State of the Debate

The Swallow Report: It’s not what you thought. It’s worse.

First Published      Last Updated Mar 12 2014 08:48 pm

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

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.