Nathan Caplin invites voters to discuss ideas; county attorney primary

ST. GEORGE – Nathan G. Caplin, Republican candidate for the office of Washington County Attorney, is hosting several “meet and greet” events in his continuing effort to share campaign priorities with area voters and hear their concerns.

Listening to the public and seeking citizens’ input is one of Caplin’s top priorities as the next Washington County Attorney.

“I want to listen to Washington County,” Caplin said. “When elected County Attorney, I will create a volunteer community council to share ideas with the County Attorney’s Office. This endeavor will cost nothing, but be of great benefit. I invite all citizens who have an interest in preserving our constitutional rights and local sovereignty to join together in this effort.”

All are invited to attend the following events:

  • Come meet and discuss with Nathan Caplin how we can work together to protect our freedoms and promote safety in Washington County: June 6, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Dixie State University Alumni House, 684 E. 500 S. in St. George. This event is hosted by Cortney and Kalynn Snow.
  • On June 10 and June 18, a “Meet and Greet” is scheduled at the Hurricane City Community Center, 63 S. 100 W., from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Bryce Canyon Room. Come and share your ideas and join in the endeavor to fight crime and restore local stewardship. (Ed. note – scheduled time change made June 10, at request of Caplin campaign.)
  • On June 11, from 5-6:30 p.m., the Mayor’s Veteran Action Council will host a candidate forum with Nathan Caplin and current Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap. Caplin is looking forward to this forum, which will be held at the St. George Vet Center, 1684 S. Dixie Drive, Building C Suite 102. For more information about this forum, call 435-673-4494.

Caplin, an attorney at Barney, McKenna & Olmstead in St. George, also serves as a city prosecutor and adjunct instructor of U.S. History at Dixie State University. Caplin’s candidacy is supported by mayors throughout Washington County, business and civic leaders, and a steadily growing body of local citizens who understand the issues that threaten Washington County today.

Caplin kicked off his campaign for the office of Washington County Attorney with a pledge to “Return to the Constitution.”

“Let us work within the parameters of the Constitution. It’s a big tent with room for every citizen who respects the rule of law. This includes the red states and the blue states,” Caplin said. “The Constitution should be what we all agree on. Justice, fairness and rule of law matter more than ideology.”

Submitted by the Nathan Caplin campaign.

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31 Comments

  • Ron McKinney June 5, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    My vote will go to Belnap, I feel he has done an outstanding job. He has shown that the law can prevail.

  • Jon R. Cocktoasten June 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Belnap ALL THE WAY!!! This guy is a city prosecutor… Has he ever tried a felony case? What Mayors are behind him? Furthermore, a large majority of law enforcement in the county are behind Belnap. That enough should speak volumes! Sorry to say the experience already in office will do Washington County a greater service than some community council. I would say that Belnap knows the constitution far better than most!

    • Amicus June 6, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Yay Belnap! That guy’s a county attorney. He’s stepped into court and actually tried… oh wait… does he step into court? Or do the county prosecutors? No matter–Belnap totally came to the County Attorney’s Office with TONS of prosecutorial experience, right? Oh wait… Wasn’t he from civil litigation? But who cares? That Caplin guy just has the support of practically all the mayors across the county, dozens of civic and business leaders, the DRF, and, you know, peons like me. But hey! We should totally just write him off because, well, “experience.”

  • Toni June 5, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I am very concerned that Nate Caplin has no felony convictions in his record. This county has grown to almost 160,000 people. We need an experienced attorney to represent this community. Brock Belnap not only has the experience to convict but also the compassion for the victims and their families.

    From a little research I found that Nate Caplin’s only prosecution experience is in Hildale City. He has been a prosecutor since August 2012. The actual cases filed during that period are:
    2014: 19 cases total. 15 traffic cases and 4 misdemeanor cases which included alcohol restricted driver & minor consumption, assault, open container and littering. Also a failure to appear for court.
    2013: 53 cases total. 2 misdemeanor cases. Disorderly conduct & failure to appear, minor in possession of tobacco and the rest were traffic cases.
    2012: 19 cases total. No misdemeanors. 1 infraction, others were traffic cases.

