Tuesday, March 04, 2008

“Pure as Caesar’s wife”

SALT LAKE CITY – The chairman of the Utah Democratic Party issued the following statement in response to a report today that Republican members of the Legislature were asked to approve a $42 million “bridge” loan to St. George in connection with construction of a new regional airport. The loan likely would benefit the largest client of Utah House Speaker Greg Curtis’ law firm, Anderson Development.

“It appears that Speaker Curtis has been as pure as Caesar’s wife,” said Wayne Holland. “The public does not know what goes on behind those closed doors.”

The report titled “House speaker says he could not disclose association with bidder” was written by Bob Bernick and published online this afternoon by the Deseret Morning News.

As Republican lawmakers were being asked to provide the loan during their caucus at noon upstairs in the Capitol, Democrat Jay Seegmiller was downstairs in the Rotunda announcing his bid for District 49, the seat Speaker Curtis currently holds.

In a press release last week Seegmiller said, “It’s time to hold him (Speaker Curtis) accountable for his leadership style, rules he imposes on a whim that uniformly benefit his cronies, and the privileged access he grants special interests but denies constituents. I will fight for campaign finance and ethics reform that Utahns overwhelmingly favor but the Curtis Legislature has consistently stymied.”

The report illustrates that when confronted with an apparent conflict between his responsibility to Utahns as a public servant and greasing the skids to help a client make millions, the speaker of the Utah House follows the money.

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