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Rolly: Red Meat pundits have trouble setting record straight

Published June 19, 2012 7:39 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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

It's getting harder and harder for our right-wing friends on the radio and in the Legislature to set the record straight. Sometimes it takes erasers, magic markers and scissors.

After I pointed out last week that conservative legislators on K-TALK's Red Meat Radio were a bit selective when criticizing government contracts or loan guarantees gone bad, Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, called me out.

Weiler, one of the conservative legislators who went on a lengthy diatribe about the federal loan guarantee to the alternative energy company Solyndra, didn't like my recent characterization of his rationale.

The Solyndra bankruptcy cost about $500 million. Republicans like to blame Obama since he was president when the deal was awarded.

I pointed out that those same conservatives don't talk about Digital Bridge — a company that received a contract through the Utah Office of Education to supply software monitoring of student progress — which also went bankrupt.

That cost the state about $3 million, which had a bigger impact on Utah's budget than Solyndra did on the federal budget.

Weiler said I was comparing apples to oranges since Obama picked Solyndra and Digital Bridge was chosen through a competitive bid process.

He conveniently skipped over the part in my earlier column that pointed out Digital Bridge was eliminated in the original bid process, but the bidding was reopened after some senators who had key roles in determining the education budget put pressure on the Office of Education on behalf of Digital Bridge.

So the bid was re-opened and — surprise, surprise — Digital Bridge got the contract.

One of the key senators who advocated for Digital Bridge was Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, who was the other Red Meat Radio commentator with Weiler.

Republicans also seem to forget the role of the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress, which approved the loan-guarantee program in the first place. They went out of office before the contract was finalized and Solyndra, which already was in the pipeline, got the contract. So Obama, just like with the economic woes he inherited, gets all the blame.

There are plenty of double standards to go around, by the way. Liberals are no less guilty of hubris than conservatives (Can you say MSNBC?), and my friends on Red Meat Radio are quick to point that out.

Good, bad and ugly • Seventy-five-year-old Carol Greely was at the intersection of 2700 South and Highland Drive recently when her car suddenly conked out at the light.

She turned on her hazard signal and tried to get the car moving. Meanwhile, angry motorists behind her tooted their horns.

Suddenly, two young men came to her aid, pushing her through the intersection.

She proceeded to coast down 27th South until turning onto a side street at 965 East. She had no cell phone, so she knocked on a few doors to see if she could use a phone to call a tow.

Nobody answered their door.

Suddenly, a Direct TV van pulled up and three young men jumped out to push her car to the curb and call a tow truck. They waited until the tow came and they were sure she was safe.

When she got home, she called Direct TV to report the kindness of its three employees.

But she wasn't able to get a live person on the phone.

National recognition • The Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force, which was engaged in a gunbattle that left one officer dead and five others injured while conducting a drug raid in Ogden in January, has received the national Law Enforcement Agency of the Year award from Footprinters International.

The award was presented at the Footprinters national convention last week in Sequim, Wash.

Michael Leary, president of the local Antelope Island chapter, received the Charlie Fratto Humanitarian of the Year award.

prolly@sltrib.com