This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
One of my favorite professors at the University of Utah was J.D. Williams in the political science department.
His lectures on the genius of the U.S. Constitution and the beauty of our system of government were delivered with contagious enthusiasm.
But if you came to class unprepared to discuss the assigned readings, he could be brutal. After a week or so of class, few students dared come unprepared.
With that explanation, I doubt Uintah County Commissioner Mike McKee ever took a class from J.D. Williams.
As told in the Summer 2012 edition of Southern Utah Wilderness Alliances's newsletter, Redrock Wilderness, McKee was caught unprepared when testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Technology in May.
McKee was there to condemn the Bureau of Land Management's proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing, which pumps fluid deep underground to break up rock formations and release trapped gas. Critics claim it adversely affects water quality.
McKee, whose county is Utah's largest natural gas producer, railed on federal regulations that he said were driving jobs out of his county and damaging its economy.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., then asked McKee to tell him Uintah County's unemployment rate.
McKee didn't know.
But Connolly, just like professor Williams during his academic interrogations all those years ago, knew the answer to his question before he asked it.
Connolly informed the commissioner that his county's unemployment rate is 4.1 percent, lowest among Utah's counties and about half the U.S. rate.
Best of intentions • The new leadership of the Boy Scouts of America's Great Salt Lake Council is reaching out to Scout masters and troops who are not based in local LDS wards, where most Utah troops are based.
A letter sent by Council President Bryant S. Davis, Council Commissioner A. Jack Peck and Scout Executive Rick Barnes to "our volunteer scouters from our other faith-based and community-sponsored units," invited "the others" to meet together at Camp Tracy Lodge on Sept. 18.
The invitation was for a "Fireside Chat."
And if "the others" don't know what that means, well, they can just ask one of their LDS friends. They'll know what it means.
Or, they could channel Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Reaching a settlement • I have written about the Republican Party angst over the elephant logo used on the Facebook page of Republicans for Ben McAdams, the Democratic candidate for Salt Lake County mayor.
The McAdams campaign received a letter from a National Republican Committee (RNC) attorney threatening legal action if the elephant logo wasn't taken off the page because it was a violation of trademark laws.
The logo remained on the page, however, and an attorney advising the McAdams campaign said that because the colors are different (the McAdams elephant is orange and brown while the official RNC elephant is red, white and blue) it did not violate the trademark.
Alas, though, after much cajoling, McAdams has finally agreed to take old Dumbo down and replace it with what appears to be a more energetic little elephant that no longer is adorned with stars, but is posed in a leaping mode. McAdams' new elephant is still orange and brown.