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Deep in the heart of what might be the most Republican area of the country, a mushroom cloud is forming over the Utah County GOP.

I mentioned in Wednesday's column about the rift between the party and GOP legislators in the county over how political contributions should be divvied out.

Now, apparently, there is volleying between the county Republican Chairman Taylor Oldroyd and elected members of key committees in the party.

The Central Committee on Saturday passed a motion that takes away the chairman's authority to appoint 10 at-large delegates to the county convention, which could curtail Oldroyd's influence over legislative races within the party. Then, on the Utah County GOP message board, posters lamented an edict by Oldroyd forbidding members of the party's steering committee from communicating with delegates and members of the Central Committee.

The speculation: Oldroyd, as executive director of the Utah County Board of Realtors, is a lobbyist, meaning he is vulnerable to the whims of the legislators who are getting increasingly impatient with some uppity party committee members who aren't treating them like gods.

Stay tuned.


Who needs guns? » The Utah Legislature is known for being one of the most pro-gun legislative bodies in the country, but if the state Capitol ever needed defending, the legislators themselves probably could do it without any weapons at all.

The Legislature includes a former college wrestler (Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo), a world-class competitive weight lifter (Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman), a former circus trapeze artist (Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfiled), a world class high altitude mountain climber (Rep. Steve Sandstrom, R-Orem, who just returned from the Himalayas), a world-class competitive fencer (Rep. Chris Herrod, R-Provo), and a former amateur boxer (Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper).

In fact Hughes, a friend relates, was in downtown San Francisco a while ago and saw a man inside a Mercedes-Benz pummeling a woman. Hughes ran to the car, grabbed the guy and threw him on the ground, while his friend called the police.

Being a Mormon, Hughes reportedly told the guy that if he moved he would kick the shucks out of him.


Not forgotten » Derrell Esplin of West Jordan will be taking his 20-year-old grandson to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 11 for a special meeting with Vice President Joe Biden.

Esplin is a member of the Berlin Airlifters Association, which held its 60th reunion in Berlin in June. Biden, during the reunion, extended an invitation to all members of the group to come to Washington.

The association comprises members of the U.S. Army Air Corps who for nearly a year between 1948 and 1949 flew over Berlin and dropped food and supplies to the residents who were suffering from a Soviet blockade during the post-WWII struggle between the U.S. and USSR for control of the city.

Esplin, who was a communications operator during the airlift, is one of two Utahns from that group still alive.

"A lot of us are dying off," he said.

Paul Rolly is a political columnist. Reach him at" Target="_BLANK">