In recognition of Claudia Wright's 45 percent showing at the Utah State Democratic Convention, which has forced a June 22nd primary fight between her and incumbent Second District Congressman Jim Matheson, some Republican strategists are urging conservatives to cross over and vote in the open Democratic primary for Wright. The premise: Wright is far less electable than Matheson, and would be much easier for Republican challenger Morgan Philpot to defeat in the November general election. A website called Conservatives For Claudia has been set up to promote the idea. But get a load of the website URL:
It, of course, would be illogical for the Matheson campaign to run a false-flag op against itself, but the Matheson campaign was quick to denounce it nonetheless. "It's obviously the work of either Republicans who want to find a way to interfere with the Democratic primary and get the opponent they want to run against -- which is not Jim Matheson -- or it's Claudia Wright," said Matheson spokeswoman Alyson Heyrend. But Utah Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Holland doesn't think Wright is behind it, saying that "nobody in politics thinks Claudia Wright is going after conservatives." And Wright's campaign manager Mike Picardi says they're not behind it, either. As a matter of fact, back on May 12th, Claudia Wright herself told the Deseret News, "I'm not happy about this...Republicans have their own U.S. Senate (primary) race, and I'd prefer a straight-up contest with Mr. Matheson and to not have Republicans coming into the 2nd District primary".
To his credit, Republican challenger Morgan Philpot disavows it as well. And an e-mail to the Conservatives For Claudia administrator seeking information about who is behind it was returned with a no-comment response. City Weekly reveals that whoever bought the domain did so back in July 2004, according to GoDaddy.com, when Matheson was running against John Swallow. The domain owners used an identity hiding company to conceal their identity. KSL Channel 5 has also filed a story.
Conservatives For Claudia recommends that Republicans temporarily re-register as unaffiliated voters and vote in the Democrat open primary on June 22nd. This must be done no later than 30 days before the June 22nd election, which means a drop-dead date of May 21st. Although this will preclude any such Republicans from voting in the Republican primary, the premise is that either Tim Bridgewater or Mike Lee would provide equally good Republican representation, but the differences between Matheson and Wright are greater and more important.
Conservatives For Claudia does lay it on a bit thick. About Claudia, it states "Claudia Wright is an educator, grassroots activist, citizen candidate and courageous leader. The great-granddaughter of Brigham Young, Claudia is a product of Utah. She’s empowering, charismatic and has the integrity lacking from our current 2nd Congressional District representation. She’s proven her dedication to Utah".
Empowering? Charismatic? Did these guys get hold of a bad batch of Valley Tan? Listen, I'll admit that Claudia Wright is serious about this endeavor, and has strived to market herself as a serious candidate, but this is Utah, not San Francisco. A lesbian gender studies instructor CANNOT, repeat, CANNOT get elected to Congress in Utah. She is still just a fringe candidate unnaturally propelled upward by insurgent emotion. Besides, she's about as charismatic as a rock.
Artificially stampeding a vote for Claudia Wright, while appealing in terms of political strategy, would pervert the process and unnaturally alter the results of an election. Too many Americans have paid a high price in defense of the right to vote to allow it to be misused in this case and in this way. If the Democrats are bound and determined to commit political suicide on June 22nd by choosing a lesbian gender studies instructor over an experienced multi-term Congressman who's sought to assiduously balance the competing interests of a diverse constituency, let them do it WITHOUT OUR HELP. Let's show a little faith in Morgan Philpot's ability to defeat Jim Matheson in November.