    The County Attorney’s office handles thousands of cases a year. Many are homicides, rape, kidnapping, attempted murder, drug offenses, large scale fraud, theft and a multitude of other cases and hundreds of Class A misdemeanors and felony cases.

    THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND WHEN YOU VOTE ON JUNE 24TH. WE NEED EXPERIENCE IN THIS OFFICE. WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ONE OF YOUR LOVED ONES. WOULDN’T YOU WANT TO HAVE THE PERPETRATOR CONVICTED?

    I think Nate should just work in the County Attorney’s office and get some experience first.

    Thank you for reading this.

    • Bender June 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      Yeah Tony, that’s cool, but Caplin is a self-described constitutional scholar. That trumps everything!

      • Bill June 6, 2014 at 5:19 am

        I hope that was intended to be funny, Bender, because it made me chuckle.

        • Jon R. Cocktoasten June 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

          Myself as well!!!

    • Amicus June 6, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      The County Attorney’s OFFICE handles “thousands of cases a year” — not the county attorney. It’s not a one man show. The County Attorney sets the policies for the office. In the criminal context, that mostly deals with sentencing (not trial)–will the county prosecutors push for more jail time, or will they be willing to work with diversionary programs (i.e., Drug Court)? As far as I can tell, there’s not much difference between the candidates in this regard.

      As to civil litigation and, yes, CONSTITUTIONAL issues, policy setting actually means a great deal. No qualms with Belnap’s civil strategies (defending county officers, defending torts claims, etc.), but I think it might be time for a new direction on the constitutional issues (especially local v. federal land management concerns).

      If you think changing county attorneys is going to let murderers out onto the street, please try to get informed. As far as the criminal law is concerned, things don’t really change much under new management.

  • Jim June 6, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Bender I hope you’re just being sarcastic. Caplin has next to zero experience just a rookie law school grad. It would be like Walmart taking a two year cashier and deciding to make them CEO of the company. Nathan’s father is the one running his campaign with money and cashing in a lot of political favors from those he helped put in office over the years. If anyone actually considers Caplin’s experience it will be a no brainier for them to vote Belnap back in. But the crowd loves to hear “getting back to the Constitution.” Anyone can say that to get the crowd worked up. The truth is, Belnap deals with the US Constitution, the State of Utah Constitution, State and Civil law all day every day. He possesses the knowledge and EXPERIENCE to run his office. He has worked tirelessly for us and we should thank him for his efforts by voting him back in this month. Tell everyone you know to vote for Belnap, he’s up against an inexperienced, well funded rookie who happens to have a father with very influential political pull. Take two minutes to research yourself like I have and you’ll come to the same conclusion.

  • Bill June 6, 2014 at 5:18 am

    Just out of curiosity, what is the relationship between the US Constitution and the County Attorney? Think about that. It is nice to understand the Constitution, if he does, but what has that got to do with being a county attorney. It’s a flashy campaign slogan, but in all relevancy …well, is irrelevant.

    If the candidate were truly the Constitutional scholar he would have us believe him to be he would recognize that the role of the “County Attorney” has very little “direct” relationship to the US Constitution. His lack of that understanding of that fundamental fact demonstrates him lack of experience and actual knowledge of either the office he seeks or the Constitution he rightfully supports.

    Saying “I want to return to the Constitution” is akin to accusing his opponent of not supporting Constitutional principles. Does anyone seriously believe the Mr. Belnap does not support the US Constitution? Really? Let’s get serious. Does anyone actually believe that sort of nonsense. The campaign slogan ranks right up there with “I support law enforcement”. Well, duh! Who doesn’t, besides the guilty?

    The specious nature of the challenger;s campaign suggest he truly needs some experience beyond contributing to a few mayoral races.

    • Amicus June 6, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Well, it sure would have been nice for the state to have county attorneys who understood the federalism principles enshrined in the United States Constitution when that federal judge whose-name-deserves-no-mention attempted to unilaterally foist gay marriage onto the State of Utah.

      A county attorney who understood the constitution may have been able to inform county clerks (correctly) that they did not need to issue marriage licenses yet (and in fact SHOULD NOT HAVE while the state was seeking a stay–which undermined the state’s stay motion by transforming the status quo). Washington County could have (and should have) waited like Utah County–at least until the stay motion was heard.

