State of the Debate

Today in punditry: Follow the money ...

First Published      Last Updated May 27 2014 01:17 pm

Whether you are a reporter lurking about in parking garages in the middle of the night, or an editorial writer in your brightly lit ivory tower, Deep Throat's advice rings true:

"Follow the money."

Don't let campaign cash drive tax assessments — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

" ... County officials say the state too often undervalues the big companies' land, and there is research to back that up. So the counties have been appealing those state assessments, and that has the big companies fighting their tax battles once at the state level and again at the county level.

"So now those big companies are looking to state legislators to cut the counties out of the appeals process. That is the wrong solution, and legislators will have to show courage to choose good government over greased palms. ..."

Utility rules should consider air quality — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

" ... State regulators, and legislators, may find it difficult to place a precise value on efforts that cut down on air pollution. But utilities have absolutely no incentive to improve air quality until and unless government regulation makes it profitable for them to do so, or expensive for them not to. ..."

Keep battling Koch Industries and its allies to deliver clean, renewable energy — Kansas City Star Editorial

"Supporters of the polluting and powerful fossil-fuel industry have a message for Kansans and others eager to improve how Americans consume energy: We are going to do everything possible to derail, delay and demean clean, renewable power.

"It's all part of a multibillion-dollar, self-interested scheme by groups including Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council to keep people tethered to old-fashioned energy sources. ..."

Lawmaker's constitutional causes earn him money — Paul Rolly | The Salt Lake Tribune

"Before there was the American Lands Council there was Where's the Line? And before that there was a $100,000 lawsuit against the city of West Jordan for First Amendment free speech violations.

"I'm talking about Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, who seems to have a habit of monetizing his perceptions of the Constitution and his need to protect it. ..."

Want the Legislature's attention? Write a bigger check — St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial

"Toward the end of his reign as speaker of the Missouri House in 2012, Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, took two important steps to make sure his next career — lobbyist — would be lucrative.

"First, after pretending he was in favor of a sweeping ethics reform package, he made sure that any true reforms, such as closing the revolving door between lawmaking and lobbying, didn't pass.

"Then, shortly before resigning to start his own lobbying and political consulting practice, he set up a committee to study the state's transportation needs.

"Mr. Tilley's first clients? The concrete lobby, of course, the construction, engineering and design firms that stand to benefit if a sales tax increase for roads passes on the November ballot. ..."

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