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Sen. Mike Lee says he has 'absolutely no knowledge' of alleged illegal campaign donations

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  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 26, 2014 9:30 p.m.

    "...absolutely no knowledge...".

    Mike Lee indicts the Democrats for the same dog ate my homework excuse.

    Yet... Mike Lee feels it is okay to offer the same explanation.

    Mike Lee would call someone who played that game a hypocrite.

    I would agree with his assessment.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 26, 2014 9:35 p.m.

    Gosh, in the picture, he looks completely innocent . . . kind of a like a young Rush Limbaugh.

    There's no way anyone who looks like that could be involved in anything illegal.

    Just because Swallow and Shurtleff happen to be Republicans, crooks, and ruthless exploiters who routinely violated the public trust, it doesn't mean Mike Lee is.

    . . . I mean, come on, just because he's a Republican and looks kind of like Rush Limbaugh doesn't necessarily make his motives, his ethics, and his morality questionable, does it?

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2014 10:24 p.m.

    This is just another PHONEY scandal........not even a smidgen.....the press sometimes just reports on washington political in fighting, these kinds of stories should never see the light of day....besides it was a video, and what difference does it make?

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 26, 2014 10:25 p.m.

    The left always tells you who they fear.

    They see anyone who is a threat to their (horrible!) agenda and they set out to destroy them. The left is very adept at "the politics of personal destruction" and using surrogates to carry out the dirty work so that their candidates can call for polite campaigns while reaping the benefits of dirty tricks.

    This allegation from "...left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah..." will eventually be proven false, but meanwhile they get millions of dollars in free anti-conservative publicity by news media "reporting a story."
    D
    This is the same sort of despicable trick that Senator Reid pulled on Mitt Romney repeating a baseless and anonymous rumor that Mitt Romney didn't pay his taxes,

    And the same as the endless allegations filed against Sarah Palin (not a single one of which had any merit) but every one requiring her to respond and run up huge legal fees, and smearing her political future.

    The same sort of breathless reporting on baseless and dismissed politically motivated attacks on successful Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a great potential Presidential candidate.

    We need "loser pays" to stop these abuses!

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    June 27, 2014 3:10 a.m.

    Oh boy. Let the "games" begin. EVERY candidate should be investigated for this exact same thing. Let's not limit it to Constitution-loving conservatives.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 5:48 a.m.

    Which company was involved in short sale of Lee's home?

    Which campaign contributor purchased Lee's home?

    Which campaign contributor purchased a home and leased it to Lee?

    Was the lease agreement at market value ?

    I would be interested in more information rather than the last paragraph of the article

  • Lia Sandy, UT
    June 27, 2014 5:55 a.m.

    That translates from Utah Politician to English as:
    " The ONLY reason I broke campign contribution laws is because I never thought anyone would find out."

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    June 27, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    So, should I be more worried about Mike Lee or the endless scandals coming from the Obama Administration? Who should I fear more Mike Lee or Barack Obama?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 27, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    That's okay. Mike has no knowledge anyhow.

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    June 27, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    Senator Lee who was in trouble financially does not know and has no knowledge of someone giving his campaign $50,000....lets see how that one rates.

    ding ding ding...I bet he tells great fishing stories too.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 27, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    So, should I be more worried about Mike Lee or the endless scandals coming from the Utah Republican Party, such as the previous two Attorney Generals and countless other smelly situations? Who should I fear more Mike Lee or the Utah GOP in general?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    June 27, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    People short sell houses all the time. Why is it our business?

    If we are worried about 50K for Lee, how about the literally billions that came from "bundlers" that were contributed to Obama's campaigns? My guess if you did a forensic audit of anyone in a high profile office campaign contributions, and followed them to the source, you'd find this happens with everyone's campaign.

    The way to solve it? Remove the petty restrictions on contributions from individuals. If I have the money and want do give money to a candidate, then I should be allowed regardless of the amount.

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    June 27, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    Knowing Mike.... I believe Mike. Thank you for your service Senator Lee.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    June 27, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    I find it difficult if not impossible to be lectured about fiscal responsibility by the like of Senator Lee.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 27, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    DN Subscriber, unless you work for the IRS, you have NO idea if Mitt Romney paid his taxes or if he even owed taxes. As you will recall, he initially refused to disclose his income tax returns at all, and only later released one year's worth.

