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He didn't demand the priesthood for women or anything like that, but John Stevens faced his own trial by his peers and was deemed worthy for excommunication.

From the Republican Party — in Utah County, of course, where the GOP is the only true political party.

The county party's Executive Committee voted 11-9 last week to hold a hearing in December for a final vote to ban Stevens as a party delegate.

To his credit, Utah County GOP Chairman Casey Voeks said at the party's Central Committee meeting Saturday, a few days after the "star chamber" vote, that he was vetoing the Executive Committee's action and that there would be no further action on Stevens' party status.

In other words, because of Voeks, Stevens' party salvation was preserved.

When Voeks made his declaration to the Central Committee, many in the room cheered. So the torch-and-pitchfork crowd may be a minority in the party, even though that group holds the edge in the Executive Committee.

So what was Stevens' sin? He supported Bill Freeze, the write-in candidate for Utah County Commission who was recruited by political operatives after it was revealed that Greg Graves, the GOP nominee, had gone through several bankruptcies and had a misdemeanor theft conviction.

GOP bylaws forbid party officers from supporting any hopeful other than the GOP nominee. Although Freeze is a Republican, he was not the GOP candidate.

Stevens, it should be noted, holds no county party office other than as a delegate.

This isn't the first time Stevens has run into problems with the county's Republican Party. Earlier this year, he filed for House District 57, challenging incumbent Brian Greene for the GOP nod.

Shortly before the convention, a letter was sent to delegates, purportedly from the Utah chapter of the Florida-based conservative nonprofit Foundation for Government Accountability. It praised Greene and criticized Stevens and another Republican challenger, Holly Richardson.

It turns out the letter was a fake. For starters, the foundation has no Utah chapter. It doesn't have state chapters.

When the foundation learned about the letter, its attorney wrote to the Utah lieutenant governor's office requesting an investigation to find out who used the group's letterhead without permission and who falsely represented having the authority to speak for the organization.

The culprit has never been identified. But it's interesting to consider who benefited from the phony missive.

Greene won the nomination at the convention and cruised to re-election last week.

The Executive Committee didn't seem all that concerned at the time about the bogus letter. It also didn't seem worried that its commission nominee had such a checkered past.

So which is worse: Deliberately misrepresenting the views of a national think tank for political purposes; winning the nomination at a county convention without revealing aspects of your life that could embarrass the party; or supporting the candidate of your choice?

Earlier, before the election, the Executive Committee had another "Animal Farm"-type trial. It held a hearing to consider banishing another party officer for disloyalty.

The alleged sinner: Diane Christensen, head of the county party's Constitutional and Bylaws Committee.

Her offense: Though not a Freeze backer, she got involved in efforts to recruit someone to run as a write-in against Graves.

Christensen survived in an 11-9 vote.