Saturday, March 13, 2010

Poor Ol' GOP House Rep Kevin Garn Finds Himself In The Political Hotseat

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Poor ol' Davis County Republican House Majority Leader Kevin Garn. When this story broke yesterday, we thought he'd be able to sweep it under the rug, and that the controversy would simply blow over, with his contrite Thursday confession on the State House floor.

Nope. Looks like all hell is breaking loose. Here's the latest skinny on our Davis County skinny-dipping State House Rep, straight from our home town newspaper, the Standard-Examiner:
GOP leader’s skinny-dip confession sparks outrage
This story is BIG NEWS all over the country; but we'll focus on one writeup that we liked the best. Here's the lead from a little blog called "The Frisky" (Love, Life, Stars, Style), under the title, Utah Lawmaker Admits To Hot Tub Frolic With Underaged Girl:
It’s a story ripped from an episode of “Jersey Shore”: Utah’s House Majority Leader, Rep. Kevin Garn, admitted yesterday that in 2002 he paid a woman $150,000 to keep quiet during his Congressional campaign about a 1985 incident where they sat naked in a hot tub together. Garn, who is 55 now, was 30 at the time; the girl, Cheryl Maher, who is 40 now, was 15 at the time.
At the foot of the story, the author asks this thoughtful and highly pertinent question:
Garn has said he will not resign, but he has not said he would seek re-election.
Do you think Garn should resign? Or do you think that because there was allegedly no sexual contact, and it happened 25 years ago, that Garn’s behavior is forgivable?
Looks like good fodder for a reader poll. What's your take on this, O Gentle Ones?
Vote in our online poll!
And don't forget our lower comments section.

Update 3/13/2010 1:37 p.m.:

Dan S. has a great story and analysis on his blog, which has heretofore only dealt mainly with "science issues." Be sure to check it out:
The Fourth Estate?
Good to see Dan S. with another " bee in his bonnet," No?


Ray said...

Just another example of the hypocracy of the Party of NO. A good reason to sign the initiatives for Ethics Reform and Redistricting Reform.

althepal said...

If he did this once, he probably did it 100 times. Time for your resignation, Rep. Garn.

blackrulon said...

It seems that there are two connected issues here. One is a 30 year old man, who had a position of authority, taking a 15 year old girl to sit naked in a hot tub. This breaks several laws. She did not think up the hot tub idea, did not drive herself to SLC, and was not the one who stopped to buy liquor. The other issue is was it a blackmail/extortion or money paid to maintain silence over a criminal violation? Since the Deseret News did not wish to run this story in 2002 when first alerted because it did not wish to impact the primary election between Rob Bishop and Kevin Garn did it ever plan to run the story? If Garn had won the primary would they have run or refused to run the story before the general election? If Garn had won the general election would they have run or refused to run the story before any election that included Garn?

RudiZink said...

Exactly right, Blackrulon. Read the Toronto Star's discussion of this latter issue:

The newspaper that wouldn't cry wolf

And here's a further issue: It's reported that Ms. Maher was also Garn's "warehouse employee" at the time of the incident, which raises employee exploitation issues, and leaves us with the impression that like many Utah employers, Rep. Garn, viewed his employees as "chattel," to be exploited at will.

Curmudgeon said...

Deseret News suggests SL Trib had the story and sat on it too.

Dave Greiling, SE Managing Editor, says in his column this morning [behind the subscription wall] that if the SE had had the story at the time, it would have printed it. His column is worth a look. Dig down and buy the paper edition.

Also worth going over to the Deseret News, which is covering its own failure to print the story when it had it eight years ago. Headline: Deseret News Takes On Lumps On Story of Kevin Garn. [Link here.] The story reports that J-school faculty are criticizing the hold on the story as a bad decision. But the DN editors are still insisting they made the right call in not printing the story.

DN's editorial page editor Jay Evensen also has a column today on the story. [Link here.]

And the SL Trib has an editorial up this morning calling on Garn to resign. Immediately. The paper notes that "if the incident had been between consenting adults, we would not be writing this editorial." Absolutely right. The if the Hon. [?] Mr. Garn wanted to go drinking and cavorting with with nekkid adults not his spouse, it would be none of the public's business. But, the editorial goes on, "Garn was the girl's employer, a position of power relative to her, and she was a minor. That makes it sexual harassment at best, and the criminal statutes that outlaw lewdness might also have been applicable. [" [Link to the editorial here.]


Ah, those Utah Family Values Republicans. Gotta love em! [But wait 'til they're 18. At least.]

Danny said...

Kevin Garn was unavailable for comment yesterday for good reason. I have obtained his schedule, below.

8:00 Spend a little extra time in the shower this morning saying hello to Mr. Poindexter.

