John Swallow Three-ring Circus, as Utah's major political parties jockey for position in the partisan battle to pick a new Utah Attorney General in the wake of John Swallow's impending December 3, 2013 resignation. While the Utah GOP lays plans to select a successor A.G. from Utah GOP ranks, Utah Democrats are hinting at a lawsuit. Although there are multiple online stories presaging this impending battle, we'll put our main focus on Tuesday's (11/26/13) KSL-News story, just for the sake of simplicity. Here's the lede:
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Democrats contend embattled Attorney General John Swallow wasn't legally elected, and because he can't resign from an office he didn't hold, Republicans shouldn't get to pick his successor.And check out the accompanying video, folks, which lays it all out in a nushell:
"It's rewarding the party of the evildoer," said Utah Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis. "So why should we go back to the Central Committee of the Republican Party, the people that got Swallow in there in the first place, and say, 'Here, take another crack at it?"
State Democratic leaders say voters should choose the next attorney general, and Gov. Gary Herbert can call a special election in June.
"This gentleman was not elected by the voters under Utah law. He committed a cheat and a fraud on the Utah voters," said Joe Hatch, a Democratic Party lawyer and former Salt Lake County Council member.
Democrats called their shot in a news conference Tuesday that could lead to legal maneuvering with the GOP majority over how to replace Swallow, a first-term Republican.
Was Swallow's one year term of office void ab initio? Very interesting legal question, wethinks. Odds are, this is an issue which will be soon decided by the Utah courts.
As the KSL article notes, there are several additional benefits to Utah taxpayers in the event that the Democrats do succeed in their effort to have Swallow's 2012 election judicially "nullified" on the ground of fraud:
- Swallow would be likely required to disgorge the $104,000 (annual) salary which he pocketed during the year 2013
- Swallow would be deprived the "vesting" of his $12 thousand annual pension, amounting to a calculated "lifetime" sum of $156 thousand, based on the life expectancy a typical caucasian Utah male who would begin drawing this benefit at the age of 65.
$1.5 million in taxpayer funds it took to swallow out. It does nevertheless reveal, we believe, the extent to which, over the course of his 4-year "public service" tenure, Swallow has treated the Utah treasury as his own personal "piggy bank." Moreover, "it all adds adds up," right?
Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones.