The Nacilbupera Guzzle

Whoever examines with attention the history of the dearths and famines … will find, I believe, that a dearth never has arisen from any combination among the inland dealers in corn, nor from any other cause but a real scarcity, occasioned sometimes perhaps, and in some particular places, by the waste of war, but in by far the greatest number of cases by the fault of the seasons; and that a famine has never arisen from any other cause but the violence of government attempting, by improper means, to remedy the inconveniences of a dearth. (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations IV.5.44)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Baring the $150K Man & Minor "Skinny Dip" (Update: Garn Resigns)

The 2010 Utah "Best Managed State in the Union" Legislative session has been one of historic highs and lows; unfortunately we must end the session with another low. After losing our Senate Majority Leader Sheldon Killpack to DUI charges two months ago, the House Majority Leader Kevin Garn has now effectively ended his political career with a House floor stunning revelation of a "hot-tub" encounter 25 years ago with a 15-year old girl, Cheryl Maher* and his $150K "hush money" he paid to keep Maher quiet. (Kevin Garn's Statement, Headline Story)

Garn himself admitted in his own statement that this revelation came after Maher went public ("Today, she went to the press and reported all of these events.") and excluded the fact that they were nude. Further examination of Garn's admission was that it lacked vital details that have since emerged so as to minimize the negative impact, namely:
  • Garn was both the employer and a one-time spiritual advisor to Maher
  • Their relationship was "long-term" rather than a heat-of-the-moment event
  • Alcohol was involved (not fully clear that alcohol was given to a minor, but this is implied)
  • Maher--believably--asserts that this is not Garn's sole indiscretion
  • Maher alludes to contact in the form of massage being involved

Additionally, Deseret News editor-in-chief at the time, John Hughes, and managing editor Rick Hall were involved in a cover-up when they found out about the incident in 2002 just before Garn's US Congressional election (UT-01).

We feel that multiple law violations may be involved here including: extortion, campaign finance law violation, providing alcohol to a minor, and sexual misconduct with a minor. We further feel that Garn owes the citizens Utah a full account of all details relevant to this and any other "inappropriate" incidents involving minors. Surely a formal investigation will be happening in the months to come.

Meanwhile with a March 19th filing deadline approaching, Chris Crowder wasted no time in getting involved in a race to unseat Garn.

Holly on the Hill has done a superior job of covering this story and Nacilbupera enjoins with Holly in her call for Garn to resign. In the end we are glad that we are ridding ourselves of this kind of leadership which acts as an acid in souring enthusiasm for the great work done and call upon any GOP leader who needs to bring out the skeletons to do so now. Killpack had the honor to resign, will Garn?

*Footnote: Serendipitously, Maher now resides in New Hampshire, ranked "worst managed state" in the Pew report.

+++ Update 3/13:
Garn did the right thing and resigned today. Nacilbupera now will stand and applaud that decision. We hope he will do the right thing: confess, forsake, and make legal amends for any and all crimes committed. We will pray for him and his family.

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