Kevin Garn, Sheldon Killpack resignations part of bigger ethics picture

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • John Pack Lambert
    March 15, 2010 10:53 p.m.

    Some have said Garn needs to be prosecuted. The big question is, did his actions constitute a felony or a misdemenor. If his actions were a misdemenor act of indecent exposure, as some have claimed, than the statute of limitations ran out in by the beganning of 1988.
    On the other hand, if his actions rose to the level of being a felony, since the wording is "within four years of the reporting of the incident", and IF Ms. Maher had not reported this incident to police prior to this last week, when she got it into the press, so I am fairly certain the sttute of limitations clock has began ticking, than Garn can be prosecuted anytime as long as it begans in before March of 2014.
    However, the question is what statutes, as they existed in 1985, did Garn brake? Since the constitution forbids ex-post facto laws, he has to be tried under the 1985 laws.
    Criminal charges against him for crimes committed in 2002 would be a different story.

  • re: Dems v Repubs
    March 15, 2010 11:29 a.m.

    Huh? That is the biggest pile of stinking you-know-what I've ever seen on this board. Plenty of Democrats have failed to live up to ethical standards, and have paid the price. Massa as the latest example.

    The difference between the two parties is that the Republicans love to tell us all how morally superior they are, and run on the moral issues, while pretending they are immune to ethical lapses.

    But why not, seeing as you blind Republicans will even find a way to paint them as some ethical patriot when they do screw up (say by paying $150,000 to cover up an affair). It clearly doesn't matter what they do, you'll just make up some ridiculous claim about how they just slipped up.

    So pathetic.

  • Dems v Rebubs...
    March 15, 2010 9:48 a.m.

    The difference is Republicans RESIGN when they do immoral things. Democrats don't. That's the difference between having morals and not. If you have no morals, there's no standard to which you are held. I'd rather have politicians that have standards, and occasionally fail to live up to them, than ones who have no standards, and thus, can never be labeled "hypocrites."

  • Gotta love the....
    March 15, 2010 8:15 a.m.

    Morally superior Utah Republican politicians!

    And then to watch as his fellow legislatures hugged and congratulated him on keeping this story undercover for so long.


  • Zadruga Guy
    March 15, 2010 5:34 a.m.

    It seems like Republican leaders want to reframe the discussion -- they want to talk about how the legislature was able to "get the job done" during the past legislative session. But that is irrelevant to the topic at hand. Unethical people can, perhaps, "get the job done" even better than ethical people but the debate is about ethics, not about execution.

  • Love them politicians
    March 14, 2010 11:11 p.m.

    Utah politicians - don't you love them?

    Letterman and Leno are going to have a field day with this stuff. ROFL

  • Absolute Power Governs ....
    March 14, 2010 10:01 p.m.

    Re: "Davis County (9:32)"

    The same question equally applied to Utah County just one session ago; and, fortunately many have now gone.

    I vote that we set term-limits. Then after a few years, we can elect another set of "ethical" people to replace outgoing "ethical" people.

    Don't just establish term-limits at the state level, but hit the national level as well.

  • Niccolo M.
    March 14, 2010 9:48 p.m.

    Hooray for good, old-fashioned Republican values!

  • Davis County
    March 14, 2010 9:32 p.m.

    Is there something in the water in Davis County? Coincidence or a larger pattern of electing people who profess one thing in public and another thing in private? Wake up Davis County and elect people of integrity.

  • @Dean | 1:10 p.m.
    March 14, 2010 9:12 p.m.

    "Though we try hard to deny it and some people will argue the point to their dying day, there really is a difference between professional conduct and private personal conduct."

    Really? The reason that some will argue the point to their dying day is because it's TRUE!

    You cannot separate the two. An individuals personal integrity and morality will always influence their professional conduct. Or are we to believe that personal integrity and morality is not that which defines who we are as individuals, and ultimately who we are as a nation collectively.

    If an individuals family cannot trust them, then surely a city, county, state, or nation cannot trust them.

    When one attempts to play both sides of the fence, they qualify themselves as candidates of the psychological disorder "split personality," or as we call it in layman's terms, hypocrisy.

    How is it that when their personal immorality comes to light that they then feel unworthy of the high office, but not before.

    "Moral law is the law." It always has and always will be the foundational governing principle upon which all legitimate law and the proper conduct of societies originates.

