Friday, June 30, 2006

A nod from the Trib

Yesterday Christian held a press conference at Utah Democratic Party headquarters. He talked about the issues that are important to the citizens of the third district - fiscal responsibility and accountability, education, pension, transparency in government, and about how the citizens of Utah deserve a full-time representative in Congress. After chatting with correspondents from the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, we again found ourselves in the paper this morning:

Glen Warchol of the Trib wrote a great article on the campaign that you should definitely check out.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thursday morning media flurry

With the GOP primary over, the media is now giving our race more attention. What better way for this to begin than with a Deseret News front page feature story about Christian?

Be sure to read this article, also in today's Deseret News, which includes Christian's response to Mr. Jacob's attacks after Jacob has been eliminated from the race. Perhaps Mr. Jacob is starting to run his 2008 race against the future congressman for the third district, Christian Burridge?

But first, if you weren't watching CNN yesterday afternoon, you missed a discussion of the third district race, with some commentary about Christian, on Lou Dobbs Tonight. The program's transcript gives us the following:

Congressman Cannon's Democratic opponent, by the way, in November will be one Christian Burridge, a political novice as well. Burridge is an attorney who practices immigration law and who strongly favors a so-called comprehensive immigration reform package, including, of course, amnesty for illegal aliens. It should be quite a contest.

Christian's position on immigration is not amnesty. Though Mr. Dobbs made this statement without contacting Christian first, Christian would be happy to explain his position on immigration to Mr. Dobbs at any time. This is a complex issue that deserves discussion without generalizations.

Now, for your convenience, we have reposted the newspaper articles below.

Demo gunning for Cannon
by Bob Bernick, Jr.

Did you get a little tired of hearing about illegal immigration during the 3rd Congressional District Republican primary?

Now that Rep. Chris Cannon has won the GOP nomination, his Democratic opponent, Christian Burridge, says immigration won't be the front-and-center issue for the final race.

Cannon's "poor record" will be, Burridge said Wednesday.

In Tuesday's primary, final but unofficial figures show Cannon defeated fellow Republican John Jacob 55.8 percent to 44.2 percent. Cannon received 32,306 votes to Jacob's 25,589. Jacob, a millionaire through water and land development, gave his campaign $413,000 — so he ended up spending just over $16 for every vote he received.

Illegal immigration was the main theme of the primary. An anti-illegal immigration political action committee — Team America — spent more than $40,000 on independent radio ads, slamming Cannon and praising Jacob.

Writing on the National Journal's Hotline, political analyst Richard Cohen said Wednesday that Cannon's victory reinforces GOP House incumbents across the nation. Where once Roll Call magazine, which covers Congress, placed Cannon as one of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents in the nation, with Cannon's solid win over an anti-illegal immigration candidate, the often shrill, but relatively small-in-number, anti-illegal immigration candidates are not faring well.

"Cannon's win continues a clear-cut pattern for GOP primaries that have been contested on immigration: Hard-liner, single-issue candidates continue to lose," Cohen said.

But Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Report called Utah's 3rd District primary "a skirmish" in the GOP national immigration war. "It wasn't settled there. You won't have much of a general election (because the district is so heavily Republican). Some who feel very strongly on the immigration question may stay home" in the final 3rd District election.

But Rothenberg said that won't affect the final outcome — Cannon wins.

Burridge, a consumer rights attorney, said that while he'll talk about immigration at times, he will mainly go after other areas of Cannon's 10-year voting record.

A winner of national debate awards while in college, Burridge says he'll try to meet Cannon face-to-face "anytime, anywhere."

Just a few of Burridge's comments about Cannon:

• "We deserve a full-time representative."

Burridge says he'll close his law practice if he wins in November. He charges that Cannon spends time on his private capital investment firms. Cannon says he doesn't spend time on private business, and that's the main reason he's personally lost tens of millions of dollars since his 1996 election.

• "I'm totally against gambling, especially in Utah."

