This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The push to re-elect Ralph Becker didn't make many friends at Saturday's St. Patrick's Day Parade what with campaign workers surrounding the mayor decked out in orange T-shirts behind a large orange sign that read: Becker for Salt Lake City mayor.
While the colors for his campaign literature and signs are orange and black, a few of his workers wore smidgens of green. And Becker himself donned a tall green party hat and green bow tie, traditional colors for Irish celebrations.
But that offered little consolation to any green-blooded, hard-core, beer-drinking son or daughter of Ireland out to celebrate St. Pat's Day with their kindred spirits.
Orange, as anybody whose last name starts with an "O" will tell you, is the most divisive color in Ireland.
It is the color of William of Orange, the 18th-century English king whose military conquest of Ireland led to a century of serfdom for the Irish. Today, the supremacist Orange Order continues to foment hatred in Northern Ireland with annual we're-better-than-you marches through Catholic neighborhoods.
Many along Salt Lake City's parade route saw Becker's orange brigade as a direct slap. To them, it is like wearing a white hood at an NAACP convention or a blue Brigham Young University shirt to a University of Utah Crimson Club rally.
The theme of this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade, by the way, was "Going Green."
Strike two • The perceived slight comes a year after another controversy surrounding the parade that created hard feelings toward the Becker team in the Irish community.
For the first time, the city charged a fee for parades to cover the cost of police security and traffic control. The Hibernian Society, the St. Pat's Day Parade sponsors, had to cough up about $2,700 even though the city did not charge a fee to July's much-larger Mormon-themed Days of '47 Parade.
A police spokesman said the St. Patrick's procession was on a Saturday, so the city had to pay overtime. The Days of '47 Parade was on a Thursday, when most police officers were on duty anyway. Even though July 24 is a state holiday, it is a so-called "blackout date," a designation given to particularly busy days to prevent officers from taking their shifts off.
A limit to term limits • I wrote last week about veteran political strategist Dave Hansen, who has been a supporter of Gov. Gary Herbert, agreeing to run the campaign of Overstock.com Chairman Jonathan Johnson, who plans to challenge Herbert for the Republican nomination in 2016.
I quoted Hansen as saying he has always liked Herbert, but believes in term limits and Herbert will have had his two terms by the time the next election rolls around.
I have since been reminded by readers that Hansen ran the campaign of Sen. Orrin Hatch, who faced a Republican primary challenger, in 2012.
Utah's senior senator has been in office for 38 years.
The joke's on you • Freshman Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has posted on his website that he will stage a town hall meeting at the Monticello Academy in West Valley City.
The 7 p.m. event will be held on the first of next month yes, April Fools' Day.
Nameless no more • In my Wednesday column about do-gooder Utahns, I mentioned Beth Adamson's predicament when she fell and injured her leg during a hike in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Two brothers on bikes stopped to help and one put her on his bike, then walked it slowly down the trail. She knew only their first names. I've been notified that the two Good Samaritans were Mike and Darrin Meier.