That Davis County is a Republican Party stronghold should come as no surprise. However, it is surprising that nearly 75 percent of Davis County voters punched a straight GOP ticket in this past election. Straight party voting is potentially dangerous, allowing often "strange" candidates to slip into office without a thorough examination by the voters. One such example occurred in Salt Lake County when voters easily reelected a woman who qualifies as a winner of the Cyclops Dumb Quote of the Year Award.
During a discussion last week about merging Wendover, Utah, with Wendover, Nevada, -- a good thing for Utah taxpayers -- Rep. Susan Lawrence complained that the merger would put a "bubble" on the border. Said Lawrence, "All the history books would have to be changed then."
Boy, here's some legislative wisdom. Legislators don't seem to worry that students may have a textbook that says Ronald Reagan is still U.S. President, but Rep. Lawrence is concerned that a microscopic map error would foul a proper education.
There are challenges ahead in merging the two Wendovers, but worrying that high school students will notice a map error the size of an amoeba doesn't demonstrate statesmanship.
Other election observations...
- The most competitive race -- the only real race in Davis County -- brought out two interesting brochures. For the Clearfield-area Utah House seat, Curt Oda and designer Jana Truman opted against the traditional political brochure and printed one showing Japanese-American Oda as a samurai warrior. The "Choose Your Warrior" brochure even included a graphic of an Oriental fortune cookie. In contrast, Oda's Japanese-American opponent, Tab Uno, issued a detailed mini-encyclopedia containing more words than "Moby Dick" and labeling Uno as "your social worker in the Legislature." (A lobbyist in Salt Lake called the Uno piece "the worst political brochure in the history of Utah politics.") Clearfield voters easily decided they wanted a warrior rather than a social worker.
- The defeat of the anti-fluoride initiatives will hopefully put an end to the controversy. Whether you're in favor of fluoridating water or not, it's silly to keep polluting the ballot every two years on the same issue. Fluoride opponents waged a good fight. They lost. Accept it and buy your own water filters.
- With the retirement of Rep. Bush, the Davis County Republican legislators are now even more moderate. Maybe this time around we can spend our time promoting economic development and funding schools instead of whipping up on the United Nations. Bush's replacement, Oda, is the most conservative member of the Davis County delegation, but he's intelligent and reasonable -- and you won't see him sponsoring bills to prohibit teenagers from selling popcorn in movie theaters showing R-rated movies.