Peter Corroon’s style of ethics


What is with these candidates who trumpet their support of ethics and then show their lack of? Last week, Salt Lake County mayor, Peter Corroon said he was going to run a positive campaign for governor. That lasted two days when he then released a 54-page document attacking Gary Herbert. Today, he allowed his press secretary to send around an email to all county employees ragging on the governor.

Jim Braden sent out an email entitled “Special Edition: Who’s In Charge” to all county employees. The politically motivated email links to every negative news article about Governor Gary Herbert – and of course nothing at all unfavorable to Corroon. Hello?!

Corroon is vocal in his support for ethics UEG style, yet he abuses his office as county mayor, says the governor’s mansion is for sale and that contributions of $50,000 should raise red flags, he himself is – wait for it – taking contributions of $50K from a company doing business with the county.

Kem Gardner’s company – Gateway Associates – developed & owns the Gateway as well as residential, commercial and retail in Salt Lake County. Salt Lake County owns property at the gateway including Clark Planetarium. The county pays Gateway Associates, Kern Gardner pays Corroon’s campaign. Nice.

But then again, it’s the “Colorado Model,” right?  October surprises, personal attacks calling the opponent unethical and a boatload of money poured into the race.  Although it’s unlikely to work this time, one does have to wonder what Corroon is REALLY running for.  Maybe it’s just a cushy spot as mayor the next two years…..


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27 Responses to “Peter Corroon’s style of ethics”

  1. Sylvia Andersen Says:

    Excuse me, did I understand that he used County resources (email addresses of all county employees) for political purposes. Whether it was him or his campaign manager, he is responsible. That is serious stuff.

  2. jcarman Says:

    RE the “Colorado Model”…I just finished reading the book “The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado.” Holy cow, Utahns, don’t let this happen here! Get to know your candidate, and get out there and support him/her with your dollars and/or your time. Go Gov. Herbert!

  3. The Writer Says:

    BTW: I got that email, too…what’s with link to the article by Gordon Monson about Bronco’s mistake on BYU’s quarterback? What’s that got to do with Herbert?

    Back to the point: I expect an article from Rolly post haste demonstrating the absolute hypocrisy. He was all over Lohra last week because her email landed in a few gov email boxes that those individuals had provided to the bar…this is far worse. Here, its a current gov employee mailing political hits to other political employees.

    Why would anyone want to work for this guy, Corroon? Worse, why would anyone want him as their Governor?

  4. Tauni Says:

    I am so disheartened by the events of the last two weeks…such a disappointment.

  5. Curtis Says:

    Would it be possible to see a text of the email and what it linked to?

  6. Bruce Says:

    Typical Obama Democrat these days. I’m a Republican who actually voted for this guy, and am greatly disappointed. As a Governor he’s a non-starter.

  7. Phillip Bell, EA Says:

    Here is a problem with your argument.

    The county and Gateway has been doing business with the County at least 2002 — Corroon has been mayor since 2004. So, Corroon’s acceptance of contributions from Kern Gardner have no reasonable link to the county’s business dealings with Gateway Associates.

    Conversely, the Governor has three separate instances where his receipt of campaign funds have (at least) apparent connections to the donor’s receipt of awarded state contracts, tax concessions, or expedited issuing of permits. Individually, these events don’t create ethics questions but combined they make the governor appear, at least, mildly dishonest.

    You also have to concede that the Governor’s ignorance of a payout that equaled nearly 50% of the state’s deficit, and under special circumstances, speaks of near criminal ineptitude (if not criminal misconduct).

  8. bekkieann Says:

    How is it unethical to point out possible unethical conduct?

  9. Bruce Says:

    Last week Peter Corroon said he would run a positive, issue oriented campaign for Governor. That pledge lasted exactly two days. On Friday his campaign launched the most negative personal attacks I have ever seen in Utah politics.

    Peter Corroon admits that Governor Herbert didn’t do anything “illegal.” However, that didn’t stop Corroon insinuating that the Governor did something wrong. Today, Governor Herbert sent a letter to Peter Corroon asking that he disavow and stop this unprecedented and unwarranted attack campaign.

