The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Utah Politics: Republicans Rats and Rumors

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I live in Utah. I was born and raised here. I left Utah for a number of years as my career in broadcast journalism took me to other parts of the country, but returned after retiring from TV News in 2005. I love my home state and I love Utah County, but what I have learned about some of our local and state government elected officials over the past few weeks is not only shocking, but frankly, disheartening and sickening.

Utah County has long been a stronghold of active faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, at one point being close to 90% church members. As members we are taught and believe strongly in being honest, having integrity, and treating others honorably. However, in such a high concentration of like-minded people it becomes easy to assume everyone holds those same characteristics at the same high level and live by them in the same way. That simply isn’t the truth. All people are fallible and make poor decisions and bad choices including the illegal kind.

Utah County has grown extensively over the past 30 years. What was a county of about 200,000 people in 1980 had grown to nearly 700,000 by 2021 and continues to see new residents increasingly flow into the cities in this county. That certainly brings change, including change to the overall makeup of the communities we live in. But it is still predominantly LDS or Mormon or as the church prefers it, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

What I have learned about some of our officials in Utah County will be shocking to many in a place commonly known as Happy Valley. Happy Valley is supposed to be full of good, honest, hard working people who love each other and go to church on Sunday, but Happy Valley has some very scary skeletons in its closet including some with a lot meat still on the bone.

It’s hard to know where to begin because there is so much to cover. The easy place to start is with the Mike Smith, David Leavitt feud that has made national news in recent weeks. Mike Smith is the Utah County Sheriff and David Leavitt is Utah County Attorney. Both are elected officials. David Leavitt is up for reelection and the primary is Tuesday, June 28, 2022. Just weeks before the primary Sheriff Mike Smith opened up a cold case. According to KSL News it implicated Leavitt.

Utah County Attorney David Leavitt said Wednesday that he’s been wrongly accused of cannibalism, as well as the murder of small children. The accusation, according to Leavitt, stems from an investigation by the Utah County Sheriff, Mike Smith. Further, Leavitt believes that the Utah County Sheriff is using his position for political gain, as both the Utah County Sheriff and the Utah County Attorney are up for reelection in 2022. Leavitt has called for an independent investigation of a press release made public on Tuesday (cited below.) And he said he wants an investigation into Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith as well as Smith’s office.

This bizarre story got the attention of national news media outlets and the story went viral. Last week the Utah County Commission voted unanimously NOT to investigate the nearly 2 decades old allegations of Satanic rituals and sex slaves, but Smith and those trying to oust Leavitt from his County Attorney seat continue to use it and other allegations of impropriety and poor management of the county attorney’s office as they campaign for Jeff Gray to replace Leavitt. Utah state officials like Utah State Attorney General Sean Reyes and former Utah Speaker of the House Greg Hughes jumped into the fray piling on Leavitt.

Even Glenn Beck has been part of the smear, whether intentional or not, I don’t know. I respect Beck and have been a long time listener to his program, but after hearing his interviews with both Sheriff Smith and then David Leavitt, it appears pretty obvious Beck already made up his mind who the good guys and bad guys were.

Glenn Beck and Sheriff Mike Smith interview.

Just over one week later Leavitt got his opportunity to speak on Becks radio program, but the reception he received and the time he was given was very different from that of Sheriff Smith. If that audio becomes available I will update this post and include it here. Suffice it to say, it was one of the most unfair, cynical, and predetermined-outcome interviews I’ve ever heard on Beck’s program. It was a railroad. In all my years as a journalist and news reporter I have never seen someone treated so disrespectfully by an interviewer as Leavitt was by Beck.

Already in a tailspin, Leavitt’s campaign took another critical hit.

But is the negative campaign against Leavitt legitimate? Or is this a story of David and Goliath where Goliath wins the fight?

I intend to provide evidence, not hearsay or rumor or innuendo, evidence that David Leavitt is being smeared. As I stated in the opening paragraph, Utah County has some very corrupt people in office and they are doing everything in their power to maintain their hold on that power and keep those who might upset the apple cart out.

That evidence will begin to surface in my next post.

Written by DCL

June 25, 2022 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Politics

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