What is Going On In Wasatch County?

Early on in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus lament with Prince Hamlet the sad state of Denmark’s body politic. Marcellus observes that “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” To read the news coming out of Wasatch County, it’s difficult not to wonder if something is rotten in Wasatch County. The FBI is interviewing witnesses, the Utah Legislature is putting involved parties under oath to explain the fiasco and the state auditor is conducting an audit, the results of which are expected out in weeks. The issues are complex, difficult,…

Automatic Endorsement: A “Professional Courtesy” That Needs to End

As former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff headed off to jail Tuesday, I couldn’t help but think of the long list of elected officials that have endorsed their campaigns. In fact, Swallow’s list of endorsements reads like a who’s who of GOP elected officials in Utah. I’m sure a lot of them are left with a very strong sense of buyer’s remorse (some more than others). I think this also underscores a very distasteful cultural practice in party politics: the expectation that elected officials will automatically provide their…

Shurtleff/Swallow: Let the blame game begin!

Today, the previous two Utah Attorneys General were arrested on charges of corruption, interfering with a witness, obstruction of justice and a variety of campaign reporting violations. Quickly, those who dislike Utah or our system jumped to call for a number of changes to campaign laws or to make political hay out of the situation. Thankfully, the investigation into the Swallow and Shurtleff scandal has been handled well, by the GOP dominated Legislature, a bipartisan effort by the Salt Lake and Davis County District Attorneys and the Utah State Department of Public…

Shurtleff, Swallow arrested by FBI [gallery]

After months of investigation and mounds of information, former Utah Attorneys General  Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow have been arrested. During the press conference announcing the arrests, Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill laid out a litany of charges and allegations against both Swallow and Shurtleff, indicating that the number of charges will increase. The booking record shows that Swallow has been arrested on at least four counts: bribery, false statements, evidence tampering, and misusing public monies. Gill specified thirteen counts against Swallow and that more may follow. The booking record shows…