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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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(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Naomi Franklin of the League of Women Voters holds a sign at a rally in the Capitol Rotunda in a show of solidarity to protest alleged corruption in the attorney general’s office as House Republicans meet to discuss possible impeachment proceedings against John Swallow, Wednesday, June 19, 2013.
Opinion Sampler: Money talks. And we can prove it.

Money talks: Scientific evidence for fund limits — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Whenever Utah citizens, activists or newspaper editorials suggest that government would be the better for it if there were limits on the flow of campaign funds from special interests to candidates for public office, sitting office holders respond with a mixture of hurt and outrage.

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How dare we, say the powerful, impugn the character of our public officials by suggesting that mere filthy lucre can alter the behavior of duly elected office holders. And it is true that direct ties between a campaign donation here and a vote there can be hard to establish.

But two new academic studies provide scientific foundation for the widely held notion that money talks. These research papers, together with the fact that the whole of the Utah political establishment is buried in the scandals attendant to Attorney General John Swallow’s questionable fund-raising tactics, should inspire the political class to be much more receptive to imposing limits on the amount of money that flows into our state’s political system. ...

University of Utah study: Subtle exposure to money tweaks people's morals — Salt Lake Tribune

Seeing green: Mere exposure to money triggers a business decision frame and unethical outcomes

Republicans and Democrats Actually Agree on Facts — Cass R. Sunstein | Bloomberg View

If you pay them money, partisans will tell you the truthDylan Matthews | The Washington Post

Political views can drive wrong poll answers, unless there’s money involvedRich Morin | Pew Research Center

Partisan Bias in Factual Beliefs about Politics — National Bureau of Economic Research

House GOP OKs Swallow investigation on way to possible impeachment — Salt Lake Tribune

Three ways to restore trust in Utah A.G.'s office — Dan Liljenquist | The Deseret News

... First, the Legislature should consider amending the Utah Constitution to make the attorney general an appointed, rather than elected, position. According to a poll released this week by Brigham Young University's Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy, nine out of 10 Utahns believe that the attorney general "should not take campaign contributions from businesses he is supposed to regulate." These poll results signal a deep concern that campaign donations to an attorney general candidate could improperly influence the enforcement of the law. As the chief law enforcement officer, the attorney general is the legal watchdog for all criminal activity in the Utah. Therefore, every campaign contribution to an attorney general candidate can raise questions of impropriety. ...



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