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The Utah Legislature's redistricting process predictably resulted in four congressional districts that merge Democrat-leaning areas into larger Republican blocks, making it nearly impossible for a Democrat to win even one district.

During that process, the Sutherland Institute's Paul Mero blogged in favor of carving up Salt Lake County and grinding its parts into ultra-Republican rural Utah. Given the rhetoric from the Legislature about why urban-rural mixes are needed in every district, his argument probably resonated in the GOP's secret meetings on the subject.

Urban areas, Mero warns us, are an enemy to freedom. So to preserve our liberty, should we all live in Hanksville?

Who would have thunk?

Urban areas, says Mero, "are inherently (and necessarily) overregulated and consumed with the behaviors of everyone (because) urban communities will be laden with rules as more and more people are crammed together in a small space."

Therefore, he concludes, urbanites are forced to become liberals and socialists.

"That statement includes businessmen who typically would otherwise embrace free markets in other settings," Mero said. "Put the Salt Lake business community in charge of prosperity and growth and they'll turn free markets into crony capitalism faster than you can say Babylon."

So to save urbanites from themselves, their voting power needs to be diluted, giving the dominant voice in everything to the rural folks, like Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, for example.

How did they know? • Brigham Young University graduate Mike Kelley received a mailer this week from the BYU Alumni Association offering group term life insurance.

According to the cover letter on BYU Alumni letterhead and signed by BYU Alumni Association Director Linda Palmer, the rate for Kelley is "less than 49 cents a day — probably less than you spend for a cup of coffee."

A multitasker • It may have been a subconscious cry for help from a sleep-deprived mother of four who also must tend to the needs of Utah's governor, but Ally Isom, Gov. Gary Herbert's deputy chief of staff and official spokeswoman, has broadcast to the world her weekly carpool schedule.

Isom, just off a week-long whirlwind tour of rural Utah with the governor, was called on late Saturday night to get out a press release about Lt. Gov. Greg Bell's address to the 31st annual Oil Shale Symposium in Golden, Colo. on Monday. She sent it to all media contacts from her home email, in her haste and possibly fatigue, inadvertently attached her personal car-pool assignments.

Perhaps it was a hint that a friendly reporter on the email list could pick up the groceries one day — or drop a child off to dance lessons.

Bipartisan support • The Utah County Democratic Women's Club (there actually are Utah County Democratic women) is providing an opportunity for Republicans to take back the White House.

The Democratic Women's Club has built and is donating a "White House" to the Doll House Festival, which will be auctioned off at the festival dinner Thursday at the Provo City Library.

The festival is the annual fundraiser for the Utah County Children's Justice Center. All proceeds go to support programs for the center, which provides services to more than 1,400 children and their families who have dealt with the trauma of abuse, said Susan Chasson, of the Democratic Women's Club.

Those wishing to attend the 6:30 p.m. event , whose master of ceremonies is Provo Mayor John Curtis, can contact Kathy Curtis at 801-372-3707.

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