Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sore Winner: Curt Bramble Hammers RaDene Hatfield In Utah Senate District 16 Race, Characterizes Hatfield As A "Character Assassin"

I've heard of sore losers, but rarely do you have a "sore winner". That is, until the Senate District 16 race was decided on November 4th, 2008.

And decided it was - authoritatively, in favor of incumbent Republican State Senate Majority Leader Curt Bramble of Provo. Bramble sailed home with 60.95 percent of the vote over his Democratic opponent RaDene Hatfield, who registered 39.05 percent (write-in candidate Fred Desposorio was not listed). One would think he would be elated that constituents would extend to him such a resounding vote of confidence after his temperament came under such close scrutiny during the campaign.

But no, instead Bramble started crying on the shoulder of the Provo Daily Herald, complaining about what a tough race it was. Then Bramble said, "It's encouraging that the citizens of Provo didn't buy into the character assassinations and negative campaigning".

Character assassinations? So RaDene Hatfield is a character assassin because she ran against Bramble? It wasn't RaDene Hatfield who told Bramble to berate a pizza delivery driver who came to his house. And that wouldn't have become a cause celebre had he apologized to the driver straightaway. But he delayed, and subsequent investigation uncovered other instances of similar behavior towards other people.

The ability to communicate with the public is a legitimate campaign issue, last time I checked. It doesn't matter how intelligent or driven you are, if you can't communicate, your stewardship can become compromised.

In contrast, Hatfield, the daughter of former State Rep. Roger Rawson, expressed gratitude to her supporters and characterized her efforts as worthwhile. She expressed no ill will towards Bramble, and does not rule out any future run for elective office if she feels called to do so. She took on one of the most powerful incumbents in the state in the "reddest" county in the state; she should indeed take pride in her performance.

As for Bramble, he plans to focus on energy, transportation, and education in the upcoming legislative session. He will be seeking alternative methods to fund education more effectively in the wake of an explosive rise in Utah's school-age population. He also expects his status as Senate Majority Leader to be contested, and wants to remain in the position.

Curt Bramble seems like a sharp guy who otherwise has his act together. All he needs to do is learn a bit of diplomacy. Here's a hint from Doctrine & Covenants 121:43:

"Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy".

Reproving is merely the first step, not the final step. Get past the reproving part, Senator, and you'll do just fine.

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