  • @Anonymous | 8:52 a.m.
    March 14, 2010 8:18 p.m.

    "The problem is that there is a one party system in Utah. The article didn't even mention the other party, which shows how bad things are. If you want to restore balance, responsibility and responsiveness to the voters, elect Democrats. Balance in power is the right way to govern, not a system that is similar to Putin's United Russia Party."

    So you're suggesting that we replace those that advocate morality but sometimes don't live up to it, with those who advocate immorality and live up to it?

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2010 7:55 p.m.

    The government has gone nuts! Utah owns the all.

  • Ron
    March 14, 2010 7:33 p.m.

    It is very disgusting to applaude him and hug and consoule even if we dont know all facts. This was probably about to explode and he beat someone to the punch....does it make you wonder about all his votes and actions over the past years???

  • Bad form
    March 14, 2010 5:32 p.m.

    I'm disgusted. Legislators applauding a colleague who just confessed to a criminal act and a cover up to boot. This kind of confession needs to be done outside of the House floor, not trumpeted and flaunted as it was. Whoever decided to try this stunt deserves to be canned. It was bad form and a black mark on an otherwise good legislative session.

  • Jeff
    March 14, 2010 5:22 p.m.

    I just read this on a forum. They know nothing of Garn.
    As little as 100 years ago, 16 year olds would have been considered old enough to marry in many parts of the world. It's largely our society that has determined that they are still children. Biologically, they are adults, able to have children of their own and full of the urge to do so. I think there was an article in the Guardian a while back, challenging our notion that teen pregnancy is automatically a bad thing. It turns out that teenagers are just as capable of being responsible parents as older people. I think it's time we as a society re-evaluated our ideas about age.

  • MS
    March 14, 2010 5:21 p.m.

    Just remember folks, THESE are the people YOU voted into office, and remember that this NOV. He without sin.....but a crime that goes unpunished, is truly a sin.

  • Anita R
    March 14, 2010 5:09 p.m.

    I think the most upsetting part of the whole mess is that these are people who profess to holier than thou and put down others and yet they are the ones in the devils corner. Gayle Ruzicki is another one that will have the shoe drop one of these days.

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2010 5:09 p.m.

    Romney should run. We need him in our country more than ever. This has nothing to do with Mormonism. The Mormon church will admit that we are human beings. This is why we take the sacrament each work. I think this is the same for the Born-agains since I have attended their meetings. They too take the sacrament.

    As for this man, leave him alone. He resigned. Now quit being so sanctimonious.

  • Good Old Boys
    March 14, 2010 5:03 p.m.

    Dave Clark should step down immediately as Speaker. He knew about Garn's antics on Monday, then waited until Thursday night to orchestrate sympathy for him in a very public way by leading House members in a standing ovation. It was a calculated effort with a carefully written script. Quite disgusting and brings a black eye to the entire legislature.

  • To Dean...
    March 14, 2010 4:36 p.m.

    U must be related? Or with them in the deals?

  • ar
    March 14, 2010 4:13 p.m.

    Now with all the new laws involving minor and seems that Kevin Garn will be heading to the Sex Offender registry, hope he likes it if he wotes for all the retroactive laws that have been passed and SORNA

  • Poor timing
    March 14, 2010 3:50 p.m.

    Poor timing for Romney to campaign at the same time that his Mormon base of supporters are showing their blind obedience.

    The rest of the country finds utah culture odd at best and now they can see the results of a theocracy in action.

  • To Dean, cont'd.
    March 14, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    We are not talking about minor indiscretions here. We are talking about Mr. Killpack's DUI and Mr. Garn's inappropriate possibly sexual contact with a minor and paying six figures to hide his deed.

    These are not minor issues here: we are talking about blatant disregard for the laws that they put on the books regarding drunk driving, and a willingness to pay a lump sum of more money than most Utahns make in a year to hide something he was obviously embarrassed about ever becoming public knowledge.

    No matter what "good" these two gentlemen might have done during their terms, their conduct proves they are immoral individuals.

    If they had a functioning conscience, they never should have placed themselves in a position to be elected to public office.

  • True
    March 14, 2010 3:39 p.m.

    They hurt Mormonism as well. They are outstanding devout church members. If this is what is setting next to me in church than I say NO THANKS. Who wants to go to church and be around evil conniving liars?

