News/Opinion by Ed Wallace, Publisher, and the Utah Yaks.

14 Minute read.

Utah’s established elite have used the UTGOP party as a tool to remain in power for decades. That came to a screeching halt two weeks ago when Republican Party delegates ignored the ENTIRE slate of candidates endorsed by “Team Utah GOP” and elected a new leadership. It was a rude awakening and “stunning rebuke” to Gov. Cox, Lt. Gov. Henderson, Senate President Stuart Adams, House Speaker Brad Wilson, and other well known state “leaders.” 

The last time Utah’s establishment suffered a loss was in 2010 when powerful establishment Senator Bob Bennett was defeated by “Tea Party” candidate Mike Lee. Bennett was enthusiastically endorsed by Mitt Romney who was loudly booed, along with Cox, at the convention by the delegates. That 2010 defeat led to the passing of SB54 (Count My Vote) in 2014 which stripped Utah’s political parties of the right to pick their own candidates. The last thing Utah’s puppet masters wanted was for the citizens of Utah to have a deciding voice through the caucus/convention system. 

Under the guise of fairness and inclusion, SB54 has become known by educated observers as the diabolical usurpation of Utah’s democracy by special interests. It was the largest fraud and manipulation that has ever been launched against Utah citizens.

SB54 addressed the loss of a favored Senator. What is an aged Oligarchy to do when they lose the party that has been at their beck and call for 38 years? 

Like a desperate and wounded animal, they are probably not in the best state of mind and know that they’re in trouble. NOTHING is going to be beyond their consideration as they fight to maintain their power. 

Related Article: Report: Utah’s Oligarchs – Fighting to Maintain Control

They have a vast public and legal arsenal at their disposal. In particular, they have Utah’s mainstream media which have propped them up and kept Utah citizens in the dark by feeding them a steady diet of lies, diversions, distorted or incomplete information, filled with deliberate propaganda and falsehoods. The fake news media has successfully infected many with irrational fear and have portrayed upstanding Patriots as subversive terrorists. Their scripted dog-and-pony shows have divided and distracted the voters while politicians run circles around governing.

The establishment’s panic that has resulted from their defeat is almost humorous. The Deseret News tried to sway the results in a lengthy print edition article one day before the convention. The article praised the “unity and civility” style of Gov. Cox and claimed that his approval rating was trending upward. In comparison, Trump’s style was portrayed as “divisive and polarizing”  and focused on his own “personal agenda.” The article did not mention Mitt Romney’s divisive behavior as the only Republican Senator to vote for Trump’s impeachment or his bizarre and abhorrent actions as “Pierre Dilecto” after he characterized Trump as a phony and a fraud and claimed to be sickened by Trump’s dishonesty. 

The article also did not mention that the Republican party has been severely divided by its own leaders and elected politicians who have essentially left the party, evidenced by the way they govern, by their words, and by their actions. 

The Utah Grassroots organization has issued an annual legislative report card every year since 1992. Their only guidelines are the Utah & U.S. Constitution (the UTGOP platform). The combined total average in 2020 for House & Senate Republicans was 44%. The only Republicans who had a lower combined score are our last four Republican Governors at 31%. There is only ONE Republician representative who had a score in 2020 above 78% (Travis Seegmiller, HD62 at 94%).

Fake News

If one wants an example of Utah’s “yellow journalism” and “fake news” at its worst, just look at the article published by the SL Tribune on May 10, 2021 about Olivia Horlacher, the UTGOP’s newly elected Secretary. The headline itself proves that the article is false: One of Utah’s newest GOP leaders attended the Capitol insurrection.” 

The article was a fabricated “hit-piece” disguised as news, not as an opinion or commentary, by Bryan Schott and has all the aplomb of a carnival barker playing on the public’s ignorance. Schott has bounced around Utah’s media for the past 25 years and was recently the Managing Editor of Utah Policy, founded by LeVarr Webb (the father of Count My Vote). Schott has the reputation of being “the Joseph Goebbels for Utah’s establishment.”  “Goebbels was the Minister of Propaganda for the German Third Reich under Adolf Hitler. A master propagandist, he is generally accounted responsiblity for presenting a favourable image of the Nazi regime to the German people.” –

The article was immediately picked up by other Utah news outlets including Fox News which basically did a copy & paste of the headline and part of the article.

The salacious headline is disproved by the story itself and they admit how dishonest they are in the article. That piece says so much more about them than about Olivia Horlacher! They clearly didn’t think that anyone would read it. Just put the headlines out. They slandered her. She needs a good lawyer.

How do you “attend” an insurrection anyway? A violent insurrection or revolution is not something one merely attends. You either participate or you don’t. The lie that it was an INSURRECTION has been debunked. There is absolutely no evidence one actually occurred on Jan 6th. Ms. Horlacher did attend the peaceful, lawful, and patriotic “Save America” rally on January 6, 2021, in support of the President of the United States, along with thousands of others who supported him, as well as all of the members of Congress who took a stand for election integrity that day by requesting an audit of the 2020 presidential election results in five battleground state elections that remain in dispute. 

