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Rolly: Draper senator says plot is afoot to destroy Utah GOP

Published February 23, 2012 6:42 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The die is cast. The fix is in. The plot thickens.

Pick your cliché. Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, smells a rat and is warning his fellow patriots of a Democrat-Socialist-French-Saul Alinsky conspiracy aimed at bringing down the righteous and anointing Satan.

The cabal, Stephenson has uncovered, is being carried out by two seemingly well-intentioned legislators. But don't be fooled, he says, they are lying in wait, ready to strike, with daggers hidden under their cloaks.

They are Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City, and Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City.

(Cue the "Psycho" shower scene music here.)

Stephenson, a conservative's conservative in the Utah Legislature, co-hosts the right-wing Red Meat Radio program every Saturday on K-Talk, where they "set the record straight."

Last Saturday, he welcomed Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins on the program to explain his opposition to Robles' bill that would give a property-tax exemption to military personnel deployed to active duty. Jenkins' opposition was widely reported in the press and pilloried by the Democratic Party.

He insisted he was pro-military but believed we need to be mindful of how we dole out special privileges, a reasonable defense of his position.

But Stephenson went further. He noted that Robles has introduced a number of military-related bills this session (she has introduced three) and that Mayne has introduced a number of education and public-safety bills (one each).

It is a designed conspiracy by these two, Stephenson warned his listeners, to trick Republicans into opposing popular programs or just saying something stupid in order to destroy the GOP and bring the Democrats to power in Utah.

Like that will ever happen.

He pointed to the "Colorado Plan," a conspiracy theory promoted in the book The Blueprint, that tells how Democrats and their wealthy conspirators plotted to reverse the Republican dominance in Colorado.

And now, Stephenson warns, it's coming to Utah. Hide the children.

Launching a counterattack • Sen. Howard Stephenson's inside knowledge of the clandestine attempt to destroy the Republican Party by Sen. Luz "The Jackal" Robles and Sen. Karen "The Cobra" Mayne may have motivated his shock-and-awe maneuvers at the Legislature last week.

After weeks of public meetings and committee hearings on funding education, the Education Appropriations Subcommittee, which Stephenson chairs, inserted last-minute language into the bill that would shift as much as $80 million away from local school districts to pay for students transferring to charter schools.

Even Republican Sen. Aaron Osmond was aghast at the secretive move, objecting that such a policy should have had public scrutiny before being inserted as intent language while the committee was giving final approval to the bill.

Stephenson was understanding toward his fellow Republican. After all, Osmond is just a rookie. He doesn't understand the trench warfare tactics needed to counter those subversive "Colorado Plan" sneaks.

A two-front offensive • Republicans in the Legislature should be especially wary of surprise assaults with the launch last week of the Radio From Hell's "Red as Hell Ale," a bombardment of liberalism from an alliance formed by Salt Lake City's most impertinent radio station personalities and the Utah brewer known for its parody of the Utah culture.

The Radio From Hell team of Bill Allred, Kerry Jackson and Gina Barberi has collaborated with Squatters Pubs and Beers to create the new red ale.

The Radio from Hell team has specialized in poking fun of establishment types, including Utah legislators, for years. And Wasatch Brewery, owner of Squatters, is famous for products such as Polygamy Porter ("Why have just one?"), Provo Girl Pilsner and 1st Amendment Lager.

Stephenson might want to recruit the conservative Coors family, even though they are from Colorado, to counter this collusion.

prolly@sltrib.com