Burridge charges that while Cannon says he's against gambling, in reality he's taken significant campaign contributions from pro-gambling interests. And a former Cannon staffer, David H. Safavian, was recently convicted of lying to federal authorities as part of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Safavian was no longer working for Cannon when he became caught up in the scandal.

"Cannon voted in favor" of some of the bills that Abramoff pushed for Indian gambling interests, said Burridge.

But Cannon counters that he's consistently voted to curb gambling in all instances.

• "Chris has voted 97 percent of the time with House Republican leadership. I will be an independent voice for the district," said Burridge.

While it is always tough for a Democrat to raise money and win in the heavily Republican 3rd District, Burridge says a number of issues are working for him.

First, it is not a presidential election year. And while 3rd District residents buck the national trend and give Bush a job approval rating of more than 50 percent, not having Bush's name on the ballot should help him, Burridge said.

Second, Burridge said neither Congress as a whole nor Cannon specifically is greatly liked in the district. A recent Deseret Morning News/KSL-TV poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates found that 38 percent of the district residents hold an unfavorable opinion of Cannon.

Republicans nationally and locally are divided on a number of issues, including immigration, and apathy runs through the GOP, Burridge said.

"I'd debate Chris every night if I could," said Burridge. "Maybe I'll get only three to five debates with him. But I'll be taking my messages to the voters, engaging them in dialogue. And if he's not there, that will be noticed."


Jacob planning another run
By Tad Walch

Editor's note: If you would like to read the whole article about Mr. Jacob, click on the link above. However, we here are only going to post the relevant portion.

For Jacob, the low point in the race came when he learned President Bush was going to endorse Cannon. "How do you overcome that?" he said. "I'm not sure anyone could have won after that."

Jacob praised Bush for the move.

"For the president to support someone who was supporting him took a lot of courage because if Chris lost, what would that do to the president? I think it was pretty neat."

Jacob will review the campaign today with his staff

"I need to be better connected with the establishment," he said. "I think that people are very important but not every one of them can get to know you. It would be nice to have endorsements (like Cannon did). That's important.

"And I'm going to have a lot more money in the bank when I start next time.

For now, though, he's supporting Cannon "100 percent," and sounded ready to join the campaign against Burridge.

"First of all, he's obviously a Democrat, and second of all, he's too young, he's 30 years old. And finally, he has less name recognition than I did. I don't see him as a serious threat right now."

Burridge is an attorney who has practiced immigration law and though he doesn't plan to use illegal immigration as a wedge issue, it will be part of the campaign.

"The great thing about America is that somebody who is 31 years old can run for U.S. Congress," Burridge said. "Jacob's contempt for my age shows his contempt for the people in our district. Utah is the youngest state in the nation, and Provo is the youngest city of 100,000 or more in the country. Why doesn't it make sense for them to have a young representative? Someone who has student loans, someone who has a mortgage, who has car loans, things my constituents have to deal with. That's why I'll make a better representative."

Clearly, Jacob wants to make good on his promise to follow the Ronald Reagan principle that Republicans help Republicans.

Asked if he would donate to Cannon's campaign, Jacob said, "I put my money where my mouth is."


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Real Race Starts Today...

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day next week, Utahans will participate in the local primary election. Some pundits who perpetuate the Myth Machine may say the general election will be decided today. Those who disseminate this rumor do so to defy the reality of this district. A Democrat has won in this District with substantial margins many times in the past—see here and here.

