Politics - The Salt Lake Tribune http://www.sltrib.com/politics Stories from The Salt Lake Tribune &copy; 2014 The Associated Press, The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our privacy policy: http://www.sltrib.com/pages/privacy. en-us webmaster@sltrib.com (Webmaster) Intermountain states seek to keep hope alive for high-speed rail http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58474206-90/rail-speed-intermountain-california.html.csp California, Texas, Florida and the Northeast are talking about new or expanded high-speed rail lines, which travel maybe 150 to 200 mph. But the Intermountain states are usually left out of the discussion, and without much hope for federal funding. So Intermountain transit officials gathered Tuesday at the University of Utah to discuss how to keep the possibility alive in their area. One message was that if high-speed rail is ever to connect Salt Lake City with Las Vegas, Reno, Phoenix and Denve... California, Texas, Florida and the Northeast are talking about new or expanded high-speed rail lines, which travel maybe 150 to 200 mph. But the Intermountain states are usually left out of the discussion, and without much hope for federal funding. So Intermountain transit officials gathered Tuesday at the University of Utah to discuss how to keep the possibility alive in their area. One message was that if high-speed rail is ever to connect Salt Lake City with Las Vegas, Reno, Phoenix and Denve... <img src="http://mngislctrib.112.2O7.net/b/ss/mngislctrib/1/H.17--NS/0?&pageName=RSS" height="1" width="1" border="0" alt=""/> 58474206@www.sltrib.com Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:32:13 MDT Utahns drive enough combined to go to moon 111 times a year http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58472803-90/2012-airport-among-data.html.csp How much do Utahns drive? Residents of the state combined to drive an estimated 26.53 million miles in 2012 — enough to cover the distance to the moon 111 times. Still, Utah ranked only No. 34 among the states for vehicle miles traveled per capita that year. That’s according to data in the latest edition of “State Transportation Statistics” for 2014, released annually by the U.S. Department of Transportation. It has scores of charts that give a snapshot of transportation in the states. Followin... How much do Utahns drive? Residents of the state combined to drive an estimated 26.53 million miles in 2012 — enough to cover the distance to the moon 111 times. Still, Utah ranked only No. 34 among the states for vehicle miles traveled per capita that year. That’s according to data in the latest edition of “State Transportation Statistics” for 2014, released annually by the U.S. Department of Transportation. It has scores of charts that give a snapshot of transportation in the states. Followin... 58472803@www.sltrib.com Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:47:01 MDT Chaffetz: ‘You dash at the White House, we take you down’ http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58472676-90/service-secret-chaffetz-pierson.html.csp Washington • Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he is concerned about the leadership of the Secret Service in the wake of several security lapses — including the recent White House fence jumper who entered the executive mansion — and argues that action needs to be taken to restore confidence in the presidential-protection service. In the first congressional hearing investigating the White House intruder, Chaffetz said he was dismayed by the Secret Service’s first statement praising the “tremendous restra... Washington • Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he is concerned about the leadership of the Secret Service in the wake of several security lapses — including the recent White House fence jumper who entered the executive mansion — and argues that action needs to be taken to restore confidence in the presidential-protection service. In the first congressional hearing investigating the White House intruder, Chaffetz said he was dismayed by the Secret Service’s first statement praising the “tremendous restra... 58472676@www.sltrib.com Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:17:36 MDT Hive Pass ‘pilot’ mass-transit program ends http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58469152-90/benson-hive-lake-pass.html.csp Would-be mass-transit riders who want to take advantage of Salt Lake City’s Hive Pass that offers UTA train and bus service for $360 a year — instead of the normal $1,005 — have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to sign up. Otherwise, say goodbye for now to Hive, a joint city/UTA program launched March 1 to much fanfare aimed at getting more Salt Lake City residents out of their polluting automobiles. Although officials said they were hopeful they could sell 6,000 of the passes, only about 3,000 were purcha... Would-be mass-transit riders who want to take advantage of Salt Lake City’s Hive Pass that offers UTA train and bus service for $360 a year — instead of the normal $1,005 — have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to sign up. Otherwise, say goodbye for now to Hive, a joint city/UTA program launched March 1 to much fanfare aimed at getting more Salt Lake City residents out of their polluting automobiles. Although officials said they were hopeful they could sell 6,000 of the passes, only about 3,000 were purcha... 