The question of Sen. Dennis Stowell's role in funding his own son's job with taxpayer funds is very awkward. I do not know either the senator or his son, nor do I live in his district, so I have no ax to grind. I accept, at face value, Sen. Stowell's denial of any advocacy for his son to fill the position in question. I also accept the Center for Education, Business and the Arts board's assertion of objectivity in selecting Sen. Stowell's son.
That said, $125,000 flowing into the coffers of a rural Utah community is not a small thing. Spoken or unspoken, it represents influence at the local level and holds the hope of continued funding for future fiscal years. Pure motives and good intentions notwithstanding, the appearance of a potential conflict of interest remains.
This unfortunate situation must be corrected.