Friday, July 04, 2008

Utah GOP Operatives Roll Out the Trusty Slime Machine

How low will Utah GOP leadership go?

The Deseret News reports additional blowback this morning, stemming from the pending House ethics committee bribery probe which we discussed earlier here. "Somebody" has leaked information to the press, implicating Rep. Steve Mascaro (one of the two Republicans who joined with three House Democrats in initiation of the ethics investigation,) in a purported sexual harassment incident. This curious subplot to the Walker investigation is now developing legs of its own. From this morning's D-News story:
A state legislator who signed a bipartisan ethics complaint against one of his GOP House colleagues is now finding himself in the public eye — and blaming retribution by his own party leaders for it.
Rep. Steve Mascaro, R-West Jordan, says he did nothing wrong when he tried to console an upset female intern during the 2008 Legislature.
"I can't believe that the (leaders of the Republican Party) would stoop this low" as to leak the incident involving him to the news media. The Deseret News is not identifying sources who told the newspaper about the incident, but Mascaro said he believes he knows who has talked about it.
Two different sources, one inside the Legislature, another outside the Legislature, told the Deseret News about an incident involving Mascaro and a female intern, which was reported by the young woman to legislative staffers. Later, legislative staffers met with Mascaro and House leaders to discuss it. No formal action was asked for and none was taken, Mascaro said.
Contacted by the newspaper, the intern said she is angry that her complaint about improper conduct has been made public. The Deseret News is not identifying the intern.
"I never would have made the complaint — I was promised it would never come out," she said.
There's also something on this story in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune.

Mascaro says the accusation is retaliatory; and we believe he's probably right. It should come as no surprise to political wonks, of course, that Utah neoCONS would resort to sliming their critics and intra-party dissidents. It's a basic technique from the top shelf of the neoCON bag of tricks. Ask Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame or Richard A. Clarke about that. Barrack Obama could of course give you an earful too.

For our own part, we have no particular ax to grind re Rep. Mascaro. If he's guilty of ethical misconduct, he ought to face the music, along with his Republican House colleague, Mark Walker. Let the games begin, we say. As long as the the House ethics committee is convening to investigate the Walker matter, why not open up a file on Rep. Mascaro? In a best-case scenario, by the way, ethics committee hearings will present both Walker and Mascaro a golden opportunity to clear their names.

And now that the House is conducting at least one ethics investigation sideshow, how about stirring up something similar in the Senate? The addled Senator Buttars has apparently been arrogantly shooting off his mouth again, and he's not yet been officially called on the carpet for this highly-troubling incident. And if the Senate ethics committee decides to open investigations, who knows what other allegations might fall out of the woodwork.

Gawd do we love Utah politics!


althepal said...

Something's fishy about this story.

Everybody knows all Utah GOP legislators are 100% gay.

If it had been a male intern, the story might be credible.

Jason W. said...

Ehhh, hmmm, Rudi:
Our cherished Golden Boy John Valentine is looking a bit Spiro Agnew, que no?


Concern Citizen said...

The thing that bothers me is the fact that time after time when these allegations surface; where in the world is our Utah Attorney General Mark Shirtliff,
Why he isn’t investigating these things. Oh I forget he just got back from the Bahamas’ where he enjoyed a free Vacation as a courtesy from a corporation that his office was investigating but later dropped the investigation. As reported by KLS TV. Which
Mark Shirtliff, claims “Was nothing more that a political campaign contribution” There is an old saying “Something smell rotten in Demark” however here in Utah there is a really bad stench that is coming from Salt Lake City, and I can tell you this much, as bad as the Great Salt Lake stinks, It surely not coming from there.

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