The more you look at the whole Justin Miller scandal (more on that here, here, here, and, heck, one more: here), the more you start to wonder: Where are the calls for investigation? Where are the editorial boards of the press?
Other than the fascinating reporting by City Weekly, the rest of the press (as well as the left side of the political spectrum) has been
all but silent about Miller’s behavior.
And seriously, go read Stephen Dark’s post at City Weekly. It’s worth your time, and I’ll still be here when you get back.
Back? Okay, then. You’ve now read the most thorough examination of the allegations from and against Justin Miller and Ben McAdams (yes, there are allegations against both. Those against Justin are far more clear, since the Mayor surreptitiously recorded them, but Miller has a few against McAdams, as well).
But why the silence from Democrats and the media?
It wasn’t until May 17 that Curt Haring, the editor of Utah Political Capital, did what no Democrat or left-leaning activist, including the Alliance for a Better Utah, Senator Jim Dabakis, and Rep. Brian King–all of whom were loudly calling for John Swallow’s resignation back in 2013–was willing to do: point out that silence was dangerous for Democrats’ credibility on ethics.
[I]f the Utah Democratic Party wants to maintain any shred of credibility in regards to ethics, they need to make a statement that is clear: lawmakers who are (to use former Chairman Dabakis’ words) crooks or unethical are not welcome within the Democratic Party ranks.
To make matters worse, the head of the Democratic Party, Peter Corroon, is on the record blowing the whole thing off.
Former Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, now chair of the Utah Democratic Party, hopes for a speedy resolution to the issue. “It’s not our place to be seeking a resignation,” he says. Corroon says the party’s position on the Miller/McAdams debacle is that “it’s an employment matter between the county and one of its former employees.”
But that’s not really the point, is it? If the recording is true, it’s theft. Theft is theft, no matter who does it. And if Miller’s allegations against McAdams are true, well, that’s also unethical behavior.
Do Democrats care about that? Does ethical behavior matter in public officials?
And why did no one mention these allegations until nearly eight months after the election?
Back in 2013, when Utah AG John Swallow was accused of putting a “For Sale” sign on his office door, it took Democrats all of three seconds to speed dial Robert Gehrke to call for a federal investigation. Where’s the consistency?
Mum’s the word on Miller in the Utah press
More concerning than Democrats winking at the affair (something something protecting their own something something) is the silence out of the press. It is significant that Salt Lake’s papers, news stations, and editorial board have been completely silent.
It’s a different tack than any of them took towards Republican John Swallow in 2013.
On January 14, 2013, only a few days after their reporter broke the story, the Salt Lake Tribune editorial board called for Swallow to resign, based on just Swallow’s version of events. In an act of brazen courage, Tribune cartoonist Pat Bagley took all of four days to come up with a comic lampooning Swallow.
It’s another story today, where no one thinks Miller’s version of events, as recorded, is worth ethical censure.
Today is the tenth since the Miller recording was released, and neither the Salt Lake Tribune nor the Deseret News editorial pages have made a comment. Other than the breaking news items when the recording was first released, no one has done any investigative research. (Not that it matters, but Bagley hasn’t come up with a single drawing about Miller’s admission, either. Instead, he’s focused his considerable artistic talents on the Bushes and the Iraq War…yeah, that war. The one that started in 2003 and ended in 2011).
What gives? What justifies the press (and the Democratic Party) to stay silent on a recording that has an elected official admitting to stealing $30,000? Could it have anything to do with the party affiliation after Justin Miller’s name?
BONUS POINT: How does Justin get away with retail theft by doing court mandated community service…for the Salt Lake County Democratic Party?!