Rolly: Leavitt's papers show dual faces

Published January 7, 2008 12:23 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's becoming more clear why former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt did not want transcripts made public from his morning study group that focused on incorporating LDS principles into government policy.

On the fifth day of the meetings, Oct. 31, 1996, just a few days before he was elected to a second term, adviser Kirk Greene is quoted in the transcripts telling Leavitt about a conversation he had with Lt. Gov. Olene Walker and how he ''started prepping her for your inaugural speech and about stepping down and going on a mission. She said she's ready.''

Leavitt then is quoted as saying, ''Boy, is she ready.''

Funny. During that time Leavitt staffers continually denied rumors that Leavitt was looking to replace Walker as his lieutenant governor.

Meanwhile: Leavitt apparently didn't pay enough attention to suggestions from local Mormon leaders about proper behavior back in those days.

Several LDS acquaintances remember being counseled in their wards in the 1980s to stay away from forming individual study groups within their wards for fear it would lead to cliques and the exclusion of other members, although there was no official ban on study groups by the church's First Presidency.

The missing link? When the Workers Compensation Fund notified its member companies and workers that one of its laptops containing Social Security numbers and other sensitive information had been stolen, it assured them it had retained Equifax Credit Watch to monitor possible identity-theft activities.

The letter told the members how to enroll with Equifax and suggested they could further protect themselves by placing a fraud alert on their credit file.

Funny. The letter didn't mention Utah's own highly touted Identity Theft Reporting Information System, a free service run through the Attorney General's Office that tracks potential identity theft and helps consumers restore their credit.

Speaking of missing links: It seems that Mormonphobic Republican evangelicals and at least one sports commentator have something in common: abject bigotry.

On Thursday, Miami Herald sports columnist Dan Le Batard was on the ESPN show "Pardon the Interruption," speaking about how bad players contributed to the Miami Dolphins' miserable 1-15 season.

"They've got a Samoan fullback; a Mormon quarterback [former BYU star John Beck]. They've got a Mexican-American receiver. How many, how many . . . they've got the United Nations in their huddle."

Gee. I didn't know Mormons were foreigners.

Le Batard included the slur in his newspaper column Thursday, but an obviously wiser editor eventually cut that paragraph out of the online edition.

rolly@ sltrib.com

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