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Attacks by House Minority Leader Frank Pignanelli on Speaker of the House Craig Moody's hazardous waste legislation prompted a candidate for Utah's 2nd District congressional seat to step in - verbally.

"I don't know the details of Craig's bill," said Jim Bartleson, who is not a state legislator but a congressional hopeful, "but I do know that preventing Utah from becoming the nation's toxic waste dump is something that any responsible public servant should be focusing on."Bartleson, in a press release, stated that he was appalled that "just when our state legislators should be working together to protect the health and well-being of their constituents, one would stand up and accuse another, in fact, oppose another, for purely political reasons."

Moody, R-Sandy, sponsored a bill raising the fees to $50 a ton for those who dispose of 100 to 299 tons of hazardous waste per year and $80 a ton for those with 300 or more tons per year.

Emotions ran high this past week as Moody prepared to fight for his hazardous-waste bill. "This is the Moody-for-Congress bill," Pignanelli, D-Salt Lake, told his caucus.

Bartleson said Pignanelli "is (also) talked about as a candidate for higher office."

"The last thing we need is for this vital issue to become a political bandwagon for any candidate from either party," Bartleson said.

"The only way we will effectively protect our people is by forgetting this is an election year and work together in a bipartisan effort to find legislation that absolutely protects Utahns and at the same time does not unnecessarily damage our economy."

According to Republican leaders, Pignanelli and the Democrats were out to get Moody only because he will likely enter the 2nd Congressional District race.