    I can understand that many people like Mike Lee and want to believe that all his dealings have been honest. Many people do admirable things and it's easy to assume they are good and honorable in all their dealings. But when money or power are involved, all too many of them have feet of clay. Blindly insisting that this can't be true (because you admired and trusted this man), is sticking your head in the sand.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 27, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    Flashback, saying that "everybody does it", is a) not true, and b) puts you on record as supporting the best government that money can buy. Is that your intention?

    Bradleyc, I'm sure you know people whose spouse was cheating, and when they found irrefutable evidence, they still refused to believe it, because they "knew" the spouse wouldn't lie to them.

    Anyone who voted for the government shutdown, or hangs around those who engineered it, is not "serving" the people. Anybody who badmouths Obamacare but doesn't have an alternative that will work (like Romneycare--oops, they're the same thing), should forego his own health insurance and see what it's like to have to live that way.

  • SharpHooks Sandy, UT
    June 27, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    @bradleyc

    "Service?" WHAT service? Obstructing? Serving his own religious beliefs over the needs of the country? For being a horrible example of fiscal responsibility in the form of student loans and a hefty mortgage simply ignored?
    If the people of Utah can't see past his myriad inadequacies as a public servant and figure, perhaps this investigation will expose him beyond a shadow of a doubt, and paint him in true colors. I do not feel optimistic for his chances of skating past this (and possibly other) misdeed.

  • James E Tooele, UT
    June 27, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    "Legally, ignorance can be a defense. As far as publicly, as far as professionally, as far as the citizens of Utah are concerned, it's not a defense because he's ultimately responsible," Holyoak said.

    Translation - "...we know this will never lead to any legal repercussions, but we also know conservatives hate corruption (unlike Dem voters who think it's cool) so we'll do 6-degrees of separation to suppress his base, whether or not Lee actually knew."

    Don't fall for this political operative trying to smear an actual hero of the republic.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    What do these scandals say about the intelligence of Utah voters?

    By what percentage did Mike Lee win the election?

    By what percentage did John Swallow win the election?

    By what percentage did Mark Shurtlift win the election?

    Yes Utah voters view each candidate and vote for the most qualified and best suited candidate.

    HA HA

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    "Legally, ignorance can be a defense. As far as publicly, as far as professionally, as far as the citizens of Utah are concerned, it's not a defense because he's ultimately responsible," Holyoak said.

    Unless it is a Democrat, and then it is "Innocent until proven guilty." Which translated means "the process to determine actual guilt is so lengthy that everyone will forget about it by the time the person is actually found guilty."

    This is nothing but an attempted smear of a good man trying to do something good. The evidence of this is that the comments that support Holyoak are the same commentators who hate all things conservative, moral and religious.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    Mike Lee has been a terrible Senator so I do question how he's raised funds for his campaign. He failed in his personal commitments to his bank and this is one of many Utahns who feels he has failed in his service to our State and Country.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    Where there's smoke, there's fire...

    BTW --
    Who should we believe?

    Investigators who have found --
    Finacial records, e-mails, and secret recordings of those who have already been found guilty?

    or

    Mr. Fiscal Hawk -- Sen. Mike Lee?
    [who didn't make his house payments, and was forced to short-sell it,
    and
    who also refused to pay the Federal budget, foricng America into a shutdown costing us $Billions?]

    The character and actions of a man are honest than anything might say.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:48 a.m.

    This lawsuit's intention is not to find the truth; it's intention is to embarrass the Senator. First, when you contribute to a campaign, you complete a form stating that your donation is in compliance with campaign financing laws. Candidates are entitled to rely on those forms; indeed, the government expects them to rely on those forms. Candidates only violate the law when they know the contributor's statement is false. The organization that filed this complaint knows that, but filed it anyway, without any evidence to the contrary.

