GOP clarifies its ovation for Kevin Garn

Past actions should not detract from legislator's service, speaker says

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  • Jennie Richards
    March 22, 2010 1:11 p.m.

    Utah GOP had to have a closed door session to determine if anyone in the room had a brain.

  • RE: Anonymous | 11:10 a.m
    March 19, 2010 6:52 p.m.

    Perhaps you should tell that to clinton and edwards and kennedy, franks, and other DEMOCRATS,

    'cause they have done them all and much more.

    LIBERALS are disgusting hypocrites.

  • no crime committed?
    March 19, 2010 6:42 a.m.

    Wait until the hammer falls, ok. What Garn did was illegal, the question is does the prosecution in Utah has the guts to follow through. That is the only question before us.

    As to the gop meeting behind closed doors to get their story straight about why they applauded the man... heaven only knows what the immoral are doing that for. More of the same gop garbage.

    I want to know why the women are seeing applauding.

    What kind of sheep are we???????????

  • not to smart
    March 18, 2010 4:47 p.m.

    my question is why did Deseret News sit on story for 8 years? Shouldn't they report the news. Everyone is always sorry especially when they get caught.

  • Just wondering
    March 18, 2010 2:04 p.m.

    Is Kevin Garn any relation to Jake Garn?

  • Anonymous
    March 18, 2010 1:26 p.m.

    Oh, he was a kid at 28? We better send him to Juvenile Detention....wait, no , he would like that.

  • 100% wacked
    March 18, 2010 1:24 p.m.

    Utah is one hundred % wEiRd. Never seen anything quite like it.

  • Anonymous
    March 18, 2010 1:11 p.m.

    Will the GOP will next embarrass Utah by cheering on child pornography and exploitation of children?

  • Oh Brother
    March 18, 2010 11:44 a.m.

    Here we go...double speaking politicians making up any excuse they think will work. There's something seriously wrong when a man announces he's been inappropriate with a minor then all the people listening stand up to cheer him. It just shows their mindset. If anything, he should have been booed and thrown out.

    I'm sick of the status quo Utah lawmakers...they all need to be thrown out on their ear.

  • Anonymous
    March 18, 2010 11:10 a.m.

    Tips for GOP lawmakers, the following tips are things against the law since it seems like you guys need help:

    1. Sexual relations with minors
    2. Being naked with minors
    3. Cheating on your wife
    4. Beating your wife
    5. DUI
    6. Stealing
    7. Murder
    8. Rape
    9. Molesting people
    10. Buying booze for minors

  • Hot Tub Huddle
    March 18, 2010 11:06 a.m.

    Can you imagine the Republican disdain, criticism and righteous indignation that would have come if Garn and the legislature had been Democrats? This is truly a case of supreme hypocracy. But, in today's political climate, what else is new?

    What happened to Massa (D-NY) and Garn is essential: those who have immoral sins must be purged immediately from elected position.

  • Pagan
    March 18, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    '28-year old kid?' - 9:47 a.m.

    I agree with Trowe. At 18 you can join the military. At 21 you can legally consume alchohol. At 24 you are elidable to get discounts on your car insurance.

    28 year old kid?

    I doubt it?

    15 year old girl? She couldn't even get her drivers permit but she saw a LOT more of Garn!

  • Clark is too
    March 18, 2010 10:14 a.m.

    Christian for politics. He should open a ministry somewhere. Utah County would be a good place to start.

  • Anonymous
    March 18, 2010 10:02 a.m.

    Garn's actions hurt the girl, hurt his family, hurt his church, hurt Republicans. It is obvious he is all about himself and his needs. He is an admitted lewd man and need to be prosecuted.

  • Trowe
    March 18, 2010 9:49 a.m.

    @Kenneth in Texas

    It took no courage- his apology was a (now) failed attempt at keeping his job.

    She had proof (by way of emails he sent and money he paid) that her story was true. She sent these to utah politicians and media outlets. They were running the story, and gave him time to "voluntarily" confess.

    I am not throwing any stones, but I most certainly am calling for our house leaders to account for their actions.

  • Trowe
    March 18, 2010 9:47 a.m.

    Star | 7:09 a.m. March 18, 2010

    28-year old kid? That's a new phrase. 28, married, raising a family, owns a booming business, but let's call him a kid to make his past actions sound excusable!

    And he was 30 in the 1985, not 28. Unless he's claiming it happend in 1983, which would also reduce her age by 2 years.

