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Opinion: What Utah politicians are thankful for this year

We are especially grateful that Utah’s politicians can’t help but be interesting creatures who generate ample news and controversy to keep us busy every week

The Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City.
The Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City is pictured on Friday, March 5, 2021, the final day of the Utah Legislature’s 2021 general session. Lawmakers tackled many controversial issues in a special session last week.
Annie Barker, Deseret News

Pignanelli & Webb: Our politicians have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving weekend (especially the patience of citizens). Using drones with cameras and listening devices that also scour social media (perfected by Evan McMullin when he was in the CIA), we were able to upload secret intelligence regarding the expressions of gratitude by political and community leaders.

Utah legislators: They express gratitude that there were many controversial issues in the recent special session, like mandatory workforce vaccinations, changing a university name and others, so the redistricting issue was partially smothered.

Gov. Spencer Cox: He expresses appreciation for the hard work and dedication of legislators in the recent special session. He is especially grateful for their efficient deliberations so that they could adjourn in time for him to conduct his fundraising gala without breaking any contribution laws.

Left-wing and right-wing activists: They are grateful for the many opportunities the Legislature gave them throughout the year to participate in hearings and discussions on numerous issues. They enjoyed the platform to complain about how the Legislature is not including them in anything. They are also thankful being disingenuous is not against the law.

Reps. Blake Moore, Chris Stewart, John Curtis and Burgess Owens: They compliment the Legislature for its careful, thoughtful and fair deliberations in crafting new boundaries while balancing the many competing interests. In other words, … THANK YOU for those BEAUTIFUL, SWEET districts!

Moderate Democrats: They certainly appreciate the recent election results in Virginia and New Jersey that clearly demonstrate that extreme left-leaning and progressive objectives are unpopular and mainstream approaches are needed for them to succeed in 2022.

Moderate Republicans: They certainly appreciate the recent election results in Virginia and New Jersey that demonstrate that extreme right-leaning objectives and kowtowing to former President Donald Trump are not popular, and mainstream approaches are needed for them to succeed in 2022.

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson: As Utah’s election czar, she is so grateful that the recent municipal elections went off without a hitch, including ranked choice voting. She certainly did not need any more unfounded allegations of election fraud.

Utah politicians: They are glad that Utah, BYU and Utah State all have winning football records. It makes their constituents happy. And when they’re happy, they like politicians.

Attorney General Sean Reyes: He appreciates the big technology companies and the Biden administration. They make such good targets for multistate lawsuits and wonderful publicity.

Senate President Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson: They are grateful that the only people who get upset about redistricting are liberal activist groups, Democrats and the news media. But they are usually unhappy with legislative leaders, anyway. They’re also thankful that they won’t be involved 10 years from now.

Republicans: Even though he won’t be on the ballot, they are grateful that Biden will be a major issue in 2022.

Democrats. Even though he won’t be on the ballot, they are grateful that Trump will be a major issue in 2022.

Aspiring young Republican legislators: They wish retired Majority Leader Francis Gibson well and are grateful that his departure creates a vacancy on the leadership ladder, providing more opportunities for them.

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson: As the highest-ranking Democrat in Utah, she’s always glad that all the other officials have to come to her for access to the Biden administration.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall: Although everyone loves to complain about the capital city, no one denies that it’s become very cool in reputation nationally and globally. Thanks for that.

U.S. Sen. Mike Lee: He is grateful for the open democratic process developed by our Founding Fathers. This allows his potential opponents to all compete for the same slice of voters. The more the merrier!

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney: He is appreciative of President Joe Biden. His tilt to the progressive left-wing gives Romney plenty of ammunition to attack him and thereby mend fences with conservatives.

Utah technology leaders: They love to complain about liquor laws and air quality. In reality, this state has fostered and promoted their growth. So, they begrudgingly thank Utah for that.

Lobbyists: What a great country. Where else is there complex legislation with thousands of pages packed with goodies and problems that no one has read or understands — compelling clients to hire them? In addition, there are billions of dollars just begging for their advice on how it should be spent. It is truly a cornucopia of blessings.

Rational Americans: They are thankful the record-breaking voter turnout in Virginia and New Jersey demonstrates that citizens are ignoring the baseless claims of election fraud made by right- and left-wing extremists.

Donald Trump: He is thankful for the suckers out there who believe him when he doubles down on a discredited claim — “The election was stolen!” — even when it hurts Republican candidates.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: She is thankful for the lemmings out there willing to follow her off the 2022 election cliff with proposals for bigger government, higher taxes and more regulation.

Pignanelli and Webb: As always, we are hugely grateful that the Deseret News allows us to blather and pontificate every week. But we are especially thankful that Utah’s politicians can’t help but be interesting creatures who generate ample news and controversy to keep us busy every week.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a former journalist and a semiretired small farmer and political consultant. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser who served as a Democrat in the Utah Legislature. Email: frankp@xmission.com.