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Paul Rolly: Bad ideas just keep coming back at the Legislature

Published January 6, 2012 4:15 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Rep. Jim Nielson, R-Bountiful, recently unveiled a bill for this year's Legislature to do away with daylight-saving time in Utah.

This has been tried before.

In 1997, then-Rep. Lowell Nielson, R-Highland, proposed to do away with daylight-saving time because, he said, it disrupts family life.

This is what I wrote about that family-values proposal at the time:

"Parents of the 4,500 participants in Western Boys Baseball can do something other than watch their kids play ball in the evening. Sonny Gardner, Utah president of the Western Boys Baseball Association, estimates an earlier sunset will eliminate about 180 of the 380 games.

"Ditto for parents of the 20,000 children who play in Utah's Little League.

"Same for the parents of the 30,000 youngsters who play in the Utah Youth Soccer leagues. President Steve Macklin estimates losing a third of the annual 1,000 games.

"Then there are the various girls softball programs and the 850 adult slow-pitch teams in Salt Lake County, not to mention the seven county-run swimming pools patronized mostly by families. Pam Boyles of the county recreation department says hundreds of people swim each night during the hour that would be lost.

"Boyles estimates 5,000 golf rounds would be lost each night.

"Joe Watts of the Utah Golf Association guesses the elimination of daylight time would cost the Utah golf industry between $4 million and $5 million a year.

"That's a lot of family value.

Tea Party logic: Tea party and 9-12 Project devotee Ron Mortensen, who is running for former State Sen. Dan Liljenquist's seat in Bountiful, wrote an op-ed piece in the Ogden Standard Examiner recently that blasted Utah legislators for violating their oath of office by not following the U.S. Constitution.

The breach came when they passed HB116 last year. That, of course, was the bill that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for a guest worker program.

But HB497, the strict enforcement only bill that also passed and was heartily endorsed by Mortensen and his ilk, is the only bill that has been in the news for landing in federal court because it is unconstitutional.

It's funny how these tea party folks insist on strict adherence to the constitution, only as long as that adherence fits their political agenda.

Speaking of double standards: Tea party darling Mike Lee, Utah's newest U.S. senator, issued a press release Friday blasting President Barack Obama, claiming he showed "alarming disrespect" for the constitution with his recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head a new financial protection bureau because it bypassed the constitutional requirement that presidential appointments have consent from the Senate.

He acknowledges the U.S. Constitution allows for recess appointments, but recited the Republican script that such a short absence of the Senate made this move inappropriate

Lee ignores the reality that minority Republicans in the Senate have used filibuster rules to block just about everything Obama tries to do, making extreme actions by the president understandable.

Nor does Lee mention an important historical fact.

Former President and tea party hero Ronald Reagan made 243 recess appointments, compared to Obama's 29.

And guess who was Reagan's solicitor general during much of that time?

It was the well-respected and much liked constitutional scholar Rex Lee — Mike Lee's father.







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