Internal Document Warns Against Reacting to Democratic Party Chair in Search for New Lt. Governor

A document obtained by Utah Policy lays out a strategy for Gov. Gary Herbert to follow when selecting a replacement for outgoing Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, and what qualities he should consider. It also warns against taking any bait offered by Democratic Party Chair Jim Dabakis.

Under a heading titled “Considerations for New LG,” the document lays out what Herbert should look for including:

  • Biography, both general and specific
  • Quality headshot, family photos
  • Legal/financial background check – thoroughly vetted for compliance, record, domestic help, issues positions/votes, financial stability, political contributions, professional affiliations and alliances, community/professional organizations, public statements, social media profile, media relationships, GOP affiliations and relationships
  • Professional obligations/entanglements/conflicts of interest
  • Job description/expectations – clear understanding of duties, assignments, protocol
  • Media training and preparation – media protocol, issue familiarity, rehearse statements
  • Security briefing
  • Emergency preparation
  • Staffing

The paper also includes a number of recommendations for the Governor and staff to keep in mind as the process moves forward. One bullet point in particular makes it clear the office is acutely aware of Utah State Democratic Party Chair Sen. Jim Dabakis:

  • Remain high level – characteristics, skills, do not discuss names
  • Stay focused – don’t be distracted by public speculation, politicos’ recreational oddsmaking, Debakis (sp) rants, or special interest lobbying
  • Limit media access to strategic, well orchestrated and controlled events; minimize risks and elements outside of our control
  • Remind staff about confidentiality, no speculation
  • LG find new job ASAP

When reached for comment, Dabakis said “You know me. I don’t rant.” He added that he’s sad to see Bell step down because he was a champion for education.

“He always seemed like an odd duck to me in that administration,” said Dabakis. “He had a lot broader vision on a lot of stuff, particularly education, than the rest of the administration. Of the two men (Herbert and Bell) he clearly should have been the Governor.”

One other interesting tidbit from the briefing. Under the “To do” heading, it lists “Purchase additional Kleenex for staff.”