During the 2008 campaign, Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, was contemplating retirement due to health problems and the public scorn for some of his positions. This is what I wrote right after the Republican from West Jordan was elected to a third term:
"There was a time, way back when, that Eagle Forum darling Sen. Chris Buttars had mentioned he would not seek another term because of all the hassle he got for such trivial things as making insensitive remarks about 'black babies' and trying to intimidate a judge. But Buttars did decide to run for a third term to fight the good fight, stamp out Darwinism, stick it to the gays and, for good measure, slam anybody who questions the right of his good buddy Wendell Gibby to develop anything he wants on a sensitive mountainside in Utah County.
"Or, could it be, Buttars needed a third term to be in the Legislature for 10 years. And why is 10 years such a magic number?
"Because once a legislator serves for 10 years, he or she, under the laws the legislators passed, qualifies for the premium state health insurance for life.
"Of course, this is the same group of legislators who took away the state employees' right to bank their sick leave and swap it for health coverage when they retire.
"But they're just the little people."
Lo and behold, with the completion of this session, Buttars has his 10 years and his Cadillac health insurance for life. He resigned Thursday with two years left in his term.
Turf wars • When former Rep. Craig Frank, R-Cedar Hills, was forced to resign after it was discovered he didn't live in his district because of a map-drawing mistake, conservative political blogger Holly "Holly on the Hill" Richardson was chosen in a special election among delegates in District 57 to take his place. She was sworn in shortly after the 2011 session began and represented the district admirably, according to her colleagues.
But on the last day of the session, the Legislature passed a bill sponsored by Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, that rewrote the boundaries of District 57 to include Frank's residence.
So Richardson has been getting suggestions that she now needs to resign, which would trigger a new special election to fill the vacancy, so Frank can run and reclaim his seat.
Richardson has refused and plans to remain in her seat until the next general election in 2012. She has the support, I'm told, of the majority of the House Republican caucus.
It seems that Frank and his Patrick Henry Caucus are just so yesterday.
Such a deal • Davis County resident Randy Miller has placed his state senator, Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, for sale on eBay.
The offer went up on the auction website about 10 a.m. Friday. As of Friday afternoon, there were no bidders. The sales price was listed at $10,000. The opening minimum bid was listed at 1 cent.
Who's Who in Utah • One Tribune reader sent an e-mail to Gov. Gary Herbert, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to complain about Herbert's signing of HB477.
He received this reply in an e-mail that listed Herbert's name in the name field:
"Thank you for your e-mail to Gov. Huntsman. Your inquiry and comments are important to us."