    Second, the bank wrote off part of the loan and took the loss. Banks have done that on nearly a million other home loans since 2008. Without more information about the bank's intentions, those losses can't be considered campaign contributions. And the man who bought the Senator's house didn't buy it from the Senator; he bought if from the bank and paid what the bank was asking - no more, no less.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    Perhaps this illustrates the need for two newspapers in Utah.

    Last week I posted and gave some examples in my opinion of only publishing what seems to agree with your editorial positions and ignoring news that differs from your editorial positions.

    After reading the article on line in the Deseret News I searched out the article in the Salt Lake Tribune.

    Here is what I would have liked to read in the Deseret News article. According to the Tribune Sen. Lee purchased his home for $1,100,000 and sold it on a short sale $720,000. The Banking or Mortgage company absorbed a lost of a little less than $400,000.

    Lee was off the hook for that money. Would we be treated the same? I do not know.

  • BB Santaquin, UT
    June 27, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    I'm a big Mike Lee fan... Go Senator Lee... Keep holding those who want to spend my hard earned tax dollars accountable...

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 27, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    AlanSutton, when you are a relative unknown in Congress, even one $5000 donation is going to get you at least a personal phone call, probably a visit from the candidate. This isn't pure gratitude; the candidate would sure like additional assistance from you. And he is certainly going to want to know what you would like him to do in Congress. Now Lee didn't just get one of these $5000 gifts; he got 10 of them. And he knows nothing about them? Nothing about who they came from? He didn't meet with each donor, or at least call them up? This is absolutely, totally unbelievable.

    @steamroller, please. Kids deserve better than that.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 27, 2014 1:31 p.m.

    Many of the comments above prove my point that the left uses unproven, even totally bogus accusations from questionable sources to smear Republicans and conservatives. The charges are then parroted by the news media, convincing many gullible people (in addition to rabid partisans whose mind is already made up regardless of facts) the the besmeared victims are guilty.

    American politics has certainly sunk to a new low. But, it works, so we can expect the liberals and Democrats to not only continue, but to get even more wild in their charges.

    We are truly becoming a lawless nation, and now many people are basically ignoring truthfulness as well.

    Senator Lee has done a great job as Senator, and we need more like him.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 1:35 p.m.

    The answer to all questions should be obvious to all based on prior comments from Sen. Lee: "Barak Made Me Do It!"

  • The Judge Kaysville, UT
    June 28, 2014 6:55 a.m.

    Old Man,

    The Utah GOP has no control over your life. None. If you don't like GOP candidates, vote for someone else. But when you have one 5 of the best-run states in the nation (according to USA Today) you'd best be careful of what changes you vote for.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    June 28, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    And we should believe Mike Lee? Why?

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    June 28, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    Senator Lee must be made aware of "disasters" and "scandals" from the same sources as the President: newspapers and the nightly news.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2014 5:26 p.m.

    What is the track record of the "left leaning" (as described in the Deseret News ) Alliance for a better Utah?

    Were they not the same organization that initiated the complaint against Swallow and Shurtlift?

    How did that turn out?

  • milner Centerfield Sanpete, UT
    June 29, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    Hopefully they will find enough on this windbag to get him kicked out of office!

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    July 1, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    "Obstructing"? How about Harry Reid "obstructing". Afraid to bring legislation to a vote for fear of offending voters and losing control of the Senate.

  • sensible advocate slc, UT
    Sept. 19, 2014 11:26 p.m.

    At a recent event I attended where the Senator was speaking he said he was worried about the concentration of power being held by a small minority. When he was asked how he felt about Citizens United. He replied that he did not see anything wrong with corporations being allowed to donate large sums of money to politicians and that more money in politics just equals more free speech. Whether or not there was any knowledge on his part of wrongful giving, his view that money does not cause problems in politics is disturbing to this Utah voter.

    On a side note, art sales, real estate transactions, even giving of gold coins to a politician so you can buy them back at far higher than market prices is a common way for politicians to knowingly get around contribution limits or receive funds from restricted donors. When it talks like a duck and walks like a duck . . .

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    Oct. 20, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    LOL! The stigma of being a Politician, no matter what happened, your actions and words will always be mistrusted. "Politics will always remained dirty business." Foxes are always out there getting ready to bounce at a moments notice.