Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Salt Lake Tribune Endorses Democrat RaDene Hatfield Over Republican Incumbent Curt Bramble In Utah Senate District 16 Race In Provo
Only a few of the state legislative races in Utah have earned the personal attention of the Salt Lake Tribune's editorial board. One of those races is the contest in Utah's Senate District 16, centered around Provo, between Republican incumbent Curt Bramble and Democrat RaDene Hatfield. Also in the race is a write-in candidate, Fred Desposorio, who has previously run as a Democrat. You can read the Tribune's full endorsement HERE.
What propelled this state legislative race above the general radar screen was the infamous "Pizza Incident", amply documented HERE, when Curt Bramble berated a pizza delivery driver because her boss wouldn't take personal checks. This alone would have not become an issue. However, subsequent debate and investigation uncovered other instances when Bramble berated service workers in various restaurants, as well as other members of the public. This indicated a persistent pattern of abuse - and the fuse was lit.
Attention immediately was focused upon his prominent opponent, Democratic challenger RaDene Hatfield. As people visited her website, they found that, instead of being another Rocky Anderson or Barack Obama, Hatfield was actually more of a "blue-dog" Democrat similar to Jim Matheson or Bennion Spencer. Instead of incessantly promoting alien values of diversity, multiculturalism, and the toleration and protection of other perversions which undermine societies, Hatfield actually emphasizes many of those traditional American values which catapulted the nation to unprecedented power and prosperity. She's the type of Democrat who actually trusts law-abiding people to mind their own affairs without government nannies constantly hovering over their shoulders. In a flash, RaDene Hatfield was instantly perceived as ELECTABLE. And Hatfield wasted little time in ratcheting up her campaign to full throttle. Hatfield's response to a Deseret News candidate survey can be found HERE.
Interestingly enough, RaDene Hatfield has an aunt, Sue Hull, who's running as a Republican for Alaska House District 9 in Fairbanks. And Hull has already achieved some modest prominence, having been tabbed to be a warm-up speaker during a Palin rally in Fairbanks.
Why the Tribune likes Hatfield:
- Solid, diverse political background. She has a master of public policy degree, is a community volunteer and, while a student, was an intern for former Republican Sen. Jake Garn and research assistant at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Minneapolis.
- She supports ethics reform, including a gift ban, limits on campaign donations and an independent ethics committee.
- They believe Hatfield would bring openness, civility and accountability to the office.
Why the Tribune doesn't like Bramble:
- He used his position to ham-handedly push through an unpopular voucher law and an omnibus education bill that the state must now defend in court.
- He frequently turned a deaf ear to the majority of Utahns and puts the arm on legislators who disagree with him.
- His reputation for bullying, his propensity for back-door deals and his casual dismissal of a year-long public demand for ethics reform is too divisive and polarizing.
And the campaign between the two of them itself was not without confrontation. On October 21st, the Provo Daily Herald reported on an October 18th verbal faceoff between Bramble and Hatfield over campaign tactics and sign placement. Each side claimed the other started it. It was heated enough to where Hatfield's husband wrote Bramble a letter asking him to stay away from RaDene.
RaDene Hatfield's chances of displacing Curt Bramble would be better if Fred Desposorio wasn't in the race. Although a write-in candidate, Desposorio has previously run as a Democrat. Thus, he is more likely to take votes from Hatfield rather than Bramble. As a result, Bramble is likely to be re-elected. However, at the very worst, RaDene Hatfield will put one hell of a scare into Bramble. And that's what he needs; too many of these Utah Republican lawmakers think themselves infallible.