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Controversial Email Targets ISP Company Xmission

by Utah Business Staff

An email sent by State Central Committee member, Rich Kuchinsky urging people to surrender their Xmission membership in personal support of Senator Orrin Hatch, is taking some heat. 

The email targeted Founder and CEO of Xmission Pete Ashdown who recently announced he will run against Senator Orrin Hatch in next year’s election. In it, Kuchinsky says that using Ashdown’s services is a bad idea for republicans.

“Some republicans have signed up with Xmission for their Internet service.  The owner of Xmission is a Democrat that is partially using the money he has earned from his Xmission business to run on the democratic ticket.  Even if you were to support a Republican challenger to Hatch…it is still not a good idea to support a Republican challenger,” Kuchinsky wrote.

The Utah Republican Party has distanced itself from Kuchinsky’s stance and Ashdown has expressed his disappointment.

“A Day after it got sent, someone sent me a copy.  I shrugged it off, [but I was] disappointed that someone in the [Utah] Republican Party would try to punitively attack my business. Free enterprise in business is one of the things that makes America great. [But] I definitely don’t judge the Republican Party based on one person sending out this email,” Ashdown said.

Spencer Jenkins, executive director of the Utah Republican Party reiterated the organization’s stance that such emails are not part of their practices. “We certainly don’t condone that as a strategy.  Any thriving business [such as Xmission] helps Utah’s economy and that is a great achievement.”  Mr. Jenkins continued to explain that Mr. Kuchinsky was not corresponding as a representative of the Utah Republican Party, but said, “we will not step in and tell someone not to do this.”