"I think it's coordinated with Matheson's campaign. He's helping Matheson win re-election," Evans told a University of Utah communication class this week. "It's another cynical ploy. It's vintage Rocky. He operates like [he's playing a game] in three-dimensional chess."
Both Matheson and Anderson dispute the conspiracy theory.
"That's crazy talk," Matheson said.
And Anderson called Evans "paranoid and looney."
But Evans' comments reveal the political implications of the spat. Conventional wisdom would say that anything the mayor does or says boomerangs outside of Salt Lake City. If he advises "Don't vote for Matheson," conservative Utah voters might give the congressman a second look. Rather than pushing voters toward Brister, Anderson's criticism of his fellow Democrat could pull voters away from Republican candidate LaVar Christensen and guarantee a Matheson win.
I discussed earlier today how LaVar has terrible signs, and previously how he has no money. But now with Rocky out there doing the reverse physcology for Jim, it is all over.
The article claims that having Rocky go after a Democrat helps that Democrat with conservatives who lean GOP. But really, it helps them with Democrats too. Afterall, Rocky isn't running for reelection is he? And Jim's support amoung Democrats is around 90%.
Ex-SLC Mayor and father of 2007 candidate Jenny Wilson, Ted Wilson has a more apt analysis about what's going on:
"It is almost more about Rocky than it is about Jim," Wilson said. "Rocky's deepest conviction is that we're all too timid in what we say. There's a tendency in Rocky to say whatever's in his mind.
He's the most unfiltered political leader I've ever known."
I applaud Rocky for cutting the city's green house gas levels, and I like the public art around, but other than that, he has been a complete disaster.
I think Rocky has a future as a reverse lobbyist at the State Legislature. All he has to do is go up there and proudly support or oppose something...and watch the opposite happen. It is smart politics for any Democrat this year to pick a fight with Rocky. Smarter still to have Rocky pick a fight with you.