Thursday, April 26, 2012

Much Ado About Something

I've got a story for you. It's about this wonderful state named Uathia. Uathia is the most beautiful state in the United States. In fact, Uathia is one of the most liberal states in the country. A Conservative hasn't been Governor of Uathia since 1985. A Consrvative hasn't represented Uathia in the U.S. Senate since the 70's. More than 2/3 of the Uathia State Legislature is Liberals.

The current Governor of Uathia is Herb Garrett. Herb Garrett was elected as Lt Governor. He was nominated as Lt Governor by Hunt Johnson to provide balance to the ticket, as Hunt Johnson is moderate, and Herb Garrett, who was a county commissioner at the time, is very liberal. They won election in 2004, and then reelection in 2008. Herb Garrett became governor when Governor Johnson left the state to work for the Obama administration early in his second term. As a result of this, there was an election in 2010 to fill the remainder of the term.

The Governor's election of 2010 pitted Herb Garrett against the mayor of Uathia's most populous county. Mayor Corey Peterson had won election in his county in 2004 and reelection 2008.

In 2009, the state of Uathia was set to start the largest road construction project in state history. This project was to take place in Woebegone County, which is the most liberal county in Uathia and happens to be Governor Garrett's home county. Three companies submitted bids for the project. Ultimately, Beta Construction won the Billion-Dollar project.

During the campaign, it was discovered that one of the bidders on the project, Alpha Construction, received $13Million for the Department of Transportation. As things got looked into more, it was discovered that Alpha Construction was all set to win the bid, but then the bid rules were changed, and Beta Construction, who happened to donate money to the Garrett campaign around this time, and whose head also had a few closed-door meetings with Governor Garrett around the same time, was the "better" of the three proposals. When Alpha construction found out about the changes in the rules, they threatened to sue. They received a $13Million payout.

When asked about the $13Million payout, Governor Garrett's first reply was that he didn't know about the payout until reporters started asking him about it. He then said that the payout was to cover Alpha Construction's costs for preparing the bid. Nobody bothered to ask why the bid cost $13Million or why the third company, Charlie Construction, didn't get money to cover the cost of the bid. Ultimately, the media was told to go ask Alpha Construction why they were paid $13Million. Alpha Construction replied that a condition of their payment was that they couldn't talk about the $13Million.

When the Peterson campaign made the $13Million hush money a campaign issue, they were accused of dirty campaigning. Ultimately, the voters of Uathia decided that they preferred pay-to-play governance over dirty campaigning.

However, the Garrett Administration wasn't done. An investigation was launched to see how Alpha Construction found out about the bid process changing. Turns out, they called someone at the transportation department named Debbie, who told them that all the information was available on the internet. And Debbie was fired for it. Debbie then complained that she should not have been fired for pointing out that something was available on the internet. An administrative judge agreed with her, and ordered the transportation department to give her her job back, along with the pay that she would have gotten for the time that she was "fired." She was given a job, but it was very different than the one she had before, and did not use her skill set. Oh, and she wasn't given her back pay. When she complained about it, the Elephant Party (the party of the conservatives in Uathia) made an issue out of it. Debbie and the Elephants were accused of playing politics. Then, she was offered her back pay, but only if she signed a paper saying that she should have been fired, and that she would tell the Elephantss to stop talking about it. Which, of course, angered the Elephants. But the Donkeys (the majority party of Uathia) told the Elephants to stop complaining about it. Because, well, it makes Doonkeys look like they are doing a bad job running things.

OK,so Uathia is not a real place. But if it was, you know Republicans would be all over the airwaves and newspapers complaining about it. Unless, of course, instead of being a liberal state, Uathia was a conservative state, like Utah.

Well, I may have made up Uathia, but the story is very real, and is taking place right here in Utah. And the Utah Republican Party is more concerned with winning elections than running a state, which is why they want us to ignore gross ineptness in at least one state agency.

Because ineptness is only costing us taxpayer money, right?

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