Weekly Wire
Salt Lake City Weekly We're No Angels

By City Weekly staff

JANUARY 25, 1999:  Gov. Mike Leavitt delivered his annual State of the State address to the Utah Legislature and to the people of Utah, Monday night There's no doubt that the governor spoke truly and honestly when he recalled how his father intoned in him to "Remember who you are and what you stand for."

Later that night, the governor appeared on ABC's Nightline and reiterated that "Utah Values" are in conflict with what happened during the process that awarded Utah the 2002 Winter Olympics Games. However, what Mike Leavitt was taught by his father is in equal conflict with the ways in which much of Utah's business is routinely conducted. Is the world supposed to believe that bribery, fraud, corruption and executive largesse are more typical of Iowans?

Considering the plethora of ready examples, we hardly think so. While some may wish the country and world to believe our state is comprised solely of pure and wholesome residents, there's just too much evidence to the contrary.

Welcoming the world here now means that the world gets to see Utah for all it is, not just the bits and pieces that make for heavenly public relations. That ruse has run its course, and our leaders trying to explain away our Gold Medal Screw Up as atypical of Utah Values is like Bill Clinton trying to explain that getting oral sex is not really having sex.

Surely Gov. Leavitt is familiar with Mayor Corradini. Did her run as mayor exemplify Utah Values? How about Speaker of the House Mel Brown? Here's a guy who travels to the NCAA Final Four on the US West corporate jet, yet led us to believe there was no influence-peddling aboard. He was embroiled in another mess thanks to an inappropriate lunch discussion with a US West lobbyist.

Speaking of lobbyists, just try and name one that wasn't first a member of the Utah House or Senate. According to Utah Values, it's entirely proper to make the necessary connections as a politician during one session, and then screw the public in the next by joining the private sector as a lobbyist. What of Earl Holding or Layton Construction? Weren't they or their principals members of the SLOC? Who do you think rebuilt Rice Stadium and who got the public road to his private ski resort?

It's time for Leavitt to either really remember who he is and clean it all up, or give up the ghost and admit to the world that we're no angels. But he can't do the first: Too much big money likes Mike right where he is.

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