    Below is Governor Herbert’s letter to Peter Corroon.
    — Dave Hansen, Chairman

    September 16, 2010

    Dear Mayor Corroon:

    This is a formal request that you repudiate the false and salacious 55-page document your campaign produced, which you entitled “Gary Herbert: Governor for $ale,” and made claims that Utah companies and community leaders received preferential treatment from state government in exchange for contributions to my campaign.

    Let me be perfectly clear: there is no basis of truth to the allegations you have made. I take my oath of office very seriously. I have spent a lifetime building a reputation of integrity. I have spent over 20 years in public service, representing both my county and the state. I will not sit idly by while you drag through the dirt the reputations of Utah businesses and their leaders who are creating jobs for Utahns, and doing so much more to improve our state’s quality of life. I will not tolerate your denigration of honest and dedicated Utah public employees-including those in the Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

    You have, on at least two occasions, publicly pledged to run a “clean campaign” based solely on the issues and free of personal attacks. Your campaign has taken a 180-degree turn from that pledge. Polls and politics are no excuse for negative campaigns that attack personal character.

    You create a perception that Utah allows a system of “pay for play.” That, Mayor Corroon, is not only absolutely false-you know it is false! It creates skepticism amongst our citizenry and doubt in the minds of anyone outside of Utah who observes the culture and dynamics of our community. In a very real sense you, Mayor Corroon, have also tarnished the very good name of Utah-and I will not let your allegations go unchallenged.

    As the mayor of one of Utah’s largest communities, you have a platform, a profile and a responsibility that few other leaders enjoy. Through the eyes of many, including those outside of Utah, how they view Utah is determined, at least in part, by how they view our state’s leaders and government-which includes both you and me and thousands of others. The impression you promote when you allege that Utah’s system-our governor, our business leaders, and our state government employees and volunteers-are corrupt, affect the state’s reputation.

    You have done a great disservice to me, to each of the 16 businesses and community leaders you cited in your report, and to the reputation of our great state. I ask you to acknowledge your mistake. I had hoped that we could have a constructive debate on the issues and challenges facing Utah. That is my commitment-it should also be yours. The public deserves no less. Attacking the integrity of others and then justifying it as a call for “meaningful ethics reform” is simply a sham and it has no place in this election.

    Gary R. Herbert

  10. Tom C. Says:

    DId you mention Peter Corroon has taken over $50,000 from Bruce Bastian? That’s right, the same Bruce Bastian that gave $1,000,000 to fighting Proposition 8 in California. Remember Proposition 8? Remember the movie Bruce Bastian produced titled “8: The Mormon Proposition?” How are those huge contributions to Peter Corroon influencing his agenda for Utah?

  11. M. Nickolsen Says:

    Surprise, Surprise! HollyOnTheHill is the only one keeping the media’s candidate accountable for his words.

  12. Jack31 Says:

    I just want to know, if the issue IS about campaign finance reform as Peter Corroon says it is, than why isn’t he voluntarily limiting his campaign contributions? Receiving $50k from Kem Gardner, a developer? Sounds like the only difference between Corroon and Herbert one reeks of hypocrisy.

  13. Jackie Says:

    @ Mr EA,

    Gateway continues to receive county funds, and Corroon will have a role in determining in whether those funds continue in the future. So while there is a difference between new contracts and existing contracts, the difference is not particularly relevant. Instead of pay to play, it would be pay to continue to play.

    Your 50%-of-the-deficit argument has great rhetorical value. $13 million is still $13 million, but a better measure would be as a percent of total expenditures. Besides, your measure breaks down when the budget is balanced or runs a surplus.

  14. Jackie Says:

    Didn’t the Democrats learn anything from Lisa Johnson’s attempt to smear Greg Hughes? Johnson sprung her surprise way too early and allowed Hughes enough time to counter her charges. Now Corroon jumps the gun even earlier than Johnson did. This is crazy. This should have come out no early than the second week in October. Big mistake.

  15. bekkieann Says:

    If it walks like a duck . . .

