Salt Lake Tribune Endorses Christian Burridge for Utah's Third Congressional District
Tribune Editorial Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:10/26/2006 09:01:27 PM MDT
Rep. Chris Cannon has served five terms in Congress with little to show for it. It's time for a change. His opponent in the 3rd Congressional District, Democrat Christian Burridge, is an articulate young attorney who practices consumer law. A former college debate champion, he has both a passion for advocacy and a solid grasp of major issues that face the nation.
At 31, he would be one of the youngest members of Congress, but as he rightly points out, that would be appropriate in a district with one of the youngest populations in the nation. The Tribune's Editorial Board believes that 3rd District voters would be better served by a young man who would be enthusiastically engaged in the job than an incumbent who, frankly, doesn't show much interest.
We also are concerned that Cannon is tone deaf to ethical questions. He makes no apologies for giving ear to the blandishments of his brother, Joe, a professional lobbyist, when the latter is representing a client. But a congressman has a public duty to hold himself apart from even the appearance of influence by special interests.
Cannon's former chief of staff, David Safavian, has been convicted of misleading investigators about his role in a golf junket to Scotland as part of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Cannon himself has not been implicated in the mess, though he did return a $2,000 campaign contribution from Abramoff. Nor did Safavian's misdeeds occur while he was working for Cannon.
But Cannon's positions on legislation while Safavian was working for him coincided remarkably with those of former clients of his chief of staff, who was himself a former lobbyist. Cannon says that is purely coincidental. Otherwise, Cannon has voted the Republican party line on a remarkably long list of disastrous policies, from the war in Iraq to both versions of the Patriot Act to the Terri Schiavo fiasco to the extension of the Bush tax cuts.
Burridge, by contrast, is no socialist. A native Utahn, he's a graduate of Brigham Young University's law school, and he stands for protecting the rights of the unborn and traditional marriage. But he also believes that neocon efforts to abandon public education, worker rights, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are not Utah values.
We think he's right.
UTAH'S 3rd CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT includes southwest Salt Lake County, most of Utah County, eastern Juab County and all of Sanpete, Sevier, Millard and Beaver counties.