My husband Pete did not receive the nomination yesterday to run as the Democratic candidate for US Senate. Pete and I are sincerely grateful to everyone who supported his cause, and I am sorry to have disappointed those who believed in the change that Pete was trying to make. We were hopeful that the delegates would understand how essential it is to lead by example. If you want to solve the problem, you can’t be part of the problem. Pete had widespread support in Utah as well as support from around the country to get dirty money out of elections. We believed that in giving people a just cause around which to rally, we could beat the special interest candidate in November.
I won’t lie. Yesterday was a big blow. Not so much for the ego part of it; I am perfectly happy to send Pete back to work at XMission on Monday. Pete did not set out to become a politician, but ran because he could not find another candidate who supported his core values. Yesterday’s loss was not a personal loss, rather it seems like a setback for those who are committed to getting corporate money out of politics. There are good, honest people in the Democratic Party, courageous individuals who are willing to put their necks out, to be called “nutcakes.” We have to keep working, regardless of the powers that be and those that say you can’t win unless you stoop to what the other guy is doing. To me, the ends do not justify the means — ever.
The question is, what now? I don’t know if Pete will run again, but I do know that we need to continue to fight to support others who are making a difference. Today my confidence is low, and I feel that I am just spinning my wheels. I want to stop feeling that the only choice we have is “the lesser of two evils.”
I think I’ll try to raise my spirits by listing some inspirational individuals and groups who are still fighting the good fight. I invite you to fill in the comments with your inspirations:
I am inspired by a group called Move to Amend Salt Lake, who collected 11,251 signatures for a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to clearly state that corporations are not people and money is not speech. Its success means that this citizen led initiative will be on the ballot in SLC this November. This is a credit to the everyday people who went door -to-door, store-to-store and park-to-park, to get the word out. Ashely Sanders, one of the co-coordinators inspires me in her response to the naysayers of the work, “I know the system is broken. I have no illusions about how hard it will be to fix, how many people it will require or how long it will take. I am here for only one reason: Because I believe in a beautiful, giant, unstoppable grassroots movement of everyday people. Because I used to accept that corporations control every meaningful part of my life, then [I] sat in my basement sad and paralyzed… It is tempting to believe that our system is so broken that a people’s movement is impossible, that we have been conquered. But we cannot accept that because our history is calling to us to make it real.”
I am inspired by Paul Krueger, who recently showed what a single person can do. Mr. Krueger started a petition that, in addition to gathering nearly 35,000 signatures, it opened the discussion and called widespread attention to a problem. We don’t think that Governor Herbert would have vetoed HB363 without Mr. Kreuger’s petition and all those who joined the cause. Without their work, Utah schools would have faced sex ed not being taught in school. Mr. Krueger is a retired firefighter who now drives school buses. He said, “I’ve never done anything like this, and it’s kind of amazing how fast this took off.”
CleanSlateNow.org is a non partisan group that supports candidates who forgo special interest money, creating an environment where people, not money, determine the outcome of elections.
Pete still inspires me. While he will continue to champion campaign finance reform and transparency in government, he has never given up his support of the local community and his integrity in business: He will keep supporting non-profits with free Internet service regardless of whether or not he agrees with their mission, he will continue to provide political candidates with free Internet services regardless of their party. Pete will continue to serve on non-profit boards and help them solve their technology problems. Through his own non-profit organization, Electroregeneration Society, Pete will continue to take old computers and teach people how to recondition them, give those computers to people and non-profits who need them, and thus help keep e-waste out of the landfill. He will keep on contributing to his community through donating to community events, festivals, museums and other organizations that benefit us all. Pete will continue to pay 100% of his employees and their families’ health and dental benefits. He will continue to employ people in Utah instead of outsourcing to another country. Pete will continue to fight for a free Internet and individual privacy
Here is a link to Pete’s speech from yesterday’s convention. Unfortunately he was cut off before he had a chance to finish delivering it.
I remain committed to getting the corrupting power of money out of our elections and hope to continue working with those who want to take back their voice in government and get corporations out of our democratic process.
Millard, Juab, Kane, San Pete, Cache, Weber, Iron, Wasatch, Emery, Carbon, Summit and Utah county! I’ve been enjoying getting out and about Utah again to listen to Democrats all over the state. The energy and enthusiasm is inspiring. My apologies to Washington and Grand counties, which I had to miss due to the overlapping schedules. I look forward to seeing you all again at the state convention on the 21st.
Get an Ashdown for Senate T-Shirt and help the campaign by volunteering for the Salt Lake county convention on the 14th and the state convention on the 21st. Three volunteers will be drawn at random to sit at my table with a guest at the Taylor & Mayne dinner on the 20th. Sign up to volunteer here, and be sure to check the “Events” box. We will contact you with more details.
Upcoming Debate Streaming Link
I hope to see as many of you in person at the upcoming Democratic Debate, tomorrow at Juan Diego High School in Draper. If you can’t make it, the event will be streamed live on the Internet. Go to this web page to view it.
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. 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.
All of the county Democratic conventions are on my calendar now. I am going to try and attend as many as possible. In spite of having a possible airplane ride to St. George, I think there is a distinct possibility that there isn’t enough time to do both Weber County and Washington County conventions, which start 30 minutes apart from each other. In this case, I am asking for any volunteers in Washington, Iron, and Grand counties to represent my campaign to their conventions. Please email my staff to let them know if you would be willing.
I could also use some driving help to get to some of these conventions. Also email staff if you are able. You only need a current license, I will provide the transportation and gas.
Please attend your county convention! I look forward to seeing you there!
I prepared this short video with the intention of having it played at caucus meetings throughout the state of Utah. Since I will be attending my precinct caucus meeting tonight at 7:00PM, I need to have others share information about my campaign for U.S. Senate at their caucus meetings. In this short video, I briefly outline the primary points of my campaign for U.S. Senate 2012. Please let me know if you can help me spread my message by showing this video at your caucus meeting or if you know of others who are able to.
You can either stream the video from Youtube, or download it in advance for a laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Please do the latter if you are unsure of Internet access at your caucus location. It is possible that older versions of Windows will not be able to playback this video. In this case, I recommend downloading VLC and using that for playback.
Also, if you are in Salt Lake City today, please drop by the campaign office at 780 E. South Temple between the hours of 2pm and 6pm and pick up some stickers, signs, and buttons to take to your meeting. Thank you for your participation in the democratic process.
If you do not know your caucus location for your precinct, you can find it via the state’s website here.
Pete Ashdown, who has declared his candidacy for the Utah Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, will be filing required paperwork with the Lt. Governor’s office of elections Friday, March 9th at 11:00AM.
During my 2006 U.S. Senate campaign, I rigged a small wireless camera to an embedded PC to take pictures out the window of my car and motorhome while travelling throughout Utah. Although the system didn’t always work, and sometimes the sun melted the glue on the velcro holding the camera to the dash, and sometimes it went out of focus, the result is an interesting stream of travel and stops throughout a statewide political race. You’ll catch glimpses of of the 25+ parades we did, beautiful scenery throughout the state, and a short breakdown outside Green River where I had to climb underneath and fix the motorhome.