Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Ivory not yet on ballot

There is more exciting political news in Utah today. Ellis Ivory is off the ballot-- for now. Swensen's lawyers basically said the GOP needs to hold another central committee vote to approve Ivory and then he will be on. From the way I read it, sounds like it isn't a real delay. I think the GOP should pay for all those damn stickers the state is going to print for Ivory.

While I agree that a Democrat (or Republican) should win by default-- even though we still have an independent candidate-- I disagree that voters are being denied a choice. They can vote for Ivory via write-in and in reality, no one chose Ivory except Ivory and a few top GOPers. He didn't win a nomination via primaries, and this isn't an emergency situation like when Sen. Paul Wellstone died October 25, 2002 a few days before the actual election (one I believe he would have won). It's the GOP's and Workman's own fault-- and Ivory's fault for supporting her-- for the situation they collectively find themselves.

In other news, Scott Matheson and John Huntsman (juniors) debated live on Main Street last night. My family camping friend Rod Decker of channel two was the moderator. As an aside, some nutbar in Utah County (home of Provo, BYU and the most conservative populous area in conservative Utah) tried to make a citizen's arrest of Huntsman's running mate and Utah Co. Commissioner.

There were some big differences brought out (finally) between the two. Matheson opposes school vouchers and the anti-gay marriage amendment (proposition 3). When confronted with the fact that his brother Jim will be voting for 3, Scott said "I've always told Jim he needs to go to Law School," noting that this statute is going to be challenged in court and will in all probably lose, at the cost of Utah taxpayers. I am sure he pointed out that both AG candidates oppose the measure for that reason as well.

As for little brother Jim, John Swallow is doing some more attack ads:

The Utah Republican Party paid about $20,000 each for two mailings to 76,000 2nd Congressional District voters this weekend. The 8 1/2 -by-11-inch cards were designed by Arena Communications' Peter Valcarce, according to GOP Director Spencer Jenkins. Valcarce is known in Utah as a master of the attack ad.

One states: "A vote for Jim Matheson comes with a lot of unwanted baggage. Jim Matheson's first vote in each new session of Congress - to make pro-choice San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi speaker of the House." A second mailing's headline reads: "John Swallow. Pro-life. Pro-family. Pro-Utah." It continues: "Jim Matheson supports abortions." For artwork, the mailing shows a colorful photo of the Swallow family above a grainy picture of Matheson alone.

Classic direct mail lies. Distort, grainy picture, small print. That's all you need.

Oh and Workman got arraigned on both felony counts yesterday. Court date is in February (no hurry now that she isn't up for election).

It looks like the US Senate is more likely to swing for the Democrats and Kerry has successfully expanded the swing states (CO and AR, maybe AZ) and shored up many of his potential ones (like NJ, OR and WA). In otherwords, the electoral college has is trending Kerry's way.

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