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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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(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Attorney General John Swallow talks to members of the media outside of his office at the Utah State Capitol on June 19 after the House Republican Caucus voted to create a special committee to investigate allegations against him.
The Swallow Report: It’s not what you thought. It’s worse.

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. — Aldous Huxley

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It may not be quite on the level of the wonderfully written report of the 9/11 Commission. And it probably won’t be made into a movie with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.

But the report released earlier today by the Special Investigative Committee of the Utah House of Representatives, outlining what they found out about the misdeeds of former Attorney General John Swallow and how they found it, is must reading for anyone who cares about government, politics or Utah.

It is clear. Specific. And frankly dumbfounding in the amount and brazenness of Swallow’s determination, as the report said, to hang "a veritable ‘for sale’

sign on the Office door that invited moneyed interests to seek special treatment and favors."

It also gives credit where credit is due. To the Legislature. The committee. Its staff. Professionals in the Attorney General’s Office who were not only willing, but eager, to tell the truth once they knew someone was listening. And, of course, to the reporters (not the editorial writers) of The Salt Lake Tribune.

The report is more than 200 pages of details and supporting documents. But the Executive Summary is only 15 pages.

It explains how Swallow endeared himself to a questionable businessman who was under federal and state investigation for clearly dishonest business dealings.

How Swallow turned himself into the hired gun of the state’s objectionable payday-loan industry and set up a complex web of fronts and dodges to conceal just how dependent he was on that grungy outfit for his campaign successes.

And (and I had forgotten about this part) how he sold out thousands of Utah homeowners facing possibly illegal foreclosure actions by doing a deal for one such family, who just happened to be big-time fundraisers for his campaign.

Read it here.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.



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