frightening for those trapped in the Puritanical mindset of conservative Utah to hear ideas that don’t reflect their own provincial notions. Labeling new information as evil is perhaps easier than to acknowledge that different ideas exist that might be worth exploring. That such discussions should take place at all is for some akin to blasphemy.