Those who watch GBTV might recall that last week Glenn Beck interviewed Republican congressional candidate Chris Stewart. The best-selling author is also a world-record-setting Air Force pilot and the owner of a small business and is someone Beck hails a good and decent man. But it seems just after Stewart secured the nomination, beating out Utah's ex-House Speaker David Clark, a smear campaign against him by fellow GOP candidates was set into motion.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Eureka Mayor Milt Hanks alleged that prior to delegates casting ballots, four GOP candidates had conspired to expose some kind of negative information about Stewart. The contenders reportedly denied the claim and said it was all engineered by Stewart's campaign. The Tribune continues:
“Chris Stewart is a bald-faced liar whether you like it or not,” candidate Chuck Williams later alleged at the podium, prompting party officials to temporarily cut his microphone. Williams then withdrew and backed Clark.
Up next, Howard Wallack said that Hanks was a Stewart surrogate and throwing out allegations to gin up support for his friend.
“I know of only one campaign that made negative attacks on any candidates,” Wallack said. “We have to take a long look at a candidate who never buys a booth, never makes a sign and all of sudden comes out with a vile attack.”
The plan backfired, however, when Mayor Hanks, who was also running, refused to join his GOP contenders in their assault.
Appearing on the Glenn Beck program Monday evening was Mayor Hanks, who discussed the event and all its oddities in greater detail. Hanks told Beck that he believes the candidates conspired against Stewart because they were not making any ground and that Stewart had been the frontrunner for months. "It was a tawdry way to close the gap," he said.
According to Hanks, a delegate, citing an email that had circulated in 2010, called Stewart's military service record into question. Stewart denied the allegations and Hanks "took him at his word."
"To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson," Hanks added, "All we need for dirty politics to succeed is to do nothing.'" He said the GOP candidates' actions and attempts to get him involved in the smear campaign "violated my integrity," and "my family history." "It lit my fuse."
When Beck asked at what point Utah politics degenerated to such a degree, the mayor said all of politics has been compromised since it became about "me" and "not the people." He warned that politicians need to listen more than they speak.
It has been a chaotic road for Utah indeed. Watch the interview in its entirety below: