Utah's oligarchy
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In "LDS Church leaves dregs" (Forum, Feb. 20), David Smith rightly decries the disconnect between the tenets of Mormon faith and the rampant corruption among Utah state leaders.

What we have in our government is a de facto oligarchy that wraps itself in the mantel of religion but is accountable only to the rich and well-connected. It is a system worthy of a banana republic, not a state that stands as a religious mecca to millions throughout the world.

For better or worse, many devout Mormons take their political as well as religious cues from Latter-day Saint leaders, the great majority of whom are registered Republicans. Perhaps the time has come to do as early Mormon leaders did in the 1890s and arbitrarily assign half of the hierarchy to each political party to help bring much-needed balance and accountability to the political process in Utah.

Rodney Johnson

Farmington