GOP lacky Rich Kuchinsky couldn't have turned his pugnaciously partisan crosshairs onto a less deserving target than Pete Ashdown. In a mass e-mail, Kuchinsky -- a former Salt Lake County Republican Party chairman -- implores the Republican Party faithful to boycott XMission, Ashdown's Internet service provider.

Because Democrat Ashdown will use company proceeds to run for office against Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, Kuchinsky asks "anyone who may have XMission to please seriously consider and take action by dropping this service and sign up with another provider."

Threatening a man's livelihood for having the audacity to challenge a five-term shoe-in for re-election is tasteless enough. But Kuchinsky's scheme should fold quicker than The Utah Weekly -- another of his ill-fated campaigns -- given that Ashdown donates Web space to candidates for office, irrespective of party affiliation, and gives $50 of free monthly Internet service to any registered nonprofit organization. Conservatives, many of whom have taken Ashdown up on his generosity, most notably former Gov. Mike Leavitt, might look a bit silly biting the hand (dare it be said, handout) that has fed them.