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Workman’s World 

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She’s resolute that she “did nothing wrong.” But she told a press conference that she could have “done it a little differently.” She knows she will be vindicated. She posed for her mug shot smiling, as if she were on vacation.

We tolerated her twin mantras of “help the kids,” and allegations that an investigation of her office amounted to partisan “politics.” But, really, if Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy Workman insists on taking her case to the world of television advertising, a line must be drawn.

Surely you’ve seen these painfully transparent advertisements. A bizarre lineup of airbrushed—and diverse!—Salt Lake County denizens voice their utter bafflement about how District Attorney David Yocom and those bullies on the bipartisan panel could have played “politics” with our hardworking, horseback-riding Nancy Workman. “It’s just politics,” says one woman from the seat of her car. “They should just let her do her job.”

Or something like that. Frankly, when you’re pandering to the lowest common denominator, details don’t really matter, do they? Just as the details didn’t matter to Mayor Workman when, with no public hearing or County Council oversight, she used $17,202.50 in public money to hire two different employees to work under her daughter, Aisza Wilde, over at the South Valley Boys and Girls Club. That’s putting it lightly, really. The bipartisan panel’s review of the case includes phrases like, “Nancy Workman lied,” and “Nancy Workman kept false accounts.” Or, to paraphrase, Workman used Health Department money to pay two people to help her daughter out over at the club.

“Neither employee ever completed a single Health Department related task,” according to the report. Let’s repeat that curious little sentence once more. “Neither employee ever completed a single Health Department related task.”

But in Workman’s world, that’s just a matter of partisan “politics” isn’t it? Hey, when you’ve got public money to play with, who cares about proper rules and procedures. As for the ruse of “politics,” well, Workman is a politician. And as a politician, surely she ought to have an aptitude for “politics,” with or without the quote marks.

David Owen of the Summit Group is the political consultant steering our county mayor through the perilous waters of second- and third-degree felony charges of misuse of taxpayer funds. He insists his ads cast real, from-the-street people. “They’re not actors,” he said. “But I’m not going to comment on the ads. How the chef does it is sort of in the recipe.”

If so, that’s one rotten stew. Now, our county mayor’s incensed that Yocom, understandably tired of ceaseless accusations that his moves are purely partisan, has stepped down from the case to make way for a special prosecutor. This means Workman’s case may never make it past the Nov. 2 finish line for public vindication. Yocom should have done this months ago, her defenders say. Maybe. But at least with Yocom at the helm, Workman and her crew could drumroll the phrase “politics,” “politics,” “politics” to their hearts’ content. Pretty soon now, they won’t have even that.

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