Some clever producer should think about turning the ongoing feud between factions of the Utah Republican Party into a TV reality show.
It would be hilarious.
After Lehi’s police determined there was no basis to the criminal complaint software company executive and GOP donor Dave Bateman leveled against political rival Sen. Todd Weiler, Bateman released a 40-minute video on his Facebook page outlining all the misdeeds the Woods Cross Republican allegedly has committed that police ignored.
Weiler, Bateman said on the livestream video, took some of a roommate’s food when they shared an apartment with several other students at Brigham Young University — nearly 30 years ago.
Call it “Tuna Fish Sandwich-Gate.”
Bateman became the face of the anti-SB54 movement when he assumed the Republican Party’s $410,000 legal debt from the lawsuit the GOP filed to overturn the law providing multiple paths to the primary ballot, including signature gathering rather than going through the party’s convention.
That made him the darling of a faction of the Utah GOP Central Committee that believes the state has no right to tell political parties how to pick their nominees and wants to take the fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Weiler, a proponent of SB54 and the signature-gathering option, has emerged as one of the most vocal foes of Bateman and his movement.
The complaint filed with police alleged Weiler tried to offer Bateman’s then-former girlfriend $1 million to file a false sexual harassment claim against Bateman.
During his video, he played a voicemail from Weiler to a friend of the girlfriend saying he knew an attorney who could get her $1 million in a sexual harassment suit depending on how the evidence shakes out.
Bateman alleged that Weiler was pushing his girlfriend and her friend to push the false narrative against him.
But the police report indicated that in an interview with the woman who received Weiler’s voicemail, she said the lawmaker simply was passing on to her that he knew a lawyer willing to help with her friend’s sexual harassment complaint.
Bateman also said Weiler spoke at a Davis County Republican Convention several years ago when he was not authorized to do so and that he posted on Facebook the personal information of 2016 gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Johnson showing that Johnson had not clicked the voter registration box saying he was a registered Republican.
He also said nasty things about his GOP opponent in his Senate race two years ago, according to Bateman.
So there you go. What a rap sheet.
The scarlet letter • That would be “S” for signature gathering.
Wayne Smith, a veteran law enforcement officer, was one of six Republicans who had filed to run for Weber County sheriff, a post being vacated by the retiring Terry Thompson. But Smith sent an email to GOP delegates this week stating he was withdrawing from the race because of the treatment he has received from the Weber County GOP.
Smith, you see, initially indicated he would gather signatures to get on the primary ballot — a mortal sin in the eyes of some GOP stalwarts.
He later changed his mind and filed as a convention-only candidate. But it was too late. He had already committed the dastardly deed.
He said in his email that he couldn’t get pertinent information from party officials, and they refused to distribute his campaign materials at the neighborhood caucuses.
Smith also appeared on the slate of candidates leading up to Saturday’s county convention with the designation “other” rather than “Republican.” That meant he would have to get 70 percent of the delegate vote to make it to the primary; those with the GOP designation would need only 30 percent.
He said he tried to reach out to party leadership, but could not get a response.
Same for me. I left a voicemail, text and email for Weber County Republican Chairwoman Lynda Pipkin. No response.
Failure to communicate? Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski issued a water conservation advisory Tuesday to discourage outdoor water usage due to expected low runoff this spring.
The next morning, the sprinklers were going full speed all over the city’s Pioneer Park, apparently to make sure the grass wouldn’t die of thirst before Thursday’s heavy rains.