Stink’n up the State House!
Table of Contents
“Goodfella” Governor “Available Jones” Herbert and his “stepin’ fetchit” factotums put a new twist on hypocrisy while dancing, dissembling and deflecting around Joe’s woes.
Joe Demma, Governor Herbert’s former campaign manager, started a bit of a scam and a dust up ensued because of it. Herbert is trying to distance himself from ole’ Joe. The statement, “Gov. Herbert decries ‘unethical conduct’ of group founded by his former campaign manager” seems to be proof in that pudding. The Ole’ Buzzard’s response is to point to the old adage, “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.” The story is enlarged by diving into the hyperlinked data.
See Tribune articles … June 13, 2019 … “Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox says big-money PAC is under investigation. Gov. Herbert decries ‘unethical conduct’ of group founded by his former campaign manager.” …
… and on June 17, 2019 “Tribune editorial: Why the silence while suspicious PAC raked in cash?”
Governor! … you are living in a haunted, glass house! Let’s take a walk through your back door with …
… the Tribune article, “In audio, Utah guv says he will ‘go anywhere’ to meet with campaign donors — for a check.”
Please “click” on the Governor’s “Available Jones” audio below. His stupid little “spiel” is at the smelliest end of the tape.
Merit Medical Million Dollar Band Aid
Merit (Medical) gave separate $25,000 checks to the Herbert campaign on November 2, 2009, and January 21, 2010, and Herbert and Lampropoulos met in October 2009. In December 2009, Merit got $4.4 million in tax credits. Lampropoulos has publicly endorsed Herbert and appears in a television commercial supporting Herbert’s reelection bid.
KSL TV also reported that Herbert had meetings with, and received donations from Fred Lampropoulos, CEO of Merit Medical, months before the Governor’s Office of Economic Development awarded a tax break to Merit to expand its business in Utah. “Follow the Money” from Lampropoulos to Herbert $32,500.00 and from Merit Medical to Herbert $30,000.00
In February 2010, The Deseret News reported that Herbert’s campaign had received a $10,000 donation from Alton Coal Development, a coal company that had complained about delays in regulators issuing a permit for strip-mining. The Associated Press reported that a memorandum they had obtained showed that state regulators later agreed to fast-track a decision regarding the permit, despite environmental concerns from local residents. According to a businessman who lives near the proposed mine, regulators arrived within days of a meeting between Herbert and the coal company, and they felt pressure to make a quick decision. A Utah regulator said that this was not the case and that Herbert did not make any orders about whether to issue a permit. A spokeswoman for Herbert said that he was not aware of the donation, and that given his long-term support of the energy industry, it was not surprising that Alton made a donation.
More than $80,000.00
In September 2010, KSL TV reported another instance of Herbert accepting campaign donations from companies who benefited from state contracts related to the I-15 CORE rebuild in Utah County—the state’s biggest ever road project. Three teams vied for the contract. One gave the governor’s campaign no money, another gave $35,000. The third team, Provo River Constructors, gave Herbert’s campaign much more. Wadsworth Brothers Construction and partners Ames, Ralph Wadsworth and Fluor have contributed more than $80,000. Around the time most of those donations came in Guy Wadsworth got two meetings with the governor, apparently something no other bidding team had. A month later, the state awarded the $1.725 billion contract to Provo River.
UDOT’s $13,000,000.00 payment to second-place finisher in highway bidding … The Ole’ Buzzard would call it “Hush Money.”
On September 13, 2010, Utah Department of Transportation admitted to paying $13,000,000 to prevent a lawsuit by the second-place finisher Flatiron/Skanska/Zachry (FSZ) for the Interstate 15 rebuild project in Utah County. UDOT admitted that after “adjustments” were made to the scoring system, the 1.7 billion dollar contract was awarded to Provo River Constructors (PRC) after winning the bidding process by a single point. UDOT claimed the $13,000,000 payment to FSZ was to avoid any further or pending legal action. Peter Corroon‘s campaign questioned whether this was related to a $87,500 donation made by PRC to Herbert’s campaign. In a press conference on the same day, Herbert denied any knowledge of the $13,000,000 payoff to FSZ. However, on September 21, 2010 ABC4 reported that on September 9 four days before Herbert press conference UDOT informed Jason Perry, the Governor’s Chief of Staff of a payment. On September 13, hours before Herbert’s press conference, UDOT again informed Perry of a payoff and also specified the amount of the payment.
Our Note: Ok … so it cost the taxpayers $13,000,000.00 while Governor “Available Jones” Herbert bagged and dragged $87,500.00 in funny money through his back door. That’s the way we read it.
