January 21, 2018

The Eagle Forum mobilizes in support of John Swallow

Eagle ForumIn a bizarre turn of events, Gayle Ruzika, President of the Utah chapter of the arch-conservative Eagle Forum, has sent out a mobilization email in support of John Swallow.

Gayle Ruzika and John Swallow

Gayle Ruzika and John Swallow

In the letter, Ruzika perpetuates much of the misinformation that Swallow’s supporters and political consultants have been spinning, specifically that impeachment is inappropriate until criminal investigations have completed and calls on supporters to contact their legislators. The email goes so far as to say that impeachment might be unethical and draws the line about what Swallow can be impeached for at his election…

…because, you know, if he did something wrong in the process of getting elected, that doesn’t count, right? The ends justify the means when he’s on our team.

Gayle Ruzika and John Swallow 2

Gayle Ruzika and John Swallow 2

It’s a little disingenuous, I know. Like getting elected is a ‘get out of jail’ card, wiping the slate clean of all the unethical fundraising that may have occurred to get into office in the first place.

Like taking money from donors who were under investigation…on the same days that the investigations began. So, seriously. And that’s out just this weekend. The headline blares that

SLTRIB: Swallow took in $105,000 from donors in trouble with regulators

And kept it, even after he should have known the donors were bad guys.

What do you think? Sound off in the comment section below.

Here’s the email from Ruzika:

Action Alert – Eagle Forum Letter

About Daniel Burton

Daniel Burton lives in Salt Lake County, Utah, where he practices law by day and everything else by night. You can follow him on his blog PubliusOnline.com where he muses on politics, the law, books and ideas. He is active on social media, Republican politics, and has been named to PoliticIt’s list of the “Top-50 Utah Political Opinion Leaders” on Twitter. You can reach him directly at dan.burton@gmail.com

  • Leonard McGee

    That would be the ball game as far as the GOP legislature is concerned.

    • I suspect there is a lot more in store, yet. No legislator wants to make a mistake.

  • This is yet another example of why this conservative republican can’t stand the Eagle Forum. They say to read the letter from Mr. Swallow’s lawyers (an unbiased source if ever there was one :P) and it will clear up all the accusations. I read their whole letter and what I got was “we’d rather stop any inquiry into this before we have to defend it.”

    I found the cases they cited in their letter to support opening an impeachment proceeding:

    “…some crime of a character which involves such moral turpitude or is so offensive to accepted standards of honesty or integrity that one guilty of such a crime is unfit for a public trust and should therefore be removed from public office.” State v. jones, 17 Utah 2d 190, 193-94,407 P.2d 571,573 (1965)

    “The conduct must violate commonly accepted standards of honesty and morality.” Madsen v. Brown, 701 P.2d 10087 (Utah 1985)

    If living it up on the account of an indicted businessman and then lying about what you purchased despite the documented evidence (receipts) is not “offensive to accepted standards of honesty or integrity” and does not “violate commonly accepted standards of honesty and morality” in our society then we are not worthy to remain a great nation in the world.

    “Before filing his forms, Mr. Swallow sought and followed the advice of an attorney, a fact which belies any claim that he acted with evil intent.”

    Because as we all know, attorneys never seek to exploit loopholes and nuances (like the attorneys for Mr. Swallow are doing in this letter) to excuse actions that are clearly wrong on their face but may be technically legal. This logic is the reverse of the accusations that Apple didn’t pay taxes because they made use of loopholes that Congress wrote into the tax code.

    The argument that nothing he did before being elected can be considered in determining whether he is guilty of malfeasance in office is hogwash. If a clean line can be drawn it would have to include anything he did in the course of actively seeking office. And many of the things that Mr. Swallow stands accused of took place in the course of his directly seeking his current office. That absolutely deserves a public investigation – and none of the current investigations is public.

    • To be sure, David, relying on your attorney as an excuse for breaking the law, or even just for unethical behavior, is not accepted as an argument in a court of law. And remember, just because 99% of attorneys have the other 1% of us a bad name is no reason not to cut that 1% a break. 🙂

      I feel you, though. Swallow’s arguments tend to sounds a little disingenuous.

      • Just to be clear, I have nothing against attorneys in general. They have their good and their bad actors, just like any profession (and the percentages are nowhere near the 99%-1% punchline). My problem is with the practice of hiding behind attorneys (or accountants, or campaign advisers – take your pick) rather than standing up for your decisions like a responsible adult.

  • Erin

    I hope the Republicans keep him in office till the very bitter end…it could really help out the democratic party a lot all these young voters are coming of voting age and they might not just vote red because their Daddy did they might absorb some of the tales of corruption and bribery they might decide to vote for who they think will not take bribes and since there is only 1 elected democrat in the state of Utah and Jim has never had anything even close to what Swallow allegedly did so if young voters go far away from voting for Swallow..the opposite is clearly a Democrat which the church already said was ok to vote for

    • I suppose…it’s kind of a cynical way to look at it, and I’d hope that voters (young and old) are discerning and intelligent enough to tell the difference between a single, corrupt politician, which can and does happen in both parties, and the beliefs and preferences that are espoused by a party.

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