      A county attorney who understood the way our system works might have known that the only tribunal that can effectively mandate what states do or don’t do in regards to their own state constitutions and legislation is the United States Supreme Court–that’s the only Court that’s superior to state tribunals (not that the federal tribunals are inferior; they’re just on a separate track).

      A county attorney who understood the Constitution may have also noted that orders from district judges ONLY apply to the parties in front of them. They have no binding precedential value, which is to say, they can’t control any other case. A clever county attorney who understood the Constitution might have easily defused any issues by simply noting, unless one of the specific parties in the suit were seeking a marriage license, there were no grounds upon which to issue such a license.

      Granted, understanding the Constitution would not be sufficient in any of these types of cases. That level of defiance will require a great deal of courage as well. But the county attorney who understood the constitution would have found himself, though probably universally mocked, on firm legal ground.

  • fh June 6, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Caplin has drafted rulings and worked on felony cases as an attorney working in behind the scenes in the judiciary.

    As a lawyer who has worked in criminal and civil litigation, I can attest (unlike most of the posters on here) that Caplin is highly qualified for the county attorney position.

    I can also attest that Caplin is a scholar of history and the constitution. Those who mock his academic work probably don’t know him.

    • Bender June 6, 2014 at 11:02 am

      I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you. Too busy studying the CONSTITUTION.

      • Amicus June 6, 2014 at 12:29 pm

        So… You’d rather our next county attorney be opposed to the Constitution? I mean, I guess that’s your opinion, and you’re entitled to it and all, but just recognize: I for one REALLY hope that’s the minority opinion in Washington County. Go Caplin!

        • Bender June 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm

          Caplin certainly infers that Belnap is weak on understanding the constitution with the campaign tagline “Return to the Constitution”. He’ll likely snare the weak minded Tea Party drones who drool all over themselves when a candidate wraps himself in the flag and babbles on about the constitution. The rest of us will pass on the snot nosed kid with the petty behavioral streak.

          Thanks for the unsolicited opinion AMICUS. Mind like a steel trap you have. Should your man win the election perhaps you can hire on as the office sycophant.

    • Mr. Dixie June 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      That’s not the same as being the attorney presenting the case, and you know it. Has he ever even appeared in front of a jury?

  • Friend of the Law June 6, 2014 at 10:11 am

    All of you posting comments to support Belnap obviously have spent no time in the courtroom. He does NOT appear in court. He sits in his cushy office and takes a paycheck while directing his minions to do all the work. I am guessing Belnap has not appeared in even 1% of the cases prosecuted in Washington County. In fact most of you have not seen or heard from Mr. Belnap until election time. You have seen him more in public in the last month than the totality of his time in “office” -except to be on camera during the Jeffs trial, etc. What a joke.

    • Mr. Dixie June 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      That’s funny because Eric Clarke said that Belnap wrote a large portion of the 1,000-page brief they filed against the BLM. His attorneys are fighting hard for hte guy. Whatever he’s doing, his attorneys love him for it, and that’s a sign that he is doing something right.

  • NewsGuru June 6, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    The county attorney’s office has plenty of experienced prosecutors to handle the felony cases. What the county really needs is a leader who can work with our new county commissioners to oppose unconstitutional federal actions. That is why Caplin is getting so much traction.

    • Mr. Dixie June 6, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Um, isn’t that exactly what Belnap has been doing in suing the BLM to keep roads open and ensuring they don’t expand the desert tortoise habitat? Honestly, who do you want leading the battle, an attorney of 20 years or a guy who spent two years as a bailiff before landing his first legal job less than two years ago? That right there is the difference between Belnap and Caplin.

  • Nikki June 7, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Comparing the two candidates side-by-side, Belnap has my vote because his experience as an attorney far overshadows that of Caplin.

  • S. Tay June 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I have personally witnessed some very questionable ethical boundaries that Caplin has crossed. He is not only inexperienced but he is incredibly loose with the ethics. This is not the type of person you want to put into a public office. It is obvious that he lacks experience or feels so entitled that he can breach ethics and boundaries without consequences. But there certainly seems to be some dollars behind this candidate……makes you wonder who he will pander to once elected.

