CEO behind Utah GOP ballot alleges dirty tricks
(KUTV)- The CEO behind a hefty financial bailout of the Utah Republican Party said there are dramatic efforts to "malign" him after his defense of the party's caucus-convention system, over the signature collection method used by some candidates to make it to a primary election.
Dave Bateman, CEO of Lehi-based property management software company Entrata, said one of his employees was approached with an offer to make a staggering amount of money if she would make a damaging claim against him.
"If she would make sexual harassment charges against me, he (the offerer) would make sure that she would earn...a slam dunk million dollars," Bateman said in an interview with 2News. "This was incredibly stressful to her. She wanted to warn me."
The offer, Bateman alleged, came at a political gathering through an "intermediary" for a "political attorney."
He said the woman has been distraught over the encounter.
Bateman said he has not gone to the police, does not know the identity of the source of the offer, and cannot prove that it's tied to his work against the collect-signatures-to-get-on-the-ballot measure, known as SB 54. But he strongly suspects it is.
"I felt like getting this out there will protect me in some ways against what I fully expect will be more of this," he said.
"So there is a coordinated attempt, in your view, to malign you?" 2News asked.
"Yes, and it's not just me," Bateman replied. "Other members of the SCC (Utah GOP State Central Committee with views similar to his) have had their jobs threatened."
Bateman said a GOP activist also dug up private information from his divorce and spread it on the Internet. He said his attorney has sent a cease and desist letter to counsel for the activist.
The CEO is believed to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay off state GOP legal debts, as long as the party continues its controversial legal fight against SB 54. Others, who want the signature method to die, are likely also contributing.
Party chair Rob Anderson, who Bateman said should resign, balked at a first bailout proposal from Bateman, but eventually came to terms with the youthful entrepreneur.
"I don't know anything about those allegations," Anderson said of the alleged sex harassment claim-for a million dollars offer. "I assume if true, he's filed a police report so that an investigation can be conducted."
As for Bateman's claim, a party activist is spreading his personal information, Anderson said he is "unaware" of it.
The Republican leader also said he's not leaving his post.
"I have no intention of resigning, and am considering a run for re-election next year," Anderson said.
Bateman said he has not sexually harassed anybody and is convinced he's the target of "hostility" from others in the party, backed by wealthy pro-SB 54 interests.
"They don't know me very well, but you punch, I'll punch back harder," he said. "That's my nature."