Friday, October 22, 2010

Utah: A Sagebrush Rebel headed for D.C.

Utah's most important election this year was held in the springtime, when angry right-wingers overthrew three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett in the Republican primary. Mike Lee, a lawyer who pushes high-profile Sagebrush Rebel cases, is now the Republican candidate for Senate. And given Utah's history, Lee will almost certainly crush Democrat Sam Granato to win the seat in November. Soon-to-be-Sen. Lee not only wants the federal government to stop regulating federal land, he believes the state Legislature should seize federal land and kill Utah wilderness bills negotiated by county governments. That's a big change from Sen. Bennett, who'd become the best hope for new Utah wilderness: Bennett helped Washington County locals negotiate a 2009 deal with environmentalists that designated 256,000 acres of wilderness while allowing the sale of up to 9,000 acres of federal land, and he's working with other conservative counties to cut similar deals in their pieces of canyon country...more

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