Governor signs House Bill 477
During the 2011 legislative session, Herbert signed into law House Bill 477 after it passed through the legislature in three days. The bill would have drastically reduced the ability of citizens to access public records, especially records of Legislators. After large public outcry, Herbert announced he would sign the bill yet also call a special session to repeal the new law. The law was repealed two weeks later, and Herbert was criticized for costing the state $30,000 for not simply vetoing the bill when he first had a chance.
Governor signs House Bill 187
On March 20, 2012, Herbert signed into law House Bill 187, dealing with “Agricultural Operation Interference” despite several individuals and organizations urging him veto it. The new law makes it a crime to take pictures or sound recordings while on the property of any agricultural production facility, even if the person is not trespassing (e.g. an employee of said facility) and even if the person is not interfering with anything (i.e. if nobody knows the recording is taking place). Offenders are guilty of a class B misdemeanor. Critics of the bill say that the law creates a safe haven for animal abuse and other criminal activity and that it adds nothing beneficial to legitimate operations. Proponents of the bill state that the purpose of the legislation is to prevent whistleblowers from unfairly damaging farming operations. The Humane Society has many examples of undercover videos that this bill is meant to prevent.
In the last hours of Utah’s 45-day legislative session for 2016, a scandal has erupted involving two of the state’s most powerful policymakers and it involves a bill that is poised for passage before midnight on March 10. Both Republican Governor Gary Herbert and Senate Majority Whip Stuart Adams (Republican – Layton) have been actively campaigning for the passage of SB 246 – Funding for Infrastructure Revisions, known as the bill that would authorize $53 million in public funds for investment in an expansion of the Port of Oakland. It is intended to allow Utah to have an export portal to extend it’s sizable coal market to buyers on the Pacific Rim.
On Thursday, the East Bay Express, one of Oakland’s most widely read alternative media sites carried a story that tied Herbert and Adams as being under the influence of contributions from Bowie Resource Partners, with conflicts involving more than $30,000 since the last campaign cycle in 2014. Bowie is a Kentucky coal mining conglomerate which recently purchased coal mines in Utah. One of the mines is among the oldest operated in the coal-rich state.
“I’m available. I’m available Jones!”
2016 In May 2016, Herbert was criticized for unethical campaign fund-raising activity. In a tape that was made without his knowledge, as Herbert was trying to get donors to contribute his campaign finance money, Herbert said that he would go anywhere and do whatever it takes. “I’m available. I’m available Jones!” he was heard saying on the tape. Although he did say that there would be no quid pro quo he also said to the lobbyists in attendance that even if he did not agree with them that he would make them happy. Herbert’s Republican challenger Jonathan E. Johnson said that he was so upset that he was physically shaking when he heard what Herbert did. Herbert’s Democratic opponent Mike Weinholtz promised that if he were elected to be Utah’s governor, that he work to change the laws of Utah so that what Herbert did would be illegal.
Later in May 2016, Herbert apologized, saying that he regretted his actions and the actions of his campaign, but he said that he did nothing wrong. Herbert said that he was apologizing for his remarks earlier in the month, when he said “I’m available. I’m available Jones.” which was a saying from a character in Lil Abner comic strips in which the character was always available to do something for a price.
Legislative illiteracy drives Utah nuclear waste bill By Don Gale April 26, 2019 …
“The Legislature passed a bill to permit more nuclear waste into Utah. The governor allowed the bill to become law. Both are unfortunate decisions by folks who have little understanding of the consequences.”
Our Note: Energy Solutions is in line to reap copious rewards as a result of the passage of this bill. Our quisling Governor wouldn’t sign it or veto it … washing his hands of it like Pontius Pilate.
Energy Solutions has bought and paid for a number of Utah legislators and the Utah Attorney General.
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The Ole’ Buzzard’s Blog … The 4th Estate … NOT Lap Dog … NOT “Nice Doggy” … yep … JUNKYARD WATCHDOG!
According to Ron Fournier former Associated Press Bureau Chief and Jim Drinkard Associated Press Editor … the Media are Watchdogs … or should be at least.
Each node on the following timeline …
… represents a scandalous, shameful, inappropriate, questionable or corrupt event as reported in the media DURING GOVERNOR HERBERT’S ADMINISTRATION AS LT. GOVERNOR 2005-2009 AND THEN GOVERNOR 2009 TO PRESENT.
- “F” Political Financing
- “F” Executive Accountability
- “F” Judicial Accountability
- “F” State Civil Service Management
- “F” Lobbying Disclosure
- “F” Ethics Enforcement Agencies
- “F” State Pension Fund Management
The Ole’ Buzzard