John Swallow: Utah’s Most Corrupt Politician Ever?

John_Swallow-grin
Still having the time of his life?

The full report is out on the misconduct of former Utah Attorney General John Swallow, and it is indeed a web of lies and deceit.

It’s interesting because the web extends to former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and U.S. Senators Harry Reid and Mike Lee.  Here’s some highlights taken directly from the first 20 pages of the report:

“The Committee’s investigation revealed that, during his tenure in the Office, Mr. Swallow compromised the principles and integrity of the Office to benefit himself and his political supporters. In so doing, Mr. Swallow breached the public’s trust and demeaned the offices he held. Indeed, the Committee concludes that Mr. Swallow hung a veritable “for sale” sign on the Office door that invited moneyed interests to seek special treatment and favors.”

“Mr. Swallow compromised the Office’s position in a pending wrongful mortgage foreclosure lawsuit when he, after the plaintiffs in the lawsuit hosted a fundraiser for him, helped make the lawsuit disappear in an effort to keep his embarrassing ethical conflict from coming to light. In so doing, Mr. Swallow, with the assistance of his predecessor as Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, sold out the interests of thousands of Utah homeowners who would have benefitted if the Office had continued to  pursue the case.”

“Under Utah law, a PAC has to disclose its donors, and as the Committee’s report sets out in detail, an intrepid investigator could still have connected the dots to show the  payday link behind some of the PAC donations that Mr. Swallow successfully solicited. To fully obscure the link required more sophisticated machinery, so Mr. Swallow, with the assistance of his campaign consultant Jason Powers, built that machinery.”

“By using these daisy chains of entities, the Swallow political machine was able to obscure Mr. Swallow’s heavy reliance on the payday lending industry for campaign support. Moreover, channeling payday money through these dark entities had the additional benefit that the money could then be spent on negative and even misleading campaign maneuvers while allowing Mr. Swallow to deny involvement in such controversial tactics and with little risk that anyone could prove the actual connection to him.”

“Mr. Powers, with Mr.Swallow’s acquiescence, authorized a push-poll designed to sway voters’ views of Mr. Reyes by asking questions like, “Would it influence your vote if you knew that Sean Reyes vandalized as a teenager, or called Mexicans ‘brown people’?” The Swallow campaign denied involvement in both the ads and the push poll, and the hidden flow of undisclosed funds made it impossible for voters to assess the campaign’s denials before Election Day 2012 arrived.”

“The Committee developed concerns that some of the documents that Mr. Swallow had provided to the Committee were not authentic and had been created after the events they described in order to mislead those who might inquire about those events.”

And those are just from the first few pages. It’s a 200-page report. It would not surprise me to see Swallow, Shurtleff and Powers get jail-time. (My cynical side wouldn’t be surprised if they avoid it either.)

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