Thursday, September 14, 2006

Civility, Part 2

Just when I thought I knew how this campaign season would go, I found myself upside down and flabbergasted. Yesterday, I was invited to speak at the Iron County Board of Realtors luncheon, along with candidates for other offices and other political parties.

Among those who spoke were Representative Mike Noel (Kanab). His remarks were openly and blatantly partisan as if he were actually proud of it. He stood up and leveled a full blown attack on democracy.

Over, and over, and over again, Noel claimed that political parties are more important than people. His actual words were "You don't vote for a candidate, you vote for a political party." He actually said those words out loud.

That would have been shocking enough. But, then he went on further to say that real power lies within a political party, That's funny, I thought the power lies within the people, and that government was created for the people, not for the political parties. Also, he let a major cat out of the bag and admitted that "Petty Partisan Politics" are the order of the day, and claimed that people "have to vote for republicans because Utah Democrats won't get anything done in state government." He further claimed that the Utah Legislature will put petty partisan politics above the business of the people. I have many good Republican friends who I am sure would be shocked and appauled at these remarks, as am I. If the citizens of Utah vote for the status quo, they are voting for a legislature that has openly admitted that they will put partisan politics over the business of the people.

Just when I thought it could not get any worse, LaVar Christensen stood up. Mr. Christensen, who is running for Congress against Congressman Jim Matheson made the same pathetic and shocking statement that voters should never look at individual candidates, but instead should only vote for a political party.

He criticized Larry’s remarks about House Bill 407, legislation that we were able to pass by working with Democrats in the Utah legislature. He said that the Utah Senate would not have passed the legislation unanimously had any Democratic Senator brought it to the table. With all due respect, sir, you’re misrepresenting what happened. HB407 *did* pass unanimously in the senate, because House Democrats approached Republican Senate leadership to make it happen. And it did happen, even if it was sponsored by a Democrat and the brainchild of Iron County Democrats.

Larry Daniel (candidate for House District 72) and I both spoke about a need for change and balance in the legislature, and I highlighted my platform and ideas, and talked about the upcoming race, and that it needs to be “About People, Not Politics.” Over and over again, I told the audience that this race was not about a political party, but about a voice for their values. Even the candidates from the Constitution Party had comments that focused on the positive, and that highlighted what they would do for Utah.

Late yesterday afternoon, I called Congressman Matheson to let him know that he is off the hook, because apparently LaVar Christensen wants to be the Senator from Southern Utah instead of the Congressman for the 2nd Congressional District.

The two hitmen from the Utah Republican party, Mike Noel and LaVar Christensen, are playing politics as usual. They are forcing the debate away from issues and ideas, and making it a single-minded one party system, about mascots and fear. From what I could tell they had no message, and obviously don't want people to look at the people who are running for office , but instead align themselves with a party and call it "truth." From what I could tell, the best thing they could say about themselves was that they have an elephant on their campaign signs. Apparently, there is nothing more to them.

What I find even more puzzling is their absolute commitment to the ideal of “One Party Rule.” Not only is that dangerous, it goes against the fundamental concept of discourse, balance, and compromise inherent in the America system of government. Furthermore, it is a assault on LDS church teachings, which clearly and explicitly says that it endorses no candidates, platforms or parties, and that “principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of all major political parties. While the church does not endorse political candidates, platforms or parties, members are urged to be full participants in political, governmental and community affairs.” (Letter from LDS Church, read at the pulpit in March, 2006)

Ladies and gentleman, what we have here is an introduction to how this campaign season is going to go. The Republicans have made their choice. It's not about people, it's about politics. The Wasatch Front Hitmen are going to swoop from the rafters to try to continually convince you that people don't matter.

Are we ready? Southern Utah has never had such a strong slate of Democratic candidates, both in Iron County and Washington County. It is important that we band together and get ready for the hate and lies that will come from the North. All of us are going to need some serious help to win, both financially and through manpower. It is the only way we will combat this Republican noise machine.


At 12:36 PM, Blogger DemsRPatriots said...

Great post and blog Emily. Sorry for your most recent experience. It's frustrating how divisive the playbook seems to be. I was just doing a search on Google for "LDS Democrats" and your article showed prominently so I'm not from the Utah aread.

In my own blog ( I posted a link to a discussion on the net regarding the assumption that LDS means Republican (in my July archive). It was an interesting exchange, made by people from the Provo area.

But after reading your post on Mr. Miller's sacrament meeting experience and thinking about the common partisan exchanges, I ask myself why is it so generally acceptable for people to announce their Republican ideals in church (and demean Democratic ones) while Democrats remain silent? Here in my ward in Oregon Democrats are numerous and yet Republican comments take center stage anyway. Are we just trying to be non-confrontational? Is it bashfulness on our side? I just wish we could all separate ourselves from our own bias and come to our government (and our worship) without a political hat on at all.

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Emily For Utah Senate 28 said...

Demsrpatriots -

Ah shucks, you make a gal get alllll teary! I appreciate your good words and also for the link on your blog.

Keep up the good fight and thank you for standing up to lead the way!

53 days and counting!


At 1:35 PM, Blogger cls said...

Thanks to your stopping by and dropping a comment on my blog, I shuffled on over here and found a marvelous blog. You'll be on my list of must reads! Here's to Western Democrats!!

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Mary Silver said...

Way to go, Emily. Trying to survive as a reasonabley intelligent, thoughtful, LDS Democrat in Utah is sometimes more than I can stand. When I attempt to discuss politics with Republicans in Utah, all I get is the "party line" and comments that are made seemingly without much intelligence or study of the issues. Much of what I hear is all emotionally based. Today I saw a television ad by LeVar Christensen, imploring the citizens of Utah to vote for him and the Republican Party because we need someone who will stand up for morality in our country. That would lead one to believe that all Democrats are immoral--what a jerk! Keep up the good work, Emily.


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