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Rolly: Sen. Niederhauser shows class with his apology

Published January 17, 2013 2:51 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, wrote an apology on the Senate Web page for asking a newly elected female Republican senator which of the senators she would choose to date if she were on "The Dating Game."

The awkward moment came during the Senate Republicans' annual fundraising breakfast Tuesday at The Grand America Hotel, and Niederhauser was reading from a written question handed to him from the audience.

He asked Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, to come to the front of the room, then posed the question.

I wrote about it in my Wednesday column, and others had blogged about it.

"I am sorry," Niederhauser wrote on the Senate site. "My comments were not representative of the Senate or what I want the Senate to be. All people who serve and interact with us should be treated with respect and dignity."

He said he apologized personally to Henderson and that he will learn from the mistake.

"When this kind of thing happens, let's call it out and have an open dialogue so that we can appropriately change the culture and institutions around us."

We all make mistakes. It's nice to see a political leader own his and promise to learn from it.

Move over, Rush • Sens. Howard Stephenson and Greg Hughes, both R-Draper, are conservative legislators who have moonlighted as right-wing radio commentators for the past 4½ years and have even joked among themselves about the paltry handful of listeners they attract.

I usually listen to their Saturday morning Red Meat Radio program, seeking column items, and have joked with them that my loyalty probably doubles their ratings.

Well, now they're moving up in the world.

Red Meat Radio has moved its Saturday 8-10 a.m. program from K-TALK, 630-AM, to KKAT, 860-AM.

This gives the program a station with a stronger signal and a broader advertising base. The parent company of KKAT is Cumulus, a national media corporation, which owns several stations in Salt Lake City.

Utah, we love thee • I couldn't help notice the juxtaposition of two headlines on Page B-1 of Wednesday's Tribune: "Proposal: Keep federal gun law out of the state," and right below it, "Utah ranks dead last for school breakfasts."

Speaking of breakfast • I remember in the 1990s there was a debate on the floor of the House on the proposal to offer breakfast in schools for low-income children.

Legislator after legislator stood to denounce the idea. Most argued it would create a generation of deadbeats, expecting welfare handouts.

After the debate, all the members of the House enjoyed a free lunch provided by a lobbying organization.

We've come a long way, baby • The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has clarified a memo warning restaurants they are in violation of the law if a patron is served an alcoholic drink before ordering a meal.

It was just a big misunderstanding. Of course, they're not going to enforce such a thing.

But at least the current law doesn't have such a blatant indication of legislators' attitudes as the 1969 law that required drinks be served "in connection with an order for food."

That subsection of the law was titled: "Intoxicating liquors."

An interpretation of that subsection could be that if you're going to get drunk, you have to eat something.

Preparing the grave? • State Republican Central Committee members already are talking among themselves about who they would recommend to be appointed attorney general if the allegations swirling around A.G. John Swallow result in his resignation.

The names being discussed are Lt. Gov. Greg Bell; former Congresswoman Enid Greene Mickleson; Sean Reyes, attorney and Swallow's Republican primary opponent; Morgan Philpot, former congressional and gubernatorial candidate; Sen. John Valentine and Draper City Councilman Troy Walker.

prolly@sltrib.com