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Third Congressional District GOP candidate Dixie Thompson thinks incumbent Democratic Rep. Bill Orton chickened out last week when he proposed an alternative to an "A to Z" budget-cutting session in the House.

Orton and Democratic House leaders proposed an alternative to a weeklong debate where any of the 435 members could bring a federal program to the floor of the House to force an up-or-down vote on its funding. Orton says his alternative allows for a more reasoned, thoughtful approach to budget cutting.But Thompson says Democratic leaders "recruited" Orton to offer his alternative, which was ultimately adopted. Thompson says that Orton's alternative only puts forward the most popular federal spending programs, and since it's unlikely a majority can be found to cut them, the whole special budget-cutting exercise is now worthless. "Orton cannot be allowed to sell out Utah and the American people for the interests of the Washington power brokers," says Thompson. "I call upon him to withdraw his `deal', sign the A to Z discharge petition and let the House get on with the job it needs to do."