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If you’ve got the money, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has the time

By Standard-Examiner Editorial Board - | May 16, 2016

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

– President John F. Kennedy

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

– President Franklin D. Roosevelt

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

– President Abraham Lincoln

“I’ll just say, I’m available. I’m Available Jones.”

– Utah Gov. Gary Herbert

It’s not exactly soaring political oratory, is it?

But that’s Gov. Gary Herbert, offering in April to meet with lobbyists in exchange for campaign contributions.

“However we want to do this — if we need to have multiple meetings or we sit down and talk and you give us a check later or before. Whatever you would like to do,” Herbert said in a recording published by The Salt Lake Tribune.

He insisted Monday that he had done nothing illegal or unethical, although he did offer an apology — sort of.

“As far as the optics and what’s happened, I’m disappointed in myself and how we handled that,” Herbert said at a taxpayer watchdog event covered by The Associated Press. “That being said, when you’re an average guy like me that has average means, you have to go out and ask people for money.”

Herbert raised more than $2.5 million in 2010 when he won a special election to fill the final two years of Gov. Jon Huntsman’s term. He raised another $3.6 million to win re-election in 2012, according to Ballotpedia.

So clearly, despite his average means, he knows how to ask for money. It’s just that now, facing overstock.com Chairman Jonathan Johnson in the Republican primary, Herbert needs a lot of money — and quickly.

This is a governor who’s raised more than $6 million since 2010. He’ll get the money.

But now Utah voters will wonder, “At what cost?”


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