Andrew McCullough's Blog

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Game is Afoot

November 24, 2013

Almost from the day he was elected as Utah Attorney General, John Swallow was very controversial. He was accused of various acts of misconduct in his personal finances, his campaign finances, and his dealings with those under investigation by the Attorney General's office. People stopped me on the street to tell me that, if they had only known what he was like, they would have voted for me. My personal opinion tended to be that he was a bit sleazy, but that I had no evidence of the kind of misconduct that should result in his removal from office. But for a guy who often openly displayed his credentials as an active member of the LDS Church, he did seem to be lacking in moral character.

Nevertheless, I was stunned to turn on my computer last Wednesday evening and receive a "heads up" from my Facebook friend, Robert Gherke (who writes for the Salt Lake Tribune), that criminal charges might be coming soon. And then an updated message that a resignation was possible in the next 48 hours. It all came so fast. By the time I woke up on Thursday, it was all but over. The resignation came on Thursday afternoon. On Friday, a report from special counsel to the Lt. Governor suggested several campaign violations which could be charged as crimes. Wow! And then the radio started to talk about an interim appointment and a special election. So, I got out my election code, and found that there will be an appointment by the governor, until the next general election, which will be next November. The appointment must go through the Republican State Committee, as Mr. Swallow is a Republican. Until Thursday, I had given no thought whatsoever to running for office again next year. But all of a sudden, it appears I am once again a candidate for Attorney General. I have run before as a Libertarian candidate. Last year, I received 53,000 votes, or 5.4% of those cast. My party supporters seemed to assume that I would run again; and so far I have not come up with a good reason not to run. Yesterday, the friend who supplied me with campaign signs last year, called to discuss making some new ones.

I have explained here before that I see the role of a "minor party" candidate to be that of changing the nature of the debate. Last year, my two opponents campaigned for "family values" and promised to be tough on crime. I campaigned for smaller government and more freedom. Utah is a traditional, conservative, state. We are not going to be in the forefront of change. But anyone who is observing our society can see that major changes are coming. The "war on drugs" that has put thousands of our young people in jail, is a total failure. Colorado has now legalized the sale and possession of marijuana. I have never tried it (nor have I ever tried a cup of coffee). But it seems obvious beyond debate that putting people in jail for smoking it is a disastrous policy. Marriage equality will come to this country no matter how hard the battle to stop it may be. The State simply must step back and admit that there are some areas of human activity that are not properly regulated or prohibited by the state. And rather than making plans to build a huge new prison, we should be working to downsize the ones we have. So, the game is once again afoot. We have been given a major new opportunity to make our voices heard for more freedom, and less oppression. If you agree that this is an opportunity that we should make the most of, get involved. Make a small contribution ($50 or less remains confidential), tell your friends, put a bumper sticker on your car (they are magnetic and will come right off). Find me on facebook and "like" my page (McCullough for Attorney General). Together we can "change the world", even if only a little.


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