The question that has yet to be asked and answered in the ongoing story of the race for state treasurer: Why? Why did the right-wing power brokers of the Republican Party so desperately want Richard Walker for treasurer? Typically, they focus only on God, gays and guns.

One comment was that perhaps Richard Ellis was not conservative enough. Nonsense! When it comes to investing billions of dollars in state money, the only thing that should matter is competence. It should not matter if the treasurer were to the right of Sean Hannity or the left of Rocky Anderson. Yet these legislators and the attorney general pulled out all the stops to promote a lightweight whose qualifications might earn him an entry-level job in the treasurer's office.

Are they not content with the power they have? Perhaps Ellis did not properly worship at the legislative leadership altar. If elected, Ellis should anticipate retribution from his fellow Republicans with repeated audits and budget cuts.

Fortunately, Utah voters can think and smell for themselves, and they slapped the faces of party leaders in a closed primary. Rather than lick their wounds, the leaders are borrowing a page from the Karl Rove book of dirty politics by going after "party dissident" (read, moderate), Steve Mascaro. These men just can't accept defiance so they go after anyone who dares to differ with them. They must have a lot to hide, and I am hopeful the ethics investigation will reveal all we should know.

Connie W. Reed

Salt Lake City