Short takes on the news
Good news for voters • Single-party domination of a nation or a state is bad. It depresses voter participation. It makes people think their concerns and their voices don't count. It magnifies the influence of those further to the right, or the left, than the mainstream. It makes it easier for inferior or corrupt candidates to win election just because they have a particular letter attached to their name. In Utah, the fact that so many voters gravitate to the Republican line on the ballot is largely a result of the tendency of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to identify as Republicans. Thus the creation of an organization called LDS Democrats of America is good news for Utah. Just making it acceptable for more devout Mormons to consider voting for Democrats, even registering or running for office on that line, will help open up Utah's politics in a way that can be nothing but positive.
Bad news for voters • Mia Love and Hillary Clinton. Two well-known names in politics. One on the Utah level, the other known around the world. One conservative, one liberal. Each a living example of the horrible fact of modern political life that it's never too soon to start running for office. Both are gearing up for their next chance at an office they fell short of before. Love is again planning to take a run at longtime Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson, while Clinton is waiting until after a term-limited Barack Obama leaves the White House. In both of these cases, and many others, it will be more political horse race coverage that overshadows policy decisions that need to be made now. But a system that demands that candidates raise such stratospheric levels of cash and build sophisticated media and technology operations allows for no down time. For candidates, reporters or voters.
Good news for wildlife • It is, of course, the least that Chevron could do for the plucky mammals whose work ethic happened to minimize the damage done to the wetlands of Willard Bay State Park by a diesel fuel spill from the company's pipeline. A total of six beavers are being cared for at Ogden's Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, work so demanding that planning for the nonprofit's annual fundraiser had to be forgotten. So, in addition to the $10,000 Chevron had already contributed, the company has now cut a check for another $25,000, about what the center had hoped to raise from its 4th Annual Wildlife Baby Shower. The company's gifts will help, of course, but more would be welcome. Check out http://www.wrcnu.org for details.