Candidates for Utah's 3rd Congressional District seat waited until the dust had settled from the primary election before engaging in their first sparring match.

Rep. Bill Orton, D-Utah, accused Republican Richard Harrington Friday of using "half-truths, innuendo and misinformation" in campaign literature to distort his voting record in Congress.At his own press conference Friday, Harrington said Orton's voting record is fair game and shows he doesn't represent the values of his constituents. He also announced that former Congressman Howard Nielson, who returned a month ago from an LDS church mission, will be his campaign chairman.

Harrington stood by statements made in his brochure.

"That came right out of the official reporting documents," Harrington said Friday.

All has been quiet on the 3rd District front until now because neither candidate had to fend off a primary challenger. But the peace is over.

Orton blasted "clear, clear errors, deception and out-right misinformation" in Harrington's brochure. He focused on three items in the pamphlet:

- An early version of the brochure states Orton voted against a Republican amendment to require parental notification of a minor's attempt to receive abortion counseling at federally funded family planning clinics.

Harrington's claims are "not only factually incorrect, (they) are absolutely false, untrue deception and misinformation seeking to deceive the voters in trying to convince them that I voted some way that I haven't," Orton said.

Orton produced a letter from Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee Inc., that soundly quashes Harrington's claim. Johnson said the parental notification amendment was not included in the bill voted on by the House.

However, the bill did include a provision that would have required federally funded clinics to give abortion counseling. For that reason, Orton correctly voted against the bill, Johnson said.

"There is no factual basis for any claim that you have cast any vote in favor of weakening any pro-life policy or advancing any pro-abortion policy," Johnson's letter states. "The claim by the Harrington campaign that you voted in opposition to parental notification was manufactured out of thin air."

Harrington made a similar mistake in an updated version of the brochure released Thursday. He states Orton voted for HR2707, a bill that contained language overturning a ban on abortion counseling at federally funded clinics.

"This means Bill Orton was willing to allow physicians at federally funded clinics to discuss abortion as an alternative to pregnancy, clearly an anti-life vote," the brochure states.

Harrington again got it wrong. Orton, in fact, voted to sustain a veto of HR2707.

Orton also gave the media a letter from Carol Long, PAC director for the National Right to Life Committee, that commends Orton's pro-life stand and his vote on HR2707.

- Harrington's brochure states correctly that Orton voted against release of House Bank records "from a special Justice Department investigation." That shows Orton "cannot be counted on to defend the public's interest in Congress," it states. "Would you have voted to block the investigation of the House check-bouncing scandal? Bill Orton did."

"That seems to say to the public pretty clearly that I voted against releasing that information to the public," Orton said. "Absolutely false. Untrue. Deceptive. Misinformation."

From October to April Orton voted for various bills that authorized release of names of House members that abused banking privileges and release of records to the Justice Department.

In late April a Justice Department prosecutor issued a blanket subpoena of all bank records of all House members; that raised several constitutional questions, Orton said. The bill cited by Harrington, HR440, asked for an opinion from U.S. District Court on the constitutionality of the subpoena.

Orton voted for that bill, which failed in the House. On a subsequent bill, Orton voted to comply with the subpoena and turn all records over to the prosecutor.

- The brochure also misrepresents his position on the House post office scandal and accuses him of trying to cover up the affair, Orton said.

He voted for various bills that called for investigation and public disclosure of reports on the post office scandal. Orton voted against a bill that would have released all records in the investigation, including documents that might jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation and statements and names of whistleblowers.

Orton left unchallenged several other of Harrington's claims, including a statement that he voted identically with Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, 81 percent of the time but only 45 percent of the time with Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah.