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The New York Times ran a story recently about the trend of state Democratic parties across the nation changing the name of their annual fundraisers, which traditionally have been called Jefferson-Jackson Dinners.

The motivation is that Democrats for years have been celebrating two presidents —Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson — who were slaveholders. Jackson also initiated the forced march of thousands of American Indians from the South to Western territories. Many died. His brutal policy was infamously dubbed the Trail of Tears.

Democratic parties in many states have decided that legacy is not one they want to celebrate. But here is something you won't hear often: Utah was way ahead of its time.

The Times story was triggered by a resolution from the Iowa Democratic Party to rename of the popular Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. The story noted that state party committees in Georgia, Connecticut and Missouri recently dropped those names from their fundraising dinners and that similar moves were being considered in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Arkansas, Maine and Tennessee, Jackson's home state.

Utah made the shift in 2007.

Because of those same concerns about slaveholding and the Trail of Tears, the Utah Democratic Party formally changed its fundraiser from the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner to the Democratic Jubilee.

In 2012, the name was changed again, this time to the Taylor-Mayne Dinner in honor of longtime state Democratic Executive Director Todd Taylor, who died in 2012, and former Utah AFL-CIO boss and Democratic state Sen. Ed Mayne, who died in 2007.

Speaking of Dem icons • When Matt Lyon resigned as executive director of the Utah Democratic Party to run the re-election campaign of Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, he received a congratulatory letter from Gov. Gary Herbert thanking him for his service.

Democrats were so proud of the recognition from the Republican governor that they read the letter aloud at their annual legislative ball.

But I don't think they got the gist of what the governor was trying to say.

"Dear Mr. Lyon," Herbert wrote. "Congratulations on your retirement. I am pleased to take a moment to recognize your accomplishments as the executive director of the Utah Democratic Party during the past four years.

"First, given the results of the election last November, I can truly say that I am sad to see you go. I want you to know that I appreciate your loyal opposition. Sen. Jim Dabakis made a wise decision in hiring you. Frankly, the good senator has not made many more since then.

"[Democratic Party] Chairman [Peter] Corroon informed me that under your tenure, you escorted the Democratic delegation through the national convention and brought Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Kevin Johnson, Kathleen Sebelius and even George Takei to Utah Democratic Party events. Please consider bringing Nancy Pelosi back to Utah, often. The closer to elections, the better."

If that's the best you can do to get a GOP compliment, you must be a Utah Democrat.