Democratic Debate, April 11th

Wednesday, April 11, at 7:00 PM, The Women’s Democratic Club of Utah will host a debate between Democrats Pete Ashdown and Scott Howell, candidates for Utah’s U.S. Senate seat now occupied by 6-term Senator Orrin Hatch, who is seeking a 7th term. The public is welcome to attend.

Juan Diego Catholic High School
300 East 11800 South, Draper (accessible via 12300 South and 300 East)
Doors open at 6:00 PM
Debate begins promptly at 7:00 PM and concludes at or before 8:30 PM

Details regarding possible radio broadcast and Internet streaming to be announced.

This is a letter asking you for money.

This is a letter asking you for money. Although there are many things to be outraged about in our current political system, I am emailing you with the frank needs of a U.S. Senate campaign rather than manipulation of your emotions for financial gain.

The primary plank of my 2012 campaign is a constitutional amendment requiring public financing for federal campaigns. Passing a constitutional amendment is not possible through a U.S. Senate seat alone, however, it is essential to enable more diverse political candidates to viably run for office. This is the only way to return health to our government and allow it to serve its true purpose, representing the needs of all of our citizens. The influence of money in Washington has gone over the brink. Past efforts to limit, restrict and regulate campaign finances have only resulted in preserving incumbency. We need a constitutional amendment to repair our democracy and make government work again for the people.

Once publicly financed candidates are elected, their first concern would be governing to serve all Americans rather than just serving the wealthiest few. Many politicians start out with good, honest intentions, but the current system of campaign finance muddies the water by making elected officials indebted to wealthy donors and PACs. Right now, Senator Hatch has nearly eight million dollars, with only 1% of that figure raised by small dollar individual donors. I can run a winning race on much less, but since I have decided not to take PAC money or seek bundled corporate individual donations, I need 100% of my funds to come from individuals like you.

March 31st marks the last day of the first quarter of my campaign fund raising. My campaign’s viability will be judged by the number of donors showing support as well as by the amount raised. If everyone who reads this letter donates $100, I can cover my campaign staff budget. I understand that this economy has tightened belts everywhere, but if you support the ideals I am running on, I humbly ask you to financially support my campaign with as much as you are able to right now.

Please accept my sincere thanks for your past support as well as for what you are doing now. Together we can make a real difference.

2008 Elections

A number of people have asked whether I would be interested in running for Utah governor or congress this year. It is humbling to be considered. However, currently my commitment to my family, XMission, and the local organizations I sit on boards for does not lend the time required for a candidacy this year. In January I took on the role of chairing the Utah Heritage Foundation for two years and I feel strongly about seeing that role through. I am looking forward to the political possibilities presented in 2010.

Obama for President

Obama 2008I have been reluctant to endorse a presidential candidate up until this time because I think the way our primary system works is utterly messed up. Seeing candidates drop out of the race after 124,000 people caucus in Iowa is not broad democracy in any sense. However, Utah’s primary is next Tuesday and I think now that it is down to two, it is time to make a public choice.
In Barack Obama’s first term, he sponsored a bill that required more transparency on government bids and earmarks. It creates a website that documents government contracts, grants, earmarks, and loans and allows them to be searched and openly inspected by the public. Accountability through technology was a key plank of my 2006 campaign and I was pleased to see Senator Obama write this bill and get it passed. He also took responsibility for transparency in his own office by disclosing his own earmark requests. Regardless of where I end up, the American public is going to continue to demand transparency in order take back the reins of government from wealthy interests. The fact that a first term senator made a major difference was also affirming.

As president, I believe Barack Obama will return accountability to the Whitehouse and international respect to the United States. I will be voting for him on Tuesday the 5th.