In one Facebook video, Horlacher said the Trump supporters she was with in Washington were pushing for “fair, honest and transparent elections” and were “law-abiding people.” She was part of the vast majority of rally attendees who heeded President Trump’s call that day to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Her live posts on Facebook clearly show that she was not part of the violence. The article links to her posts and finally points out that “there is no indication Horlacher entered the Capitol with hundreds of others who destroyed property.” 

Ms. Horlacher told the delegates in her campaign speech that she was an America First Republican and that she supports the Constitution. The delegates gave her the biggest win of the day. Anyone that knows Olivia knows she is a salt of the earth and a peaceful patriot. There was NO ill intent or actions on her part, or by any of the people she was with, including her mother. She was just a Patriot in DC that day who has now been slandered as an extremist and a terrorist by our trusted fourth estate who is supposed to have an unbiased watchdog role, one that is important to a functioning democracy.

In a statement to Utah Standard News, Ms. Horlacher said: “I would like to take this opportunity to fervently condemn the very small, but vocal minority who blatantly and flagrantly disregarded President Trump’s counsel by occupying the U.S. Capitol building and engaging in illegal acts including trespass and vandalism that understandably caused many members of Congress to feel threatened and unsafe. While patriotic protests are a longstanding and laudable democratic tradition in our great country, any acts of violence by the right or left were and are totally unacceptable to me and to the overwhelmingly peaceful protesters who attended the rally that day, not to mention profoundly un-American. 

As the new Utah Republican Party Secretary elected overwhelmingly by the state delegates, I remain absolutely committed to promoting peaceful dialogue, greater understanding and unity between those with diverse backgrounds and opinions on important issues facing our state, while strongly opposing violence of any kind, no matter what the political allegiance of those committing such violence. I am very grateful for the faith and trust which the delegates have demonstrated in giving me this opportunity to serve as an elected Utah Republican Party leader so that I can continue to champion these ideals as well as to help put Utah and America first.”

Since the convention, there has been a steady barrage of articles that spin critical of the convention results. On May 5, Hal Boyd, Executive Editor of Deseret News, who refers to himself as “conservative types”, published an opinion piece that referred to delegates as part of the “cancel culture’s siren song” and referred to a photo of Mitt Romney as a 17-year-old “looking up at his dad and heard him warn about the risks of extremism within his own party.” 

Related Article: UtahPolicy.Com … The Utah Deseret News’ Pusillanimous Pup

On May 7, the DNews did an interview with Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb. They were asked: “In addition to the catcalls, delegates narrowly rejected a resolution to censure Romney, and they elected a slate of inexperienced leaders while rejecting those endorsed by elected officials and establishment Republicans. Should mainstream conservatives be concerned about these developments?”

Pignanelli: “A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Strident extremists do not understand or even care that the priority of a political party is to elect candidates. Party leaders who ignore or even foster ideological tests and controversies over minutia quickly doom the organization to debt and irrelevance.” 

Webb: “This convention exemplified all that is wrong with the caucus/convention system. Many  were the most extreme activists… and they decided the party leadership. Here’s some free advice to the new party leadership: Don’t drive people away with litmus tests or ideological barriers. Republicans don’t really need the Republican Party to win. The usual party functions of grassroots organizing, fundraising, get-out-the-vote, survey research, etc., can be done by candidates themselves, especially if the party is dysfunctional and broke.” 

Those statements give credence to Reagan’s statement: “It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first (prostitution).’ Instead of condemning beliefs like that, the Republican Party and media has held them up as reputable “leaders.

These so-called reputable leaders have resorted to Saul Alinsky’s radical left’s tactic of using ridicule as their primary weapon as they continue their downward spiral into hell. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule.”

Their statements show that nothing matters beyond retaining power and are representational of the type of corrupted thought that has infested our state. These are opportunists of the worst kind, selling Utah snake oil at a time we need leadership. 

The party’s new Chair, Carson Jorgensen, seems to see things a little different. He told the SLTrib:We want to keep this state red. We want to make sure that there’s a place in this party for everyone. We want the conservative values that have built this state are what are going to take us to the next level.”

Good for him. Hopefully, Jorgensen understands what’s happening here, that he’s in a war and has been thrown into the Utah Swamp, and that this can be a magnificent moment in the party’s history. He needs to let the swamp know that he’s a force to be reckoned with! Otherwise, the swamp creatures will run right over him. Jorgensen did not respond to my request for an interview and seems to be avoiding the “insurrection” issue. He could have come out with a strong statement in support of Ms. Horlacher. The delegates gave the new leadership a clear mandate. Will he use it? 

The establishment wants unity to be built around what the establishment wants. The rank and file want unity around the platform. But first, we have to win the war. Then we dictate the terms of the truce. It looks like we’re ready for the swamp’s efforts to continue to discredit the will of the delegates.

Most of our politicians are not leaders and think that the party is here to serve them. That’s one of the first things that needs to change. They need to learn what it means to be a Republican. They need to reunite around the platform or leave the party. 

Here’s some free advice to Webb, Pignanelli, and the rest of Utah’s swamp…. “You better watch out for those people who bounce back from everything that was meant to destroy them. Those are God’s people.”

Related Article: Utah GOP: CLEANSE THY SWAMP