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Earlier this year I wrote about an email to state employees from the administrative assistant at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

It encouraged the workers to write to Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz in support of their Public Lands Initiative, which critics decry as a land grab.

"We would like PLI to move forward by submitting positive comments," wrote Kathleen Matthews, the department's administrative assistant.

She also urged those with questions about the bill to contact Andy Pierucci, policy analyst for the department.

And what does Pierucci do besides being the policy analyst for Agriculture and Food and the go-to guy for PLI information?

He is Bishop's campaign manager.

In fact, after LuAnn Adams, a northern Utah rancher and former Republican Box Elder County commissioner, was appointed head of Agriculture and Food by Gov. Gary Herbert nearly three years ago, several key officials in the department have been replaced.

And, besides Pierucci, who were the new hires? Scott Ericson is the new deputy commissioner. He was a campaign manager for Herbert. Wayne Bradshaw is the new marketing director. He was a legislative assistant to (drum roll, please) Bishop.

Utah-BYU detente • Responding to news this week about a South Jordan family's front door being severely burned when pranksters torched a BYU-themed wreath, some Utah fans are raising money to replace the door.

According to a KSL report, Justin Christensen awoke to flames at his front door. The wreath touting his fan support of Brigham Young University had been set ablaze. Earlier, his Cougar flag was stolen from his yard.

By Wednesday, University of Utah fans, using the hashtag @UtesInTheNFL, had launched a GoFundMe push to raise money for a new door, wreath and flag for the Christensen family.

The Ute followers' efforts were recognized on a BYU fan page with "Props to the Ute fans who put this together."

Civility and compassion between Utah and BYU fans? What's next? A Democratic presidential candidate carrying Utah?

Outsmarting one's self? • Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, wrote an op-ed piece in Wednesday's Salt Lake Tribune, pounding himself on the chest for being so right about 3rd District Judge Su Chon.

Jenkins heads the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee and led the charge against Chon four years ago, when she became the first minority to get a spot on the bench under Gov. Gary Herbert.

The committee voted 4-2 not to recommend Chon's nomination to the full Senate, citing her lack of courtroom experience. The Senate, with heavy lobbying from the governor's office, voted for confirmation, 17-10. Jenkins voted against her in the committee and again on the Senate floor.

Now, with Chon on the ballot for retention, the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission has given her poor marks and has recommended she not be retained.

"For this reason, and for the third time," Jenkins wrote, "I will be voting 'no' on Chon."

If he does, that would be voter fraud. Only voters in the 3rd Judicial District can vote on Chon's retention. Jenkins lives in the 2nd District.

Tit for tat • Lawn signs have been popping up around the Salt Lake Valley with the message: "Herbert is Trump."

Wonder if the sponsors trying to tie the governor to one of the most unpopular presidential candidates ever to run in Utah got that idea from somewhere else.

Remember the lawn signs a few years ago against then-Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson? They said: "Matheson = Pelosi," referencing the former Democratic House speaker, much despised in conservative circles.