Rolly: Newest House member set to stab mentor in the back
When Craig Frank spoke to delegates in House District 57 on Wednesday night, seeking to reclaim the legislative seat he lost last year when it was revealed he didn't live in the district, he thanked his mentor, Sen. John Valentine, for giving him great advice when he was elected to that Utah County seat in 2003.
He said Valentine told him that, before he pushed any legislation, he should make sure it is constitutional, understand its effect on existing law and make sure it would do no harm to constituents in his district.
It must have struck a chord. The delegates elected him over two opponents, giving him 69 percent of the vote on the first ballot.
Valentine also was the legislator who came to Frank's defense after it was learned he didn't live in his district last year. Valentine ran a bill that put Frank's Cedar Hills residence back in the district. While it was too late for Frank to reclaim his seat, it enabled Frank to run in the special election this week to replace Holly Richardson, his replacement last year who resigned to work on State Sen. Dan Liljenquist's U.S. Senate campaign.
So how does Frank repay his good friend, supporter and mentor?
Since redistricting will put Frank once again outside the House boundary for next year, he has said he will challenge Valentine for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat this year.
It reminds me of what former Gov. Norm Bangerter once told me: There are your friends and there are your political friends, and it is prudent to know the difference.
Frank is a new punch line? • At the Senate Republican pre-legislative session caucus Tuesday, the discussion turned to the reserved parking space for legislators at the Capitol and Valentine brought up the problem of others taking the designated parking spaces for legislators. Valentine said just that day, someone was parked in his designated stall.
To that, a fellow senator loudly quipped: "It wasn't Craig Frank, was it?"
Timing is everything • I wrote last week about Craig Frank being delinquent on his Cedar Hills property taxes, but changed the column item a bit on Saturday to reflect changes Frank pointed out to me on a phone message.
I called Frank at 1 p.m. on Friday to ask him about being delinquent by more than $2,000 on his property tax. He said he was unaware and thought it should have been paid out of escrow.
At 2:45 p.m. on Friday, Frank left a message saying he checked with the Utah County Treasurer's Office and was told he was current on his taxes. I didn't hear the message until late Friday, checked the county's website on Saturday, saw Frank's name was no longer there and changed the column.
Here is the rest of the story. Frank didn't mention that he paid the taxes, according to the county website, at 2:32 p.m. on Friday, an hour after I called him and 13 minutes before he called to say the county treasurer said he was current.