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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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(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow leaves the Salt Lake County Jail after being arrested earlier in the day on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.
For immediate release: InstaPunditry on Swallow and Shurtleff arrests ...

Shurtleff and Swallow will have their day in court — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

"The gears of justice sometimes grind slowly.

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"In Utah Tuesday, those gears finally meshed in a way that promises to bring months of investigations — and, allegedly, years of misdeeds at high levels of our government — to resolution.

"Both those accused and their alleged victims — which, in this case, would be all the people of the state — can now look forward to a day in court when all the truth can finally come out.

"Former Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow were arrested and charged with a total of 23 criminal counts of bribery, evidence tampering, witness tampering and lying to investigators. It was, according to the damning list of charges and specifications released Tuesday, a ‘pattern of unlawful activity’. ..."

Bank of America deal deserves more scrutiny — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

" ... Shurtleff is accused of overriding his own professional staff — and leaving a lot of victimized Utahns out to dry — by exiting the case and, soon afterward, landing a lucrative job with a law firm that counts Bank of America as a big client. A job he soon left.

"These charges should be enough to bring federal investigators back into the case. Not only to see what Shurtleff did, but to hold Bank of America accountable, too."

Swallow, Shurtleff arrested, face 23 counts and could end up doing 30 years in prison — Salt Lake Tribune

"In the culmination of the most sweeping political scandal in Utah history, former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff were arrested early Tuesday and charged with a combined 23 counts that could total 30 years each in prison. ..."

Trib Talk: The Shurtleff and Swallow charges — Salt Lake Tribune video

Former AGs Shurtleff and Swallow Hit with 21 Felonies Combined — Eric S. Peterson | City Weekly

"At a Tuesday morning press conference state and FBI investigators announced that former Attorney Generals Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow were not allowed to surrender but were arrested instead like any ‘ordinary joe.’ These two joes, however, were former ‘top cops’ in state government and were also walloped with felony charges ranging from bribery to witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

"The announcement was shocking for the sheer magnitude of the charges against Shurtleff and Swallow, with some felony charges carrying maximum sentences of up to 15 years in prison in connection to years of pay-to-play shenanigans that occurred under their respective watches as public servants. ..."

Shurtleff, Swallow maintain innocence despite several state charges — St. George Spectrum

"Two former Utah attorneys general were arrested on a battery of bribery charges Tuesday stemming from their cozy relationships with several businessmen, including St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson, a stunning fall for a pair of politicians who built immense political clout in their years at the highest level of state law enforcement. ..."

Charges filed against Mark Shurtleff — Scribd | sltrib.com

Charges filed against John Swallow — Scribd | strib.com

Swallow, Shurtleff Charged with Multiple Felonies — Utah Political Capitol

Two Former State Attorneys General Arrested In Utah — NPR

Two Former Utah Attorneys General Arrested For Corruption — Reuters via Huffington Post

Two former Utah attorneys general have been arrested, accused of accepting bribes — Washington Post

Harry Reid’s name surfaces in Utah bribery case against two ex-attorneys general — The Washington Times

"Utah prosecutors on Tuesday filed criminal charges against two former state attorneys general in a court filing that makes tantalizing references to a possible pay-to-play influence scheme involving U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. ..."

About that last example. A legitimate effort to report the national implications of a local story? Or a way to make sure at least one Democrat gets his name dragged through the mud, too?

Discuss.



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