ON Kilter: Incestuous nepotism is hard to swallow

OPINION – It appears former Utah Attorney General John Swallow won’t be resting on his laurels anytime soon.

Investigations into alleged misconduct by the former prosecutor do not appear to be going away despite repeated attempts to assuage the public’s concerns about him.

Local political observer, Bill Way, weighed in on Facebook saying: “What will ultimately come out is that some of our state senators definitely knew about the John Swallow shenanigans, and likely knew about the Harry Reid connection. Yet, even when they knew about his corruption, because of their corruption, they remained silent. This needs to be part of the full story.”

And there it is, no?

Anyone ever heard of Occam’s razor?

In simple definition, delivered by Merriam Webster, Occam’s razor is:

A scientific and philosophic rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities.

In other words, the simplest or most obvious explanation is closest to accuracy.

The simpler theory in this context is that if you follow the money, you will arrive at the source of the problem. But you will pass through the office doors of many people when you follow that money.

And so it is with politics. We have come to expect, in fact become somewhat ambivalent towards, deals struck behind closed doors in the halls of the U.S. Capitol. We should not be at all surprised when there is a trickling effect of such behavior reaching the halls of our state Capitol as well. It has long become a norm rather than aberration.

Follow the progression, and one cannot help but wonder if that attitude trickling continues down a path of little resistance to the City Hall of St. George.

Does there exist a network of individuals who hold power in this city through business, social, or religious relationships, who manipulate code and the justice system to benefit one another’s personal and business bottom lines?

And if so, does the fact that the apparent house of cards Swallow built is now collapsing around him make our local leaders nervous?

“Nothing to see here folks. Move along.”

One can only hope for their sake that they are right.

An interesting and telling shift in the community is taking place, however. Despite differing attitudes about what this community should or should not be, despite political and religious affiliations which become increasingly diverse as the population grows, no one on any side of these cultural divides can abide abuse of power.

If in fact there are individuals who engage in or collude to engage in self-serving behavior at the expense of citizens –  one would only need look at the recent scenario where City Councilman Gil Almquist flagrantly violated the very city codes he and the city enforced upon its citizens, ruthlessly and expensively  – then they must be exposed and dealt with harshly.

If the relentless investigation into Swallow is telling, it indicates that the people’s attention to what their political leaders are doing is not going to go away.

It is said that truth is stranger than fiction at times and that doesn’t change the truth. And what may be true is that the incestuous nepotism that permeates our governing body here is no fiction at all but rather a reality that needs to be uncovered and remedied.

See you out there.

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Dallas Hyland is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @dallashyland

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • Jason March 16, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Anyone associated with Libtard Reid needs to be jailed

    • Bender March 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      A fine example of the brainpower animating the typical SoUtah right wing nut.

  • PHJ March 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    ‘Incestuous nepotism’….. Isn’t that a redundant use of a couple of big words?

    • skip2maloo March 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Yup, it’s redundant (which by your seeming standards is itself a “big word”). Someone needs to develop a dictionary specific to So Utah so that any writer or commenter remains within acceptable limits. Possibly a lexicon derived from Neanderthal grunts and Reader’s Digest. BTW, I object to the use of redundant not because of its length (or more likely its unfamiliarity to the complainer) but because it itself is redundant. We should just simply say “redun” or “redunt.” Not re-dun-dunt. That’s just a fancified way of trying to sound intelligent!

  • Nanook of the North March 16, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    What exactly was the situation with Councilman Almquist?

  • Bub March 16, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Who will be the first to say: “IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT HERE THEN LEAVE!”

    • skip2maloo March 17, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Apparently you were…

  • McMurphy March 17, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Let’s see — politicians up and down the chain can be : corrupt, operate behind closed doors, manipulate code and justice systems, behave in a self-serving manner at the expense of citizens and abuse their power ?? Well — fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly. Having said that, it is a bit much to equate Almquist with Swallow. While Almquist and those in city government who turned a blind eye to his activities should be ashamed of themselves (oxymoronic I know) it does not appear that Almquist has done anything which could actually land him in jail –unlike Swallow.

    • Dallas Hyland March 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      Some research into the RICO Act might sway your opinion on that.

      • McMurphy March 17, 2014 at 8:03 pm

        Jail time for deliberately and knowingly violating a city ordinance — really ?

  • zacii March 17, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Isn’t ‘conflict of interest’ an easier phrase?

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