Salt Lake County Republican Chairman Chad Bennion made a grand stand Sunday against transparency, sensitivity and public safety. Faced with the tragic death of a young woman, the solemn commission of a dedicated civil servant, and the uncertain futures of two young officers of the law, Bennion took the low road and seized the opportunity to make a political grab at the expense of common civility.
"It might be simply that Sim is a cop hater," Bennion said, referring to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill's strong record of investigating accusations of police misconduct, a specific charge of his elected office. Not content with this outrageous epithet, or a questionable reference to Gill's Indian upbringing, he went on to say that this unfortunate situation may provide an opportunity for the GOP to win back control of the countywide office.
Bennion's comments aren't only offensive, they're frightening. By questioning Gill's ability to serve due to his ethical integrity and respect for procedure, Bennion reveals his ideal vision of county administration: Republican-controlled at any cost, and an environment where asking questions is taboo.