We'd like to put the spotlight on an excellent Dan Schroeder letter to the editor, which popped up on the Standard-Examiner Live! website yesterday afternoon. It's short, so we'll incorporate it in full... and throw in a few contextually-relevant links along the way:
I heartily applaud the Standard-Examiner for its endorsement of ethics reform in the Utah Legislature (editorial, November 29). It's past time for legislators to be subject to such basic measures as campaign contribution limits, a ban on corporate contributions, and disclosure of conflicts of interest.We'll join Dan Schroeder in applauding the Standard-Examiner's current strong stance regarding ethics reform on the state level, and urging the Standard to apply the same zeal in the future to the examination and condemnation of flagrant problems frequently occurring right here in our own back yard.
Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for the Standard-Examiner to take a stand on ethics in Ogden City government.
The Ogden City Council passed an ordinance limiting campaign contributions last spring, but the Standard-Examiner never endorsed it.
Some council members also wanted to ban corporate contributions, but the administration opposed such a provision and the council backed down. Had the Standard-Examiner backed them up, the reform-minded council members might have prevailed.
The importance of these reforms is apparent when you look at the major contributors to Mayor Godfrey's last campaign. The list reads like a Who's-Who of companies doing business with the city: Gadi Leshem (prospective River Project developer), $10,000; R&O Construction, $10,000; Staker Parson, $10,000; Boyer Company, $9,000; Larry Myler (prospective hotel developer), $9,000; and on down the list which also includes names like Cutrubus, Fresenius, Goode, Wadman, Earnshaw, Total Fitness Center, Dowse, Fat Cats, Amcan, and Sonora Grill. The Standard-Examiner reported several of these names, but has never commented on the pattern.
The Standard-Examiner also reported, belatedly, on the efforts of two city council candidates to conceal the source of over $20,000 in campaign contributions. But the editorial board has yet to weigh in on whether it thinks that action was ethical.
The Standard-Examiner has been silent on numerous other ethical breaches. It has not yet reported on how the Godfrey administration allowed a political action committee to hold a fundraising event at the city-owned Salomon Center. And it has ignored a documented violation, by a current city council member, of the existing state law requiring disclosure of conflicts of interest.
It's time for Ogden's local paper to admit that ethics violations are occurring all the time, right here in Ogden.