Who calls for James Evans to resign but not Justin Miller? Alliance for a Better Utah, that’s who.

By Jesse Harris
By Jesse Harris

You’d think that a bad time to engage in blatant hypocrisy would be right after you’ve been called out on it. Apparently, Alliance for a Better Utah just enjoys doing things differently. After the complete disaster that was Utah Republican Party State Chair James Evans embarrassing himself, the GOP, and the state of Utah on national TV with widely discredited tabloid conspiracy theories was enough for Better Utah to start demanding his resignation.

To me, it’s just another cherry on top of the crap sundae of reasons why Evans has been possibly one of the worst chairs of the Utah GOP ever. He spent two years and who knows how much money fighting SB54 (a law I also thought was awful) before finally folding when he realized that 1) it was a losing lawsuit and 2) there’s no money to keep on going. The party is so financially destitute that it can’t pay its bills and is getting outraised by the minority party. Don’t even get me started on his effusive praise and support of Donald Trump, behavior that goes beyond simply supporting the party nominee (who is so unpopular he’s risking losing the state and a few legislative seats) and well into being campaign PR flacks. By almost all counts, James Evans is a disaster and this CNN appearance is basically what we’ve come to expect. (Hey, maybe he supports Trump because he relates to him?)

But Better Utah demanding his resignation? That’s rich. This is the same organization who forcefully and explicitly refused to demand Justin Miller’s resignation after he was caught stealing over $30K from the most popular Democrat in the state, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. This organization apparently thinks it is a worse offense to say stupid things on CNN than steal over $30K in campaign funds. Let that sink in a little bit. And their rationale is as rich as you think it is.

So why might it seem that the Alliance for a Better UTAH, or anyone else for that matter, is more vocal about Republican scandals in Utah than Democratic scandals? Well, as we have stated before, with about 80% of the elected officials in the State, it is reasonable to expect that Republicans will be the proud owners of about 80% of the ethics scandals.

In case you’re not particularly skilled at translation, it roughly means “we are basically an unofficial arm of the Utah Democratic Party but without all those pesky rules about disclosure and transparency”. With a reputation like that, what exactly do they think a call to resign is going to accomplish? It would be about as effective as firebrand Senator Jim Dabakis demanding the same. Republicans who might be on the fence about keeping him around might decide to support him against “liberal attacks”. I somehow have to wonder if that’s their entire strategy, ignore Democratic failings while doing whatever causes the most pain to Republicans.

Whatever the case may be, this is just the latest example of how Alliance for a Better Utah may legally be non-partisan, but just enough to keep the IRS from asking too many questions.

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