UTAHNS DESERVE ANSWERS: 5 MAJOR QUESTIONS AHEAD OF REPUBLICAN AG PRIMARY DEBATE

June 1, 2020

On Tuesday, Utah voters will hear from the two Republican AG candidates for the first and only time before the primary election at the end of the month. The match-up is between Republican incumbent AG Sean Reyes, who failed to secure the nomination during last month’s GOP state convention, and David Leavitt, a current county prosecutor who is looking to buy his way into higher public office.

Reyes’ electability is certainly in question after his weak performance in last month’s GOP convention where, as the incumbent, he failed to receive more than 60% of the delegate vote needed to avoid a later primary. Both candidates are out of touch with Utahns, consistently attack access to health care, and there continue to be concerns about their lack of transparency and accountability.  

Utah voters deserve answers to the following questions:

 

  1. Does AG Reyes continue to support using taxpayer dollars to strip away health care from more than 102,000 Utahns in the middle of a global health crisis? 

 

A report by The Salt Lake Tribune detailed that 160,000 Utahns could lose their employer-provided health care due to layoffs caused by the COVID-19 crisis. If Republican AGs like Sean Reyes are successful in their ACA repeal case, those 160,000 Utahns wouldn’t be able to access health care plans on state exchanges. Not to mention, 102,000 Utahns would lose their current coverage and the coverage for more than 1.2 million Utahns with pre-existing conditions would be at risk.

 

 

  1. Is AG Reyes truly committed to serving as Utah Attorney General? 

 

Reyes’ recent time in office suggests he’s already skipping out (of the state) on the job. In the last three years, AG Reyes has spent almost $100,000 on personal travel, leaving Utahns to ask … Where is Sean Reyes?

 

 

  1. How can AG Reyes be trusted to hold the federal government accountable given his close ties to Trump? 

 

AG Sean Reyes is the co-chair of the Trump campaign’s re-election effort in Utah and has been endorsed by Trump. Does Sean Reyes have the courage to hold the federal government accountable for harming Utah families and communities when it matters most given his cozy relationship with the President?

 

  1. Why did the Utah AG’s office enter into no-bid contracts with a secret surveillance company that was spying on Utahns? 

 

Recent reports by The Salt Lake Tribune found that the Utah AG’s office engaged in a covert relationship with a surveillance company (Banjo) collecting Utahns’ data. With the help of AG Reyes’ office, the company secured a no-bid contract with the office, and one of their lobbyists was a senior staff member for AG Reyes. It later became public that the head of the surveillance company had ties to the KKK.

 

  1. Does AG Reyes believe in being accountable and transparent while in office? 

 

Following a lawsuit by the Department of Justice alleging Utah officials “defrauded the federal government out of more than $17 million using four grant programs,” Sean Reyes couldn’t help but weigh in on the issue with a statement. Reyes called the defendants accused of fraud “upstanding public servants” and said that he plans to “vigorously defend” these officials. He further said that “the notion that these individuals and their agencies were involved in some massive predatory and prolonged conspiracy to defraud the federal government is not only far-fetched, but simply wrong.” What is wrong is putting friends and political allies over his responsibility as AG, and shirking his duties as an independent watchdog on government.

 

With access to affordable health care, transparency, and accountability on the line this November, Utahns deserve answers. Otherwise, there are just giant RED flags for the GOP incumbent.