    Garn and the rest of these men are nothing but hypocrites.

  • Dean
    March 14, 2010 3:39 p.m.

    I strongly disagree with your comments. A person cannot compartmentalize their life into a professional area where they are required to be ethical and moral, apart from a personal area where rules of ethics do not apply.

    Either you are a moral person or you aren't. I am not professing to be a perfect person, but in certain areas I have been. I pay my taxes honestly, I have never had any extramarital affairs, I have not been involved in any shady business dealings, etc.

    Every person who runs for office has a conscience, and should be able to examine their lives and discern whether or not they can live up to the higher ethical and moral standard required of elected officials. If they cannot, they should not run.

    It is the corrupting lust for power that clouds their judgment and allows them to try to hide their obvious misdeeds and seek political office.

    If a person is immoral in their personal life, how can you be certain you can trust them with the intoxicating power of governing, the millions of dollars under their control, and the temptations posed by greedy lobbyists?

    You can't!

  • Christy
    March 14, 2010 3:37 p.m. mother-in-law always says that the Republicans are the Family Values party....that they have the monopoly on morality....


  • @Partisan Manipulation
    March 14, 2010 3:34 p.m.

    I think you're missing the point here that political concentration is a corrupting toxin, in and of itself.

    Maybe there needs to be a Pro-Life Democratic party in Utah, or maybe the Tea Party people need to form their own party, or the Libertarians or whomever, but having everyone in the same good ole boys club is poison.

    Do you really believe these folks are able to polic themselves from an ethics standpoint? I hope you're not that naive.

  • Mark Shurlipp
    March 14, 2010 3:25 p.m.

    I bet that Garn wished he could "jump" into that Hot-tub time machine and hide his disgrace, no but seriously he should be charged with the crimes he has committed, like you and I would be. In this day of no-money and these ridiculous bills for UPD, how about the law-makers take a cut in pay and give up those perks they don't need to show their commitment to helping with the short-fall? WOW what a idea huh?

  • Barb The Bouncer
    March 14, 2010 3:23 p.m.

    To "The Avenging Angel", Why aren't you doing something about it instead of GRIPING! How about if you take you avenging wings and fly off to never never land.

  • Partisan Manipulation
    March 14, 2010 3:21 p.m.

    Speaking of a lack of ethics...

    Get a load of the people using this incident to manipulate people's feelings against the republican party, like all democrats walk on water.

    By all means, stand up against driving drunk, inappropriate relationships with minors, and demand that those in positions of public trust such as teachers and elected officials keep themselves to a high standard.

    But at the same time have the moral compass to admit this is a human problem, and not try to dupe people for political gain.

    Human frailty is decidedly non-partisan, and it would be nice if everyone was smart enough (and honest enough) to acknowledge that.

    Party-first thinking, by elected officials or public comments here, is a disease weakening America.

  • @Anonymous 3:09
    March 14, 2010 3:21 p.m.

    I'm not a Mormon, but I denounce your post. No Mormon I know claims to be perfect. Obviously, they're very human, just like the rest of us.

    As for Ethics and Utah Politics - PLEASE, PLEASE CITIZENS OF UTAH - WAKE UP!!! How much plainer does it need to be that this concentration of power and self-congratulatory insularity are toxic to our interests and future. Create a Tea Party, vote for a Democrat, WHATEVER YOU CAN DO, this uniformity of thought and interests is BAD FOR US ALL.

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2010 3:09 p.m.

    I thought all mormons were perfect? What happened?

  • Utah Dem
    March 14, 2010 2:56 p.m.

    From a post from another article in this paper apparently the LDS Church released a statement that they had received the 2008 letter, action was taken but because of confidentialty they cannot release what that action was.

  • Cats
    March 14, 2010 2:45 p.m.

    I'm furious at these guys. Their hurting the State and the Party.

    This, unfortunately, is what can happen when you get one-party rule. As a loyal, committed Republican, I love the fact that we are a majority rule. But, as an American and Utahn, it troubles me a great deal. This is what happened to the Democrats in Mass. They got so corrupt that they began to implode. I don't want this to happen in Utah.

    We need a loyal opposition that has some ability to affect legislation and government. Everything shouldn't be done behind closed doors.