9:00 Scripture reading and meditation on the joys of sex with minors.

10:00 Bishopric meeting to discuss the upcoming girl's summer camp where we will be stressing morality this year.

11:00 Drive past elementary school to see if can catch a peek.

12:00 Lunch with Utah Realtors association to accept $150,000 contribution.

1:00 Drive down freeway in right lane while I take another visit with Mr. Poindexter.

2:00 Drop by legislature to distribute Reator money.

3:00 Meditate in private legislative office and have a visit with Mr. Poindexter.

4:00 Call families to set up home teaching appointments. Ask somebody to give prayer in Sacrament meeting on Sunday.

5:00 Have lunch with Dave Checketts. Take another payoff. Promise him more taxpayer funding for his stadium.

6:00 Chat with editors of the Deseret News.

7:00 to midnight. Confess to legislature. Receive standing-o from my cronies who I've paid for standing-o. Tell Mr. Poindexter hello using joy hole in pocket.

12:00 Retire to bed after offering my evening supplications. Another busy day for this Utah Legislative leader.

Warren Jeffs said...

What's wrong with gittin' nekkid with 15-year old girls?

Curmudgeon said...

Utah's official advertising slogan this year is "Life Elevated!" Can't help wondering, in light of the nationwide and international play the Hon. [?] Rep. Garn's skinny dipping is getting, if we shouldn't take advantage of all the free publicity and change it to "Life Immersed!"

Curmudgeon said...

Now, all this snarkery regarding the Hon. [?] Rep. Garn's youthful peccadillo is fully justified, I agree. But this is a serious matter, after all, and so once the snarkery wanes, we ought to consider what legislative action will be needed to prevent such things from happening again. We don't want to be called simply "naysayers" after all.

I propose we ask someone to introduce next session a bill to make it illegal for any Republican state legislator who ran on a Family Values platform to reside in a home, apartment or condo within 250 yards of a hot tub.

I know, I know, we'll be asking the same Republicans who gave Garn a standing ovation for confessing twenty five years late, and for bribing the child he went cavorting with nekkid to keep quiet. But we have to try. We have to protect the children from the next Utah Family Values Republican predator if we can.

checks and balances said...

Yea right, the Republican Party in Utah, the morale majority. These are the biggest bunch of hypocrites, and abusers of power I have ever seen or imagined. And the majority of the voters in Utah trust them to make laws and handle the affairs of the state. I need a shower now.

Zodiac said...

This is the Mormon culture. They believe they are immune from retribution so they continue to play these games with sex and drink. When are the decent people of Utah going to hold them accountable?

OgdenLover said...

While it may look that way from the other side of 60, Curm, [...Rep. Garn's youthful peccadillo ....]
thirty is NOT youthful. Thirty is full-fledged adult who should know better.

Curmudgeon said...


The term "youthful" was taken [I thought with clearly derisive intent] from the Hon. [?] Rep. Garn's explanation of his actions.

And it seems, the reporting now suggests, that Garn was 28 at the time of his non-spousal coed group dunk, not 30. Not that the two year difference matters in the least, ethically, morally or legally. 28 is a full-fledged adult who should know better. Hell, so is 21.

Curmudgeon said...

Garn has resigned.

Wm III said...

... had that been my daughter, Kevin would have become Karen in a
Bobbitt flash ...

RudiZink said...

Davis County Wingnut GOP Senators are dropping like flies. Who will be next to resign his post? Senator J. Stuart Adams, I hope. He's got more bad karma than Killpack and Garn rolled together.

Of course no woman of any age would get naked in a hot tub with the likes of Senator Adams, who seems to be a weird genetic cross between Tolkien's Gollum, and sixties television's Barney Fife


blackrulon said...

Curm, I find it amusing that Dave Greiling, S-E Managing Editor, claims that if the S-E had been given tthis story that would have run it. How many examples of unethical behavior and/or criminal acttivity have been uncovered by readers of the WCF and yet not one word in either the paper or online editions of the S-E. He is a very brave and courageous jornalistic on a story that someone else had the courage to run. When if ever will the S-E get curious and research or follow up on stories instead of rewording press handouts?

Dan S. said...

The Standard-Examiner knew a week before the 2007 election that Envision Ogden was really a PAC and had donated $1500 to Blain Johnson's campaign. They also should have known that a mysterious entity called Friends of Northern Utah Real Estate donated $2000 to Johnson. A few weeks after the election they learned that FNURE funded a majority of Johnson's campaign and that of Royal Eccles. They never printed a word about any of this. In late February, 2009, they learned that FNURE was really a front for Envision Ogden. They still printed nothing until more than a month later, when Johnson and Eccles finally admitted that the FNURE money came from EO, and Williams issued his famous "cure" letter.

