A couple of weeks ago, I read LaVarr Webb's column on May 23 about the state of party politics in Utah and feel that I must comment on this subject.
Webb begins his column by describing the recent state Republican convention. He decries the excessive influence of extremists in the Republican Party. Although I did not attend the convention, I spoke with several moderate Republicans who did attend and attest to the "scary" nature of the proceedings.Webb then goes on, making comments about the Democratic Party. These are the comments I would like to take issue with today.
His comments about the Democratic Party lead me to believe that Webb did not attend its state convention. I suspect he is basing these comments on preconceived notions.
The Democratic Party is, in fact, the "big tent" party. I would encourage Utahns to read its platform. The party positions contained therein are positions that the vast majority of Utahns can support. They emphasize personal responsibility and free agency. They encourage a sense of openness, building a community where people of different beliefs and goals can gather to work toward solutions for the common good of Utah.
The only issue Webb tied to the Democratic Party was that of abortion. As the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, I believe that abortion should not be used in cases of convenience, but should be an option in cases of rape, incest, life or health of the mother, or in cases of grave fetal deformity. I do not believe that this is an extremist position that Webb suggests Democratic candidates must have.
This year, the Democratic Party is offering the voters of Utah an outstanding collection of local, state and federal candidates. The federal Democratic candidates are: Steve Beierlein, 1st Congressional District; Lily Eskelsen, 2nd Congressional District; and myself for the U.S. Senate. Each of these candidates can win in November.
I recently saw an advertisement that ran in the local newspapers in 1974. It was an ad for Jake Garn's U.S. Senate campaign. It said, "Each state has two senators. Traditionally Utah has balanced its representation - one senator from each party, so most all of our people are represented . . . Particularly now, with a Republican in the White House, we need a man who can effectively work with that administration."
There is a lot of truth in those statements. I believe that Utah has had enough of its 20-year Republican "leadership." This "leadership" has not served Utah well. We can all see that being represented by an entire Republican federal delegation when the administration is Democratic has not served Utah well. Webb was correct in his assessment of the self-destruction of the Republican Party in Utah. Now, voters can elect officials who are representative of them and their values. In 1998, they can vote Democratic.