Democrats want voters — not GOP — to pick Attorney General John Swallow's replacement

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  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 29, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    The process that leads to a functioning AG now:
    Swallow resigns before any sort of trial. Governor appoints an interim AG. The Voice of the People get to decide on a new AG in Nov 2014, but until then we have someone actually filling the office.

    The process that leads to a functioning AG in Nov 2014 and leaves us with a non-functional AG until then:
    Swallow does not resign but holds out for a trial. Trial doesn't even start until summer of 2014 (at the earliest). For the next 7 month Swallow spends all his time and energy getting ready for the trial and accomplishes nothing in the AGs office (about what he's doing right now). After the trial, either he is acquitted and finally gets to work as the AG, or he is found guilty and the 2 parties have to quickly put together a couple candidates for the special election in Nov 2014.

    That assumes the trial completes before Oct 2014 and there is time to hold an election. Otherwise we spend a couple million on a special election later in the year.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    Your ranting about Obama is off topic but Dnews always allows anti Obama ranting it seems, even when a quick search proves your rumors to be false.

    The facts are he cheated during the election by not reporting what he should have, not ballot stuffing.

    Got to love the I didn't vote for him (now) but he's in my gang so I must defend him, even with all the overwhelming evidence against him. Unlike your accusations against the POTUS.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 2:33 p.m.

    John Swallow has been hard to swallow from the day he took office. No ... even before that ... from the day he began to use illegal tactics to win an election.

    Now that he is "resigning" from the job he never rightfully held, he wants to take home a lifetime pension he never earned.

    Since the day he took office, I submit, he has never put in a full day's work for his employers; i.e., the tax payers of the state of Utah.

    Rather, he has been scrambling day and night to cover his behind and the tax payers have been subsidizing his efforts.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    @Pat - The Lt. Governors Office and the Special Investigation committee have found multiple issues regarding violations in campaign finance laws. Swallow has not been charged with any civil or criminal violations as of yet, however, those charges will soon come, pending any undue outside influence from powerful folks.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    @Web Geek - If the State of Utah invalidates the election, Swallow will owe backed wages and will lose the majority of his pension benefits.

  • Pat Salt Lake , UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    Evil doer? Cheat? Fraud? Pretty strong words, Mr Dabakis and Mr Hatch. Has Mr Swallow been charged with violating any laws? Has he been convicted of violating any laws? I don't see anything you and your followers allege that would justify, under the law, nullifying an election. Show me a state statute or even some case law that would support your claim. Or is this just more political bluster to stir up people to anger?

  • George F Salt Lake , UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    Could we have Obama's election nullified?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    So Pagan, just how many of those 65% do you think would have run to Smith if these ethics violations would have come out prior to the election? Not near enough for Smith to win the election. And to your charge, just what did Swallow do to "fabricating voting results"? Just what do you mean by "fabricating voting results"? Maybe the Black Panther party sat outside of the voting precincts and stopped Democrats from voting?

    I didn't vote for Swallow, I wrote in Reyes, but I find "fabricating voting results" to be a bit difficult. Maybe you should choose better words that actually make sense to make your point. Why don't you just accuse him of stealing the election? That way we could accuse Obama of the same thing.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    Since Swallow beat Smith 65% to 30% just what is Dabakis trying to prove? His request violates state law. I have one better for him. If Dabakis thinks Swallow violated election law, then using his logic, we should vacate the presidential election and re-do it since many election laws were violated by the Obama people and the Democrats in general. Some voting districts in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, etc had up to 150% of registered voters cast ballots. Some precincts in major U.S. cities had zero voters vote for Romney, a statistical impossibility. So let's start with the Presidential election and work backward from there.

    Let's just get someone in office that has ethics and brains. BTW, I didn't vote for Swallow. I couldn't support him at all. I saw all this coming and refused to support him. Reyes would be a good replacement.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    Democrats are not the ones fabricating voting results to win elections.

    You are thinking of Republican John Swallow.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 9:11 a.m.

    Since democrats don't respect the voice of the people in the last election, why would be bother and pay for another election so they can disrespect the voice of the people again?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 27, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    So Swallow gets his pay and his pension even though he defrauded the electoral process? Where is the vaunted Republican respect for the law this morning?

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    For a democrat or independent (like myself) here in Utah to attempt to engage in civil discourse with a republican is futile. It is engaging in an exchange with unarmed opponents.
    All these narrow-minded, tunnel-visioned, straight party ticket voters feel there is no way but their way.
    And their way isn't working too well.

    Swallow cheated, he fraudulently acquired the office, and as such, should be erased.
    A new vote to back up what in reality never happened, is the only fair and just fix for this stinking mess.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Nov. 27, 2013 5:36 a.m.

    John Swallow's violation of campaign laws helped him get elected. That makes his election illegal, null, and void.