Dan S. said...

By the way, I wrote about this yesterday over at Dan's Diary.

Neil Hansen said...

Breaking News

Rep. Kevin Garn Resigns to day.

This morning Representative Kevin Garn sent me this email announcing his resignation. I wanted to make you aware. This is a difficult time for everyone. Thank you for your dedicated service and efforts.

David Clark


March 13, 2010

Dear Speaker Clark,

Please accept this as my official resignation as Representative from the 16th House District to the Utah State Legislature effective immediately.

Afterdiscussing this matter with my family, I have decided that it is in thebest interests of them, my colleagues and the people of Utah. As youknow, it is a great honor to serve in the State Legislature. In fact,it has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I am proud of whatI accomplished. I am proud to have worked with so many wonderful andtalented public servants. I wish to thank those who entrusted me withthis responsibility.

I thank you for your steady leadership and Isincerely apologize for becoming a distraction to the conclusion of anotherwise remarkable legislative session. I hope that my publicservice has changed Utah for the better.


Rep. Kevin Garn

Neil Hansen said...

For the record, I didn't stand nor did I clap for this disgusting act of being with a minor and paying hush money.

(ktvx 4 news shows that I was sitting during the applause.)

I'm Not a follower, I'm a Leader.

We need to clean the house and the senate of this corruption this election. By doing this we can bring honor and respect back to the peoples house.

curiuos 1 said...

Comments in the paper were disgusted at the standing ovation he recieved from his fellow Republician law makers. I did notice in the pictures that Neil Hansen was sitting with a distained look. The Democrates walk away with their head high. Also David Litevek had an e-mail from the victim and he turned it over to the Rebublician Senator rather than making it public on Thursday. It does show some class from the Democrates.

viktor said...

So what the hell is the big deal? I mean the gal was fifteen fer hells sake and she weren't his cousin as far as I know! You pissy whiners ought to get a life, this is Utah after all where if they are old enough to bleed they are old enough to breed.

Danny said...

Word is Garn was going to fight it out, until he read the WCF today.

Here is what I don't understand.

1. How does a 30 year old "get nekkid" with a 15 year old and "nothing happened"? For me, you don't do the "gettin' nekkid" part, because if you do, the next part is inevitable.

2. Doesn't "getting nekkid" with a 15 year old count as "something happened" all by itself?

3. What spigot is Kevin Gard attached to, that he can peel off $150,000 in hush money for something like this?

4. Why would anyone pay that much for something like this?

The issue for me is not the "getting nekkid" with a teenager 25 years ago. The issue for me is the idea that "image is more important that reality." The issue for me is he got a standing-o. The issue for me is these guys have no sense of right and wrong, as most normal people seem to have. The issue for me is these legislators are obviously living in an alternate reality where morality is defined not by God, but by the image others have of them and that they have of themselves.

Danny said...

I should have read Dan's blog earlier. Kevin Garn was married, and this teenager was him employee.

(Okay that info is also available elsewhere, but I've been busy today.)

Holy cow, what a sleazeoid this guy Garn was. He should have come clean back then, not paid her off.

I am feeling that Hansen is right. Change the party of the house and senate (was already going to vote for Corroon for Guv.) Then, if the dems go lib, change it back to Rep the election after that. Clean house.

Danny said...

While we're knocking the local media, let's not forget the rest of the media which is riddled with corruption.

Remember "global warming"?

Did you know the guy who started it all has essentially admitted it is bogus? My wife didn't.

Article 1

Article 2

So how come this blockbuster wasn't widely covered? Because the media supports the global warming idea, and the media is political.

Danny said...

I'm reminded of the story this week about Congressman Eric Massa, who tickled a much younger guy to the floor at his own birthday party.

Turns out that guy was a staffer for Massa.

Yeah, that's right. Young male and female employees are just itching for somebody twice their age to take liberties with them. Uh huh.

Sometimes I wonder if having whore houses here and there would make things better. People like Garn and Massa could get what they want, and the people who give it to them could do it voluntarily and be paid, rather than doing it because they are fearing for their jobs.

Curmudgeon said...


In re: the scientist involved in this post:

Remember "global warming"?

Did you know the guy who started it all has essentially admitted it is bogus? My wife didn't.

Article 1

No, Danny. He did not "admit" there's been "no global warming since" etc. You might want to read what he actually wrote, and not the mis-characterization of it the article claims. Actually, the link you post is a very good example of how anti global warming deniers operate: by lies, for the most part, about the data, and what climate scientists say about it.

Do a little research, Danny. And don't believe everything you find on the web.

Danny said...


Quoting the article:

"Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

"And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming."

The article goes on with much more information.

But we wouldn't have expected you to admit that another of the totems of liberalism has turned out to be untrue. My post was intended to educate the open minded.