    Unfortunately, the National Democrat party has gone so far left, it has made it just about impossible for most Utahns to vote Democrat.

    Let's clean this mess up and get people out of government who never should have been there to begin with.


  • Help us
    March 14, 2010 2:43 p.m.

    Absolutely nothing will change until we get rid of the caucus system amenable to control by single issue radicals. Make the Republican Party leaders responsive to the will of the people and give us normal primaries where voters can see the candidate side by side and judge their ideas and character. Now only those who attend the caucuses (not normal mainstream Republicans) select those whose agenda is consonant with the caucus electors (a tiny motivated anti-education, anti-many things group).

  • The Avenging Angel
    March 14, 2010 2:42 p.m.

    you want change and ethics reform, then how about instead of complaining about it in some useless forum, go out and...wait for it.....DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! All you people do is say what should be done but what exactly are you doing to change anything. Here is a thought, how about we all start by voting every one of them out! Not sign a petition that won't do anything but show that someone can sign their name, or start a "tea party" really? a Tea Party? you honestly think that standing around holding some signs saying your angry does anything? if you do then there is no hope for this state. Start with the obvious, come election time when their name comes up? select the other candidate!

  • Publius
    March 14, 2010 2:36 p.m.

    The reality is that those with ethical and moral compasses that we can trust are not drawn to serve in the Utah legislature that often. We are not getting our best. The only real way to change this is take the Republican Party out of the hands of Gayle Ruzicka and the Sutherland Institute etc, and Overstock.Com's CEO etc. Get rid of the insular old boy (and girl) network of loonies that is perpetuated by our caucus system. Make every Republican stand for a primary that let's ethical moderates be seen by the voters instead of eliminated in the caucuses by a minority who attend and vote on their single issue looniness such as keeping anyone with a community orientation towards anything including public education out of running. Have a normal primary for every candidate and people will be able to compare Buttars' ideas or Margaret Dayton's outlandish ideas with someone else. Now they are killed at the caucuses controlled by the special interests.

  • Parker
    March 14, 2010 1:50 p.m.

    Is the church a party to cover up in the Kevin Garn crime. When will we know all the facts.

  • Bill Keshlear
    March 14, 2010 1:33 p.m.

    Google Utahns for Ethical Government

  • Ralph
    March 14, 2010 1:30 p.m.

    The D News didn't ask any Democrats about their thoughts? So typical!

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2010 1:25 p.m.

    Isn't there also an issue of the ethics of this newspaper and possibly the Trib? If this had been an allegation against a school teacher, would the paper have remained silent about it even when the perpetrator confirmed his involvement? I think this is a legitimate question to ask and the article that was run by the D-News defending their silence was confusing to say the least. Shouldn't there be some sole-searching by this paper as well?

  • A Proud Utahn
    March 14, 2010 1:13 p.m.

    While it's true that we should forgive another person's transgressions, we, as a civilized, God-fearing people, have the right to demand accountability from those people if they are our elected officials. Both Killpack and Garn are, I'm sure, sorry for what they've done. Yet, the very fact that they got themselves in the positions that they found themselves in, speaks to their short-sightedness and even arrogance. Taken in a broader context, they have done Utah a tremendous disservice in terms of how our state is perceived by those outside of our state.

    Let this be a wake-up call for current and future Utah state politicians.

  • Dean
    March 14, 2010 1:10 p.m.

    Though we try hard to deny it and some people will argue the point to their dying day, there really is a difference between professional conduct and private personal conduct. A person can struggle in one phase of their life while at the same time excel and perform at a high level in another part. We get into trouble trying to blend everything together. I've tried, but have yet to find a perfect person.. at least still living here on earth. Let's encourage each other to become better people and elevate our general conduct. But if we have to judge, lets limit our judgements to whatever it was we voted a person to do, and not to every phase of their personal lives. Otherwise, we're starting to cast stones and will need to stop and check to see if we're not living in our own glass houses.
    As to their political records, both Killpatrick and Garn seem to have made great contributions to Utah. Let's not overlook those facts in our zeal to make personal judgements. One last thing on judgments... some people genuinely change for the better after making mistakes. I hope I have.

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2010 1:05 p.m.

    I thought mormons had integrity? Hmmmm, I guess the just press the button if they are R or LDS days are behind up.