    It makes sense that Utah citizens should decide whether to take a chance and install another GOP Attorney General into office, given the demonstrated proclivity toward corruption amongst recent GOP Attorney's General.

    It makes much less sense to allow a Republican governor to MANDATE that another GOP Attorney General MUST be installed, regardless of the demonstrated corrupt propensities of GOP AG's.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:58 a.m.

    20A-1-705 is where you want to look (2) (b) Upon issuance of the order, the office is vacant and shall be filled as provided by this chapter.

    So IF John Swallow was removed by they judge, which didn't happen, it would be as provided by that chapter. That is chapter 1, Not Chapter 4. You go to 20A-1-504. SCC nominates 3 to the governor. If you go to Chapter 4, you get into election contests. John Swallow was sworn in office in January. There is evidence that 20A-1-705 might of allowed the office to be vacated by a judge. It wasn't so 20A-1-504 applies. If it was vacated, 20A-1-504.

    Either way, current law requires the Utah GOP SCC to submit 3 nominees to the governor to appoint, and we have a new election next year, and then another one in 2 more years.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 11:35 p.m.

    One party rule leads to corruption.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    I'm Republican, generally, and agree there should be a special election. Within a few days of the election truth began coming out about Swallow. I doubt he would have won if he had not broken election laws, and if we had known the extent of his dealings before the election.

    Let there be a new election. It will cost more, but that is the cost of democracy.

    If the governor appoints an interim AG, he will have the advantage in the next election.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 5:11 p.m.

    Excuse me... attention libs and Dems. When you get one of your guys as governor, your guy can choose, as for now it's the Republican governor's right.

    You can change the law when you're in power if you so choose to follow the example of your sinking in popularity president and senate leadership.

    2014 can't come soon enough.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 4:39 p.m.


    I don't live in Salt Lake City, but from what I remember, the city elections there are non-partisan. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Why should we bother with any more elections ever if the chances are the Republicans will win? It's just a waste of money to let people have a vote. I guess all those armchair constitutionalists on the board here would agree, right?

  • DaveRL OGDEN, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    "The AG is there to help the Governor govern. The governor should be able to appoint someone to that position that he can work well with". What government class teaches that?

    "The mission of the Office of the Utah Attorney General is to uphold the constitutions of the United States and of Utah, enforce the law, provide counsel to state agencies and public officials, to work with law enforcement and protect the interests of Utah, its people, environment and resources".

    Clearly the job go the AG is to uphold state law and represent the the best legal interest of the state as a member of the Executive Branch. If he broke election laws then yes the election should be void and a new election should be held, perhaps next time Utah voters will choose more wisely.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    Exactly what election laws were broken? We the voters need more information. My understanding is he has not been charged with a crime. We are assuming he is guilty. I am referring to the election law allegations, nothing else. I have long advocated having the governor appoint the Attorney General.

  • Petra Sanpete County, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 4:16 p.m.

    You would think that th GOP would prefer to avoid the appearance of evil. If swallow gets to "resign" he gets yet more taxpayer money for his retirement.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Nov. 26, 2013 4:13 p.m.

    There should be a special election regardless of who did what (and I'm a Republican)

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    Hmmmm...the law is the law?

    The law says if he resigns (as he has), the Governor picks from nominees from the Party.

    Regardless of whether we believe the election would be vacated based on a trial other than "trial by press", which hasn't happened, nor would it be likely to be completed prior to November...the law doesn't allow for trial by press and pubic opinion to vacate an election.

    Under current law, the office is vacated and replaced by the Governor until the election can be had in November...candidates being able to file for that in March (I any other election)...allowing for a full campaign and election process...and ultimately decided by the voters.

    Sorry...I'm still convinced that the actual Utah State Constitution and law works better than the Dems law of ... ?

  • citi1 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    I am one of those rare GOP delegates who feel that the delegates should be done away with and let the vote go to the people. I do not think the delegates should choose the next attorney general, neither do I think the governor should. In fact, at the GOP county convention, Governor Herbert supported John Swallow and was seen with him a good part of the convention. Therefore, to avoid any further improprieties, I have to agree with the Democrats on this one. Let the people decide.

  • JMT Springville, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    Two notes. Did the delegates cast a majority of votes for another candidate? If so, it was the primary system that gave us Swallow, not some grand conspiracy of the caucus. This is contrived, false attack.

    Second, the moment I read a headline about the Democrats wanting a new election I think Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, etc, etc, etc. The Left will hold election after election after election, vote count after vote count after vote count until they get the results they want.

    In a very much related note, Obama was found to recieve over $100,000 in illegal donations from the 2008 campaign. I suppose we need to throw him out because he cheated and hold the 2008 election all over?

    We are no longer talking about the AGs office and have officially stepped into the ACORN play book of counting votes until you win. An election was held, Swallow won, he resigned and now the law kicks in to replace him. It would be no different if Matheson stepped down, or Adams or any other Democrat.

