Not to second-guess a judge or to indict someone who’s presumed innocent, but we might want to be careful with children’s lives. Utah legislators ought to look at what’s happening in Washington. Remember Charlie and Braden Powell and their horrific deaths at the hand of their father, Josh? The Powells’ grandparents are pushing legislation in Washington that would limit or prevent visitation rights for someone being investigated for murder. Officially, Josh Powell was just a “person of interest.” Now, in Utah, John Wall is similarly being investigated in the death of his wife, Uta von Schwedler. But Judge Charles Behrens recently returned two of the younger children to Wall, despite an older brother’s allegation that his father is the murderer. Von Schwedler’s boyfriend has also asked that Utah law place the best interests of the children above parental rights.
You’ve got to love our cyber-connected world, which takes political activism to a new level. Facebook and Twitter give citizen activists an edge, and even make it easier for elected officials to interact with their constituents. But what about criminal suspects taking their legal wrangling to the global public? That’s what’s happening with the case against Attorney General John Swallow. UtahAG.com is defending Swallow for meeting with Jeremy Johnson while he was being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission. Now, Johnson has launched his own cyber war through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and a blog. Maybe he went too far with EvilFTC.com. Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to stop him. You have to question where the First and Sixth Amendments collide—or when your mouth gets in the way of justice.
Hey, here’s an idea. Why not make people in government swallow the same bitter pills as the general public? This could be big in health care. State workers have expressed fear that they’ll be subject to Gov. Gary Herbert’s Avenue H, which sets up an insurance exchange from which to choose coverage. That says something about its value. Herbert did ask the feds to run the exchange for individuals, but small businesses will still go through Avenue H. Still, there’s a huge disparity in coverage when you consider the people making the rules. Legislators, congressmen and, of course, elected officials all get Cadillac coverage, while most people scramble to find something affordable. How about finding coverage for the governor and state workers through Avenue H?