    • Amicus June 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Accusations (serious accusations at that) without ANY evidence? Is this the current state of the Belnap campaign’s supporters? Talk about deterioration! Ms. Tay, can you back up any of your libelous assertions?

      • Amicus June 10, 2014 at 5:37 pm

        Ms. Tay’s spurious comment has been removed. Bravo! Just in case anyone else noticed it, let’s point out: 24 hours after posting her libel, she offered us crickets for evidence. Accusations without evidence. Not something you want from your county attorney; hopefully she’s not one of those supporters who works out of the prosecutor’s office.

      • Woody Beardsman June 10, 2014 at 6:35 pm

        Your asserting that her comment is libelous?

        I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume when you read city attorney for Hildale, UT on his own campaign page, that you think traffic violations might be a large part of that courtrooms work.

        Maybe it’s not, so enlighten us, what does one do as the city attorney for Hildale? I’m sure digging up the records of that towns court cases so far this year shouldn’t be too hard.

        Wow us with the facts! You seem so headstrong on being right that I can hardly wait.

        • Amicus June 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm

          Woody, what are talking about? Are you having a tough time following which comments respond to each other on this site? Your stuff is coming straight out of left field.

          Ms. Tay, in the comment I responded to, makes no mention of “traffic violations,” etc. She has accused Caplin of ethical breaches, without any evidence–frankly, without any actual accusations (You’d think she could at least mention WHAT she “personally witnessed” Caplin do that was unethical, but she hasn’t even managed that).

          As an attorney, accusations of ethical breaches are a really big deal–breaching ethics will cost you your license. Ms. Tay appears to be an attorney herself, or to at least have some grounding in the law, so she is likely aware of this. Her comments are dishonest, derogatory, and defaming. And she can’t even defend them.

          Oh, and by the way, throwing out false statements to defame another person’s character (such as accusing someone of breaching ethical boundaries), there’s a word for that: It’s called “libel.”

  • Legal Eagle June 10, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Nate Caplin is the right man for Washington County attorney. He has deep roots in southern Utah, he has a terrific understanding of the Constitution, and he has great experience, including as a judicial clerk, civil litigator, adjunct professor, and prosecutor for Hildale City. It’s time for someone with a fresh perspective and great ideas for moving Washington County forward.

    • S. Tay June 10, 2014 at 8:55 am

      Yes, his two years of traffic violation prosecution has been brilliant.

  • PP June 19, 2014 at 2:45 am

    A young, inexperienced, entitled Constitutional lawyer and adjunct professor who promises change~or a “fresh perspective”. I thought we already have one of those in the White House? How is that working out?

  • Tea Party Member June 19, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    first of all, for Amicus, I may be wrong, but I do believe political speech is legally protected so though the comments may technically fit the definition of libel, Tay has a constitutional right to make the comments. Certainly as a Caplin supporter who is sooooo behind the constitution you would know that.

    Second of all, I just have to say it, again I might be wrong, but here it goes. So Caplin is running while touting his experience as city attorney for Hildale. Isn’t the Washington County Attorney’s obligation and oath to prosecute criminals in Washington county? If he’s the Hildale City attorney wouldn’t his obligation and oath be to prosecute crimes in that city. Last time I checked, in my opinion, there were a bunch a crimes being committed in Hildale that aren’t going prosecuted — tax evasion, underage workers, etc. etc.

    Don’t we want someone who will enforce the law?

    No more politicians even if they do have catchy slogans that may be intended to hi-jack the tea party. County Attorney is not a place you want someone without experience. Unless you are a member of Caplin’s family, work with him, or have some “political chips” that Caplin is “cashing in” (i.e. Pike) this should be a no-brainer. Belnap is doing a great job and will continue to do so.

    The above is my opinion

  • tea party member June 20, 2014 at 9:52 am

    As a follow up to my last comment, I wanted to post this article about Hildale that was in the paper today.

    http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/06/19/ccj-colorado-city-police-chief-admits-corruption-attorney-general-calls-for-disbandment-of-flds-marshals/#comment-191716

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