Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When You Wish Upon... What?!

OK, kids. It's time to fire up the Wayback Machine. Let's travel back to January 2013. Remember the sordid tale of John Swallow & Jeremy Johnson?

Wait, who?!

Here's what we know so far. St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson wanted the legal equivalent of a magic wand to wave away a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation into his internet marketing company, I Works. So he contacted then Deputy Utah Attorney General John Swallow (R), who then connected him with the late Check City (payday loan provider) owner Richard Rawle. 

Now here's where we descend into "he said, he said" territory. Johnson alleges that Swallow & Rawle struck a deal with him where he'd give them $600,000... For them to then bribe Senator [Harry] Reid [D] into making the FTC investigation of I Works go away. 

However, Swallow vehemently denies this allegation. Swallow's version of the story goes as this: He just thought (at the time that) Johnson was facing an unfair probe by the FTC. So he referred Johnson to his former employer Rawle. And he's even presented an affidavit from Rawle (prepared just before his death) stating Johnson paid Rawle $250,000 to hire federal lobbyists to make Johnson's case in DC.

At the very least, some sleazy wheeling-dealing was going on here. And now that John Swallow is Utah's Attorney General, he's facing the political scandal of his life. However, there's been nothing produced so far that confirms that Reid accepted any kind of bribe from Johnson, Swallow, and/or Rawle.

Yesterday, Former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow (R) & Mark Shurtleff (R) were indicted on 23 counts. They face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. And yes, this has to do with their alleged dealings with Jeremy Johnson and the late Richard Rawle.

Already, this is causing a huge political earthquake in Utah. And already, investigators are suggesting more indictments are on the way in the Swallow-Johnson corruption case.

However, some in Utah are disappointed that the federal Department of Justice declined to take this case. Even the lead investigators have suggested such. Could it possibly be...

Still, no. Even as certain figures whisper about Senator Harry Reid's potential involvement, no evidence has actually been found. We only have Jeremy Johnson's claims that Senator Reid is involved. And keep in mind that Jeremy Johnson had demanded a refund of the $250,000 he paid Richard Rawle because Senator Reid never made that pesky FTC investigation of I Works go away!

We get it. This is awful news for Utah Republicans. Many sense this case goes far deeper than some money Rawle, Shurtleff, and Swallow passed around. And certain media pundits are hungry for a big, splashy "SCANDAL!!!" involving Nevada's top elected leader.

But no matter how much certain pundits & politicians wish for a "Reid connection" here, they can't wish it into being true. Just as they couldn't turn a UNLV Foundation fundraiser into a giant "Hillary Clinton SCANDAL!!!", they can't just wish it into reality.

The 2014 Election Cycle isn't even over yet, and already some politicians & pundits are wishing for 2016 fireworks. And already, they're wishing for "SCANDALZZZ!!!" that only seem to be political mirages. Perhaps instead of wishing for that which will never materialize, they need to focus on what's actually here.

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