  16. Aaron R Says:

    Corroon is running a weaker “mr ethics -sweeping up corruption campaign” than the dem’s ran in 2008 against Rep. Greg Hughes. Whoever mentioned The Colorado Model is very perceptive. The democrats had several multimillionaire activiists that took advantage of the state campaign contribution limit laws and organized 501c3’s 527 NPO’s to avoid reporting, limits, disclosure etc. and now they play by a whole new set of rules. Peter Coroon was at the 2008 DNC convention in Colorado where the gang of 4 who turned Colorado from a red state to a blue state presented to the audience how they did it, and unveiled a list of states to target for the next cycle. Guess which “best managed state in the nation” appeared on the list. Utah. Know your enemy, their ideology and tactics.

  17. Pops Says:

    I would like to thank Peter Corroon for showing why people shouldn’t run for political office. Those who do will have everything they have ever done not only put under a microscope, but also cast in the worst possible light. It will be twisted and distorted to make them look stupid, dishonest, foolish, and/or unethical. Oh, and everything their family has ever done will be scrutinized as well. And that’s how we encourage good people to run for public office.

    Thanks again. NOT!

  18. Cameron Says:

    @ Phillip & bekkieann

    These kinds of allegations are very serious. Making them without significant proof is unethical. Doing so in the middle of a race for office when you’re down 30 points in the polls makes you look like a sleazeball in my eyes.

  19. Jen Says:

    I like to know about ethical complaints about either candidate. Its sad to have to choose between two evils, but so often that is the case. Comparing, I would seem that Corroon is less corrupt so far. You can support campaign limits but expecting him to restrict his own when Herbert doesn’t have to seems an unreasonable disadvantage.

    I think the correlations mentioned in the governor for sale memo have uncovered something maybe worse- udots $13m payout because udot allowed an unfair bidding process that they could not defend in court. And they did it without telling anyone? Who is in charge of firing the UDOT execs??

  20. JBT Says:

    Let’s see Holly. You brought up UEG style of ethics in campaign contributions?

    -Legislators and legislative candidates are prohibited from giving monies from their own campaign accounts to other campaign accounts or accepting money from others’ campaign accounts. (Buying power and influence in the Legislature).

    -Legislators and legislative candidates are prohibited from accepting campaign contributions from corporations, labor unions, nonprofit associations. (Same as Federal elections)

    -Legislators and legislative candidates are prohibited from accepting contributions that exceed $2500 per individual and $5,000 per political action committee. (Encourages more grass roots individual donations vs corporations buying influence and GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS wink, wink.)

    Sounds pretty good to me.

  21. The Writer Says:

    JBT: you forgot that UEG also wants to appoint the sponsors of the bill to run the committee that investigates allegations, that those same individuals will not be answerable to any court of law or other individual, that they are unelected, and that they are appointed indefinitely…

    Yeah, it looks pretty nice on the surface, but for some reason, its sponsors tend to leave out the ramifications.

    ON the other hand: what’s wrong with candidates sharing their campaign money with other candidates? Why must there be a limit to how much a candidate can receive?

  22. Bob Aagard Says:

    Nice try, Holly.

    And,I’dlike to point out that Herbert’s “nice guy”pledge ended even before he made it. Remember the remarks about taking away Seminary?

  23. JBT Says:

    Writer: Please get your facts straight. In the event the leaders of the majority and minority parties could not agree on 20 names to be put in the hat to draw 5 who would be on the initial ethics committee, then the original signers of the ethics petition would select the 20 names.

    For what’s wrong with candidates sharing sharing campaign money, see this article:

    The reason to limit campaign contributions is simple. It prevents one or two wealthy individuals or corporations from donating huge sums of money to a candidate and creating a situation where the candidate knows that if he doesn’t vote the way the individual or corporation wants, that the huge contributions will go to another candidate the next election. Legislators are elected to represent all their constituents, not just a few wealthy and powerful individuals or corporations.

    If you would bother to research the facts before talking back to me, you might not embarrass yourself in this fashion.

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