Sunday, September 19, 2010

Governor Herbert still rakes in the dough, but.....

he managed to give a generous 1.4% of the haul to charity. Bravo Gov'na'

There a few who discussed the allegations of shady financial deals against the Governor made by Mayor Corroon. In a show of unrivaled civil political dialogue, master of GOP ethics and quid pro quo payolas, Dave Hansen (you remember, the guy who kept taking 5,000 dollar a month payments from Senator Hatch after he was also hired as Utah GOP chairman) said this:
“They’re not happy with the attacks on the governor. They really aren’t,” Hansen said. “They want somebody to rip Corroon’s head off. They do not like to see this kind of campaigning.”
Fred Lampropoulos, who's company is a party to one of the questionable arrangements that the state made after Governor Herbert received a donation, said:
“(I'm)mad as hell.”

Corroon has questioned whether Merit’s $50,000 contributions played a role in the company receiving $4.4 million in tax incentives if it creates 700 new jobs.

“We did it to help a governor we think has a vision on economic development,” Lampropoulos said.

He said his company has also given money to Corroon’s mayoral campaign and the mayor’s office approved a $12 million economic development incentive at the county three years ago.

Corroon's campaign manager retorted:
Dunn said the county was one of three entities, along with the school district and the city, that had to approve that incentive. And, he said, the donations were not nearly as large or in the same time frame as the approval.
Dave Hansen is a buffoon, and one of the least qualified people to opine on campaign ethics. While working for Hatch, he willingly participated in a employment tax scam by falsely classifying himself as a subcontractor rather than an employee of the Hatch Senate Committee. After he was elected as Utah Republican Party Chairman he continued to take 5,000 dollar a month payments from Hatch for over a year. Quid pro quo should be his middle name.

Fred Lampropoulos' revelation about his donation to Corroon raises reasonable questions. He gave to both candidates, and he also had business dealings with both governments, when is this improper? In the case of Governor, timing has been an issue. Alton Coal made a donation and got a meeting with the Governor in the same day, soon after the company's strip mining permit was approved in an expedited manner. Another issue is the manner that contracts are awarded. In the case of the Provo Corridor project, the contract appears to have been won by Provo River by a slim margin. Coupled with the massive payola to the losing bidder, the state certainly looks guilty of impropriety regarding the Provo Corridor bid process.

I guess the big question, other than did the governor really act in an improper manner, is what is an acceptable campaign finance policy? The governor's policy of giving private meetings to 50,000 dollar+ donors, a policy the governor has continued despite the recent allegations from his challenger, has led outsiders to question whether or not those donations are crossing over the line to bribery especially when those donors end up receiving large state contracts or concessions after making their payouts.

I think Corroon's suggestion to limit campaign contributions to a cap, would be a logical step to avoid the appearance of impropriety at the state level of government.

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