This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A group of 20 senior citizens toured Washington, D.C., last month through the University of Utah's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and had a delightful and educational experience meeting with each member of the state's congressional delegation.
Except for one.
The group had a scheduled meeting with 4th District Rep. Mia Love at 11:30 a.m. on May 26. But arranging the meet-and-greet proved difficult.
Her staff requested a list of written questions for her, which seemed odd since it was just a casual get-together. The staff also said she would take no political questions, another curious demand.
The group chose not to submit a list of questions, since no other delegation member required it.
"Arriving at her office prior to 11:30, we were told Rep. Love was on the House floor casting votes," said Joan Rawlins, a member of the group. "Twenty-five minutes later, we offered to go to the House Chamber so she could meet briefly with us in the hall between votes. This was agreed to by her staff."
Escorted by a member of 2nd District Rep. Chris Stewart's staff, the seniors walked a considerable distance from Love's office to the House Chamber. When they arrived and cleared security, they were told Love had returned to her office. So they trekked back.
Once there, several staffers met the students at the door and told them Love was on a plane and would not be meeting with them.
Muffy Day, Love's chief of staff, said the group had been informed from the start that the congresswoman was on a tight schedule, with voting in the morning and a planned flight back to Salt Lake City.
She said Love is happy to meet with constituents, but it didn't work out this time. The group had been forewarned of that possibility, she said.
The staff met with the students for about 40 minutes without Love and answered all their questions, Day said, adding the seniors seemed pleased with the visit by the time they left.
Bad timing • The Utah State Bar sent an email to members Wednesday advertising a continuing-education course titled "Home on the Range: Gun regulations safety and misconceptions of gun ownership and misuse," capped by two hours on a shooting range.
A few hours later, after feedback from members, the Bar sent a notice canceling the event because of the shooting deaths in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday.
"We realize that this is a complicated issue at a very sensitive time," the email read. "We sincerely apologize for any offense or disrespect."
The event was to cost $100 for two hours of continuing-education credit. Utah State Bar members are required to complete 24 credit hours in continuing education every two years to maintain an active license.
Justice for all? • With the news last week that Weldon Angelos, a poster child for federal criminal-sentencing reform, had been released from prison after serving 12 years, here is a poignant comparison:
Angelos, who was convicted of carrying a gun while selling small amounts of marijuana, was sentenced to 55 years in prison, the mandatory minimum allowed under the guidelines.
Then-U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell said at the time he had no choice but to impose that punishment because he was bound by federal law to do so and urged that mandatory guidelines be reformed.
The same day Cassell sentenced Angelos to 55 years, he had a hearing for Cruz Visinaiz, who was convicted of beating to death a 68-year-old woman with physical limitations while he was drunk. Cassell gave Visinaiz the maximum sentence allowed for that type of crime: 22 years.
Twilight Zone • Karen McCandless, a former Republican who has left the party, feels trapped.
She recently received an email linking to a video by Utah County Republican Chairman Craig Frank espousing the virtues of the caucus-convention nominating system and denouncing candidates who gather signatures to qualify for the ballot.
"I left the party, but there's no way for the party to leave me alone," she wrote. "The only way I can communicate is to reply to the email address that sends me this stuff, and I have never received a response to my multiple requests to unsubscribe. The Utah County Republican Party emails do not contain instructions on how to unsubscribe."
Like the Eagles' song, "Hotel California": "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."