How Should Utah Pick a Replacement for John Swallow?

On Saturday, the Utah GOP State Central Committee will meet to select three names to send to Governor Herbert as possible replacements for former Attorney General John Swallow. Democrats argue Swallow’s election was not legal, and a special election should be held to pick the new Attorney General. We asked our “Political Insiders” and readers to weigh in on the issue. Here’s what they had to say.

Selected anonymous comments:

A special election would cost millions and take as long as holding an election in November as sceduled. Where was Senator/Chairman Dabakis outrage over his own replacement election?

The law is clear, even if Jim Dabakis dislikes it.

This needs to be handled quickly for now — with the GOP picking a replacement. But in the future, the AG should not be elected and subjected to begging for money and the expectations that come from the donors. Some other means must be found.

We should follow the rules as they are. I’m sure the Dems would say that if Swallow belonged to their party.

My choice comes with a qualifier. The replacement should be a place holder, with a commitment not to run for the office. This applies especially to the two hopefuls who have clear ties to the Swallow case. Sheesh. Can we get a bit of distance from that fiasco already?

The Governor should pick the best candidate without regard to party or central committee endorsement.

Only fair way to do it would be a full-contact Roshambo tournament

Let the people decide since they did such a good job picking the last AG.

Current law should be followed….this may bother Jim Dabakis but the rule of law should be upheld.

Why waste $3-5 million on a special election when there will be an election for AG in less than a year.

An expensive special election that will be participated in by under 20% of the electorate to decide a term of less than one year — it’s a non-starter. This is not a vote of confidence in the GOP Central Committee’s ability to vet the prospective candidates in a meaningful way, but the selfish choices of John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff before him leave us with no better option.

Of course a special election will not happen. It is not in the best interest of a corrupt system to let citizens choose their AG,  and even if they do it will be the person with the most money

Whomever gets appointed only holds the office for 11 months till the next election, so this seems like too much hype by the Democrats.

To the victor goes the spoils. The GOP Is In the driver’s seat at the moment. I can remember when the Democrats were dominant. So it goes.

The governor should appoint the AG anyway and in this case he should be able to appoint whomever he wants so long as that person is of the party of the outgoing AG.

The GOP Central Committee selection is based on an unconstitutional statute. The Utah Constitution vests selection authority in the event of a vacancy with the Governor alone. A special election would preferable to putting so much authority in a committee that is so demonstrably out of sync with the general Republican electorate.

The Democrats should resist the urge to overplay their hand. The code doesn’t call for a special election, it would be very expensive, and, unless they find a way to bring Cal Rampton back to life, no Democrat will win it anyway. We’re all grateful to the Dems for helping us get rid of Swallow, but we’re still not going to trust them with any office outside of SL County.

The law is very clear on this. The GOP is to pick the successor.

We live by the rule of law, not the rule of make crap up as you go. The party should pick in the event of a vacancy.

We have so few real open elections these days that it seems a shame to waste a rare opportunity to let the entire state weigh in when they are all paying attention.

The Lieutenant Governor refuses to throw Swallow’s election out. Therefore, as long as that is the case, a special election is completely out of the question. GOP delegates should make the decision.

The current law should be followed. If we don’t, this whole debacle could cost the state even more money. So, the SCC should put forward three names and the Governor should then choose. Let’s hope the process remains clean and responsible.

We should probably follow the law in picking the state’s top lawyer.

The GOP should lose their right to appoint because of the fraudulent way in which the election was won. That said, with the GOP firmly in power of a one-party state they’ll do whatever they want, unless a credible lawsuit can be cobbled together.

Right or wrong, this has already been decided by statute. The question should really be who should the replacement be? It should be someone who doesn’t want the job permanently. It should be someone who will work hard at restoring the public’s trust by cleaning house and making policies that ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. Then, next year, the political mayhem can commence when candidates file for the election. This is what should happen but it is not likely to be what will happen.

Because the election wasn’t voided the GOP gets to pick, however this isn’t a process that appears to be in the best interest of the office, or the citizens of Utah

I am a Republican and even I am embarrassed by the ‘Good ol boy” shenanigans that have brought about this replacement. Our Governor should demand that the entire state be involved in this selection just to remove the appearance of cover-up and fraud. And Swallow should be subjected to the fullest investigation and punishment for any wrong-doing that has soiled the reputation of the office.

Note to Democrats: Headlines don’t govern. Dabakis’ reactionary buffoonery on legal issues makes him look like spectacularly ill-advised policymaker. It’s too bad, because the man could be one of the great ones.

