Rolly: Apology for 1863 massacre is killed

Published February 17, 2009 5:55 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah officials were more than happy to accept the apologies of the Illinois Legislature when it passed a resolution five years ago expressing regret for the way its citizens ran the Mormons out in the 1840s after the murder of church prophet Joseph Smith.

But state officials aren't so quick to make a similar gesture to American Indians who were driven from their homes and massacred after the Mormons settled into the territory, which eventually became Utah.

Rep. Mark Wheatley, D-Murray, introduced a resolution in this year's legislative session expressing regrets for, among other incidents, the 1863 Bear River massacre, in which more than 400 American Indians were killed. But Wheatley encountered resistance, mostly from Republicans, who questioned the historical accuracy of the resolution's accounts.

Wheatley decided to pull the resolution and send it to a study committee for a year-long review.

Rest of the story: Sen. Curt Bramble's SB199, which passed out of the Senate Education Committee Tuesday, would ban the PTA from participating in public-school events unless the association allows members to waive their dues payments.

Could this bill be an act of revenge on the part of Bramble, R-Provo?

After all, Bramble's Democratic opponent last year was RaDene Hatfield, president of the Provo PTA Council, who had a few confrontations with Bramble during the campaign. At one point Bramble protested a PTA event in which he believed Hatfield was being given preferential political treatment at a school.

The PTA also might be paying for such perceived slights against our esteemed Legislature as working to repeal the voucher law in 2007 and earlier trying to get an initiative on the ballot to ban guns in churches and schools.


Rest of the story II: When State Commerce Department Director Francine Giani was asked by The Salt Lake Tribune this week if she would do anything about the anti-gay group America Forever for spending and soliciting money even though its registration as a nonprofit had lapsed, she said she didn't want to ding the group, but would send it a "cordial" letter.

That sounds like a different Giani than the one who, as director of the Division of Consumer Services nine years ago, sent a threatening letter to then-Attorney General Jan Graham, who raised $4,000 for her "Beagle Forum" to counter the ultra-conservative Eagle Forum. Graham argued it was a political account and exempt from charitable organization rules, just like then-Gov. Mike Leavitt's political accounts (he was not hassled by Giani, who, by the way, had been the campaign manager of Graham's Republican opponent, Scott Burns).

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