By Aaron Osmond
Utah State Senator, District 10
Prior to being elected to serve in the senate, if I had read a report about my senator similar to what the Tribune published today, I would want to hear from him or her, to know the whole story. So, I write this brief statement out of respect for my constituents and others who want to sort out the truth.
I won’t get into John Swallow’s guilt or innocence because I don’t know. The truth will come out over time, and I need to reserve judgment. However, I can be very clear, direct, and transparent about my own experiences.
This is what happened (in a nutshell):
In 2011, I saw in John Swallow a person who was committed to supporting small business and a willingness to stand up to the feds on overreach and overregulation. Being very involved in small business ventures, I wanted someone like him in office. I felt we could work with him to bring needed changes to our industry, changes we wanted to proactively implement.
At the end of the day, I liked him. I trusted him and I supported him. Because of that, I encouraged the owners of the companies for whom I worked to donate to his campaign. They listened to me and contributed significantly. (They ended up donating nearly $100,000 over a 1 year period of time to his campaign which, I believe, was just over five percent of his total war chest.)
I had no reason to believe anything nefarious was going on. I was offered no promise of favor or protection. Like most of Utah, I was not even aware of the accusations of less-than-savory behavior now surfacing.
What I do know is that the companies for which I worked were not guilty of this type of behavior. We were not under investigation while I worked there. In an industry with some bad actors, we ran our operations with integrity. The Tribune article chose to lump us in with less reputable businesses, but the truth is that our company was not in trouble with the feds or even likely to be.
That’s all there is.
Thanks for being willing to look past the hype. If you live in my senate district and would like to discuss this further, please feel free to give me a call. I will spend time with each and every person who calls me.
Utah State Senator
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