The prescribed method is to have the Utah GOP Central Committee nominate three people and then the Governor makes the actual selection. A better question, might be, should the Central Committee nominate and should the Governor select a nominee who will agree not to run in 2014 or not.

Some critics of Utah’s political system have said that John Swallow won simply because he was a Republican. If that’s so, then the Republican Party was the actual winner of the election. Since they won the seat, they should choose the replacement. And, as it turns out, the best way to select the replacement is also the least expensive way. It’s a two-for-one.

Respondents include – 

Fred Adams, Stuart Adams, Jess Agraz, Scott Anderson, Laura Arellano, Patrice Arent, Bette Arial, Neil Ashdown, Bruce Baird, Heather Barney, Steve Barth, Jeff Bell, Tom Berggren, Mike Bertelsen, Ron Bigelow, Emily Bingham-Hollingshead, Rob Bishop, Laura Black, Nanci Bockelie, Charles Bradley, Jim Bradley, Ralph Brown, Chris Bleak, Curt Bramble, Joel Briscoe, Ralph Brown, Aaron Browning, Ken Bullock, Ric Cantrell, Maura Carabello, Marty Carpenter, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Kay Christensen, David Clark, Kim Coleman, Peter Corroon, Tim Cosgrove, Fred Cox, Lew Cramer, Gene Davis, Richard Davis, Brad Daw, Alan Dayton, Margaret Dayton, Mike Deaver, Brad, Dee, Joseph Demma, Jake Dennis, Dan Deuel, Jeff Dixon, Brian Doughty, Carl Downing, Randy Dryer, Susan Duckworth, Donald Dunn, Alan Eastman, Becky Edwards, Scott Ericson, Chase Everton, Jessica Fawson, Janice Fisher, Wendy Fisher, Lorie Fowlke, Ronald Fox, Claire Francis, Ryan Frandsen, Adam Gardiner, Jordan Garn, Ernie Gamonal, Luke Garrott, Dave Gessel, Sheryl Ginsberg, Natalie Gochnour, Robert Grow, Karen Hale, David Hansen, Neil Hansen, Joe Hatch, Jeff Hartley, Dan Hauser, Lynn Hemmingway, Deidre Henderson, Neal Hendrickson, Casey Hill, Lyle Hillyard, Kory Holdaway, Randy Horiuchi, Ben Horsley, Bruce Hough, Scott Howell, Greg Hughes, Miriam Hyde, Allison Isom, Casey Jackson, Eric Jergensen, Mike Jerman, Jonathan Johnson, Michael Jolley, Gordon Jones, Leslie Jones, Pat Jones, Kirk Jowers, Jeremy Keele, Brian King, Scott Konopasek, Steve Kroes, Chris Kyler, Carter Livingston, Fred Lampropoulos, Clark Larsen, Douglas Larson, David Litvack, Larry Lunt, Matt Lyon, Ben McAdams, Daniel McCay, Gayle McKeachnie, JT Martin, Maryann Martindale, Jason Mathis, Bob Mayhew, Karen Mayne, Bret Milburn, Derek Miller, Rob Miller, Ethan Millard, Brett Millburn, Karen Morgan, Jeffery Morton, Mike Mower, Holly Mullen, Wayne Niederhauser, Mike Noel, Randy O’Hara, Ralph Okerlund, James Olsen, Val Oveson, Kelly Patterson, John Pearce, Helen Peters, Karen Peterson, Frank Pignanelli, Becky Pirente, Marie Poulson, Jason Powers, Tami Pyfer, Joe Pyrah, Mike Reberg, Jill Remington Love, Lauren Richards, Holly Richardson, Robin Riggs, James Roberts, Luz Robles, Ross Romero, Carol Sapp, Don Savage, Bryan Schott, Shauna Scott-Bellaccomo, Jay Seegmiller, Jennifer Seelig, Patrick Shea, Randy Shumway, Soren Simonsen, Jeremy Slaughter, Brendan Smith, Brian Somers, Carol Spackman-Moss, Robert Spendlove, Barbara Stallone, Howard Stephenson, David Stringfellow, Mike Styler, Shinika Sykes, Juliette Tennert, Gary Thorup, Kevin Van Tassell, Royce Van Tassel, Doug Thompson, Michael Waddoups, Laura Warburton, Chuck Warren, Christine Watkins, LaVarr Webb, Todd Weiler, Alan West, Mark Wheatley, Larry Wiley, Ted Wilson, Carl Wimmer, Mike Winder, Travis Wood, Thomas Wright, Crystal Young-Otterstrom

Results from the Insider poll can be heard on KSL Radio every Friday and are published on Utah every Monday.