'Out-of-touch' Utah Republicans slammed for accepting free trips to Qatar World Cup: 'Abused their position'
Although there’s no state law that bans the distribution of gifts, like an all-expense paid trip, to elected officials, the sentiment deeply concerns Democratic lawmakers due to Qatar’s past and current display of disregard for human rights.
AlterNet reported that migrant workers in Qatar were dying rapidly at a rate of one every two days in 2014. And since then, according to The Guardian, over 6,500 workers have died in the process of ensuring the country’s infrastructure could support an event like the World Cup.
Reportedly, Adams is not the first Utah government official to be flown out to Qatar by its government. The state’s attorney general, Sean Reyes, also traveled to the middle eastern country for a World Cup match in November.
A Utah Democratic party spokesperson Ben Anderson said, "It is extremely concerning to learn that not one, but two high-ranking Republican elected officials in our state have abused their position of public trust to cozy up to a country which has an egregious record of human rights violations.”
Utah Senate Chief of Staff Mark Thomas said Adams, along with other members of World Trade Center Utah, met with the CEO of the Qatar Foundation during a September trip – organized by Utah Governor Spencer Cox – to the country.
Thomas says that, "During the visit, President (Adams) invited members of (Qatar’s) royal family and their children to Utah,” and that he is “hopeful of their anticipated visit in the next year."
Soon after, according to Thomas, Qatar officials invited Adams and his family to attend the World Cup, and he proceeded to go with his grandchildren last month."Qatar arranged and paid for most of the accommodations. No state or taxpayer funds were used," he said.
Anderson said in a statement, "Utahns didn't elect Sean Reyes or Stuart Adams to cash in on their positions for luxurious, all-expenses-paid trips to Qatar, they elected them to get things done for our state. We deserve better than out-of-touch politicians who exploit their elected offices for personal gain."
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