1. I think Utah Democrats are going to have a very hard time changing the media narrative ahead of the 2012 election.
Look at what most media (myself included) are saying - that Orrin Hatch and Gary Herbert are virtually assured another term in office. That John Swallow is extremely likely to win the November election for Attorney General. The list goes on and on and on. The only major races where Democrats are even given a fighting chance are Salt Lake County Mayor (Ben McAdams) and Congressional District 4 (Jim Matheson).
A lot of that is understandable. Democrats just don’t win major races in Utah.
As a kid, I watched professional wrestling. Every non-title match had what some would call the “DL” or “designated loser.” My dad refered to them as the “jabroni.” That’s what Utah Democrats are in most major races. For example, conventional wisdom says the primary election between Donna McAleer and Ryan Combe was simply for the right to get slaughtered by Rob Bishop in November.
It’s unfortunate, because media perception is akin to free advertising. We anoint the favorite in races and then treat them as such. When there’s a perception that something is gonna happen, it’s hard to break us away from that pre-conceived notion.
We should look at every race on the merits. But a 30+ year winning streak is extremely hard to ignore.
2. I think John Dougall is going to have an extremely tough job facing him as Auditor.
Yeah, yeah, I know...I’m already proclaiming Dougall the winner in November. Yes, the seat is technically open, but Utahns haven’t elected a Democrat as Auditor since Sharp Larsen in 1964, so there’s that.
When Dougall takes office, he is going to walk into the job being hated by many within Utah’s government. He ousted Auston Johnson, who has been in the office since 1992. Those already there are going to be suspicious of him. His background as a state legislator and his perceived closeness to lawmakers will brand him as the enemy. His plans to expand the scope of the office won’t sit well with many state employees who aren’t used to that level of scrutiny.
All in all, it’s going to be a tough transition for Dougall.
3. I think Dan Liljenquist will run for a major office in 2014, or he risks the same fate as Fred Lampropoulos.
Nearly everyone thought Lampropoulos’ failed run for Governor in 2004 would lead to a run for Congress or Senate. He spent tons of money leading up to that race on a media campaign to build name recognition. He spent another ton of money in the race to unseat Olene Walker after Mike Leavitt left for Washington. 8 years on, we’ve heard nary a peep from him.
Liljenquist will have to do something politically within the next two years because he really can’t wait until 2018 to run for Hatch’s seat again. If he remains idle for too long, he might slip into political obscurity.
But what office? Utah will have one, maybe two freshman members of Congress running for re-election in 2014. One term is not a lot of time to cement yourself in office. The longer they’re there, the harder it is to get them out (think Orrin Hatch or Jim Matheson).
4. I think the Supreme Court decision upholding “Obamacare” is going to play a huge role in the 2013 Legislature.
That’s kind of a no-brainer, I know - but talk about an issue just tailor made for some grandstanding by lawmakers against the federal government.
Gov. Herbert already wants Congress to repeal the law. There will be likely be a number of bills calling for Utah to opt out of Obamacare. Surely a recipe for an entertaining session.
Too bad this didn’t happen one year earlier. The intensity of lawmakers confronting this issue in an election year instead of an off-year would have been - nothing short of amazing.
5. I think I’m kinda excited by the first trailer for the new Judge Dredd movie.
I’ve been a long-time fan of 2000 AD and the Dredd saga.
The 1995 abomination from Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schnieder nearly soured me on the whole thing.
Then I saw this...
Mega-City One looks gloriously dystopian.
If you’re not familiar with the story, it takes place more than 100 years in the future. Only 3 cities still exist in America after a nuclear war - Mega-City One (stretching along the East cost from Toronto to Florida), Mega-City Two (covering the West coast) and Texas City (need I say more?).
In Mega-City One (population 400 million), law enforcement is handled by one group - the Judges. They have the power to arrest, try and sentence people (even execute them in some cases). Think Batman on steroids.
This looks like a nightmare for the ACLU and Libertarians alike.
Parting thought: "Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don't believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others." - Coretta Scott King