Unlike any other elected official, an attorney general decides who get
prosecuted criminally and put in jail. Or who doesn't. Although many
people believe that the state’s attorney general represents "we the
people", the Utah Constitution makes it clear that he is the legal advisor
to the governor and other state officials.Utah Const. Art. VII,
Sect. 16. Utah Code Ann. 67-5-1, provides that the attorney general has an
"attorney-client relationship" with the state and shall "prosecute
or defend all causes to which the state or any officer, board, or commission of
the state in an official capacity is a party, and take charge, as attorney, of
all civil legal matters in which the state is interested."If you
think the attorney general represents you as a citizen and voter, then I
challenge you to call his office an ask for legal advice. They won't give
it to you, and will explain that they can’t. You are not their
"client" but the governor is. This change from election to appointment
would allow Utah to have the best attorney -- not just the best politician -- to
become the state's chief law enforcement officer.
The problem in the Shurtleff and Swallow cases is that they were very political
persons in that office, anyway. In some places, politics and the law processes
are so intertwined that you don’t know where one starts and ends. In
Utah, the Attorney General in the past 12 years has become so much more of a
political machine. Shurtleffs different offices he was elected to are part of
the problem. He was also injured and sick quite a bit of the time, so his
machine did a lot of the damage control, even including Swallow, his Chief
Deputy and money gatherer or so it appears on Shurtleff's last election.
The trips to exotic places with expenses more than paid for the influence that
Mr. Jenson got by serving jail time. No good deed goes unnoticed. Shurtleff
and Swallow are even better than Batman and Robin. They got their trip and
their man Jenson ended up in jail. Now, Johnson is trying to not be in jail
with these guys as his friend. Very interesting, as Sergeant
Schultz in Hogans heroes would say. The Convention tomorrow will have some
discussion on the sidelines. Where is FreedomWorks on Shurtleff?
How do you spell p-o-w-e-r g-r-a-b? Do Utahn's really want to give more
power to Utah's one-party government that already does most of the business
of the electorate in closed door caucuses? I just pray that Utahns aren't
as indifferent to legislators stilffling their voice as certain members of the
legislature seem to hope.
Either way, you won't get the best lawyer for the job. You will either end
up with a politically connected lawyer who is appointed or else a politician
with a law degree. Either way, you are not getting the best person for the job.
The Utah Constitution, Article VII, Section 16 lists the duties of the Attorney
General. His duty is to the State of Utah, not to a political party. If he were
appointed, he would be beholden to a political party. His "judgement"
would be tainted.The People elect the Attorney General to keep his
office from being used by anyone in authority. He is required to prosecute
corporations. What happens if a corporation has great influence on the Governor
and the Governor has the authority to hire and fire the Attorney General? Who
loses? We, the people, would lose.Keep things the way they are.
Let the people elect the Attorney General. Let the Governor appoint a
nominating committee to nominate judges, and let those judges be confirmed by
the Senate. The Attorney General is not a judge. He is the CEO of the justice
department, just as the Governor is the CEO of the State of Utah. The Attorney
General must never be beholden to any elected official.
Weiler is chasing a wild goose. The problem is not the way the AG is chosen,
it's that this particular AG is a questionable choice at best. The voters
should have known this, but it's not going to help to have the Governor or
the Legislature appoint some crony as AG.
Strange debate here with more heat than light. Attorney General is often an
appointed position... like in the Federal Government. The chief executive
answers to the voters. If the AG is bad, the president or governor suffers. So a
check and balance is there. In states where the AG is appointed the AG is no
more "corrupt" than anywhere else. "Good old boys" network is a
cheap shot with no proof or answer. In the end, I would toss a coin
on this. I haven't heard a solid, intelligent reason for NOT appointing him
just a lot of emotional ranting. Yet don't mind either way. Appointing him
or her would eliminate some of the cronyism created by lobbyists who fund the
campaign and make the AG beholden to donors. Electing the AG does provide a
tension between AG and Gov. if there from different parties and that can be
The problem with this thinking is that the Legislature probably would have
appointed John Swallow.
We teach this song in Primary. The word "honest" must mean something
different to John Swallow than it does in my family. I believe in
being honest; I believe in being true, That honesty should
start with me In all I say, in all I do. I'll form good
habits in my youth, To keep my word, to tell the truth, To
speak up in defending right And keep my name and honor bright.
I believe in being honest; I believe in being true, That
honesty should start with me In all I say, in all I do.Words by
Ruth Muir Gardner
Seriously? There was a candidate in the last election who was MORE qualified
than John Swallow, had infinitely more support from the law enforcement and
legal communities, and had infinitely more integrity than John Swallow. Dee
Smith should be our Attorney General right now. The problem was that he was a
Democrat.The problem isn't elections, it's the indefinite,
blind one party rule that leads to corruption. Do you honestly think that a
Governor (who has had his own fair share of scandals and shady dealings)
wouldn't be capable of appointing someone worse than what we are dealing
with right now?
Electing people does have its faults, like separation of powers and out of the
box thinking with different view points beyond what a lawyer is capable of.
Every time a lawyer thinks he thinks long and he thinks wrong is has no
imagination to explore alternative scenarios in a crime.No, we do
not want to add the AG to the good old boy network of buddy corruption. We have
the right to elect our representative and this must not be challenged and if
they wish to challenge it they must have a constitutional convention then put it
to a vote of the people and not the police department manpower. We cannot allow
this much power to be chosen by graft, buddy rules, or the police department or
political party oversight.
Let me get this straight. Politicians think the Attorney General should be
appointed because raising campaign funds may taint candidates for that office,
but apparently that same logic doesn’t apply to other politicians.
Hypocrisy at its finest.