Updated: Jun 7, 2020
Greg Hughes is the most vetted candidate in the Utah Governors race. That hasn't stopped a rumor and whisper campaign from attacking him and attempting to cast a shadow where there isn't one. Greg Hughes often quotes Steve Jobs “If you want to make everyone happy, don't be a leader, sell ice cream”
His opponents won't go on record as the accusations are a farce. The left wing media will make sensational headlines to make it appear as there is any substance to any of it. The same garbage they smear all great conservatives with.
Unlike most politicians, Greg Hughes is a leader. Leaders lead no matter the controversy. The buck stops with them. That means they get the good, the bad and the ugly.
Just because the media says something is controversial it doesn’t always mean it is. Too often news stories lead to actions that generate more news stories. Many times, those are controversial, or they create the controversy. To put that into perspective, UTA was audited many times. At least twice while Greg was on the board. Like most audits recommendations for improvements were found and in at least one there was a recommendation to improve the rules around board members and conflicts. But, to be clear the recommendation was to make better rules, not that the rules that existed were broken. However, what came from that is controversy that led to more digging and fishing, including an investigation by the Attorney General and the US Attorney and FBI. It dominated headlines. Normally, this type of pressure would have politicians running and hiding. Not Greg. He leads with his chin, because he knew that nothing illegal was done, and that nobody was guilty of anything under the rules that existed at the time. And guess what – nothing has come of any of those investigations. If he or anyone else did something illegal surely it would have been found because these investigators were determined to find things. To be very clear, Greg was NEVER the subject of any these investigations. Why did the controversy stick to him? Because he’s a conservative Republican that the liberal media has been trying to take down forever and because, as a leader he took responsibility for the actions taken by the organization and he defended individuals that were maliciously attacked, publicly shamed and falsely targeted. I’ll take that kind of leader over any other.
During his time on UTA he actually increased transparency. He made every subcommittee/working group subject to open meetings laws. He attempted to meet and explain decisions to members of the media, that made him more of the face of everything that happened or was alleged there. As the leader the buck stops at the top. Cox could learn something from this. He learned quickly that as a volunteer board member, only attending one meeting per month, it was very difficult to understand all of the inner workings of the organization. Staff had basically been in charge and would put many things in front of the board with little explanation or discussion. In the end he helped push through the restructuring of UTA. It wasn’t a rebranding effort it was a complete overhaul. You now have a governance model that better matches the organization that it has become. With three full time commissioners in charge and having oversight over all decisions. This governance change should make the organization better.
It is worth noting that even after all of this controversy, a lot of it happening while he was running for Speaker, Greg Hughes was twice elected by his colleagues to serve as Speaker of the House. He’s one of the most vetted candidates in this race because liberals have been trying to take him out for years. They’ve tried everything but guess what, there is no proof of anything because it doesn’t exist.
Greg Hughes wanted to make it happen. (It gets zero positive press and we had them in Utah during WWII) He owns apartments around 900 S. and 900 W. He looked them up they were 7.5 miles of the Inland Port border. So he signed up to be in the board. Later he found that they were barely within a 5 miles boundary, not travel distance but perimeter based (a limit based on an old state law that's going to be undone) he stepped down a soon as he found out and told the Tribune.
The Wasatch front has grown immensely in the last 20 years. It's grown around the current prison location. Just as the old prison used to be in what is now Sugar House Park, the current prison needed to be moved. Housing, businesses need room for our growing state. Everyone wanted to get it done, but only one guy wasn't afraid to make the enemies to do it, Greg Hughes. He's not selling Ice Cream some people weren't going to be happy. Regardless of any benefit. Greg Hughes worked across the board to find a site that would work and make it happen. Accusations of profiteering are completely unfounded as the only property Greg Hughes has near the current prison site is his house.
What's most disturbing about these smears is that his opponents won't bring them up in public, but are perfectly willing to tell anyone that will listen "off the record." Then go on to brag about what a clean campaign they run. Contrast that to Greg Hughes who doesn't shy away from tough conversations and gets his motives question by these same candidates for it. This is all part of a larger agenda to discredit any genuine conservative leaders in Utah. He's not selling ice cream.