  • Hmm?
    March 14, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    Maybe this is why Republicans steadfastly oppose ethics reform.

  • We can start
    March 14, 2010 12:49 p.m.

    By ousting these GOP turkeys who oppose citizen involvement in what is supposedly a democratic society.

    It makes one wonder what else these clowns have in their closet.

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2010 12:33 p.m.

    I agree with Fred, too. I feel disgust and humiliation over the standing ovation. How about an embarrassed apology about THAT?

  • New Ethics Rules are needed
    March 14, 2010 12:32 p.m.

    but not from the party of Bill Clinton, Charles Rangel, Nancy Pelosi, James Trafficant, Blogovich, David Paterson, etc. I would rather have a citizen elected body elected to establish the rules independent of the legislature or other elected officials. The precursor is that they must not be attorneys! Attorneys have a way of distorting truth and making people believe it.

  • PolishandProud
    March 14, 2010 12:30 p.m.

    According to the article in the Trib Garn and his victim and LAWYER met in her BISHOPS OFFICE in New Hampshire to broker the deal that paid her $150,000. Is this church policy? Is THAT what bishops do? Can ANYONE justify the churches involvement at ANY level in this type of activity? The bishops involvement gives the LDS stamp of approval to paying hush money! HAVE YOU NO SHAME ?

  • Fed up taxpayer
    March 14, 2010 12:07 p.m.

    Reading the comment by Scott Jenkins, " these are tough times. We as legislators, live in a fishbowl down there." "Down there"? Is it the prevalent attitude of legislators that they are so far above everyone else that what people think is "DOWN THERE"?

  • BYU alum
    March 14, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    It's time for the adults to be in charge for a change. Bring in the dems.

  • Turn yourselves in
    March 14, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    My question is WHO'S NEXT? I am sure there are more of these guys hiding out there.

  • mm
    March 14, 2010 11:43 a.m.

    Comments such as "We live in a fish bowl down here" in the article embody the philosophy of legislators. Behave how you want, but for heavens sake be careful and don't get caught! For this reason, we need ethics reform that deal with and provide consequences for bad behavior. No party, even in a one-party state such as Utah, should be immune from consequences, although here it seems to be the case. People that need to be voted out are not (witness West Jordan) and I would like to know why. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but I guess in a state where legistlators are more concerned about passing message bills than acting on legislation that truly benefits the state, I shouldn't be surprised or shocked.

  • Re: Chad
    March 14, 2010 11:40 a.m.

    Ever heard of the statute of limitations? I'm not a lawyer so I don't know what it is for this particular offense, would be considered felony lewdness with a minor I believe. Also, the laws were different when it happened 25 years ago so it might not have been a felony at that point. Additionally, the victim has to file charges and she has apparently not done that in the past 25 years. "Average Joes" get the same treatment when it comes to statutes of limitations as does anyone with any "power". That is the beauty of our legal system.

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2010 11:33 a.m.

    The standing ovation by our legislators was disgusting. All of those who participated should be ashamed of themselves. What message is this sending to our community? Ethical reform is needed now. But unfortunately Utah politicians will always protect their own.

  • Teacher
    March 14, 2010 11:30 a.m.

    I agree with Fred. As a teacher and public servant, I am held to a higher moral standing simply because of what I do. I think the same can be said for police officers and firefighters. I have no problem with this, but find it ironic and pathetic that our legislators are complaining about being unable to hide what they have done. As a public servant, you shouldn't have anything to hide. If you do then be willing to face the consequences. Perhaps legislators should undergo background checks every five years (or new term in their case) at their own expense like teachers now do in order to renew a teaching license.

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2010 11:29 a.m.

    Throw the Republicans out and elect the party of "change you can beleive in" Barrack Obama to bring back moral ethics?

    To quote John McEnroe. "YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS!"

  • gentlehunter
    March 14, 2010 11:18 a.m.

    Applauding and hugging Garn and the end of his confession says a whole lot about the ethics problem in the legislature. Sure they want THEIR ethics reform and not the citizens. Now we know why. These guys will never straighten up using their own rules. Sign the Ethics petition and rfeally make a difference. Why are the legislaors using their own money to defeat the citizens petition anyway. Think about it.

  • Pot or Kettle
    March 14, 2010 11:16 a.m.