58469152@www.sltrib.com Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:01:38 MDT Mitt Romney to make his home in Utah http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58472930-90/circumstances-com-evans-holladay.html.csp Washington • Utah has always claimed Mitt Romney, and now Romney is making it official. The former presidential candidate and his wife, Ann, decided “on a lark” to make their permanent home in Holladay after selling their town house in Belmont, Mass., according to a New York Times report. The Romneys had been living in the town home but have since sold that residence and may consider putting their La Jolla home up for sale as well, the newspaper reported. Plans for remodeling that California hom... Washington • Utah has always claimed Mitt Romney, and now Romney is making it official. The former presidential candidate and his wife, Ann, decided “on a lark” to make their permanent home in Holladay after selling their town house in Belmont, Mass., according to a New York Times report. The Romneys had been living in the town home but have since sold that residence and may consider putting their La Jolla home up for sale as well, the newspaper reported. Plans for remodeling that California hom... 58472930@www.sltrib.com Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:56:41 MDT Salt Lake City’s ‘diamond in the rough’ West Side to be polished http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58456038-90/900-area-development-future.html.csp Surrounded on three sides by freeways and railroad tracks, Salt Lake City’s Poplar Grove and Glendale neighborhoods scored at the bottom of the federal “opportunity index”— but things could be different, according to the newly proposed West Side Master Plan. Imagine riding a streetcar from the TRAX station at 200 West 900 South to the intersection of 900 South and 900 West, where a bustling neighborhood of cafes and shops stretches north to 800 South. There you would find Latin American, African... Surrounded on three sides by freeways and railroad tracks, Salt Lake City’s Poplar Grove and Glendale neighborhoods scored at the bottom of the federal “opportunity index”— but things could be different, according to the newly proposed West Side Master Plan. Imagine riding a streetcar from the TRAX station at 200 West 900 South to the intersection of 900 South and 900 West, where a bustling neighborhood of cafes and shops stretches north to 800 South. There you would find Latin American, African... 58456038@www.sltrib.com Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:37:46 MDT Transportation secretary hails new Sandy development http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58455007-78/uta-transit-development-sandy.html.csp Sandy • The groundbreaking for an apartment and office complex rarely would attract U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx as its main speaker. But the new East Village development in Sandy did on Monday because officials say it is a first-in-the-nation new breed of government-business partnerships. It is a “transit-oriented development” where the Utah Transit Authority uses some extra land it had obtained for a rail station to partner with a private developer on a project designed, in part,... Sandy • The groundbreaking for an apartment and office complex rarely would attract U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx as its main speaker. But the new East Village development in Sandy did on Monday because officials say it is a first-in-the-nation new breed of government-business partnerships. It is a “transit-oriented development” where the Utah Transit Authority uses some extra land it had obtained for a rail station to partner with a private developer on a project designed, in part,... 58455007@www.sltrib.com Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:24:18 MDT Utah seeks ways to end cycle of poverty as a family tradition http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58468305-90/commission-education-intergenerational-poverty.html.csp What if taxpayers could save money on such things as welfare programs and incarceration costs by addressing the problems encountered by children born into poverty like their parents and their grandparents before them? Provided with nutrition, health care, a safe environment and education, children born into a tradition of poverty — and its attendant ills — can grow up to be productive members of society who pay taxes rather than receive welfare or go to prison, said state Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogd... What if taxpayers could save money on such things as welfare programs and incarceration costs by addressing the problems encountered by children born into poverty like their parents and their grandparents before them? Provided