The fact is, these Utah Republican sleazoids have plenty of company in national Republican sleazoids, and . . . wait for it . . . liberal Democratic self dealers and fraud peddlers too.

Most of us can see that.

But not to worry. The whole thing is going to come crashing down I think.

Joe Friday said...

"I'm Not a follower, I'm a Leader."
OK Neil Hansen. If you ARE a "leader" then where have you been with the Powderville issue?

How many have you convinced that HB466 which started the disenfranchisment of Weber County citizens is unconstitutional and must be voided?

Your "leadership" sir has been conspicuously absent for the past three sessions of the legislature. As has Froerer's and Christiansen's. You ALL need to go by the way of the swamp drainage.

brucee said...

OK Anon, now that you have my number I fess up. I paid now Gov Hurbert Ten Thousand bucks to keep quite about the little Saturday night gay romps he and I used to have at the old Sun Saloon. It is a testament to his integrity that he has kept our keep quite deal and never said a word about any of it.

We need more politicians in Utah that can keep secrets, especially when they are paid good money to do so.

Curmudgeon said...


Well, let's see. Your claim was [let me quote you]: "Did you know the guy who started it all has essentially admitted it is bogus?"

Nothing in the articles you posted report the professor saying that or anything like it.

I don't want to argue global warming with you. This is not the place for it. My point was to note that your claim that Professor Jones "admitted it [global warming] is bogus" is not true. And so it's hardly surprising the main stream media did not report it.

On the sole point of whether Professor Jones thinks global warming "is bogus," here is the Professor himself, interviewed by the BBC following the Daily Mail's article, which you relied on, appeared --- note this is from a transcript of the interview, and not a BBC summary of the Jones' views:

Q: How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?

A: I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.

The interview transcript is available here. Generally prudent to go to the most authoritative source on what someone says or thinks --- and that's the someone him or herself, as a rule.

Remember, though, all I challenged here was your claim that the Professor had admitted global warming "is bogus." The main stream media didn't report that because it didn't happen.

Curmudgeon said...


A married business man liquors up a 15 year old employee of his, goes skinny dipping in a hot tup with her at least once [the woman involved says twice], then pays a bribe of 150K dollars to keep her quiet so he can run for Congress and again for the Utah House on a "family values" platform, and you conclude this was simply a case of "a good man who screwed up" and then you suggest we're hypocrites to criticize him because we all have skeletons in our closet?


For those of us who live in the real world, the difference between ordinary garden variety hell-everyone-does-it screwing up, and an adult business owner engaging in naked sex play with a 15 year old employee, and then paying hush money to keep it quiet is not a trivial difference. It's a substantive one.

Today, a 30 year old businessman engaging in naked sex play with one of his 15 year old employees would, if he were caught at it, probably do serious time, and have to register for the rest of his life as a sex crime offender.

You have an odd definition of what "a good guy" is.

history tells all said...

Hey Joe Friday,
Did you ever call Neil Hansen to see what he had done for your one and only issue. Before you start judging a person on his work, maybe you should realize that you are not the only person in the state and it is not always about you or just your issue.

blackrulon said...

I am awaiting the explanations and excuses various law enforcement agencies will give for not prosecuting the many admitted crimes committed by former Representative Kevin Garn.

Roosters said...

Doesn't he own Corbin's Grill in Layton? I bet his waitstaff has some stories about time alone in the walk in freezer, or being asked to stay late to clean the fryer hood.
I can just bet.

I would guess that his wife has a say in who they hire and fire as well; no way she would allow him to manage someone who she thought he was checking out.
Its a no brainer.

No, this is not just speculation; I am going to ask some questions, and then I will have more of this later.

Dan S. said...

Thanks for the link, Rudi! Whatever happened to WCF Science Saturdays anyhow?

Joe Friday said...

"History tells it all"

Actually I agree with your point about how many issues there are in State politics.

But I ask, what is more important and fundamental than the largest lobby group in the State literally taking away citizen's constitutional rights?

What is more important? Not standing for a midnight mia colpa of a sexual pervert and bragging about it?

wsu.wildcat07 said...

I noticed today in Rep. Neil Hansen’s letter to the editor he only used the word “I” 17 times. Man, I don’t know why we even elect others to the House when it sounds like Rep Hansen can solve all our problems.... Just Saying.

Dan S. said...

Here's a link to the Standard-Examiner column (written by Andy Howell, not Dave Greiling) that claims that if they had had the story back in 2002, they would have printed it.

get er' done said...

Can you ever say that you have done something with out saying I. I bet you can't. So Why don't you grow up.


Hey wildcat idiot,
Is that all you got from your education was how many I's to count. Then how many are on this page? Bet you can't count.


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