  • Scary
    March 18, 2010 9:38 a.m.

    One of the scariest points of this whole issue is most of the Representatives didn't even know what they were applauding. I hope, but fear that they don't, know more about what they are voting for. This incident has exposed the ethical boundries of our legislature. No wonder the public wants a voice a the table. This incident proves why. It is unfortunate that many people are trying to spin this as a small mistake. Apparently the Deseret News thought so too. So other than the principal parties, the real losses here are 1. An ethical legislature, and 2. an objective Deseret News. Neither will regain the public trust anytime soon.

  • Good Morning ladies and ..
    March 18, 2010 9:37 a.m.

    Oh sure! He's not that little kid anymore--Ha Ha Ha! funny is as funny does. 28-30 is hardly a little kid. Pullleeeeaaaaassssseee! Some of you commenting have no commonsense whatsoever! I was hoping our state was not being run by conniving immature liars, BUT this seems not to be the case.

    Lets get some maturity into these comments. I'm tired of reading little kiddy bloggaroos!

    Oh yes, a lie is always a lie no matter what.

  • Utah GOP
    March 18, 2010 9:28 a.m.

    You applaud a man after he admits to getting naked in front of a 15 year old girl.
    Until you appologize for supporting such disgusting action, I have nothing to give you except my silence.

  • weaver
    March 18, 2010 8:53 a.m.

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we set out to deceive.

  • Kenneth in Texas
    March 18, 2010 7:50 a.m.

    Revelations of such lewd behavior involving elected officials, even years after the fact, are all too common place. But, most politicians either deny or minimize their guilt -- anything to get re-elected. With Rep. Garn, it sounds like he was being open and honest, and voluntarily stepping down. That takes courage! I do not condone immorality in any form, or giving alcohol to a minor. But, I do applaud honesty and courage!

    Let he/she who is without sin be the first to cast a stone.

  • give him a break
    March 18, 2010 7:14 a.m.

    C'mon. the poor guy has been carrying this around with him for 25 years. Believe me, he has punished himself with guilt more than any of us could punish him with the law. This is something that should have been talked about behind closed doors. It's a matter that none of us have any right to place judgement on and I am grateful for all his years of service.

  • Get it
    March 18, 2010 7:11 a.m.

    Every reasonable person understands that they were not appalling what Garn did 25 years ago, but that he had the courage to stand in front of his peers and "air his dirty laundry".
    What's wrong here is the fact that the GOP felt the need to have a closed meeting to discuss it. They were either discussing:
    1-they wished they had the courage to admit their wrongdoings
    2-they wished it had been them all those years ago

  • Star
    March 18, 2010 7:09 a.m.

    I know that this guy committed a crime and I don't want to belittle that crime. It's just that this man is a whole different person than he was 25 years ago. He's not that 28 year old kid anymore and I really think everyone should leave the poor guy alone. He's been carrying this around for a long time and has probably punished himself with guilt more than any of us could punish him for the crime. Give him a break.

  • Anonymous
    March 18, 2010 6:38 a.m.

    The rationalization begins. The circling of the wagons to protect the inside power boys is underway. An adult has sexual activity with a minor, with long term consequences in her life, and he pays her $150,000 in hush money. Wow! And then you applaud, then makes excuses why you did it. You didn't even publicly call for his resignation. You would have swept it under the rug.

  • John A.
    March 18, 2010 6:07 a.m.

    I rather feel the incident represents the entire legislatures actions in all things political. They claim to represent the people's best interest, instead they give themselves standing ovations on all their doings, legal or illegal, when no adulation is warranted.

  • Trowe
    March 18, 2010 5:57 a.m.

    Wow. That was one pointless meeting.
    They're still using language like "we don't condone.".

    How about "We're sorry, we were wrong to applaud. We condemn the actios that took place in 1985 and again in 2002."

  • Good point @ 9:49
    March 17, 2010 10:03 p.m.

    Funny that the standing ovation was done in open session, but discussing what was wrong with it has to take place behind closed doors?

    What's up with that?

  • Grasp The Reality
    March 17, 2010 10:02 p.m.

    The reality is that Deseret News should have posted the story back in 2002.

    The reality is that once Garn had paid $150,000 hush money as an excuse to help her heal, he made a conscious choice that led him further from the very same values he swore to uphold.

    The reality is that the underlying crime is not the issue, but his moral turpitude and his duty to the public as an state official is...