with nutrition, health care, a safe environment and education, children born into a tradition of poverty — and its attendant ills — can grow up to be productive members of society who pay taxes rather than receive welfare or go to prison, said state Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogd... 58468305@www.sltrib.com Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:33:10 MDT Poll shows rebound in Utah’s Sen. Mike Lee’s approval rating http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58468648-90/approval-burbank-com-lee.html.csp Public opinion of Sen. Mike Lee has rebounded, according to a new poll released Monday that found 54 percent of likely voters have a favorable view of his job performance. Last October, the senator’s approval rating was just 40 percent in a poll conducted during the 16-day government shutdown, which Lee’s actions helped spark. His improved position can be attributed to a few factors, according to University of Utah political scientist Matthew Burbank. “As odd as it sounds, one of the things tha... Public opinion of Sen. Mike Lee has rebounded, according to a new poll released Monday that found 54 percent of likely voters have a favorable view of his job performance. Last October, the senator’s approval rating was just 40 percent in a poll conducted during the 16-day government shutdown, which Lee’s actions helped spark. His improved position can be attributed to a few factors, according to University of Utah political scientist Matthew Burbank. “As odd as it sounds, one of the things tha... 58468648@www.sltrib.com Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:45:32 MDT Garfield County installs its first full traffic signals http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58468899-90/bryce-canyon-county-electric.html.csp Garfield County now has its first full traffic signal system, giving tourists another reason to stop besides visiting Bryce Canyon National Park. Thet signals appear 102 years after the world’s first traffic light made its debut in Salt Lake City at the corner of Main Street and 200 South. “It’s incredible to think that Garfield County has 5,000 square miles and only one stop light,” Bryce Canyon City Mayor David Tebbs said in a news release. The county is roughly the size of Connecticut. Bry... Garfield County now has its first full traffic signal system, giving tourists another reason to stop besides visiting Bryce Canyon National Park. Thet signals appear 102 years after the world’s first traffic light made its debut in Salt Lake City at the corner of Main Street and 200 South. “It’s incredible to think that Garfield County has 5,000 square miles and only one stop light,” Bryce Canyon City Mayor David Tebbs said in a news release. The county is roughly the size of Connecticut. Bry... 58468899@www.sltrib.com Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:23:51 MDT Daggett County pins economic hopes on wilderness land swap http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58455417-90/county-daggett-wilderness-utah.html.csp Manila • Karen Perry knows firsthand the power of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. The landscape, people and outdoor lifestyle pulled her family back again and again until they finally bought a trailer and parked it on property near Manila. Now a county commissioner, Perry and others believe if they can just get people to visit their spot in the rugged and remote northeastern corner of Utah, they’ll come back. The Daggett County commissioners are hoping Congressman Rob Bishop’s Public La... Manila • Karen Perry knows firsthand the power of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. The landscape, people and outdoor lifestyle pulled her family back again and again until they finally bought a trailer and parked it on property near Manila. Now a county commissioner, Perry and others believe if they can just get people to visit their spot in the rugged and remote northeastern corner of Utah, they’ll come back. The Daggett County commissioners are hoping Congressman Rob Bishop’s Public La... 58455417@www.sltrib.com Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:55:16 MDT Gay marriage case shows basic split in approach by Utah A.G. candidates http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58456315-90/attorney-ban-case-defend.html.csp Attorney General Sean Reyes says he has a duty to defend Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, his personal and legal opinion notwithstanding. His challenger, Charles Stormont, says it is a foolhardy waste of hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money arguing for a law that is clearly unconstitutional. Underlying the marriage debate in Utah is a deeper philosophical rift about the role of the state’s elected attorney: Should the attorney general exercise his or her discretion when it comes to... Attorney General Sean Reyes says he has a duty to defend Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, his personal and legal opinion notwithstanding. His challenger, Charles Stormont, says it is a foolhardy waste of hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money arguing for a law that is clearly unconstitutional. Underlying the marriage debate in Utah is a deeper philosophical rift about the role of the state’s elected attorney: Should the attorney general exercise his or her discretion when it comes to... 58456315@www.sltrib.com Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:01:45 MDT Poll: Utahns evenly split as Supreme Court considers gay marriage http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58459201-90/court-sex-case-marriage.html.csp Support for same-sex marriage in Utah remains split, a new poll reveals, though a majority of Utahns believe the state’s ban on gay and lesbian unions ultimately won’t survive. As the U.S. Supreme Court takes a look at a Utah lawsuit challenging a voter-approved state ban on same-sex marriage for the first time Monday, the gay rights advocacy group Freedom To Marry released a poll that it said shows most Utahns want the high court to hear Utah’s case. The lawsuit, Kitchen v. Herbert, became the... Support for same-sex marriage in Utah remains split, a new poll reveals, though a majority of Utahns believe the state’s ban on gay and lesbian unions ultimately won’t survive. As the U.S. Supreme Court takes a look at a Utah lawsuit challenging a voter-approved state ban on same-sex marriage for the first time Monday, the gay rights advocacy group Freedom To Marry released a poll that it said shows most Utahns want the high court to hear Utah’s case. The lawsuit, Kitchen v. Herbert, became the... 58459201@www.sltrib.com Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:45:03 MDT Hill Air Force Base announces when F-35 will land in Utah http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home3/58458685-200/force-base-hill-fighter.html.csp The Air Force says a squadron of its new combat jet, the F-35, will arrive in Utah in September 2015. The aircraft’s arrival will add 475 jobs to the base while Hill and its units transition from flying and maintaining F-16s to the F-35s, according to information provided last week. Those 475 jobs include airmen and civilians, from the pilots who fly the F-35 to construction workers building new hangars. “If you come to the base, it’s pretty torn up,” said Nathan Simmons, a spokesman for the ... The Air Force says a squadron of its new combat jet, the F-35, will arrive in Utah in September 2015. The aircraft’s arrival will add 475 jobs to the base while Hill and its units transition from flying and maintaining F-16s to the F-35s, according to information provided last week. Those 475 jobs include airmen and civilians, from the pilots who fly the F-35 to construction workers building new hangars. “If you come to the base, it’s pretty torn up,” said Nathan Simmons, a spokesman for the ... 58458685@www.sltrib.com Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:16:04 MDT Glen Canyon Dam celebrates 50 years http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58462304-90/amp-dam-canyon-glen.html.csp Phoenix • U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and other officials will mark the 50th anniversary of Lake Powell’s Glen Canyon Dam, a structure that helped usher in a new era in the Southwest. The Glen Canyon Dam, situated near the Arizona-Utah border, generates power and water for approximately six states in a region prone to drought. The dam is a key part of the Colorado River Storage Project but has also been a source of controversy. Since the 1960s, the structure in Page, Arizona, has block... Phoenix • U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and other officials will mark the 50th anniversary of Lake Powell’s Glen Canyon Dam, a structure that helped usher in a new era in the Southwest. The Glen Canyon Dam, situated near the Arizona-Utah border, generates power and water for approximately six states in a region prone to drought. The dam is a key part of the Colorado River Storage Project but has also been a source of controversy. Since the 1960s, the structure in Page, Arizona, has block... 58462304@www.sltrib.com Sat, 27 Sep 2014 15:45:50 MDT Controversial activist named head of Equality Utah http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58459325-90/williams-utah-equality-gay.html.csp Last legislative session, Troy Williams was escorted out of the Utah State Capitol in handcuffs. Salt Lake’s “gay mayor” was protesting the Legislature’s refusal to hear a bill that would outlaw discrimination against people based on sexual orientation. For Williams, who for years has been known for his vocal — and sometimes radical — activism, it was just another day. But going forward, Williams said, he’ll be trying to trade in the handcuffs for handshakes and build bridges with legislators w... Last legislative session, Troy Williams was escorted out of the Utah State Capitol in handcuffs. Salt Lake’s “gay mayor” was protesting the Legislature’s refusal to hear a bill that would outlaw discrimination against people based on sexual orientation. For Williams, who for years has been known for his vocal — and sometimes radical — activism, it was just