Saturday, March 13, 2010

Local Politics in Utah: Hall of Shame

For those who don't already know, both the Utah senate majority leader and the Utah house majority leader in Utah have had a spectacularly bad year.

The senate majority leader was given a DUI.

And the house majority leader admitted that in 1985, at the age of 30, he was in a hot tub with a 15-year-old. Both were naked. He claims there was no contact; she says differently. (Sounds a bit like Clinton's "I smoked marijuana but I never inhaled" line, except far, far worse). He paid her $150,000 for her silence as recently as 2002.

What's perhaps even more troublesome is that both major newspapers in Utah knew some details about the story since 2002--and kept quite about it. The Deseret News basically got a confession from him (it's unsure exactly how much the Trib knew, but they certainly new enough to investigate it further). The press is supposed to be a check on the government, but they dropped the ball here. And the other incredibly troublesome part--instead of calling him out for being a child predator, his colleagues in politics have shown him a great deal of support since the news broke out.

I'll let you find your own links--there may be new details about the story by the time you read this.

He should be on the national sex offender registry, not in a leadership position in Utah politics. The newspapers should have reported the story years ago, and his colleagues in Utah should do whatever they can to distance themselves from him.

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