Thursday, May 15, 2003

Shurtleff Pitch Falls on Deaf Ears

On the Governor's race watch for Utah in 2004, we have to keep on eye on Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. The most dangerous place to stand at the Capitol is in between the AG and a camera crew. He's an incessant publicity hound who has jumped from airplanes and tried on every popular issue for size. There's little doubt that the AG would like to run for Governor, but he's still sizing up the race.

Today the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Shurtleff's latest quest for publicity might have backfired. He was introducing a new program to protect seniors from identity theft by placing shredders in senior centers around the State. Only two problems: the senior center where he gave his speech was full of deaf people and the program had been cut by the Legislative Fiscal Analyst's office in the latest round of budget cuts. At one point Shurtleff crescendoed to his sound bite: "Whenever I hear a paper shredder, it sounds like the screams of identity thieves!" Nevermind that most of the folks he was talking to can't hear. Many of them thought he was talking about shredding the thieves. Might not be a bad idea, but probably not politically correct.

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