Thursday, October 14, 2004

SL Co. Race: it just gets keeps getting stranger

For some unknown reason, Independent SL Co. Mayoral candidate and former GOP Congressman Merrill Cook has told reporters about his own polling, which shows up-start write-in candidate Ellis Ivory 10 point up on Democrat Peter Carroon, who is up 10 points over Cook. Translation: Cook's getting whooped by 20 points. What the heck happened? I guess voters will go for anyone as long as they are GOP. I am surprised that they haven’t had ads reminding voters who Carroon is related to (hint: “We’re going California and Texas…YEEEAGH!”).

I don't have the details of Cook's poll, since he just blabbed to the 10 o'clock news. But why would he do this? Well Cook is the losingist candidate in Utah political history, as far as I know. He ran for SL city mayor, governor, congressman all a number of times. He finally won the lotto in 1996 (because then Rep. Enid Greene was in trouble for $2M in campaign finance violations) and stuck gold again in 1998. But then employees complained that Cook had a temper and lashed out at them. He ended up dropping out in 2000, and Jim Matheson won his seat (an update on Jim to follow).

So maybe Cook is crazy, but the UT Democratic Party isn't: they are challenging Ivory's attempts to get his name stickered over Workman who feigned "medical reasons" for dropping out (she got a bad case of LOSING), which the party contends is in violation of state law. If Ivory has to be written-in, then Corroon will probably win. Either way, Cook is toast. He was always UT's conservative Ralph Nader, ruining it for the GOP.

On to Jim Matheson, who holds Cook's old seat. Finally, after a week or so of clone attack ads from the NRCC and Swallow, Matheson struck back. In the latest ad I saw during CSI, Jim's voice over guy pointed out that Swallow's GOP primary opponents called him a dirty campaigner and a liar. No surprise, this guy in another life would have been a used car salesman. Next, Jim points out he voted to ban partial birth abortion and for both Bush tax cuts (the background is him talking in Southern Utah with voters huddled around him) Next, they use a clip of Jim walking with a lady from his hard-hitting nuclear testing ad, ending with Jim standing on some red rocks doing the "I'm Jim Matheson and I approve this message." I wouldn't call it an attack ad, or a "contrast ad" (soft attack ad) but rather a "correct the record ad" with a dash of "my opponent lies ad" thrown in.

I guess I like the ad, truthful but not too negative, while still making Jim out to be the victim of a vicious attack (which he is). I personally wouldn't have voted the way he did, but then again I am not a two-time Democratic Congressman whose district is over 60% Republican. It’s a miracle he is even there. Or is it?

Jim is one of the hardest working congressmen on the Hill. And I should know, I worked for him as an intern and talked to other interns. He totally does whatever he wants indenpendently of his party, unlike Rubber-Stamp Swallow.

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