Is Shurtleff Ready For Prime-Time?

From the diaries by Erick.

It seems not so tech savvy Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is entering the primary against Utah Senator Bob Bennett (R). 

Apparently thinking that he was sending a private text message, Shurtleff posted that he would be making an official announcement soon, and that he could raise significant amounts of money in Utah, California, New York, Arizona and Texas.

A look at his record suggests the AG might not be ready for Prime-Time, or be a smart addition to DC politics for multiple reasons.

As AG, he is often criticized for being soft on illegal immigration. He’s said to be so soft that he actually received the Aztec Eagle Ward for his position. That’s the highest award the Mexican government can give a non-Mexican, according to Shurtleff’s website. He has also opposed bills making English the official language of Utah. And, per his wiki, has also opposed a ban on gay marriage.

His fellow Attorney Generals don’t think much of his grandstanding, with subpoenas, to investigate college football’s Bowl Championship System and as The Salt Lake Tribune also reported on March 4, his trip to DC may have had more to do with fundraising for his own benefit than anything else.

On February 26 he claimed to be in the family discussion stages of deciding on a bid and even commissioned a poll. But, here we are in May and he has yet to make up his mind. He must have a big family.

February 26, 2009

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff commissioned a poll that was completed this week showing Sen. Bob Bennett is vulnerable to a Republican challenge to his bid for a fourth term next year, Shurtleff confirmed Thursday.

He says his decision to run against Bennett for the Republican nomination in 2010 is now in the “family discussion stage” and he will be ready to make an announcement by sometime next week.

Shurtleff is traveling to Washington, D.C., on…

In terms of judgment, some might find his shameless shilling for Usana in this video a little hard to watch – particularly so, as Usana has been sued for fraud. One has to wonder if more fundraising wasn’t involved somehow, as Shurtleff has come under fire in that area before.

SALT LAKE CITY — Independent distributors filed a proposed class-action lawsuit on Thursday accusing USANA Health Sciences Inc. of fraud and deception, the latest public-relations blow for the marketer of vitamins and nutritional supplements.

The lawsuit against Salt Lake City-based USANA was filed in California state court on behalf of hundreds of low-level distributors in California, one of the company’s biggest markets, which has tough multilevel marketing laws.

San Diego class-action lawyer Alexander M. Schack is seeking an injunction stopping USANA from doing business in California. The lawsuit seeks damages for “downline” distributors left with thousands of dollars of losses each after paying for business “kits” and products they said they couldn’t sell at inflated prices.

Frankly, Shurtleff does seem to have a habit of befriending those who are willing to give him money. Is that really what we need more of in Washington right now?

In recent years, you have had a friendly relationship with the video game industry. You did a public service announcement for the ESRB in 2006 and, in 2008, the ESA donated money to your campaign.

And there have been some issues raised around accepting gifts, as well. Also see here.

It’s all perfectly legal. I read on KSL.com that in 2005 Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff accepted Rolling Stones concert tickets from Ameriquest — a company that was being sued by states all over the country “accused of deceiving customers, inadequate loan disclosures, and inflated appraisals.” But it was all right since he and his daughter left after the third song because the daughter didn’t “like” it.

Shurtleff’s mouth does seem to have a way of getting him into trouble. While it might be funny to some, this isn’t the kind of comment one generally associates with a serious public official, let alone a would-be Senator at an open event.

Referring to a Clinton ad that asks who is best suited to rise to a late-night crisis, Shurtleff said, “When Hillary gets the call at 3 a.m., the call is, ‘Do you know where your husband is?'” And he pointedly referred to “Obama’s fathers — one was African, one was Indonesian.”

Given his knack for self-promotion, one might also ask if that’s what his early support for John McCain was actually about. It certainly doesn’t say much for his conservative bona fides.

So far, Shurtleff’s only real attack on Bennett has been for his support of the first bailout bill. But even that suggests a bit of grandstanding. The record now shows what politicians were being told by a Republican administration. Certainly, Obama’s generation-busting budget needs to be opposed. This video of Representative Kanjorski brings it home.

Shurtleff’s attack now suggests he would have indulged another bit of personal grandstanding and allowed the global economy to burn down. That’s hardly the leadership we should want in Washington.