Political news

Brian Grimmett

Governor Gary Herbert has selected Sean Reyes to be Utah’s next Attorney General. He says all three of the candidates referred to him were qualified for the job, but ultimately it was Sean Reyes’ experience in both the public and private sector that made him the one who would fit best.

“He is eminently qualified for this responsibility and this job and I think it comes at a time that is unique in our state’s history, that’s going to take a unique personality to come in and turn the office around,” Herbert says.

Brian Grimmett

During day two of the House Investigative Committee’s report on former Attorney General John Swallow, investigators described a web of organizations that Swallow used to hide and obscure money received from payday lending companies. Chief investigator James Mintz said he accomplished this with the help of campaign consultant Jason Powers, who created most of the shell organizations.

Brian Grimmett

In a day long meeting, special counsel Steve Reich revealed information that former Attorney General John Swallow intentionally created and deleted data in an effort to mislead the Utah House investigation.

Congressman Jim Matheson Unsure of His Future

Dec 18, 2013
Brian Grimmett

Democratic Representative Jim Matheson’s announcement that he will not run for reelection in 2014 came as a surprise to many and set off a stream of speculation that he has his aim set on a higher office. But, when Jim Matheson first ran for and won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives he never intended to be a lifer. He says the decision to not run for reelection was based on a personal desire to move on with his life, and not because he was afraid of losing to Republican candidate Mia Love.

Brian Grimmett

Three people remain as options to replace John Swallow as Utah’s next Attorney General. Governor Gary Herbert now has the job to select one of them to fill the vacant spot.

Brian Grimmett

Governor Gary Herbert says he plans on appointing a new Attorney General to replace John Swallow by Christmas. He will select one of three candidates chosen by the GOP State Central Committee. In the first of a series of profiles on the candidates, we take a look at the relatively unknown, Robert Smith.

Rep. Jim Matheson Will Not Run For Reelection

Dec 17, 2013
U.S. House of Representatives

Utah’s only Democratic state representative, Jim Matheson, has announced that he will not seek reelection in 2014. 

Brian Grimmett

Members of the Utah Republican state central committee selected Sean Reyes, Robert Smith and Brian Tarbet as their nominees for Attorney General. Governor Gary Herbert will now choose one of these candidates to replace John Swallow. He says he hopes to do it as soon as possible, and hopefully before Christmas.

“I’m going to interview them, I’m going to talk with them. It’s about restoring trust in the AG’s office and confidence for the people of Utah. And I think I’ve got three great people to choose from.”

Brian Grimmett

Republican Candidates vying to replace former Attorney General John Swallow, faced off in a debate on Wednesday night. They answered questions that came from across the state using the Utah Education Network’s video conferencing infrastructure.

Karina Puikkonen

With the 2016 election more than two and a half years away, Republican Mike Lee accepted his first official re-election endorsement at Salt Lake City’s Grand America Hotel Wednesday. Members of the California-based group Tea Party Express put their support behind Utah’s junior senator.

Governor's Budget Proposal Focuses On Education

Dec 4, 2013
Brian Grimmett

Utah Governor Gary Herbert released his 2015 budget proposal today at Utah Valley University in Orem and its main focus is on increased education funding.

For the 2015 fiscal year the Governor’s office of Management and Budget projects the state will receive $338 million dollars in new money. Governor Herbert’s proposal calls for more than 75% of it to go towards education.

Brian Grimmett

At midnight on Monday John Swallow officially became the former Attorney General of Utah. And while there are several Republicans vying to become the appointed replacement, the Governor won’t make that decision for another few weeks. Until then, Major General Brian Tarbet will be the acting Attorney General and dealing with the transition won't be easy.

Layton Mayor Steve Curtis Dies

Nov 29, 2013
Steve Curtis / Facebook

  Residents of Layton are expressing shock after the unexpected death of Mayor Steve Curtis at the age of 58. 

City Council member Mike Bowhuis says Mayor Curtis died in his sleep after enjoying Thanksgiving with his family.  Curtis was just finishing his second term as mayor.  Prior to that, he served ten years on the Layton city council.  Bowhuis says city employees held him in high regard.

Brian Grimmett

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox announced today that he will not pursue civil action against Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

Cox says he won’t pursue the case because Swallow has already resigned. He says because the outcome of resignation and civil action is the same, a vacated office, moving forward would only be a waste of time and taxpayer money.

“Short of spending $200,000 in a six month trial to end up exactly where we are today, I don’t know what else we could do except to forward it on to the other investigators,” he says.

