The moment I first saw the Utah Democratic Party, 2010 State Primary Convention’s handbook, I knew things were not going to be fair. Right on the front and back covers were Jim Matheson endorsements. On the front we are to give “Special Thanks To Our Convention Sponsors: Matheson for Congress, Corroon for Governor and Sam Granato for Senate. The party “leadership” had appointed that “their” chosen candidates would be these three and these three only!
Well I suppose we are short on money and as far as I can tell no one is being paid. A trip through the party offices will tell you that. If they are being paid the party is not getting their money’s worth. Signs and posters piled here and there, papers and folders upon the administrative desks and virtually no one behind those desks. Oh yeah, we got “Think Precinct” training manuals, the brain child of former Democratic Party, Howard Dean, and cousin of Democratic for Governor Peter Corroon, but it seems to me our party leadership did not read the manual themselves.
Never concede an area to the opposition is pretty much the gist of the manual. Colorado used it during their last several election cycles and Democrats were elected in districts they never were elected in before. Obama’s strategy was “Think Precinct” on steroids and he became, belatedly, the first African American President in the history of the United States.
Too bad we still have the pony express in Utah, because it seems to me our leadership was ready to concede the 2nd Congressional seat to Matheson and despite the emergence of a true “grass roots” candidate from the ranks, Ms. Claudia Wright. That her platform was President Obama’s, the titular head of the Democratic party, seemed to escape the notice of virtually everyone in state leadership positions.
But despite the overwhelming odds against her and a paid attack team, Claudia Wright, entirely through volunteer efforts, forced a primary for the first time on a sitting incumbent in the 2nd Congressional District. Jim’s reaction, “I’m still a democrat, been a democrat all my life and yeah I get it, some people didn’t like the way I voted and being passionate was alright.” Meanwhile his attack dogs are posting slanderous attacks on the internet in the forms of FaceBook commentaries and comments to news and television stories of the convention. “Oh, a Lesbian could never win in Utah.” “ We don’t want the “evil” republicans to take control.”
Fear-mongering and money, it seems, are Jim’s only real weapons these days. Money bought the front page sponsorship and he and his family’s picture on the back page of our handbook. “Looking Forward to Working With You in the Future,” Jim says. Hell he hasn’t really worked for me in the past why should I think he will change tomorrow? I saw the look in his eyes-he doesn’t want to move from Washington!
Why anyone would willfully move to Washington is beyond me. Summers are stiflingly hot and humid. So hot and humid that years ago, before refrigeration, we buried one vice president, one supreme court justice, 71 representatives and 19 senators there rather than shipping them home, in the first decades of our Nation’s history. My Great, Great Grandfather’s family is buried there as well.
I do not want Jim to “stay” in Washington. I want to bring him home for a much needed rest. Perhaps he and his buddy Bob Bennett can hang out and spend some quality time camping and fishing together. Our representatives and their families need a summer break.