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Warner Woodworth: Sean Reyes is right at home with authoritarians in Qatar

Utah attorney general embarrasses his state once again.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes speaks during the Utah Republican Party convention on April 26, 2014, in Sandy, Utah.

What? Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes now interested in soccer’s World Cup? We’ve never heard of his passion before the new money rolled in.

I played soccer when our huge South High team in Salt Lake City won the state championship decades ago. But Sean clearly doesn’t look like a “futebol” player.

Many thinking Utahns are again disappointed in this guy for colluding with an anti-democratic government in the Middle East. He’s embarrassed us through the years by his various alleged unethical actions. He’s well-known in legal circles for right-wing extremism, something many Utahns apparently like.

His paid political staffer claims Reyes benefited from the junket because he was a “consultant” to Qatar about cybersecurity and the country’s sudden interest in combating human trafficking. Wow! Who’d a thunk it?

He’s angered thinking Utahns by supporting many problematic views. These include gaining support to secure votes for and election donations from the NRA as mass murders continue to slaughter innocent children, churchgoers and shoppers. Anything for money.

He sued the Obama administration in rejecting we Utahns’ efforts to preserve our precious public lands, instead helping huge, out-of-state corporations to extract our resources and benefit wealthy CEOs.

He “sold his soul” to Donald Trump, as my Utah Valley friends have said. After Trump’s massive 2020 loss by 7 million votes, Reyes abandoned his legal duties to Utahns and appointed himself as “expert,” going to Nevada to seek to overturn that state’s votes. Apparently unable to do simple math, he even made that state’s GOP leaders angry for inserting himself.

Undaunted by truth or the Constitution, in the next month Reyes joined a gang of other dangerous Republican AGs across the nation in their unethical efforts to overthrow U.S. votes in their failed lawsuits. Who was worse: Reyes, Giuliani, Lin Wood, Sidney Powell, John Eastman or the hundreds of other corrupt lawyers Trump hired in advance for corrupt purposes?

Trump knew he couldn’t beat Joe Biden fairly so, when he lost, Reyes ran to his aid. Even Utah GOP Govs. Spencer Cox and Gary Herbert criticized his un-American actions. Patriotic Utahns who support the rule of law created a petition calling for Reyes’s recall, but of course were unsuccessful.

Reyes defended Trump’s false and disproven claims about voter fraud and engaged in several political stunts, to no avail. These apparently committed Gadianton robbers (I mean “attorneys”), saw all 62 of their false accusations fail at the levels of county and state, as well as the Supreme Court. Hundreds of experts on voting and related laws made Reyes and his co-conspirators the laughingstock at most university law schools, including his Brigham Young University alma mater and the University of Utah.

Reyes has now revealed more about his values by accepting what seem to be “bribes” (but I could be wrong) in an expensive jaunt to Qatar. That country is long known as a government that oppresses all women, most schools, other nationalities, religions and races.

Qatar is alleged to have bribed several FIFA board members to vote for the 2022 cup in their country, and hired some 31,000 workers from India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Nepal to exploit in building big new stadiums. They were paid small salaries, worked at intense manual labor in temperatures of 110-115 degrees. According to British news reports, more than 6,500 died doing the work, but they were willing to be oppressed in order to feed their families back home.

The exploited laborers barely survived squalid accommodations, had some of their pay withheld along with passports so they couldn’t leave for their home countries. Many were also required to pay huge recruitment fees to even get a job. No concern to Reyes who has never supported even U.S. employee rights or workplace safety.

As has been widely reported, World Cup teams came under Qatar’s pressure to not get into human rights complaints, political “battles,” or to articulate “moral lessons.”

So, the Qatar trip was a perfect jaunt for Reyes to enjoy being wined and dined to become an authoritarian government apologist, enjoying $500 meals and $2,000 per night hotel rooms. He’s willing to listen to and accept their propaganda because Qatar politics is akin to Trump’s. The latest political values Reyes enjoys now apparently include Trump’s plan to dismantle the U.S. Constitution.

Warner Woodworth

Warner Woodworth has been a professor at Brigham Young University, the University of Utah and other academic institutions around the world. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and has published hundreds of articles while teaching ethics and leadership to thousands of MBAs and others.