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Paul Rolly: Utah GOP official continues to embarrass the party

Published January 31, 2013 9:59 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The saner heads of the Utah Republican Party are still trying to deal with the effects of the torch-and-pitchfork, tin-hat, red-clown-nose crowd that emerged as delegates during the 2010 tea party rampage to destroy anything incumbent.

That was the crowd that ousted three-term incumbent Bob Bennett in the Republican State Convention, but it also is the group that in 2011 elected right-wing mavericks Lowell Nelson and Drew Chamberlain as the party's vice chairman and secretary, respectively.

Establishment Republicans have been wincing ever since.

The pair first caused a tremor last summer when they appeared on Democratic State Chairman Jim Dabakis' K-Talk radio program and advocated doing away with public education.

I wrote recently about Chamberlain's posts on Utah's Clean Politics Facebook page referring to President Barack Obama as "Husein" (sic) and said the president's only redeeming value was staying with his "wuff ugly" wife.

That prompted a letter to the editor from Republican state delegate L. Cameron Mosher, who, understandably, was embarrassed and called for an immediate condemnation of the statement by the Utah Republican Party.

Many of the 2010 delegates were replaced in 2012 with more moderate Republicans as Sen. Orrin Hatch heavily invested in the delegate selection process so he wouldn't meet the same fate as Bennett.

But Chamberlain, it seems, is just warming up.

When Utah Clean Air created a Facebook page in conjunction with its "Red Air Affair" event last Saturday to promote air-pollution awareness, the GOP secretary bombarded the page with posts claiming the whole pollution thing is a hoax.

(So all that gunk you were breathing last week was just your imagination.)

"The air has never been better," he wrote. "Your doctors are lying to you. You are an enemy of the state and should be treated as such." Then, my favorite, after the snowstorm moved out the inversion: "Your drunken, pagan, dance party actually worked."

Chamberlain later posted that you would never see a Republican in a lounge.

But what about a hot tub?

Legislator alert • Our gun-loving Utah Legislature ensures that folks can carry their weapons to the Utah Capitol and can even openly display them, as at least one legislator did, complete with gun belt and holster, two sessions ago. Lawmakers even created a day honoring Utah gun pioneer John M. Browning and made his M1911 automatic pistol the official Utah state gun.

But the Capitol's public Wi-Fi system automatically blocks visitors from getting onto the websites of Browning or any other gun manufacturer to learn about gun safety, products or anything else under the category of "weapons."

As we all know in Utah, the more guns the better. But that Internet stuff can be lethal.

The China syndrome • Salt Lake City Public Services recently tweeted, "Hey #SLC! You can report street related issues (#potholes) online through our Website."

Well, has anyone reported the mammoth potholes on 1300 South between Main Street and 300 West, or reported missing persons last seen walking along that stretch of road?

The potholes on 1300 South are so frequent for those three blocks, cars driving westbound look like they are going through an obstacle course as they weave and bob to avoid falling in.

The worst ones are near the TRAX station. Some of them could swallow a Volkswagen.

Instead of tweeting about it, how about fixing them?







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