    You guys need to accept that this entire scandal is a newsworthy, regardless of how long ago it had happened. The faster the public comes to terms with it, the better off we all will be

  • Utah County Resident
    March 17, 2010 10:01 p.m.

    I hate to be a critic of loyalty, but this was way over the top. I know that many of these people have been friends for years, and the tendency would be to support your friend, but they have to know better!

    If one of my neighbors or friends announced this kind of thing, I would pity him. I would wish him well, I would report him to the police, and I would sure as heck keep him away from my teen-age daughter.

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2010 9:57 p.m.

    Let them get together, discuss this, and then issue a statement about it. The result of this meeting will be very interesting. I somehow doubt that anything major will come of this (certainly not additional transparency), but maybe this could be the first small step towards realizing that the good ole' boy system doesn't work.

    Protecting your own in a case like this was a bad move.

  • @The Truth
    March 17, 2010 9:56 p.m.

    Just because the statute of limitations expires, does not mean a crime was not committed. It just means it can't be prosecuted.

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2010 9:49 p.m.

    This is all about damage control. They applauded openly and now conspire secretly. It ain't just the federal government I'm worried about.

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2010 9:39 p.m.

    This is a non-issue. Let it be!!

  • @Drummer
    March 17, 2010 9:09 p.m.

    Maybe they were afraid that some members wouldn't speak their minds if it they allowed cameras in. That's why some courts don't let cameras, isn't it?

  • @got ethics
    March 17, 2010 9:07 p.m.

    A closed door meeting to prove you have ethics. I like it.

  • Got ethics?
    March 17, 2010 8:42 p.m.

    Apparently they must have realized that they don't, and decided to hold a meeting to make it look like they do.

  • Trowe
    March 17, 2010 8:39 p.m.

    @ @Trowe 8:22.

    Hopefully they got a lot of calls and emails. Their actions were horrendous. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out.

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2010 8:28 p.m.

    Is this really news? So they applauded their friend- what's the big deal?

  • @Trowe | 7:50 p.m.
    March 17, 2010 8:22 p.m.

    They must have gotten quite a few calls to force them in to this meeting.

  • Only 6 days?
    March 17, 2010 8:20 p.m.

    Hard to believe they didn't hold out longer. Seen if the media and public dropped this issue. Maybe they actually think they made a mistake in applauding him.

    Time will tell.

  • Sadly,
    March 17, 2010 8:16 p.m.

    at this point I'm not sure an apology would really mean much. First impressions are hard to replace- they would need to convince me that the meeting was out of a sincere desire to correct action, rather than a political calculation to score points.

  • Just what we need!.
    March 17, 2010 8:14 p.m.

    Nothing like a closed door meeting to plan the best possible reaction that will score the most political points (does the GOP need political points in Utah?)

  • @john Pack Lambert
    March 17, 2010 8:12 p.m.

    That's all fine, as long as they now demonstrate the correct behavior- harsh criticism of his action, and sincere apology for their own mistake.

  • Bookend disaster
    March 17, 2010 8:10 p.m.

    This year's legistlative session will life in infamy, regardless of what bills they passed. Open with a Killpack DUI and end with not only Garn's confession, but with the legislature's botched handling of it. Hopefully these guys have a wake up moment in their little meeting and at least publicly critize themselves, even if it will be less than sincere.

  • John Pack Lambert
    March 17, 2010 8:01 p.m.

    In the published transcript of what Garn said provided by the Deseret News there is no mention that he or the "girl half his age" were nude.
    I am not saying this to dispute it, I fully realize that since then it is pretty clear Garn has admitted that detail.
    I am saying it to point out that the reaction to what Garn said has to be considered in light of that fact.
    I still do not understand the standing ovation, but we must scritinize based on what the people knew there then, not based on what they know now.

  • Tom
    March 17, 2010 7:56 p.m.

    As well they should. Their actions were inexcusable. Giving an enthusiastic standing ovation to a man confessing criminal activity with a minor is not worthy of such applause. I hope they will now have the courage to admit they were wrong, apologize for not calling on Garn to resign, and promise to enact real ethics reforms. Without such a promise, I will be signing the Ethics petition currently being circulated.

  • Trowe
    March 17, 2010 7:50 p.m.

    I hope that in the wake of this meeting they issue a strong statement against Garn's actions, and harshly critizing themselves for the raucous applause and standing ovation. It was despicable. I hope Garn and Maher can both get the closure they need from this incident.