    A married man in a position of power seduced a grown woman and brought discredit and shame to his office. A married man, in a religious position of power seduced an underaged girl, paid her large sums of money to keep quiet and receives a standing ovation by all our elected leaders. Both Clinton and Garn did very wrong things. However in Utah, our willingness to forgive one and villify another seems soley based on a letter that appears after the persons name. Wrong is wrong, ethical lapses are wrong regardless of party.

    Rep. Clark was way off base in leading the applause show. However, Where is our Governor in all of this. Why would he not speak out and send a clear message that he does not tolerate this kind of action and that ovations are not in order, but resignation is. No lynching should be called for, but dignity and accountability should be.

    How sad that Utahns believe that morals and values only belong to one party. Its time to start looking at people regardless of party.

    Garn, Killpack, Utah Citizens have all lost. Hopefully, this will be a wake-up call for everyone.

  • Tom
    March 14, 2010 11:14 a.m.

    Remember these legislators represent us and maybe in more ways than one. They may have erred so they represent us who have also erred.

    The great Master of us all said that 'we love one another even as I have loved you'.

  • Rick
    March 14, 2010 10:34 a.m.

    I just got done reading the comment that was made by "Senate Majority Leader" Scott Jenkins on Saturday, according to the msn news site. He makes the comment that they live in a fish bowl and that it is hard to "HIDE ANYTHING". I would like to know what he feels as a leader of the people. Just what he has to hide as well. I dont feel that any GOP Offical should be wanting to hide corruption. Thats whats wrong with our Goverment now and no wonder this Country is in the condition its in. Theres no one out there Honest enough to keep our Goverment Leader's Honest.

  • Chad
    March 14, 2010 10:12 a.m.

    Where are the criminal charges for Mr. Garn? As by law, this is an act of lewdness with a minor. This is something that can never be expunged off of your record, thanks to the legislature and Represenitive Paul Ray. Why is there a double standard for somebody with power, and the average joe?

  • Common Sense
    March 14, 2010 10:09 a.m.

    Given Killpack and Garn - who were both legislative leaders...are we really expected to believe that the State Senate and House can govern themselves? As Winston Churchill may sayl...not bloody likely.

  • Tom Iarossi
    March 14, 2010 9:36 a.m.

    It wasn't a "mistake", and the fact that it occurred 25 years ago is meaningless. Given the power invested in legislators to impact every aspect of our lives - including the private aspects - they need to meet a higher standard of behavior than the rest of us. And the idea that the LDS church handled it on its own instead of reporting it to the authorities, even years later, is unforgivable. Don't claim more moral behavior unless you actually practice it.

  • Taylor
    March 14, 2010 9:32 a.m.

    Too many of our elected official are just not fit for public office. We do need better laws and regulation because these types of unfit representatives are not going to police themselves and polititions are so good at lying and campaingning that we usually do not know what we have elected until after the fact.

  • Fredd
    March 14, 2010 9:25 a.m.

    To oppose petition--Do you know what knee jerk raction is? The petition and iniative have been in the works long before these scandals. These scandals illuminate the need for reform.

  • Fred
    March 14, 2010 9:24 a.m.

    Do these legislators allow teachers to self police? No they have created a system where any person can make any accusation against a teacher that will lead to an investigation by professional practices. Teachers must report a DUI to their immediate supervisor, if not they risk losing their job. Maybe legislators should be required to do the same, their immediate supervisors of course being the voters of their district. The ethics bill that was passed by this years legislature makes it all but impossible to get through the red tape to find a legislature guilty of any ethics violation.

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2010 9:20 a.m.

    True Ethics Reform: Voting for another Party.

    We already have the ability to check ethics. It is called VOTING THEM OUT. But the electorate is so mindless here it won't happen. Somehow the Republican Party is STILL aligned with "purity" in the minds of many. How could it be?

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2010 8:52 a.m.

    The problem is that there is a one party system in Utah. The article didn't even mention the other party, which shows how bad things are. If you want to restore balance, responsibility and responsiveness to the voters, elect Democrats. Balance in power is the right way to govern, not a system that is similar to Putin's United Russia Party.

  • David
    March 14, 2010 8:47 a.m.