We should not disgrace the legacy of our independence by declaring victory after what amounts to a straw poll in the form of a closed GOP primary as the full expression of the will of the people. In 2002, the last midterm cycle, all of the voters in the closed GOP primary only comprised
6.7% of voters. Additionally, Sherrie Swenson, Salt Lake County Recorder, predicts less than 10% voter turn out in today’s primary. Moreover, this cycle has disproportional amount of undecided voters among registered republicans. After so much publicity between my GOP opponents, this shows discontent for this illusory choice in the closed primary. To close a primary and then declare a winner by pundits is a classic use of the Myth Making Machine. Next week let us celebrate our independence, democracy and the fact that this race has only just begun.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Exposed: Rolly reveals CBFC Secret Weapon

Go here to read about how Paul Rolly exposed the Christian Burridge for Congress secret weapon that is more powerful than Jacob and flushed Cannon!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Focus on what matters

With all that is going on in the world--skyrocketing oil prices, surging health care costs, rising tuition with student aid not following, controversy over the war in Iraq, big corporations weaseling out of pensions, prescription drug cost shooting through the roof--the Cannon team aimed low and fired away at Jacob. All over a groudskeeper and a domestic worker named Oscar and Marta. Read today's story in the Deseret Morning News Jacob Denies Hiring any Illegal Immigrants. If the Congressman gets his way, this will be the issue that gets him through the primary.

Utahans deserve a better debate about real issues that affect them in their lives. May we have a real conversation about our future after June 27th.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Top Ten Reasons Utah County Democrats and Independents will not be "Assimilated"

In a recent article in both the Tribune and
Morning News Marian Monnahan said that because the Utah Democratic Party added planks in favor of traditional marriage and rights for the unborn to their platform they are no different than Republicans and therefore they should be assimilated into the Republican Party. Though I agree with the clarifications in the new Utah County Platform, there are many reasons why we are different than the GOP. The Monnahan remark reminded me of the old Star Trek episodes where the Borg wanted to take over the universe. I think the rallying cry of Monnahan is similar to the Borg claim: "Prepare to be assimilated. . . . Resistance is futile". Just another example of how the GOP myth makers are a message of control and we Democrats fight for freedom of choice in choosing our representatives. That is why I won't be assimilated and therefore offer my top ten reasons Utah County Democrats--and most people in the third district--will not be assimilated.
10. We stand for better funding of education and better pay for teachers.
9. We stand for clean air and water for our children.
8. We stand for comprehensive reform on immigration not one-sided platitudes focused solely on deportation or on the other hand creation of a sub-class of indentured servants that benefits only the benefactors of cheap labor--i.e. huge agribusiness.
7. We oppose elimination of an estate tax that is designed to stop mass accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few that goes against a broadening the gap between the richest of Americans and the poorest of the poor.
6. We stand for tax incentives for the middle class and small businesses instead of the vast majority of tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent of Americans.
5. We stand for higher wages for workers.
4. We stand for transparency in government--not secret meetings where Enron gets to write the nation's energy policy.
3. We stand for an effective fighting force with a Congress that takes care of troops when at war by opposing cuts in combat pay. We also stand for veterans after they get home by fighting against cuts in veteran's health benefits.
2. We stand for educational opportunity for everyone. This includes opposition to elimination of Pell Grants and subsidized student loans-which my incumbent opponent voted to cut in Congress.
1. We stand for an independent voice in Washington, instead of a Congressman that just rubber-stamps the partisan leadership of people like Tom Delay. My incumbent opponent voted with party leadership 97% of the time.

We fight for the people's interest. We will not be assimilated and resistance is not futile.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Real Cancer on Society

Photo: Cancer on the Brain

I was invited to UVSC to give a one minute speech after the Cannon/Jacob debate on Saturday. I watched the debate and thought to myself "what about this picture involves a real choice for change?" I couldn't see anything hopeful. Right now the media is focused on immigration, and the debate focused about 70% of the questions on this sole topic. You could tell the questions were submitted primarily by the candidates or their close supporters. There were no questions about health care, wages or the war in Iraq. We should not choose our representatives based solely on the current "hot topic" of the day. We should look at an array of topics--dinner table issues-areas that effect people everyday when we vote for our representatives. We deserve a choice--not manipulation and control in our elective system. This comes from a diverse discussion of the issues.