Utah Democrats Claim Swallow Election is Null and Void

Nov 26, 2013
Brian Grimmett

Leaders of the Utah Democratic Party are calling on Governor Gary Herbert to hold a special election to replace Attorney General John Swallow, instead of appointing the replacement himself. But, there might not be a legal path for what the Democrats want.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

In preparation for the release of the Governor’s budget, members of his staff gathered at the Capitol today to talk about how much money the state could and should spend in the next year.

Investigations Continue Despite Swallow's Resignation

Nov 25, 2013
Brian Grimmett

Several investigations into Utah Attorney General John Swallow will continue to move forward despite his resignation from office.

Democratic Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and Republican Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings have been investigating Swallow since early this year. They’re trying to determine if he’s violated any state laws, specifically those against selling influence. Because of that, Gill says Swallow’s resignation will have little, if any, effect on what they’re doing.

Brian Grimmett

The special counsel to the state election’s office has found that there is sufficient evidence to show that Utah Attorney General John Swallow violated Utah election law.

Utah Attorney General John Swallow Resigns

Nov 21, 2013
Brian Grimmett

Utah Attorney General John Swallow has submitted his letter of resignation to Governor Gary Herbert and will leave his office on December 3rd.

John Swallow said he decided to resign from office because the pressure on his family from the several ongoing investigations into his conduct had just become too strong. He said he’s spent nearly $300 thousand of his own money in his defense and that he couldn’t see an end in sight.

Bob Nelson

Availability of jobs, public school education and air and water quality are the top three areas most in need of improvement for a better quality of life. That’s according to the latest Utah Foundation survey of Utahns. The Foundation’s Senior Research Analyst Shawn Teigen led a panel discussion today in downtown Salt Lake City on the results of the latest study of Utahn’s Quality of Life. He says air quality moved to number one when residents were asked this open-ended question.

Karina Puikkonen

Utah congressional candidate Mia Love held a town hall meeting in Sandy today. Former Congressman and retired Lieutenant Colonel Allan West was also present to endorse the Saratoga Springs Mayor’s campaign.

During the meeting, Colonel West says he traveled to Utah because he believes republican candidates like Mayor Love would restore principles of equal opportunity rather than equal results to the modern American Dream.

U College of Law Tackles Government Dysfunction

Nov 7, 2013
University of Utah

The latest federal government shutdown is estimated to have cost the US economy 24 billion dollars. It’s left many people wondering what can be done for the government to function more effectively. The University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law is working on coming up with some answers. The law school is hosting a symposium Friday examining the current challenges facing US governance and some practical solutions to those problems.

Brian Grimmett

Embattled Utah Attorney General John Swallow is denying that he ever intentionally deleted emails from his computers. He’s also accusing the special counsel for the House committee investigating him of being inflammatory and unprofessional.

Brian Grimmett

The special counsel in the investigation of Utah Attorney General told the committee today that he is deeply concerned about the extent of missing electronic documents from John Swallow.

File: Mike Reberg Facebook page

 Salt Lake County Animal Services has a new director. Mike Reberg had been working in Congressman Jim Matheson’s Wasatch Front office. He’s also a former associate public works director for the county. Russ Wall, Salt Lake County’s Public Works Director, says Reberg intends to bring the two main aspects of animal services, enforcement and adoption, closer together.

“He’s an animal lover but more importantly, he’s a people lover and so we’re really excited to have him here,” says Wall.

Utah Agriculture Commissioner Retiring

Nov 4, 2013
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

  The Commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is retiring after eight years in that job.  Leonard Blackham’s tenure included a four-year battle to keep Japanese beetles from getting established in Utah.

“I mean, if that got away from us," Blackham told KUER, "we would have had infestations of that occasionally like we do with Mormon crickets and that kinda bugs.  People would have looked out their window one morning and their garden would have been gone.”

Brian Grimmett

The chair of the House committee investigating Utah Attorney General John Swallow says he’s concerned about possible missing documents from the Attorney General’s office.

State GOP Makes Changes to Neighborhood Caucuses

Oct 28, 2013
Brian Grimmett

Leaders of the Count My Vote initiative say they will continue to move forward with their efforts to replace the party caucuses with direct primaries even after state GOP delegates voted over the weekend to reform the current system.

Former Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell will now lead Utah’s medical industry lobby as President and CEO of the Utah Hospital Association. The UHA board of Trustees announced the decision today, a month after Bell resigned from Governor Gary Herbert’s office.

Thirty-eight-year-old State Representative Spencer Cox was officially sworn in Wednesday as Utah’s new Lieutenant Governor. The Sanpete County native will replace outgoing Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell. 

Cox has only served in the legislature for one session, but he says in that time he’s learned the importance of public service.