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Former Utah Attorney General's Staffers Caught Sending Transphobic Emails

Former Utah Attorney General's Staffers Caught Sending Transphobic Emails


An ongoing investigation of former Utah attorney general John Swallow has netted an unexpected discovery regarding transphobia within the 2012 Swallow reelection campaign.

Former Utah attorney general John Swallow, who has been under investigation for a variety of alleged improprieties, employed staffers who once referred to a transgender convention delegate as a "cross dresser," "tranny," and "that thing," reportsThe Salt Lake Tribune.

Seth Crossley and Renae Cowley, staffers in Swallow's 2012 reelection campaign, exchanged several of emails using transphobic terms to describe a transgender woman who was a delegate to the Utah Republican Convention, according to documents obtained by the Tribune. Talking Points Memo did additional reporting on the emails.

"77 graced us with their presence yesterday," Crossley wrote, referring to the number of delegates who had attended a campaign event in the weeks leading up to theconvention. "Including the infamous cross dresser!"

Cowley responded to Crossley's email by demanding a photograph of the delegate. "I'm still waiting for a picture of the tranny!" wrote Cowley.

"I offered a picture of that thing while it was next to me!" replied Crossley. "You declined."

"No, I didn't," Cowley responded. "I just said not an 'up the skirt shot.'"

Jason Powers, a consultant on Swallow's campaign, jumped into the conversation at that point, asking to be left out of any future emails on the topic and instructing Cowley and Crossley to continue the thread on their personal accounts.

Swallows won reelection but resigned in disgrace November 21 of last year after being accused of campaign finance violations and other improprieties. Sean Reyes was then appointed attorney general, and he has recently made news for his efforts to halt marriage equality in Utah, pledging to spend upwards of $2 million on outside council.

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