Status Quo Sucks 

OK. Swallow needs to go. That is perfectly obvious to anyone who cares about the integrity of Utah’s legal system. He’s an embarrassment, but we’ll probably have to continue to deal with him since he is clearly shameless. What else is new?

That’s not what this letter is about. This is about how Utah’s political system and “values” culture keeps delivering incompetent and ethically challenged leaders. Remember, Swallow was the hand-picked successor to Mark Shurtleff, also not the sharpest crayon in the box. There were hundreds of better choices out there if the idea was to get a really good attorney and/or administrator.

But that’s not how it works. (Think of a certain Utah federal district-court judge who is sitting there essentially for having been a good lap dog for Uncle Orrin.) Under Utah’s good old boy and patronage system, no one else really had a chance to be the state’s “top cop.” These (mostly) guys just glad-hand their way up the ranks of the GOP, doling out favors and promises until it’s time for their coronation.

We get what we deserve. The same dolts and blowhards continue to get elected, no matter what they do. The LDS Church tries to stay above and out of the fray, but its influence on the proliferation of weird and unbalanced politics in Utah is obvious.

So, darn it, LDS Church, take a stand. Send the message out to the stakes and wardhouses for folks to quit voting the straight R-ticket, and to get informed, get involved and vote for the best candidate. It’s the right thing to do. The status quo is hard to swallow.

STEVE RUSSELL
Grand County Law & Justice Center
Moab

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