Karl Snow said Tuesday he is "mad as hell and will no longer stand for" the vicious attacks on him by a "so-called third-party group."
Snow, who is running for the 3rd District congressional seat being vacated by Howard Nielson, held the conference to counter a press conference scheduled Wednesday morning by Utahns for Ethical Government. The group contends Snow has not told the truth about his involvement with convicted stock swindler Michael Strand.Two investigations have cleared Snow of wrongdoing in a failed merger between two penny stock companies promoted by Strand. Snow said Tuesday he never recommended to anyone that they buy stock in one of the penny stock companies - Global Oil. He said that in a telephone conversation with Percy Kalt, he told Kalt only that Unique Battery seemed to be a good company.
Snow said the group's attack on him was the "most negative political campaign tactic to ever be perpetrated on the citizens of Utah and most specifically those people of the 3rd District."
"Ethical government? Who are the people that are involved here?" Snow said. Among those Snow mentioned was Percy Kalt, "a convicted felon himself."
The group is led by Scott Norton, a personal friend of Democratic challenger Bill Orton, Snow said.
"I am appalled and offended at the level of below- the-belt political skulduggery this campaign has degenerated to," Snow said.
Snow said with relationship with Strand began when a former bishop asked him to look into a tax evasion case filed against Strand by the Internal Revenue Service. Strand spent 63 days in a federal prison for that charge.
"After reviewing his case, I concluded that evidence in his case had been withheld and sought to have his case reopened and the evidence introduced," Snow said. "Michael Strand made a misstep in his life; in fact, it's now obvious he made several missteps - none of which I played a role in. For me to now be convicted of guilt by association is a cheap political ploy on my detractors and Democratic opponent's part."
Snow accused Orton of being "so desperate to gain a seat in Congress he would join with a group of people in making some of the cheapest political attacks on a Republican candidate that have ever taken place in Utah."
Snow said it was "suspect" that his detractors are raising these charges against him now. He said that while lawsuits have been filed against the two penny stock companies, he has never been named in a suit nor called as witness.
"Obviously, the fact is that my detractors have no leg to stand on other than my relationship with Michael Strand," he said. "He is someone with whom I looked beyond the bad and saw the potential. Yet, obviously he is someone who was not willing to take the hand up but instead bit that hand and misused the friendship and help I offered.
"Am I guilty of something because I adhered to a principle of helping someone that both my widowed mother and religion taught me?"
Snow warned the group about supposed plans to reprint and circulate copies of two stories published in the Student Review, which, Snow said, were written by "a cousin of former opponent John Harmer," Snow's opponent in the Republican primary.
The Student Review stories are "without basis in fact" and are "not only scathing and scandalous and slanderous but also are libelous, and I'm warning any one that reprints those that they may be in difficulty."
Snow said he was "angry over this (continued allegations about his involvement with Strand) . . . At first I thought it was so ridiculous that I intended to ignore it . . . I've taken it long enough."