David Rodeback's Blog

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Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Friday, October 30, 2009
An Invitation, a Photo, and Campaign Hanky-Panky to the North and South

The photo's about the AF rap flap. The invitation and the hanky-panky are not.

Tonight's Invitation

I'm quoting the Facebook event page, which is okay, because I wrote it. (She told me to.)

Drop in on American Fork City Council Member Heidi Rodeback Tonight

Pick her brain, give her a piece of your mind, have a piece of fresh-baked gingerbread or a bowl of chili.

Facebook doesn't have a category for it, but this is an informal open house at the candidate's home. Drop in for a few minutes or stay an hour. At least a few interesting people will be there even before you arrive, notably including one incumbent candidate for the American Fork City Council. Rap your order, and you might get a bigger piece of gingerbread. Or you might not.

Sorry, Mr. LeBaron, there won't be any homemade lemon ice cream tonight; we do still want the recipe for that excellent Cajun pasta you brought to trade for ice cream that evening.

FINE PRINT: Please note that the food is a campaign promise, valid only while supplies last, and likely to be abruptly forgotten after Election Day.

Date: Friday, October 30, 2009
Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: The Rodeback Home
Street: 103 North 200 West
City/Town: American Fork, UT

We're south of Pacific Drive, south of 120 North, and north of Main Street on 200 West. There's a hedge. An there's a good chance that a Heidi for Council sign will be visible near the front door.

The candidate makes a good pot of chili, every time.

If you want to RSVP on Facebook, do it here.

Rapping in American Fork

The story the Associated Press picked up yesterday -- from KSL, I believe -- about some youths being cited for disorderly conduct for rapping their drive-through order at the American Fork McDonald's, was premature and rather light on the facts. The Salt Lake Tribune story was a little better. But bear in mind, before you leap to conclusions, that we still don't know the whole story.

I love the free market. It's more responsive than government or a heavily-regulated (or intimidated) market, and it's unabashedly playful at times. A sign at the American Fork Sonic prompts this panegyric. I saw this today on State Road, near the former-KMart-former-Sears-Grand-current-empty-shell:

Here's a closeup:

Now that's the spirit. Note that the photos are copyrighted 2009 by David Rodeback, all rights reserved.

To get the flavor of the drive-thru rap, check out this very popular YouTube video. Apparently, this is not how it went down in American Fork.

Highland's Deflated October Surprise

If you read the Daily Herald's report a couple of weeks ago about Mayor Franson of Highland allegedly doing favors for American Fork in return for business considerations, or vice versa, you may have noted some problems with this attempted October surprise right then. To summarize, a city councilor and a former Highland City employee filed complaints against the mayor several months ago with the Utah Attorney General's office.

At least three things were wrong with the story: It did not reveal or weigh the former employee's own political aspirations or his ties to Franson's opponent's campaign. It did not explore that city councilor's own votes on related issues, or, say, whether she might actually have made or seconded the motions in some cases. It also quoted a state official confirming that there was a state and county investigation under way -- is leaking that an act of professional misconduct by the official? -- without explaining whether it was taking a long time because it was complicated and serious, or because it was judged to be frivolous or politicized.

Now, I imagine with some embarrassment, the Utah Attorney General's office has released a letter saying (1) that it found no basis for a criminal investigation, (2) that it will not be taking civil action, and (3) that it cannot speak for Utah County authorities. That third item seems pro forma and rather obvious, but Mayor Franson's detractors and a cooperative reporter are doing their best to use it to patch the holes in their political balloon, as you can see in this Herald article.

This is more sophisticated that the usual American Fork October surprise.

The critics deny political motivation and note that they filed their complaint months ago, not lately. We can glean from this latest Herald story that they did so about the time the aformentioned employee would have been considering running for mayor, and in time to discourage Franson from filing for re-election, if the issue got immediate traction. So it's hard to see how the timing of the original complaints was not . . . electoral. And it's impossible to believe that the story breaking in mid-October was coincidental.

"You Ought To See [Provo's] Cindy"

Provo city councilor Cindy Richards may be the only candidate in the valley who faces not only opposing candidates' campaigns, but also an independent, organized campaign aimed at defeating her (not directly at electing a specific challenger). Maybe you've seen the "Stop Cindy" signs or StopCindy.com. It makes me want to ask, What did she do? Vote for Satan?

No, wait, that was me. Or more grammatically, that was I.

One of the people behind the campaign is Utah County Republican Chair and Utah County Association of Realtors CEO Taylor Oldroyd, who is quickly establishing himself as an aggressive conservative ideologue. Make of that what you will; I'm thinking of sending Ms. Richards a campaign contribution.

In any case, Provo's serious bout of political hardball (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) just got weird and a little slimy, and all sides are denying involvement in the latest development. To wit (from the Herald):

An unknown sender mailed campaign fliers to an unknown number of voters in District 5. . . . To add to the intrigue, both candidates believe the flier casts them in a negative light. And all of this is happening in the week before the election. . . . The flier, addressed to "THE GREAT VOTERS," claimed to know the real story on Municipal Councilwoman Cindy Richards.

"Call me. I know it all," the flier reads. . . .

The flier is unevenly spaced and written in all capital letters. The last line of the flier reads, "Paid for and by the Troy Jensen Group for Stop Cindy." Troy Jensen, though, doesn't know anything about this flier, and he is vehemently opposed to it. Neither does Suzette Jensen, his mother, whose name and number is most prominently displayed on the flier. . . .

The Jensens didn't actually get the mailer in their mailbox; neither did Troy Jensen or neighbor Michelle Wages, also listed. The Jensens did, however, get another letter a few days before, also anonymous, that lauded them for supporting Beck and listed all the things he could let them get away with, including a permit to park for 96 hours, without getting a ticket, on the Jensens' street.

Now that sounds more like American Fork, historically. I hope things will be more honorable in American Fork this year, but don't bet on it.

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