Okay, I’ve had it. Enough is enough. Jim, just stop.
I don’t mean James Tiberius Kirk, the best captain of the USS Enterprise (I’ll fight anyone who disagrees with me). I mean Jim Dabakis (Democrat – Salt Lake City), the FORMER senator of District 2 in Utah. I say former not because his term is up (yet) but because he is a sitting duck. With the legislature out of session he effectively is done with his term (yeah, he has a few odds and ends to pick up).
Yet here Jim is, working with ANOTHER elected official in the form of Representative Greg Hughes (Republican – Draper) (who also has decided to not run again) that they should get together and discuss the inland port without the female elected officials who decided they SHOULD run again.
Okay, that last part may have been a low-blow, but in this era of #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter there’s no reason to NOT think about under-represented populations. (Read: Tone-deaf)
Yeah, Jim wasn’t the only one in the meetings. It takes two to tango, after all. But I don’t fault Hughes for doing his thing. He overreaches, we all know that. It’s how he gets things done. He works his butt off behind the scenes with those that matter to establish a dialogue that can effectively move the conversation forward.
But Jim…JIM…JIM!!! C’mon, you’re supposed to be the Senate District 2 Senator! The fighter for the “little guy”, the “progressive with values”. The one who fosters the upcoming generation of leaders. Yet time and time again, you’ve squandered it. You could have been Aristotle, grooming the future Alexanders of Utah to take over the world, but instead, you tried to opt for the role of both Aristotle and Alexander, probably biting off too much to chew.
You were a decent Senator. Hell, I’ll even say you were a good Senator. I didn’t always agree with you (and I hated your rhetoric) but you were often willing to overlook your ego and ideology for things that matter, and I respect that.
Then came the “Senate leadership changeup”. Each term a senator is “left out” of the leadership (unlike the Utah GOP, who has several dozen Senators “left out” of leadership during their tenure). The Dems numbers are so small that someone has to take a turn out each go-round. Yet there you were making it feel personal. Not even putting party above state, but putting ego above it.
Next came the UTA nomination. Hindsight is 20-20, but now that I know you’re leaving office, I feel like the nomination was a way for you to still keep your hands in the cookie jar. Yet, when you weren’t confirmed (and someone who has spent years advocating for and riding public transportation, as well as someone who has potential to become a great leader on the Utah political stage was chosen) you again threw a tantrum. You reminded me of Trumpeters, running around screaming “we lost our power” because a woman or person of color was elected.
Which brings me back to my main point: You hold non-public meetings with an outgoing Representative, when you, yourself are also leaving office, while simultaneously ignoring the female elected officials who have chosen to throw their hat back in the ring, and face the public for their choices. I’m sure you’ll claim you “didn’t think about it” or you’re the victim, or that it wasn’t your intention, but the fact is that in 2018 (and after serving as a Senator for 8 years) you should know better.
And you want to be Salt Lake’s next Mayor?
From The Writer’s Desk is a feature from Utah Political Capitol that gives our writers an opportunity to express their opinions on the events of the day. Writer Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the opinions of UPC or its staff.