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."



Blogger Kim said...

When you cut through all the flurry two things are clear: (1) Christian, in comparison to Cannon and certainly Jacob is head and shoulders above them in every respect--personal, professional, and political; (2) they know it and they show it.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

A mention on CNN is great. Most people understand that Lou Dobbs has strong opinions on immigration, and he clearly made them known in his "so-called" prepared statement. Congrats to Christian for getting some national media attention!

10:36 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Lou Dobbs also stated back when Presidente Fox was here that the LDS Church is pro-immigration so that they (we) could put more butts in the seats both here in the US and in Mexico.

10:36 AM  
Blogger didymus said...

I would like to know more details on Christian's position on immigration. Is there a link to something on the net, or could you blog on it here.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Bryan said...

I hope that Christian will do more than slam Cannon's record. While it's appropriate to choose a few carefully selected points in this area, he must balance with some solid viewpoints on issues that matter. So far this doesn't seem to be the strategy and I'm disappointed. Hopefully this is coming soon because I'd like to see Cannon at least break a sweat in the race.

11:17 PM  

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