Des News/KSL Report: Better UTAH Warns Winder of “laughing off” Burwash scandal

Via the Deseret News and KSL:

SOUTH JORDAN – Mike Winder’s phone started ringing about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Supporters of the Republican candidate for Salt Lake County mayor were calling to tell him they’d seen campaign signs for Richard Burwash, the fictional name Winder used in 2010 and 2011 to get stories published by local media outlets, including the Deseret News and

A handful of the signs have been spotted in the Salt Lake Valley, posted next to those of Winder. Aside from the font used on the fictional candidate’s name and the word “mayor,” the Burwash campaign signs are identical to Winder’s.

Winder said he was amused by the campaign joke, and he even stopped to take a picture of one he spotted on Bangerter Highway near 10400 South. He posted the picture on Facebook and Twitter.

“I wish the new candidate in the county mayor’s race well,” Winder wrote on his Facebook page, “and hope he lets me have one of his signs after June 26 as a souvenir.”

“There is obviously some humor in it,” Winder said when asked for his opinion on the signs. “But they got the font wrong.”

The Alliance for a Better UTAH, a progressive government watchdog group, issued a statement Wednesday criticizing Winder’s handling of the Burwash incident, saying “lying to voters is no laughing matter.”

“We understand that Mr. Winder is hoping that by laughing the scandal off, then voters will do the same,” said Maryann Martindale, the group’s executive director. “The reality is that he lied to his constituents and the people of Utah. And no matter how well-meaning his intentions may have been, it is completely inappropriate for him to say that he wants the issue to just go away.” …


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