Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Here is what they'll say, and what they really mean

Published: Sunday, Jan. 22 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Utah House of Representatives Lynn Hemmingway (R) and Mark Wheatley talk at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City.

Deseret News

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Pignanelli & Webb: Tomorrow begins the 2012 General Session of the Utah Legislature. This is an especially busy time for religious leaders of all faiths, because so many Utahns request divine intervention for a speedy conclusion of this annual ritual — before widespread destruction occurs.

Because even the most intelligent citizens are easily confused by the organized chaos we call the "legislative process," we hereby continue our annual tradition of interpreting political speak — what politicians at the Legislature are saying, and what they really mean.

Gov. Gary Herbert: "The Legislature and I are united in our approach this year, and working closely together." (If I have to take heat in the convention from the right wing, those lawmakers are taking it with me.)

Lt. Gov. Greg Bell: "Our office is making effective use of the tools of technology to foster openness and ethics in government." (I love to force high-priced lobbyists — especially Pignanelli — to take our on-line ethics test every year. It's fun to hear them whine.)

Highly loquacious legislators: "Perhaps I love my country and state too much ... but I challenge all of us to stand on our principles." (I lost my train of thought and I'm desperately trying to recall where I was going with my grand analogy.)

All partisan elected officials: "Party caucuses are democracy at its best and I emphatically support the delegates and convention system — what a bulwark of freedom!" (Those people are crazy! How can we dump them?)

Senate President Michael Waddoups: "I will leave this session with fond memories as I retire from public life." (Free at last, free at last!)

House Speaker Becky Lockhart: "I hold the legislative process in high regard and will defend it with vigor again this year." (No matter how stupid your bill, it gets a hearing.)

Governor's campaign manager: "We welcome a spirited election season." (We hope more right-wingers file; it dilutes the opposition.)

Senate Republicans: "We appreciate the contributions and enthusiasm of our friends across the aisle." (We don't have to fight the Senate Democrats because they're busy backstabbing each other.)

Veteran lobbyist: "Nothing happens around here without Sen. Curt Bramble's input." (If you don't suck up to Bramble you get Brambo'ed.)

Nervous lobbyist: "I just had an uncomfortable conversation with Sen. Steve Urquhart." (I tried to pull a fast one on Urquhart. I think I was hit by a freight train.)

Male lawmaker: "I respect the passion Rep. Jen Seelig brings to her causes." (She terrifies me.)

Republican lawmakers: "We know the education community is pleased with our efforts to fund growth this year." (Teachers, be grateful for what you're getting, and don't push your luck.)

Democrat lawmaker: "We have shortchanged public education for too long — our children deserve better." (I need the UEA to fund another election mailer for me.)

Advocates for low-income and disabled citizens: "We look forward to working with Sen. Wayne Niederhauser on Medicaid reform." (Dang! We get rid of Dan Liljenquist and along comes another numbers guy pushing real reform.)

House Majority Leader Brad Dee: "I look forward to orienting all these new freshmen." (Here are the keys to the men's room. That's where the business gets done.)

Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins: "I rely upon my professional experience in providing leadership in important situations." (I'm a plumbing contractor and I know how to pump it out when the doo-doo gets deep.)

House Majority Whip Greg Hughes: "We can really focus on the issues this year." (My beloved Steelers were cheated out of another Super Bowl, so no distractions for me.)

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