    Based my private sector job related interaction with our elected officials and their self serving lobbyist friends; I have become quite turned-off by Utah politics. Many of these people seem to place thinly veiled personal agenda before public interest. The trick, it seems, is to get their personal agenda satisfied without the public catching on. Take a look at how many of these people have ownership interest in private businesses. Look at how chummy lobbyists are with our legislators. Look at how these people (lobbyists & elected officials) take full advantage of perks available. A bunch of arrogant, self serving schmoozers who have mastered the art of deception. . Try spending with a bunch of them…

  • The definition of ethics
    March 14, 2010 8:47 a.m.

    is not what Mr. Jenkins seems to think:

    "There's no question, it's a black eye," Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, said Saturday. "These are tough times. We, as legislators, live in a fishbowl down there. It's hard to hide anything."

    Sadly, ethics is more than being clever enough to hide your sins and avoid getting caught.

    I am very disappointed that this seems to be the level of understanding for ethics and morality portrayed by our legislators.

    We trust these men and women who run for office to be people of character and worthy of the public's trust. Mr. Garn knew all along of this indiscretion in his past.

    If you want to live the kind of life that Mr. Garn and so many others have chosen, then they need to be in another place besides governing.

    We should hold our elected officials to the highest ethical standards, and if they don't want to live up to the high standards, they should not run. These things come out eventually, with our without hush money. By lying until getting caught, you have disgraced your family, your party and our state.

  • Alvaro
    March 14, 2010 8:46 a.m.

    Boy, there shure a lot of people out there with a squeky clean past out there ready to pass judgement. Look at your past. I do not condone what mr Garn done but it is God who he has to answer to. I would still rather vote republican than vote democract because of the dispeciable values which the democracts stand for.

  • barbara
    March 14, 2010 8:35 a.m.

    You can't legislate smarts, judgment or discretion. Hypocracy is a personal choice, not an accident. Certainly Garn had to go. Killpack might only have been forced to face the music, a tune that should be filled with sad notes. These guys let their families down, left their constituents puzzled and themselves in for a lot of trouble when they lost their smarts, judgment and sense of discretion. Buh-bye!

  • Mr. Noble?
    March 14, 2010 8:34 a.m.

    I am not sure people want Mr. Noble involved with state politics at a higher level. Check his support of non-public type schools and wanting nuclear power etc. in his involvement with other state politicians to get their goals met.

  • Tired of poor choices
    March 14, 2010 8:10 a.m.

    Some day, we as the people of this State and Country will vote not for people who punt moral topics into the ring, but for people who are honest, hard working, who have successful lives and businesses and who do the best thing for us people and leave there own bias out of the picture. They waste our tax dollars and have no morals! I sure hope we can get some ethics reform and while we are at it, how about term limits. New people, new ideas, more effort for the people! Moral people don't get elected because of moral platforms. Moral people avoid politics, and we should change that.

  • LaRie Cutler
    March 14, 2010 8:04 a.m.

    So, it's getting hard for legislators to "hide anything" in your fish-bowl at the legislature? Sad, indeed, that you would have anything to hide. Why do you think we want real legislative ethics reform? The truism that absolute power corrupts absolutely is demonstrated yearly by those we elect to govern our lives. Why is it so much to ask that they govern their own lives as well and do it with at least some kind of quantifiable ethics? Had people known 25 years ago about such conduct, shouldn't it have made a difference to them. The fact that the incidents this year were hidden (at least until one got arrested and the other exposed in the media) is itself alarming, though sadly, not surprising. What else would we learn if we had but the necessary tools to do so?

  • liberal Larry
    March 14, 2010 7:50 a.m.

    The amazing thing about, Garn's, story is the huge amount of aid he has been given, in carrying out his deception, by the local power structure. He was not "outed" by his bishop, his victim's, bishop, any of this family, or even the local NEWSPAPER! And when he received a standing ovation from his cronies in the legislature the experience was absolutely surreal.

  • Read the Proposal
    March 14, 2010 7:49 a.m.

    Please read the proposal before signing the petition. Guilty until proven innocent? Any group of people from anywhere can file a complaint against you at any time? But even worse, if the two parties can't agree on the overseeing board (which can easily happen) then the people who wrote the proposal get to decide. Does this sound fair? There are so many things wrong with this that it should be obvious to everyone who reads it that this is a a bad idea.

