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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Editorials: Utah government errors and omissions ...

- Doofus chronicles: Herbert & Co. can't get past scandal - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

The Herbert administration continues to be drawn like a moth to the flame of the Utah County I-15 bid scandal, getting singed every time. It’s as though, having once set it alight, the governor and his people are helpless to keep themselves from flying into it again and again. It would be farcical were it not for the $13 million it cost the state, the reputations it has needlessly tarnished and the poor judgment it has repeatedly placed on display.

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The latest chapter centers on Denice Graham. The Utah Department of Transportation fired her in April 2011. It said she had leaked confidential information about the $1.1 billion contract to rebuild I-15 through Utah County. However, an administrative law judged ordered her reinstated.In the meantime, she has been negotiating with UDOT over $67,000 in back pay. As a condition of receiving that settlement, UDOT Executive Director John Njord requested that she sign a letter asking Democrats to quit using her name and case to beat up politically on the Republican Herbert administration. Njord also wanted her to write in the letter that the judge had made a mistake in reinstating her.

Graham refused and went public. ...

... Firing Njord also would be political. And appropriate.

- Group asks Utah governor to fire UDOT boss - Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune

- UDOT scapegoat Denice Graham still fighting for her rights - Peg McEntee, The Salt Lake Tribune


- Closing the breach: State should help ID theft victims - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

"Who steals my purse steals trash...;

But he that filches from me my good name

Robs me of that which not enriches him,

And makes me poor indeed."

— Othello Act 3, scene 3, 155–161

Iago was talking about a person’s reputation when he decried "he that filches from me my good name." But when computer hackers took the personal information — names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses — of nearly 800,000 Utahns on April 1, they did it to enrich themselves and could leave their victims poor indeed. ...

... Because a state agency is at fault here and the impact of this breach will be on-going, the state should do more than offer credit monitoring for one year and staff a telephone hot-line. It should help resolve financial losses for all Utahns exposed in the breach who are victims of identity theft in the future.

And it should strengthen precautions to make the system safe so all those who qualify for Medicaid or CHIP will feel comfortable revealing their personal data to the state.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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