In Utah, a Strange Battle Over 2 Road Names

Republicans and Democrats waging battle through proposed road names
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2018 5:00 AM CST
In Utah, an Unusual Battle Over Political Road Names
In this 2016 photo, cyclists race along the scenic Byway 12 above Calf Creek and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah.   (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File)

A strange political battle is playing out in Utah over the otherwise humdrum job of naming state roads. The short version is this: Republicans are pushing for "Donald J. Trump Utah National Parks Highway." Democrats threaten to counter with "Stormy Daniels Rampway." As the Washington Post explains, GOP state Rep. Mike Noel wants to honor President Trump for shrinking two national monuments in Utah by naming a state highway in his honor. It would send the message that "contrary to some beliefs out there, Donald Trump really is a supporter of public lands," says Noel, per the Salt Lake Tribune. The highway winds through some of the state's most scenic territory.

Democrats think the gesture would be outrageous, and Senate Dem. Jim Dabakis has promised that if it passes the House, he will attach an amendment to rename the highway's frontage road in honor of the porn star who allegedly received a hefty payment from Trump's lawyer to keep quiet about an affair. The odds of either name coming to pass are pretty low at the moment. Republican Gary Herbert didn't come right out and say he'd veto the Trump road name, but he strongly suggested as much, calling it a "premature" gesture. And as for that Senate amendment, Republicans outnumber Democrats in the chamber 24 to 5. (More Utah stories.)

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