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Utah politicians give themselves lots to laugh about

By The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board

I’m not a member of an organized party – I’m a Republican.

That joke by our own columnist Holly Richardson — flipping the old Will Rogers line about being a Democrat — was one of the best jokes of the night Thursday at Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams’ annual United We Stand (UP!) comedy fundraiser, where politicians from both sides of the aisle came together to laugh at each other.

In a time of constant partisan bickering and downright shocking political realities, it was a refreshing evening of bipartisanship and camaraderie celebrating our shared values and love for Utah. No party, or politician, was safe, including the mayor, with his particularly youthful features. 

Democrats were congratulated for achieving a super-minority in the state legislature. Republicans were mocked by a drag queen celebrity impersonator dressed as Kellyanne Conway and as President Trump. And everyone was praised for trekking to the west side.

Millcreek Councilwoman Bev Uipi rode in on a knee-scooter and announced her race against Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Utah Rep. Dan McCay said he had a bunch of UTA jokes but couldn’t share them because he saw Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes in the audience.

Draper Mayor Troy Walker joked that P.T. Barnum’s famous quip that there is no such thing as bad publicity has an exception for anyone trying to put a homeless shelter in Draper.

McCay designated Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski the new star of “The Apprentice,” in salute to the firings in her administration. And Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson presented her Top 10 Reasons for Running Against Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Attendees were reminded that their constitutional right to bear arms is not the same as a right to bears ears. Heavy groan.

A low point in the evening was the drag queen emcee who ribbed women attendees for their lack of makeup and rubbed his bosom in an attendee’s face. Even heavier groan.

The fundraiser also benefited Other Side Academy, which is an organization that assists criminals, homeless, and drug abusers with rehabilitation and life skills. The Other Side does not take government money. Instead, it creates businesses like The Other Side Movers and Promise Land Food. McAdams promoted the charitable organization by telling the crowd that Other Side students provided food in one of the food trucks on site, and staffed the event as servers.

Kudos to McAdams for hosting the positive, fun event, and for tying it together with a charitable cause. Utah politicians need to laugh at themselves from time to time. There certainly is enough material.

Republished from the Salt Lake Tribune.

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