    Please, stop the ACORN-esque games.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    Can we just not have an AG? How much does that position even get paid? It's time we get rid of all of these fake, bureaucratic jobs. The city I live in has plenty of prosecutors, who themselves get plenty of tax money. As far as I can tell, the city runs smooth enough. Maybe not enough to justify city employees' salaries and pensions, but smooth enough. Why we need all of the state level bureaucrats? Yeah, let's replace one goombah with another. What? When did government in America, and Utah of all places, become such a burden on the governed class. All the while, the elite governing class live like kings at everyone else's expense! It's time we start slashing some of these 'non-essential' government appointments and elected offices.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    I listened to Mr. Dabakis this morning on KSL. He was flinging out wild accusations about Governor Herbert taking bribes and kickbacks, and accusing the entire Republican party in the state of corruption. I wish KSL would have asked him to prove his statements, since after all, he does represent the party of corruption. Just ask any Illinois resident about how upstanding and ethical the Democrats are when they get a chance.

    As far as Mr. Swallow goes, I'm pretty sure that whomever Herbert picks would be a darn sight more competent, honest, and decent than any candidate the Dem's offer. Because after all, the shining example of Democrat Attorney Generals is our current one, Eric Holder--and you would be hard pressed to find a more corrupt person.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    and if a Democrat were to resign such as Becker, Libs would be crying that they won the election and a DEM should be selected to replace the Mr just nevers ends the left will stoop to cheat and skirt morality!

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:40 p.m.

    Two Bits---You elected him because he is a Republican, you would not even consider voting otherwise.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:36 p.m.

    @2 bits and FT

    So having an election and allowing us little people to have our say is just not worth the expenditure? Our votes as Democrats are just not worth your time and money, is that what I'm reading here?

    I guess when you are the majority, you can just discount everyone else.

  • Web Geek Lehi, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    BTW, the GOP delegates did NOT elect Swallow. He failed to win at the convention, it was the primary voters that elected him. It is incorrect for the democrats to suggest that the GOP delegates are to blame for Swallow's actions.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    WOW... look at all the "Law is law" Democrats out there today!

    They sound like a bunch of Conservatives talking about Illegal Immigration!

    It's good to see some liberals saying, "Law is law" for a change. Now if we can only get them saying this about immigration or something other than an election issue that COULD get one of their guys elected... we will have made some progress.

    I agree "law is law". Let's try keeping that attitude the next time being lenient on illegal immigrants is being debated in the media or on the hill.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    IMO we shouldn't even have elections for AG. The Governor should be able to appoint and fire his attorney general just like the President appoints and can dismiss HIS attorney general if needed.

    And if you say it's because we can't trust the Governor.. If we don't trust the Governor... why did we elect him?

    The AG is there to help the Governor govern. The governor should be able to appoint someone to that position that he can work well with.

    It wasn't that long ago that the AG was an appointed position in Utah.

    I like the appointment approach so we don't get an AG and Gov who are adversaries and just but heads and can't get anything done. And IF the Governor appoints a scumbag... we just get rid of the Governor and his AG goes with him.

    But it's no big deal. I honestly don't know why Democrats think it's worth spending $1.5 Million on a special election (that COULD be spent on education)... just to give them even the remote CHANCE of winning an office for one of their cronies.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    While it seems logical to have voters decide the next Attorney General it's far fetched to think Utahns will elect a Democrat to state wide office. Shouldn't we be using our tax dollars to defend ourselves from the tyranical abuses of Obama and the federal goverment instead of a pre-ordained election?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    Avoid the caucus system that picked him.

  • Web Geek Lehi, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    I understand the Democrats point, and agree with it for the most part. But I fail to see the point (nor fiscal sense) of holding a special election before next fall, when there WILL be a special election. Let the governor choose an interim AG and let's be done with it until then!

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    "The comments made by the Democratic Party at this point are merely speculation," Utah GOP Chairman James Evans said in a statement.

    Yeah...and maybe they "speculated" that Swallow was caught on video asking if any incriminating paper trail existed about one of his illegal deeds.

    And maybe they "speculated" that he didn't file his election financials legally.

    And maybe they "speculated" that he vacationed fraudulently at that spa in California.

    No, Mr. Evans...they are not speculating...they are citing some proven, uncomfortable truths.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    If he cheated to win the election, by law, the election is void. Never happened.

    Hopefully they'll make him pay back the $90 he was paid in his fraudulently-gained position, and deny him the $12k pension he would have earned for his 4 years of Gov't service.

    Cheating is cheating, and knows no party, race, or religion.
    Law is law.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 2:54 p.m.

    there should be a new election because he broke the state election laws. I don't care what the cost is, have both parties pick their candidate next week and hold the election in March. It will not hurt the state to go a little while with out an A.G. - heck, its not like we had a working A.G. all this time anyway