State of the Debate

More punditry on Shurtleff & Swallow ...

First Published      Last Updated Jul 16 2014 03:09 pm

Today's papers bring more commentary on the Tuesday arrests of two former Utah attorneys general.

The Spectrum throws the book at them. Do does the dude from The online St. George News. (It's really hot down there.)

The Herald (which writes very few local editorials) urges patience. The Deseret News has a suggested solution which, perhaps surprisingly, bemoans Utah's status as a one-party state.

Arrests of ex-AGs stain Utah's image — St. George Spectrum Editorial

"The last two Utah attorneys general elected by the people got a taste of what it's like on the other side of the prosecutorial process when they were arrested Tuesday morning. Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow — both Republicans — face multiple charges of bribery and obstruction.

"Their arrests stain the reputation of Utah. And while it should be noted clearly that they, like all defendants, are innocent until proven guilty, their arrests show there was enough poor judgment going around in the state's top law enforcement office to warrant these kinds of investigations.

"Even if the men are found to be innocent of crimes, they are guilty of arrogance in the way they conducted themselves in their offices. And they are guilty of abusing the public's trust. ..."

Utah's darkest political hour — Ed Kociela | St. George News

"While it is true that people charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty, it is also true that where there's smoke there's fire, which is why it would be a fool's bet to wager that former Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow will be exonerated of the 23 charges filed against them this morning by the State of Utah. ..."

Let law, not politics, decide fate of Swallow, Shurtleff — Provo Daily Herald Editorial

" ... We urge all involved in this case to carefully consider the law, not politics, as details about this case roll out.

"We know that won't be easy.

"Both Shurtleff and Swallow have been a lightning rod for criticism during the last few years and we already have seen many critics rush to judgment. ..."

Onus on ex-AGs' prosecutors — Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

"... At the very least, the lack of ethics displayed by Swallow and Shurtleff is mind-boggling. They will forever remain the epitome of corruption, dirty money, unethical interests and special favors. They have dishonored themselves and disgraced our state. Whether their abominable behavior extends to both donning prison uniforms will ultimately be decided in court. ...

Time to consider an appointed attorney general for Utah — Deseret News editorial

" ... The essence of the 'perfect storm' here is the confluence of single-party dominance, no campaign finance rules and an elected attorney general. ..."

ICYMI, here are the two editorials we posted online Tuesday afternoon:

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