Pleasant Grove doesn’t seem so pleasant these days.
Watch for some intraparty Republican ugliness in that northern Utah County city, which isn’t all that rare in Happy Valley.
The day when former legislator Holly Richardson kicked off her campaign to run again for House District 57, a couple of ominous signs popped up in her neighborhood.
One crudely designed sign read: "Holly Richardson. Quitter. Liar." The other contained a slur below her name.
The signs were placed at an intersection leading into Richardson’s Pleasant Grove neighborhood and on the lawn of the reception center where she staged her campaign kicked off. They were taken down shortly after they were noticed.
Both signs were similar to the now-infamous attacks against former Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, who was pilloried in campaign fliers from a phony front group that hid its donors.
The assault on Daw prompted a number of lawmakers to call for reforms and more transparency in campaigns. Richardson has been an outspoken critic of so-called "dark money" campaigns.
She represented District 57 for a year when Rep. Craig Frank resigned after learning he didn’t live in the district. She resigned herself to work on Dan Liljenquist’s failed bid against Sen. Orrin Hatch in the 2012 Republican primary.
The seat eventually went to Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, whom Richardson is challenging at the GOP convention this year.
I wrote about Richardson’s candidacy last Wednesday, and one reader posted in the comments section a blistering attack on Richardson. Under the user name "TruthIfUCanHandleIt," the reader called her "one of the most stubborn, confrontational people you’ll ever meet" and "the gossip queen of Utah politics."
The poster was, of course, anonymous.
See no evil • Utah television viewers were told Monday in viewing guides and on the KSL website that a two-hour special celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition would air on Channel 5 beginning at 8 p.m.
But when viewers tuned in at 8 p.m., they were treated instead to the movie "Charly," produced by Kaleidoscope Pictures, of Pleasant Grove, and based on an LDS-themed novel by Jack Weyland.
The NBC broadcast of "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful," was pulled from its regularly scheduled time slot by KSL. One viewer who complained to the station was told the special would air at 2:05 a.m.
Calls to Tanya Vea, KSL’s executive vice president for news, were not returned.
Mixed messages • Salt Lake City School District’s website last week featured an update on the fiasco at Uintah Elementary, where students whose parents were not current on their lunch fees watched in horror as their lunch trays were taken away and the food tossed into garbage cans.
The story, posted Jan. 29, said a cafeteria manager at Uintah and a district employee had been placed on administrative leave and an investigation into the matter was continuing.
Below that was a notice that the school district had shared a link, proclaiming: "Help fight child hunger through the Souper Bowl of Caring. Child poverty and hunger are reaching alarming levels in Utah."
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