Who Should Be on the Utah Political ‘Naughty’ and ‘Nice’ List?

20151221 Santa ListSanta Claus is set to make his annual global gifting run this week.
We asked our “Political Insiders” who should be on St. Nick’s “naughty” and “nice” list this year.

Here is an anonymous sampling of who our panelists thought deserved presents from Santa and who they think should get a lump of coal.
Former Rep. Justin Miller:
  • “Because he committed multiple felonies, lied about it, and used taxpayer resources to try to get revenge and destroy the reputations of anyone who challenged him. Thank goodness he was caught, convicted and stopped early in his political career.”
  • “For obvious reasons.”
  • “Need I say more?”
  • “He lied about his guilt for a long time before fessing up.”

Speaker Greg Hughes:

  • “Speaker Greg Hughes for his tireless work to make sure no Utahn who is low-income will have access to affordable healthcare coverage in their stocking this year.”
  • “Greg Hughes and the Tea Party wing of the Utah House for not finding a rational way to expand Medicaid.”
  • “Rep. Greg Hughes for his poor management of UTA, for his weak leadership of the Prison Relocation Commission and for failing to lead the House of Representatives to a solution for Medicaid expansion.”
 Utah GOP Chairman James Evans:
  • “Utah GOP Chairman James Evans for trying to disenfranchise 99% of the state and using countless dirty tricks to (unsuccessfully) try and do it.”
  • “James Evans – Suing his own Governor and Legislature. A good way to tell the people of Utah that they should keep voting Republican, but they really don’t know what they are doing.”
  • “James Evans for his leadership or lack thereof of the Republican Party.”
“Governor Gary Herbert for defunding Planned Parenthood.”
“UTA board members who went to Switzerland to visit an electric train manufacturer with whom they could do future business.”
“UTA for their continued antics, waste, and being a general embarrassment to Utah.”
“Phil Lyman, for his breaking of the law protest and abuse of his office in leading a protest.””Commissioner Phil Lyman for asking the state to fund his legal defense against criminal charges.”
“Commissioner Phil Lyman for asking the state to fund his legal defense against criminal charges.”
“Rep. Fred Cox for going against his colleagues on the prison move.”
“Rep. Fred Cox for carrying the water for James Evans to kill SB54 (unsuccessfully), ranking in the bottom among education-friendly legislators, leading the charge to keep the prison in Draper long after the decision had already been made to move it, and declaring war on daylight savings time (hope you enjoy these dark evenings).”
“Tooele County Commissioners for asking for a 24% salary increase on the heels of a county financial crisis and after two of the three commissioners had only been in office for four months.”
“The Prison Relocation Commission for refusing to assess whether the savings to the state by leaving the prison at its current location.”
“Republicans who voted for numerous tax increases in 2015.”
“Jonathan Johnson for challenging a popular governor when he trails badly in the polls and for trying to force Utah to play DC politics with earlier debates than ever before.”
“The LDS Church PR department for having handled the gay family issue in a spectacularly bad fashion.”
“Senator Jim Dabakis — loud, mercurial, picking fights when he doesn’t need to. Interesting to watch, but his influence diminishes with each overstatement of the case.”
Gov. Gary Herbert:
  • “Gov. Gary Herbert for prioritizing education and promoting collaboration.”
  • “Gov. Gary Herbert for keeping the state economy humming along while putting more money into education.”
  • “Gov. Gary Herbert for showing courage on many issues, including Count My Vote and Syrian refugees.”
  • “Gov. Gary Herbert. He was kind enough to stick up for Middle Eastern refugees – 2015 years after another Middle Easter refugee couple had a baby in Bethlehem and then had to flee to Egypt due to political oppression.”
  • “Gov. Gary Herbert. He’s a proven bipartisan leader who’s been able to successfully please Utahns from both sides of the aisle.”
  • “Gov. Gary Herbert for his compassionate and rational stand on the issue of Utah accepting refugees from Syria.”
“James Evans for standing up to the Prop 54 bullies, and keeping the money guys from controlling Utah’s elections.”
“Sen. Mike Lee must be on Santa’s nice list because he avoided any major challengers from his party and had his numbers rebound in the state.”
“Sen. Steve Urquhart for his work on the statewide non-discrimination bill.”
“Sen. Orrin Hatch for his vote on extending the budget and raising the debt ceiling instead of ‘kicking the can’ down the road again. He was the only profile in courage in our congressional delegation that voted to continue the budget for two years instead of shutting down the government.”
“Sen. Orrin Hatch for being the only Utahn in D.C. who is not afraid to reach out to the other side when appropriate.”
“Senator Brian Shiozawa for his tireless work on finding a path forward to provide health care coverage to Utah’s underserved.”
“Senator Brian Shiowaza for trying to provide Medicaid coverage for all of Utah’s less fortunate.”
“Lieutenant Gov. Spencer Cox because he is just always nice to everyone.”
“Lt. Governor Spencer Cox. He is a warm, truly dedicated man who is making a personal/family sacrifice to serve.”
“Rep. Kim Coleman because she is nice to the Tesla dealerships and is trying to promote fair business practices.”
“Count My Vote supporters for bringing democracy and participation to Utah.”
“Is it possible to be involved in politics and be on the “nice” list?”
“Rep. Fred Cox for trying to save taxpayers money and not move the prison.”
“Rep. Patrice Arent and the whole bipartisan clean air caucus.”
“Rep. Jason Chaffetz for meeting with Utah Muslims and denouncing Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from the U.S.”
“Americans for Prosperity for saving Utah from Medicaid expansion and tax hikes in Salt Lake County.”
“Jackie Biskupski for her amazing accomplishment and bringing much-needed excitement and fresh perspective to local government.”