    And just think, we have a balanced budget. Sure, we have cuts but we still have rainy day funds left and we aren't sending out IOUs to everyone. Our legislature has done a great job (though I disagree with them on many issues). Do we need to punish all for the actions of a few? Don't make it more difficult for them to serve.

    Please at least READ the proposal before signing the petition.

  • Applause... really?
    March 14, 2010 6:51 a.m.

    -- it is NOT the time to applaud or thank them for anything! --

    Agreed. A moment of silence to let him bask in his shame is appropriate for that kind of revelation. The ENTIRE time he was in office he was vulnerable (and therefore the community) to any type of corruption that wanted to use him as a political pawn. Good riddance to him and all those that are sure to be caught in future. Let the ethics reform commence.

  • Utah Resident
    March 14, 2010 6:28 a.m.

    When the Utah House gave Garn a standing ovation after admitting to nude hot tubbing with a minor I wanted to hurl!

    The House, lead by David Clark should be ashamed!

  • Secrets.
    March 14, 2010 5:45 a.m.

    The fact that elected officials have secrets in their past is what opens them up to extortion and blackmail by lobbyist and other politicians to make and change laws. It doesn't matter the secret, it's the fact that these skeletons in the closet can be used against them in their position of trust.

    This is why the legislators of Utah do not like ethical and moral oversight. And this past session and their bleak attempt at ethics reform fell far short of any changes. The constitutional ethics changes they proposed only insures that the citizens cannot revolt or ask for any ethical laws. The constitutional change proposed by our legislators for citizens to vote on is another step in depriving citizens of accountability from our legislators. The secret in the proposed ethical commission is more legislative self protections so they don't have to disclose conflicts of interest or unethical behavior. I don't think our legislators even know the meaning of ethics and morality. They have been fighting it for 20+ years.

    So please people of Utah, do not deprive ourselves of any more powers of the people and vote NO for this deceptive proposal.

  • Rocky
    March 14, 2010 5:14 a.m.

    Can it be possible that Utahn's are finally opening up their eyes and seeing that when a party is allowed to grow too strong and runs unchecked for so long, that for all practical purposes, the powers that be assume an attitude of invincibility and believe that they can do whatever they want, whenever they want.

    I am very happy to see many of our legislators deep dark secrets come to light. It is time to truly make Utah a 2 party state again. It is time to clean house at the state house.

  • Oppose Petition!!
    March 14, 2010 4:42 a.m.

    Drunken driving - bad. Breaking moral ethics - bad. I wonder why we are spending so much time on an issue that happened 25 years ago. He admitted it, he resigned. Enough said. I cannot support the petition by a bunch of knee-jerk reactionaries. Laws and policy are already in place.

  • Cyril Noble
    March 14, 2010 1:49 a.m.

    Mr. Noble has already filed to run for the House seat currently held by Speaker Clark. I'm sure that he would appreciate support, or even another candidate to enter the race who might have even more support.

  • GOP Oppose Petition?
    March 13, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    Boy, staying with the Republican party gets harder every day. I know I won't be voting for my Republican, Clark, here in St. George. I'll give "a hand" and some cash to anyone who will run against him.

    Mr. Clark, I don't care how close of a friend you are to a person. If he/she states they broke laws with an underage person, it is NOT the time to applaud or thank them for anything!

    You could have simply said, "Rep. Garn, your statement is acknowledged."

  • Where can I sign petition?
    March 13, 2010 11:52 p.m.

    Where can I sign this petition? I'm astounded that the Republicans oppose it.

  • Anonymous
    March 13, 2010 11:49 p.m.

    One incident occurred while an elected official, the other years before. That doesn't remove any wrong doing and the citizens of this state, and this country, have had enough We will not tolerated criminals, we will not tolerate a lack of ethics, we will not reelect those who are guity of corruption, crime, greed, and the list goes on. good luck to both men.

  • Disgruntled Republican
    March 13, 2010 11:44 p.m.

    We need deeper ethics reform, but that wouldn't have saved this situation when the big problem happened.

    Ethics reform would make it more difficult for a politician to have an pay hush money.

    Ethics reform wouldn't have protected the 15 year old girl from the 30 year old man who had been her primary teacher and would go on to be her Bishop.

    Ethics reform won't heal the harm he did to her and her children.

    I never heard of Garn before this week, and I hope I never hear of him again when this is through.