    What I want is for the legislature to apologize for their actions (standing ovation). It was wrong. Garn's admission took no courage. He was forced to confess because Maher produced proof (Garn's emails).

    If you want to thank him for his service, do it privately, after publicly condemning the action (not necessarily the man) and calling for him to resign. I encourage all to write their representative and express your outrage. The state publicly lists their emails, which can be found using a simple internet search.

  • Corrupt Legislature
    March 17, 2010 7:36 p.m.

    What a mess! I am not voting for my representative in the legislature after seeing his picture in the DN taking part in the standing ovation. Everyone keeps calling it a "mistake". It's much more than a mistake. Young teens cannot consent to back rubs and hot tubs naked with men who are 30! We have laws against that. I'm happy they are even meeting to discuss this big PR problem. What a bunch of hypocrites we have in the legislature. I'm sure voters will not forget the DUI and the hot tub ovation when they are at the polls next election.

  • GOP Lobbyists
    March 17, 2010 7:24 p.m.

    ARe you going to let Dayton, Curtis, Walker, et. al into the meeting? After all, the are HEAVILIY invested in Garn and the outcome of this tragedy.

  • SB
    March 17, 2010 7:06 p.m.

    To "The Truth",
    I must assume you didn't graduate from law school persistent to the grammer used in your statement. What he did IS illegal when it involves a CHILD. If he had been locked up 25 years ago when he should have been there would have been no public service to applaud. The rest of the criminals in the State Prison System weren't given 25 years to try and amend their mistakes. The law is the law - and we need to protect CHILDREN. I believe Clark should step down as well - let him join Garn!!!

  • UTAH Bill
    March 17, 2010 7:00 p.m.

    Nice work, Speaker Clark. I was listening on the web when you led the ovation for Garn. There was nothing but admiration in your voice for him — and you failed to condemn his actions.

    It is no coincidence that the live audio feed of that presentation is not on the tapes accessible at the legislature's home page. It was a public speech given on taxpayer's time and yet it is gone. I wish the public could hear it. Clark's tone with Garn was literally effusive.

  • @ In truth
    March 17, 2010 6:52 p.m.

    Where did you get the idea that Garn broke no laws? Although he and Maher both say they didn't have intercourse, Garn almost certainly broke the law by giving alcohol to a minor and then taking her to a hot tub joint where they both got naked in the tub together. To make things worse, she was not only a minor, but was his employee. Although Kevin Garn may have later changed his ways and become a great guy, there's no question but that his earlier conduct went beyond simple "mistakes." I feel sorry for him, but I don't pretend he's innocent.

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2010 6:45 p.m.

    Clark specifically asked Garn to stay in the legislature before he led the applause by saying "We hope you will remain with us." He can spin this as much as he wants but, David Clark's speech said the wrong things and the standing ovation was outrageous. I will not be voting for any Republican incumbents this fall because they are ethically corrupt and the handling of the Garn confession is proof of that.

  • The truth
    March 17, 2010 6:41 p.m.

    I do not know what there is meet here about,


    Maher said herselgf they DID NOTHING.

    And it all happend in private, 30 yesrs agao, so NOT even a lewdness midismeanor may even apply.

    it is all long after the statute of limitations have expired.

    so even if you possibbly file a lewdness charge it could and would not apply,

    and all happen 30 years ago!

    they dis NOT applaud him for addmitiing some follish behavior,


    they applauded him for his years service in the senate,

    which is WELL DESERVED.

  • Drummer
    March 17, 2010 6:34 p.m.

    All we need is another closed-door session. Thanks guys--That really helps your credibility. Are you giving all the privileged few a secret password or do they have to use their Captain Midnight Secret Decoder Ring to know the exact location of your meeting?

    Hey there! Hi there! Ho there! We're (the public, that is) not welcome as can be!

    M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

  • matt
    March 17, 2010 6:31 p.m.

    you can make mistakes, move on and still serve. what is wrong with that? everyone makes mistakes. this was a serious mistake, a gross mistake...but if he did his job then applauding that is fine - are you people so stupid to suggest that they applauding his crime?

  • Anonymous
    March 17, 2010 6:08 p.m.

    You applauded him just AFTER he admitted this crime. You applauded the criminal.

  • Flecher
    March 17, 2010 6:02 p.m.

    I applaud their efforts.