Maryann Martindale: In the Justin Miller scandal, does nuance matter?

Let’s just cut to the chase—Justin Miller should resign, now. I get the nuance, really I do. Despite the wishful thinking of Utah Republicans, this is not the Democrats’ Swallow scandal.  There are some pretty significant differences between the John Swallow charges and the allegations against Miller. Swallow’s are directly related to his role as an elected official—he essentially hung a “For Sale” sign on the door of the Attorney General’s office, while Miller is accused of stealing money from a campaign he previously managed. Just to keep it interesting,…

House Democratic Leader Brian King remarks on allegations against Representative Justin Miller [UPH Wire]

House Democratic Leader Brian King remarks on allegations against Representative Justin Miller June 15, 2015 Thank you for coming this morning. Representative Briscoe, the Assistant Whip for the House Democratic Caucus, and I, the leader of the caucus, are here with other members of the caucus. We excuse Representative Chavez-Houck, the whip of the caucus, who is out of town on a long planned family trip. Representative Brad King is also unable to attend. We also excuse Representative Arent, who is the vice chair of the House Ethics Committee, along…

Utah political dopplegangers

Notice anything weird about this Salt Lake Tribune story…or at least with the pictures that ran with it? If you guessed that Rep. Justin Miller looks uncannily like Rep. Jon Stanard, you win!  And the Trib loses – for running a picture of the wrong representative.  But these things can happen.  There are an incredible number of white guys in Utah politics, and, frankly, all white guys look a lot the same.  Here are a few other common mix-ups (aka political doppelgangers) we’ve seen over the years. Sen. Jerry Stevenson has…

The 5 Stages of Scandal

We are probably all familiar with the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  It seems lately as we have watched political scandals unfold in Utah, those stages also apply.  Some take a little longer to move through the steps of scandal than others, but you must admit, there’s a lot of predictability. So, if your friendly neighborhood politico has been caught in a political scandal – or if YOU are the politico, here’s a little guide on the 5 steps of political scandal to help see…

Midday Commentary on Last Night’s News — May 27, 2015

Quick note to Salt Lake County employees: No one is paid what they think they’re worth. But unless your last name is Messi, that will always be the case. The other thing is that government work has always been about reasonable pay and awesome benefits. If you’re still there in this Utah economy, things ain’t so bad. (Trib) • Max Roth sits down with Sen. Mike Lee to talk politics. The topics are pretty standard: His sparring with Chris Christie, friendship with presidential candidates, and gay marriage. The real eye-opener…

Eight Stories Getting More News Coverage Than Justin Miller

You’d think that the story of a sitting member of the Utah House of Representatives embezzling a good $34K from one of the state’s brightest political stars would end up creating an endless stream of front page news. Instead, the Utah media got in their initial stories and have been almost entirely silent. Even folks like Paul Rolly and Pat Bagley who delight in poking powerful people in the eye have been keeping their mouths shut (because I suppose it’s only interesting if a Republican does it). But, apparently, other…

The Hub Sheet – May 23, 2015: Liked by Many, Cussed by Some, Read by All

Ever heard of 340B? Well, you’re probably paying for it anyway. The latest on Rep. Justin Miller (D – Swindleville) from around the Hub and elsewhere: City Weekly uncovers fast bucks and a pattern. Dan asks where’s the media on this one? Alliance for a Better Utah waffles. Bob Aagard wishes his party leadership wouldstep up. Curt gets thoughtful on means and ends in politics. Michael Jolley offers Miller a free re-election ad. Jesse says he’s gotta go, Dan says not yet. And Joe just wants one damn Bagley cartoon on it.…

On Rep Justin Miller and Means and Ends in Politics

The big news in Utah is the curiously quiet controversy surrounding Rep. Justin Miller’s apparent misappropriation (to use a nice word) of $30,000 (give or take a few thousand) from Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams’ campaign fund. You can add my voice to those saying that Miller should resign.  I’m sure some will say that we should all await the results of an investigation or more information, but, as was the case in the John Swallow matter, there’s a recorded conversation that tells you as much as you need…

Media malpractice on Justin Miller or wink wink nudge nudge?

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?…

Miller and McAdams Damaging to Democrats

I feel like a hypocrite. If a story had broken last week about a Republican political operative who had been accused of stealing somewhere between $24,000 and $34,0000 from a campaign he was managing, I would have been all over that.  Especially if said operative was also a state representative. And an admission on tape of said impropriety would be the icing on the cake. Throw in a counter-charge from said operative-turned-legislator of possible impropriety involving rental of office space by the person he allegedly stole the money from, and…