Playing Favorites | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City
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Bryan Schott is not happy. The Salt Lake Tribune “correspondent” wanted access to emails sent between Governor Spencer Cox and Utah lawmakers about masked mandates and the governor’s apparent growing frustration. As a good soldier, Schott filed for open records under the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), the hard-negotiated law that gives the public access to documents. In practice, many companies do not understand or comply with the law, and others simply delay releases or charge exorbitant costs to discourage inquiries. Schott wanted to understand the interplay between the governor – who was warm with mandates – and the legislature, which has signaled that it would override anything the governor did. The day after Cox’s office told Schott that his request would be postponed, the emails surfaced on a Deseret News story. This led to an unprecedented letter from editor Lauren Gustus describing the process as disappointing. In fact, it was a pretty petty policy.
Over my corpse
Speaking of mandates, let’s talk about vaccines. The legislature does not like to ask for this either, especially according to federal regulations that come from a democratic president. So you’ve turned in the wind trying to figure out how to sabotage an expected executive order. The latest strategy is a plan by which they would convene the Utah Occupational Health and Safety Program to refuse to implement unconstitutional mandates. They call it federal submission because, often beyond themselves, they understand the concept. The governor doesn’t want to mess with private companies, according to Deseret News, but lawmakers and congressmen are firmly in my-body-my-choice mode on vaccines. If they really want to try something innovative, maybe they should try filing vigilante groups when they know a company is making vaccines mandatory. Hey, it worked in Texas.
Remember when Rep. Chris Stewart walked into a West High School town hall a few years ago? He greeted the crowd by saying he knew no one there voted for him. But of course, in partisan gerrymandering, it doesn’t matter that Salt Lake City doesn’t vote for him. LaVarr Webb of Utah Policy thinks this is “righteous rhetoric against redistribution” and despite a public initiative to make redistribution independent, “it is almost impossible to take policy out of the redistribution process”. The reallocation process still has a long way to go, and Salt Lake could end up being held up with Stewart, who will not represent it again. But there is a silver lining. Stewart railed against Vivint Arena’s vaccination or testing requirements, saying he would not attend any more Utah Jazz games. For jazz fans, this couldn’t be better news.