I have heard on many occasions Mr. Jacob point out "a Republican will win this race." Now, I vehemently disagree with this statement on several levels. Not just because I am the Democratic Party's candidate in this race, but what it says about his mentality. It says to me that he has no hope for rule by the people, no regard for freedom of choice--or agency if you will, it shows contempt for the freewill of the people and for the system itself. Now Mr. Jacob is not the only person or influence that wants to control the system. Special interests and lobbyist like Jack Abramoff believe that Washington is for sale, the will of the people mean little and the money writes the policy in Congress. Mr. Cannon likes to call undocumented immigrants a
"cancer eating away at the very core of the very fiber of our country." I think the real cancer on our society are those who will take away our choice and manipulate our democracy.

I stand for freedom of choice of our representatives, not control and manipulation of the system through money. The real cancer on society is the influence money has on politics.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Breaking the Myth

It is hard to trace the exact day that the Cannon Brother Myth Making Machine was fired up and running in Utah County, but I assume it was sometime in the mid-nineties. During that time I was a missionary in Michigan. When I left for Lansing, Bill Orton was my representative and a good local boy could represent Utah as a Democrat. When I got home, the Gingrich Revolution had occurred and something was amiss politically in my home district. I think it was the Myth Making Machine.

You see, Bill Orton enjoyed powerful support in Utah County. There are several precincts where Congressman Orton won with 2-to-1 or even 3-to-1 margins in places like Pleasant Grove, Lindon, Orem, American Fork, Spanish Fork, Springfield, Payson, Salem, Santequin and even Provo. If you don't believe me look at the mid-term canvassing reports for 1990 and 1994. Overtime, the lore was born and grew into conventional acceptance that Utah County is the most conservative place in the nation. This assertion is a myth.

I agree that social issues are important for people in Utah County--they are important to me. Often they are threshold issues when people vote. But when one understands that a candidate is strong on social issues like family values and life for the unborn and looks deeper at economics and issues of fairness, the people from Utah County identify with those who advocate for democratic ideals. Most people in Utah want more funding for education and a tax system that favors small businesses and the middle class. They want clean air and water for their children. They favor policies that allow students to get as much education as possible. I stand for those principles.

Though the Newt Gingriches, Rush Limbaughs, Sean Hannities and Cannon Brothers want to fire up the machine and scream their self-interested definition of Utah County's people at us at every opportunity, Utahans are dynamic, educated and diverse people. I reject their restrictive and condescending definition of us as mere propaganda. It is a hasty generalization. I know, I grew up here, they did not. I know my people--the overwhelming majority are more like Bill Orton than Steve Forbes. We need policies that work for the people not the Forbeses of the world. It is time for us to have a representative that truly reflects the district. It is time for us to take our country back and defy the machine.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Pony Express Days Parade and Festival & Riverton Arts Festival

Yesterday, I walked in the Pony Express Days Parade. I tried to meet as many people on the parade route as possible. Fortunately, about half way down the road some saintly soul gave me a cold Aquafina water to drink. Bless your soul. After getting sufficiently sunburned in the parade--I forgot to put on sunscreen--we met up at our booth at the Festival in Eagle Mountain. At the Parade I met my old Riverton neighborhood friends, and former Southland Elementary School classmates, Jody Gallacher and her brother Mark Gallacher--a local American Family Insurance Agent.

At the festival the my opponents and I agreed to participate in a dunk toss for charity. The order of dunking was I, Christian Burridge, first,

John Jacob, second and Congressman Chris Cannon finished third.

Jacob attempted several times to dunk Cannon. However, he was unsuccessful. It was finally Burridge, Marissa Burridge that is--Christian's wife--that hit the pin that took down Cannon. We all had a great time. Hats off to my opponents for being good sports. We raised hundreds of dollars for the local youth council.

Later that evening I went to The Riverton Arts Festival. I met many people from Riverton, my home town, and the surrounding cities. I ran into my great friends from Oquirrh Hills Middle School and Bingham High School Brecka Gustaveson Scott and Dave Witt.