This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. Now that the turkey has been reduced to leftovers and the pumpkin pie is gone, it's time to reminisce about the blessings bestowed on Utah politicians and what they truly should be thankful for.
Former Sen. Bob Bennett • Mike Lee. Since Lee replaced him as Utah's junior senator, Bennett has never been so popular.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz • His Twitter account. It allows him to stay relevant by poking out cute little one-liners all day, showing his stellar conservative, anti-Obama credentials without ever having to be substantive. It's a foolproof way to maintain his popularity and re-election assurances among the tea party boys and girls.
Rep. Chris Stewart • Snow. Whenever the powdery stuff falls from the skies, he can tout his ridiculous position that climate change is not something we should worry about. And his constituents who voted for him have already shown they are gullible enough to believe a heavy snowstorm now and then proves there is no global warming.
Rep. Rob Bishop • Gerrymandering. That has allowed him to represent one of the nation's most Republican districts, assuring him re-election year after year despite an 11-year record in Congress of accomplishing nothing.
Rep. Jim Matheson • Weather vanes.
Congressional candidate Mia Love • That she is not a white male.
Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab • Continuing layoffs at newspapers and television newsrooms, making it more difficult for the public to scrutinize his tapping into federal funds for his pet projects while blasting the feds as intruding on states' rights.
Former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff • Utah's ethics laws. Where else can you go on a swanky vacation tapping into the credit card account of an alleged white-collar criminal that your office is prosecuting and have it all be perfectly legal?
Sen. Mike Lee • Arranged 10-minute ovations. That's one way to mask his sinking approval ratings in his own state.
Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem • The push to remove wolves from the endangered species list. That's one way to get a new fur coat.
Former Virgin Mayor Jay Lee • Southern Utah priorities. You can plead guilty to misuse of public funds and still be elected a decade later to the Town Council as long as you champion policies that require everyone to own a gun and ban the U.N. from your borders.
Sen. Orrin Hatch • The silent, invisible movement growing inside Utah that will blossom into a draft-Hatch barrage, funded by anonymous contributions to the humanitarian PAC Freedom Path, in 2018. The calls for him to stay in office will force Hatch to reluctantly renege on his promise in 2012 to make his seventh term his last and seek an eighth term after all.
Gov. Gary Herbert • Ribbon cuttings. Without those, he wouldn't have much to do.
Paul Mero • Gay men. Without them to rail against, the head of the Sutherland Institute couldn't prove his masculinity or raise money.
West Valley City Mayor-elect Ron Bigelow • Richard Burwash.
Democratic Party State Chairman Jim Dabakis • GOP arrogance.
Departing Attorney General John Swallow • Hubris.