09 Oct Turn America ethical again
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Salt Lake City’s welcome to Senator Harris was visible on many street corners this week, under hazy smoke-filled skies because of west coast fires. Our campaign joined other groups in a strong show of support at a local park. Utah’s increasing diversity was apparent alongside enthusiasm for helping bring to an end the toxic Trump chapter in our White House. I was particularly moved to see the number of younger and older Utahns holding signs, side-by-side. This is what a people-driven coalition looks like—one that is helping turn Utah purple.
I believe among the most telling parts of the VP debate centered on Sen. Harris’s strong opening focus on COVID-19 and the failure of the Trump administration to trust us, the people, with the truth when it mattered most.
The same is true for Chris Stewart, who put out a selfie on social media last spring—talking about getting a haircut and some food … but mask-less.
By not being honest with us, more Americans—grandparents, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers—have unnecessarily died. My own younger brother and two nephews have COVID but seem to be doing okay. So far.
Mr. Pence’s glaring non-answer in the debate regarding Republican attacks on the Affordable Care Act also stood out (in addition to that now-famous fly). He simply ignored the question and how much damage would be done to millions of American families if the ACA is repealed—and with no replacement plan, including protections for pre-existing conditions.
Let’s not forget: COVID is very much now a serious pre-existing medical condition for millions of Americans.
Tooele Chamber of Commerce
I also recently attended a luncheon in Tooele sponsored by the city’s chamber of commerce. On the way into town, I drove behind a vehicle with two stickers on the window. Together, they reflect Utah’s changing electorate and families: one was rainbow-colored and read: “proud mom.” On the other side of the same rear window, a second sticker read: “wife of a trucker” above the outline of a big rig.
At the lunch, I introduced myself to Robert Latham, the Libertarian candidate who is also seeking to represent Utah’s 2nd Congressional District. It was a short conversation. He said he is listening to the audio version of my book. When speaking to the lunch group, Latham said he was “a recovering Republican” who believed the GOP was now controlled by “crony capitalism” and had lost its way because the party “cannot say no to big business.”
I hope he makes the same confession and points during our joint debate with Mr. Stewart on October 19th sponsored by the Utah Debate Commission.
Several great local Democratic candidates attended, including one running for state legislature who said she been a single mom on welfare before becoming a leading business executive. Another told the group he first began to think about politics after meeting a Tooele County commissioner while working as a custodian in the commission building, a commissioner who encouraged him to get involved. Karina Brown, the Democratic Party’s impressive Lt. Governor nominee from Logan, and Greg Skordas, a very well qualified candidate for Attorney General, also made persuasive arguments.
The event made me proud to be a Democrat—part of a party that is diverse and getting even more so. And giving voters real choices up and down ballots.
Another candidate in attendance (not a Democrat) said masks were “unconstitutional” while noting he had 73 grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and was “on my third wife now, though not a polygamist.” I noticed he had brought a mask to the gathering—but only wore it part-time.
Chris Stewart did not attend the event in person but online from his home in Farmington: another example of the incumbent’s no-show, drive-by, flyover pattern of the expansive district. On the way out of town, I saw a Stewart billboard that read: “Defending Your Constitutional Rights.”
Of course, I beg to differ. Mr. Stewart continues to be a Trumpist first and most and silent on some of the most important constitutional issues we face—not least, Trump’s and Pence’s unwillingness to commit to honoring the results of the November 3rd election.
West Valley Town Hall
At a town hall—distanced and masked—in West Valley City (pop. 135,715, Utah’s second largest city) residents in attendance included a retired high school music teacher and another secondary Granite School District teacher for at-risk youth, who said teaching is hard with COVID. Faculty faced daily health risks and students not regularly getting online for classes.
Town hall topics included Utah’s ballot initiatives and how much one-party rule in Utah has led to ignoring or trying to override the will of the people, most prominently regarding the proposed food tax. One resident said “hidden taxes” continued to unfairly hit parts of the Utah population least able to afford them. Another attendee urged a focus on reaching out to young people who “are just beginning to figure out why voting matters” but are mobilized by “social justice issues and the protests around Black Lives Matter.”
More events, including virtual town halls, are scheduled in Salt Lake, Tooele, and Davis counties. I am hearing that one of the most popular Biden-Harris messages is a theme that speaks to insisting on high standards in the highest office in our land and neighborliness—and unity over more political division.
That message? “Make America Kind Again.”
It reminds me of another one I particularly like, which Mormon Women for Ethical Government first put forward many months ago. It is direct and powerful: “Make America Ethical Again.”
Here’s to more kindness and a return to ethics.
Thank you for your support. Please stay in touch.