another day. But going forward, Williams said, he’ll be trying to trade in the handcuffs for handshakes and build bridges with legislators w... 58459325@www.sltrib.com Sat, 27 Sep 2014 14:07:00 MDT Transgender Emmy nominee Laverne Cox talks LGBT politics in Utah http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58460238-90/trans-transgender-cox-lgbt.html.csp Laverne Cox is part of a group that she calls “the least of the least.” It’s no commentary on stature or success, which the first and only transgender Emmy nominated actor has seen plenty of this year, but, rather, a nod to the marginalized community of which Cox is a part: transgender women of color. Transgender individuals are those whose gender identity or expression does not match a person’s biological sex at birth. It’s an identity that rarely breeds power or influence, Cox said, but rathe... Laverne Cox is part of a group that she calls “the least of the least.” It’s no commentary on stature or success, which the first and only transgender Emmy nominated actor has seen plenty of this year, but, rather, a nod to the marginalized community of which Cox is a part: transgender women of color. Transgender individuals are those whose gender identity or expression does not match a person’s biological sex at birth. It’s an identity that rarely breeds power or influence, Cox said, but rathe... 58460238@www.sltrib.com Sat, 27 Sep 2014 11:15:18 MDT After flood closed I-15, Utah detour needs big repairs http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58458249-90/cedar-closed-detour-highway.html.csp Cedar City • Nevada’s application for emergency federal funds to fix flood damage that closed Interstate 15 for a week earlier this month is about to include something unusual: a plea for $6 million to $7 million to fix a highway in neighboring Utah. Utah State Road 56 — between Cedar City and the Nevada line — became part of a 200-mile detour between Cedar City and Las Vegas when I-15 closed. The small highway usually carries just 500 vehicles a day and instead handled 25,000 — a 50-fold increa... Cedar City • Nevada’s application for emergency federal funds to fix flood damage that closed Interstate 15 for a week earlier this month is about to include something unusual: a plea for $6 million to $7 million to fix a highway in neighboring Utah. Utah State Road 56 — between Cedar City and the Nevada line — became part of a 200-mile detour between Cedar City and Las Vegas when I-15 closed. The small highway usually carries just 500 vehicles a day and instead handled 25,000 — a 50-fold increa... 58458249@www.sltrib.com Fri, 26 Sep 2014 22:41:33 MDT Meet the mystery candidate challenging Rep. Chaffetz http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home3/58447639-200/wonnacott-chaffetz-utah-democratic.html.csp The differences between Rep. Jason Chaffetz and his Democratic challenger couldn’t be more pronounced and they go far beyond political views. Chaffetz is telegenic and quick on his feet, comfortable in his business suit and at ease in front of a crowd. Brian Wonnacott is rarely without a ball cap and doesn’t wear ties unless he has to. He’s soft-spoken and, by his own admission, painfully shy. Where the congressman has more than a decade of political experience, the challenger is a neophyte. And... The differences between Rep. Jason Chaffetz and his Democratic challenger couldn’t be more pronounced and they go far beyond political views. Chaffetz is telegenic and quick on his feet, comfortable in his business suit and at ease in front of a crowd. Brian Wonnacott is rarely without a ball cap and doesn’t wear ties unless he has to. He’s soft-spoken and, by his own admission, painfully shy. Where the congressman has more than a decade of political experience, the challenger is a neophyte. And... 58447639@www.sltrib.com Fri, 26 Sep 2014 22:41:23 MDT 2nd District debate friendly, but candidates show differences http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58433806-90/robles-stewart-debate-utah.html.csp Cedar City • Freshman Rep. Chris Stewart and his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Luz Robles, staged a polite, respectful debate Thursday — as might be expected between a pregnant mom and a former Air Force pilot officer and a gentleman. It was so friendly that when Stewart was given the opportunity to ask Robles any tough question, he simply asked Robles whether her expected baby will be a boy or girl. It will be a girl, due in November not long after the election. The pair even agreed on mos... Cedar City • Freshman Rep. Chris Stewart and his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Luz Robles, staged a polite, respectful debate Thursday — as might be expected between a pregnant mom and a former Air Force pilot officer and a gentleman. It was so friendly that when Stewart was given the opportunity to ask Robles any tough question, he simply asked Robles whether her expected baby will be a boy or girl. It will be a girl, due in November not long after the election. The pair even agreed on mos... 58433806@www.sltrib.com Fri, 26 Sep 2014 10:28:27 MDT