As Year 1 of Utah Political Capitol wraps up, we wanted to take a look back at the most read articles of the year. With over 225,000 visits during 2013, we can’t thank everyone enough for helping us get Utah’s newest alternative political news site up and off the ground.
#10 – March 27
We’re all still in shock over this. Big thanks to City Weekly!
#9 – January 13
This was our first foray into the scandal that dominated 2013. Swallow had responded to the initial accusations by Jeremy Johnson, and we wanted to point out the holes in the logic.
#8 – November 21
Yes, after a year of scandal, Republican Attorney General John Swallow announced that he would be stepping down from the office. His decision appeared somewhat sudden until the special investigatory committee in the House revealed its findings a few weeks later. It was clear that Swallow’s house of cards was crumbling, and we still don’t know how deep the rabbit hole goes…
#7 – January 27
As happens annually, the thick smog covering the Wasatch Front cleared out just prior to the beginning of the legislative session. We wanted to point out that if it were to stick around a few weeks longer, lawmakers might have more of an incentive to work harder to clean it up.
You know it, you hate it, and it is back again.
#6 – December 22
You will notice a trend in articles six to one: more than half of our most popular articles take place in just the last month. December was truly an historic month in Utah politics for many reasons. Number six on our list highlights this very fact. State officials, who rushed in an attempt to put a stop to same-sex marriages in Utah, were denied a stay. Currently, same-sex couples are still able to receive marriage licences at any clerks office across the state.
#5 – May 15
UPC was the first to break the news that not only was Swallow being investigated by the FBI and DOJ, the Utah House of Representatives, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Utah Bar Association, but also was facing a criminal investigation by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings.
#4 – March 4
Republican Senator Margaret Dayton referred to supporters of an air quality bill sponsored by Jewish Representative Patrice Arent as “Air Nazis.” The article was somewhat controversial, as Dayton wasn’t specifically referring to Arent, although Arent was certainly a supporter of her own bill, but our purpose with the post was to highlight the offensive implications of casually throwing around the word “Nazi.”
#3 – December 22
Few could have predicted that same-sex marriage would be a reality in Utah so suddenly. As the debate continues to rage over the fate of same-sex marriage in Utah, UPC felt the need to express our support for the decision of Judge Shelby to overturn Amendment 3. Many of you agreed – the response of Facebook, Twitter, in our comments section, and in private emails largely supported our feelings. Of course, this issue is far from over, and we will just have to wait and see what the future holds for same-sex marriage in the state and nation.
#2 – August 26
UPC discovered that former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s “fixer,” Tim Lawson (since arrested), had not only solicited cash from people wanting connections to the AG, but possibly sexual favors as well.
#1 – February 27
With over 30,000 pageviews (thanks to some Reddit users), this was far and away our most popular article of the year. It all came about as the newly elected Jim Dabakis—angered over some Republican lawmakers’ symbolic votes against federal funds needed to pay for the Department of Environmental Quality and state firefighters—unexpectedly threw enough votes their way to actually deny the money. The panicked committee quickly back-peddled on their votes.
We’re looking forward to the 2014 legislative session, and hope you’ll join us for Year 2! A special thanks to our fantastic UPC staff of writers, editors, and researchers for making this a great year. Thanks for tagging along and we will see you next year!