Monday, December 13, 2010

Another day, another Mormon...

Who Was Reed Smoot?

It's a reasonable question to wonder how vastly higher tariffs were passed following the 1929 crash. Who could have possibly thought it was a good idea?

The tariff was the brainchild of Reed Smoot, the senior senator from Utah. In addition to his political career, Reed Smoot was one of the 12 Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints. His father, Abraham Owen Smoot, was a Mormon pioneer, a protégé of Brigham Young, and the second mayor of Salt Lake City. Abraham Smoot had six wives... and 27 children.

In part because of his unusual background and in part because of his leadership role in the church, Reed Smoot faced considerable national resistance to being seated in the senate. Elected in 1902, he wasn't seated until 1907. He won re-election in 1908 and rose in the Republican Party, becoming the senate finance chairman in 1923. However, immediately following the passage of the disastrous tariff that bore his name, he lost re-election in 1932.

PS: Glenn Beck was raised a Catholic...

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