Say What?! Utah Politicos in Quotes and Week in Review | July 14-20

This week’s collection of interesting quotes from the #UTPOL and beyond, ranging from the thought provoking to the mouth dropping, from the dead serious to the just plain hilarious. Did we miss any? Send them to us at, and we’ll consider them for next week’s edition.

What’s in a name?

As I wrote in a previous column, my chief complaint with Johnson is that he has an incredibly redundant name. Worse, his parents apparently couldn’t decide on the appropriate way to spell John/Jon, so they ended up just splitting the difference. “We’ll give him both names.” To top things off, it turns out he’s Jonathan Johnson III. So he’s not the first one in the family with this name? I find this news to be deeply troubling. — @BeehivePolitics

Snark on the left

“Hey, KSL NewsRadio, what time are Shurtleff and Swallow going on the Doug Wright Show for their obligatory Post Arrest of a GOP official KSL hug and softball interview?” JM Bell

Spin, spin, spinShurtleff Swallow mug shots

“Mark is adamant that he did not commit any crimes, and I believe him.” Mark Shurtleff’s attorney, Max Wheeler, to Doug Wright on KSL News Radio

A Black Eye

This is a sad day for Utah. The entire situation, regardless of how the legal process plays out, is a black eye for our state. While we respect the rule of law and due process, this serves as a reminder that nobody is above the law and, if anything, public servants must be held to a higher standard. — Governor Gary Herbert on the Swallow and Shurtleff arrests.

It’s the Politicians, not the Rank and File

[M]y chief concern today is to recognize the hundreds of outstanding public servants who work as attorneys, staff, and investigators in the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Each is diligently working to do the people’s business with excellence and great professionalism. They could be earning much higher salaries in the private sector but choose to serve the people of Utah, often without the positive acknowledgement they deserve. — Attorney General Sean Reyes on the Shurtleff and Swallow arrests.

Human Nature is AMAZE-balls.

Human nature amazes me. My perspective is that the nonsense in the AG’s Office went on so long, in part, because Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow did a brilliant job of wrapping themselves in a partisan cocoon. (Questioning them was to question Republicanism, Americanism, etc.). The tribe would rally to their side to stifle criticism.

If something works, we tend to stick with it. The day they were arrested, they called on the tribe to go after Sim Gill (because–serious allegations be damned–Sim is a member of the other tribe). And today Shurtleff rushed to the Doug Wright show to malign Sim.

It’s familiar. At least 5 years ago, Shurtleff enlisted the help of Doug Wright’s megaphone and the Deseret News’ barrels of ink, to hiss that Francine Giani and I were bad tribal members because we challenged what was going on in the AG’s office.

Two questions: (1) Is anyone heeding Shurtleff/Swallow’s partisan call and (2) Is any official in the State or any county Republican Party calling bullshit? — Senator Steve Urquhart

Howard Stephenson
Utah State Senator Howard Stephenson


“Like a Chia Pet, just add water and it will grow…Would you like me to try chia seeds on your head?” –Bryant Howe, Legislative Staff, to Sen. Howard Stephenson

The road to hell…

Despite our best efforts we can’t pass laws that change natural laws such as Gravity, the Length of the Day as the earth orbits the sun, or the circulation of the air in our mountain valleys. However, that hasn’t stopped people with good intentions from attempting to legislate. — Rep. David Lifferth

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

“I won’t tell you what I was doing in 1977.” — Sen. Deidre Henderson

Bailout Much?

“Does anyone else give a damn about this? This is wrong. UTA needs to pay it’s own bills and not try to get the state involved.” — Rep. Janice Fisher

On “High Standards”

Simply having “high standards” does not equate to high outcomes/high achievements. Talking about the former without recognizing the latter is a waste of time. Working on the latter naturally helps formulate a focus on what inputs and goals are needed to accomplish the desired outcomes. Also, calling for “state standards” is generally as problematic as federal or international standards. Accountability needs to rest at the local school, community, and household level, where the teaching (and hopefully learning) takes place. — Utah State Auditor John Dougall

This week’s favorite memes:

well-that-escalated-quickly-meme-15This week’s top post:

Shon Harris nailed it in this week’s satire post: What REALLY happened on Facebook during the Shurtleff/Swallow Arrests…

Top Debate Response:

source Free Markets Not Protectionism, Fix Immigration by Jesse Harris

And in news outside the Shurteff/Swallow arrests:

The State School Board Considering Returning to No Child Left Behind by Karen Peterson

One more ICYMI:

The Supreme Court Thinks It Can Decide Which Religious Beliefs Are Important by Craig Janis

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