UTAH COUNTY, UT | 4 April 2008 | The Salt Lake Tribune’s least credible columnist, Paul Rolly, has recently demonstrated how scared and inept the democratic party loyalists are when conservatives get organized in Utah. Absent any credible criticism of Carl Wimmer (R – Herriman), Ken Sumsion (R-American Fork), Chris Herrod (R-Provo), Keith Grover (R-Provo) and Steve Sandstrom (R-Orem) Rolly decided to make a political argument by sarcastic metaphor, but like most liberals – he doesn’t quite come to grips with the power of action over rhetoric.

For example, Rolly whimsically claims that the GOP is out to “rescue its superheroes” because of a flier recently distributed for an event designed to support the “Fab Five” state legislators. Funny thing is that Rolly has no argument to back up why a normal, organized fund-raising event is a rescue attempt. Could Rolly imagine that the event might be instead, a victory rally?

Of course, Rolly doesn’t see it any other way, because like many in his camp he’s still too busy gloating over the Utah vouchers issue to see much of anything. In fact, Rolly’s only substantive remark in his entire essay is that “All five dutifully followed leadership’s admonition to vote for vouchers…”

The facts are however, as they say, stubborn things. They are especially difficult for Attila like bullies who call it a job to poke rhetorical fun at good men who serve their community.

Fact #1 – Vouchers.

Rolly argues that the GOP leadership is supporting these five legislators because they “dutifully” followed orders this past session. Funny thing is that three of the five campaigned in support of vouchers long before receiving any orders from anyone. Sometimes Democrats forget that to hold office you don’t actually have to wait for a leader to call you up and tell you your position.

Fact #2 – Stand-Out Legislation

Rolly glosses over all of the legislative details with a blanket accusation that none of these five elected representatives had any “stand-out legislation.” The first error in Mr. Rolly’s argument is t o think that Utahans, especially Republicans, send freshman legislatures into office solely for the purpose of writing new laws.

I think it is a serious surprise to most liberals to actually try and imagine a government whose effectiveness isn’t measured in the number of new laws passed. Additionally, Rolly ignores records like Wimmer’s where fully half of his “introduced bills” were proposed amendments to existing laws, on such important subjects such as child abuse, environmental crimes, toughening prosecution on those who hurt children, etc.

Other legislation sponsored by this freshman group included immigration reform, the rights of adopted children, and the reform of certain outdated criminal codes. Of course, this isn’t “stand-out” to Rolly because it left out global warming.

It is quite obvious that Rolly doesn’t count on educated Utahans to simply hop on the Internet and take 15 minutes to view the actual records of these freshman legislator’s – which records speak for themselves (with or without the support of leadership).

Fact #3 – Republican Challengers

It is true that four of the five candidates mentioned are being challenged by members of their own party, however it is far too early to tell how serious the challenges are. The state and county conventions will play their role, and the newly elected delegates will get to decide if any of the challenges are serious enough to merit a primary election. The irony is that Rolly lumps Wimmer into the same analysis (Wimmer is the Mr. T of the group Paul, just to answer your question) – when he is not even opposed by a Republican. Wimmer, as Rollly notes, is opposed by a “former” Republican who is now running as a democrat. Small details, I’m sure, for Mr. Rolly.

Think about this for a minute, Dave Hogue was in the state legislature for ten years as a Republican and has now come out of the closet as a democrat (which most of us already knew by the way.) Stubborn facts.

Rolly’s “ad hominem” humor is no substitute for “brain-on” activity. Thank goodness he writes for the Tribune, or else some voters who are actually affected by the decisions of these legislators might have been confused.

It does take a superhero these days to stand up against the politics of liberalism, socialism, and do-gooders who think that the reason a man or women is elected to office is to continue the plunder of previous legislatures. Rolly also ignores important events that are actually working to root out government abuse, waste, and corruption here in Utah, events that would not be happening without the support of men like these. For example, it will be interesting to see what tongue in cheek quarterbacking Rolly offers when the legislative audit of the Utah Department of Commerce comes out if it tarnishes the reputations of his fellow travelers such as Francine Giani, Wayne Klein, and Thad LeVar. But, we’ll leave that for a future day.

The truth of the matter is Rolly is simply trying to stoke the flames of some internal conflict with the Republican party, but as appropriate, the Republicans are best left to solving their own problems. In the end we can all be thankful that the “Superheroes” and the “A-Team” showed up this past legislative session because the alternative would likely have been some version of Mr. Rolly staring as Pinky’s “Brain” devising some new diabolical plot to take over the world. That is certainly frightening.

As for me, I’ll side with Representative Wimmer and his superhero colleagues, thank you.