The year 2012 is coming to a close, and once again, I honor those whom I’ve quoted in stories this year whose quotes of bitterness made my stories all the sweeter. From an outraged consumer advocate to a disgusted animal-rights spokesman, in no particular order here are my top 10 quotes of outrage for 2012---
1. “Fraud built Utah like cocaine built Miami.”-- Jason Jones, "Dialing for Dollars," June 13, a critic of Utah’s massive fraud-ridden online-business-opportunities industry that are major political donors in the state.
2. “It’s true there is an estrogenic structure that you can find in a plant, but that doesn’t mean a pharmacist went out back into a field, picked a bunch of soybeans and boiled them down and that’s what they’re using, for god’s sake. There’s a [Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy] made from horse urine, but I’m not sure how much more natural you want to get than that.”—Michelle Curtis, "Bioidentical Hoax?," May 13, a University of Texas professor of obstetrics and gynecology.
Curtis was railing against “Bio Identical Hormone Therapy” a supposed natural-hormone therapy, which has been found unreliable by the FDA but which many Utah businesses continue to make misleading statements about its abilities.
3. “It’s Friday. No one else in the office, not your lawyers, advisors, paralegal, analysts or admin assistant, but your handpicked ‘biking buddy’ intern needs to be there???””—Judy Edwards, "The Wild Bunch," Jan. 26, senior public-policy analyst for the Public Lands Policy Coordination Office.
Edwards was quoted above from an e-mail directed at her boss, whose “biking buddy intern” was a woman he hired on at the office whom he was alleged to have had an affair with. The woman joined the office at a $63,000 a year salary, and her previous work experience was in the Utah Symphony.
4. “If a news organization is going to print a newsletter for city hall, it’s perfectly fine to do, but it’s not journalism and it shouldn’t masquerade as journalism. That’s not quite fraud, but it’s sure as heck coming close to it.” -- Richard Hanley, "Deserted News," Jan. 5, a professor and print and digital news expert at Quinnipiac University on practices of The Deseret News.
5. “I’m just as guilty, but I was told by the owners that [our customers] were being taken care of. It took me a while to realize, ‘Wow, I’ve probably sold millions of dollars worth of shit in a box, and I can’t ask one [customer] to show us how your business is going,’”--Crawford Lindsay, "Phone Predators," June 20, a former Internet marketer, on Utah's online-business-opportunities industry.
6. “Utah is so dysfunctional right now. Again, the client—the client is the Department of Commerce and Consumer Protection and that is not someone we can control or even influence greatly. It’s because they work for the Governor’s Office.”--Utah candidate for Attorney General John Swallow, "Campaign Confidential," June 7, in a private phone conversation with a potential donor in trouble with Utah Consumer Protection.
7. “To the extent a conservative legislator says he supports the free markets and then, once he’s in office, votes to uphold the state’s ownership and regulatory control over alcohol—these and so many other things are violations of the free market, and one of many things we’ll be doing is pointing out to people that hypocrisy.”--Connor Boyack, "Libertarians on the Rise," July 10, on the missions of his new thinktank, The Libertas Institute.
8. “I’d been in [the U.S.] almost 18 years, a good citizen and outstanding student. Then, that day, I was pounding my walking cane on the floor, shouting, ‘My Medicaid matters!’ Whatever I could do.”--Phuong Nguyen, "Patriotic Demonstration," May 9, a legally blind student reflects on getting arrested in D.C. protesting against possible Medicaid cuts.
9. “States should be ashamed that in a free country, bills are being introduced to shield the crime of animal abuse.”--Jeff Kerr "Farm Filming Fin?," Feb. 29, blasts a Utah bill to criminalize taking pictures and video on farms that might uncover animal abuse.
10. “Desolation Canyon is a huge draw for people on the river. [But] imagine looking out over pristine wilderness and seeing stinking oil-drilling rigs and these massive trucks just crushing this fragile wilderness. We need to do an about-face in this country on energy, and I think Obama could be pushing that way more than he does now.”--Julianne Waters, "Drilling: Blame Obama," April 11, an advocate with Peaceful Uprising, criticizes natural gas leasing projects in Utah approved by the Obama administration.