Lobbyist Paul Rogers sure has a cozy little captive audience for the next two weeks, sharing a four-bedroom villa in Italy with Senate Majority Leader Curtis Bramble, Rep. Rebecca Lockhart, both R-Provo, and Utah County Commissioner Steve White - and their respective spouses.
The close-knit octet left Sunday and will return Oct. 5. Needless to say, Rogers' numerous clients who consistently have issues before the Legislature will be pleased about the little getaway.
Bramble has long been a good friend to Rogers' clients, working tirelessly on bills to help the businesses of 1-800 Contacts, Qwest, Worker's Comp and Fidelity Investments. He also helped kill a bill that would have made it more difficult for KwikMed - another Rogers client - to sell Viagra over the Internet.
Bramble recently approached Orem Mayor Jerry Washburn about the possibility of the North Pointe Special Services District in Utah County selling its public waste transfer station to Allied Waste Co., another Rogers client who pays Bramble as a consultant. The Utah County Commission has representation on the North Pointe board, but it is not White.
Rogers and his clients have, in turn, been generous campaign donors and gift givers to Bramble and Lockhart.
Lockhart's husband, Stan, is a lobbyist for Micron, which has operations in Utah County, and is chairman of the Utah Republican Party.
The trip reportedly came about after one of the group won the bid for the two-week villa vacation at a charitable fund-raising event.
Power of the press? Local television stations broke into their regular programming shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday to announce the jury found polygamist Warren Jeffs guilty on two counts of rape as an accomplice. But KTVX, Ch. 4, apparently was napping. That station, consistently in last place in the ratings wars, aired the bulletin more than five minutes after its competitors.
To complicate matters, anchor Randall Carlisle said: "This just in. The Associated Press has convicted Warren Jeffs."
Defeating the purpose: Squatter's Brew Pub in downtown Salt Lake City prides itself on its many endeavors to conserve energy and be environmentally sensitive.
So heeding Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s request for all Utahns to turn off their lights between 9 and 10 p.m. on Sept. 19 to show solidarity against global warming, Squatters turned off all its lights and lit candles.
But all the televisions sets remained on.
No good deed . . . The Salt Lake Tribune and Media One have created an online service, utahsright.com that provides access to numerous public records, including registered sex offenders. So now someone has obtained a Web domain that moves one letter of the public service site address, but instead lists sites for sex and pornographic movies.