Holly on the Hill provides 9 well thought out reasons that Utah House Speaker Dave Clark should resign his leadership position in the body. Reasons # 6, 7, and 8:
“We know a man of integrity, leadership, who is willing to give a helping hand to every member of this body,” he said. Addressing Garn directly, he continued: “You are an asset to the state of Utah. I ask that all of us share in honoring a man that we know has served honorably and capably in this body, and we’re proud to do so.” Even worse, he added “I hope you will remain with us.” Clark then led the House in a standing ovation. Lapses #6 and #7. He should NEVER have praised him and NEVER EVER should have initiated a standing ovation.In his handling of this event, from start to finish, Speaker Dave Clark has exhibited not only a profound lack of judgment, but has placed his hopes that Garn could "weather the storm" above a simple respect for the legislative body itself, and the many hard-working representatives who... you know... didn't go hot-tubbing.
Continuing to make matters worse, Speaker Clark sent out a message over the weekend accepting Garn’s resignation. You will notice there is not one word or expression of regret to Garn’s young victim (now grown). He starts with “I am grateful to Representative Garn and his family for the time he spent in service to the State of Utah”. That and other statements like “Mistakes made many years ago should not detract from the good work the Representative has done during his time in the Utah House of Representatives” minimize the seriousness of the crime. To quote the Salt Lake Tribune from this weekend, this is much more than “just a mistake”. There are some things in life that will – and should – overshadow the “good” someone does in other arenas. Lapse #8.
At the very least, Speaker Clark owes an apology to the entire body for his poor decision to handle the matter the way he did. But, as Holly quotes from The Daily Herald, character does matter.
Both Garn and Speaker Clark have show a lack of character. Garn has resigned. Dave Clark should now remove himself from a leadership position.
UPDATE: Misty provides a personal reaction that really lends perspective to anyone arguing "compassion" for Garn.