Matheson Forced into Primary With Claudia Wright, Utah Citizens Candidate

Congratulations to Claudia Wright, Tim DeChristopher, Ashley Anderson, Julianne Waters, Jordan, Loren and so many others from Peaceful Uprising for the amazing win!

Claudia got 45% of the delegate vote to Matheson’s 55% at today’s Democratic State Convention.

My take on the story. Tim DeChristopher raised a bunch o’ money for his legal defense, more than was needed, so he and Julie and Michael Mielke decided to for (original site) to inspire others to acts of civil disobedience.

Among PeacefulUprising’s many actions over the past year was to meet with Jim Matheson to help him understand the critical nature of the climate energy problem. Jim of course refused to acknowledge them and kind of pissed them off basically.

At first, they did try to work within the State Democratic Party structure to find a candidate. For obvious reasons to anyone who understands the party system, challenging Jim from within the system wasn’t going to happen.

Having little other choice, they ran a Craig’s List ad to recruit someone to run against him.
The next day, DeChristopher anonymously posted a want ad on Craig’s List seeking a progressive candidate with “a strong commitment to defending fundamental human rights over corporate profits.” The ad listed qualifications for Congress and the annual wage of $174,000. Links to the ad floated around Facebook and Twitter, although most interpreted it as a joke. “[The ad] was put up there partly out of frustration,” DeChristopher says. Lafon adds, “This was after we tried to get as many people as we could to run against Rep. Matheson.”

GOP and Democrat conventions are Saturday – Deseret News, May 7, 2010

Democrats have a race, too – Salt Lake Tribune, May 6 2010

McEntee: Challenging Matheson and raising hell – Salt Lake Tribune, May 3 2010

Challenger Claudia Wright expects to take Rep. Jim Matheson to a primary – May 3 2010

County Dems hold Convention – St. George Spectrum, April 20, 2010

Matheson Challenger Campaigns in St. George – St. George Spectrum, April 19, 2010

Jim Matheson vs. Democrats – Salt Lake City Weekly, March 3, 2010

More later gotta go.

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  1. #1 by cav on May 8, 2010 - 5:26 pm

    Go Claudia!

  2. #2 by Larry Bergan on May 8, 2010 - 11:18 pm

    This is going to make for some very interesting debate for a change. Politics are sure getting shook up this time. I think it’s all positive. If it’s true that Utahn’s are so mixed up, they have to vote in fake (blue doggy) Democrats, then we may as well have a republican. Matheson was never taken seriously by either side anyway.

  3. #3 by Glenden Brown on May 9, 2010 - 6:05 am

    Okay so I’m intrigued by this turn of events. I’ve been open in my criticisms of Matheson; last night on the local news, one of the stations showed him claiming “I’m the only Democrat who can win this seat.” If the Republicans hadn’t nominated Morgan Philpot he might be right. I remember Philpot from his days in the Legislature; he’s Sarah Palin, without the intellectual depth and insight.

  4. #4 by Uncle Rico on May 9, 2010 - 7:28 am

    I remember Philpot from his days in the Legislature; he’s Sarah Palin, without the intellectual depth and insight.

    Holy back-handed compliment Batman, that is one frightening statement!

  5. #5 by Uncle Rico on May 9, 2010 - 8:00 am

    But he [Matheson] acknowledged the enthusiasm of Wright’s supporters.

    “It’s a group of folks with passion about individual issues,” he said.

    Um, like maybe the party platform Jim?

    Stop being such an arrogant prick!

  6. #6 by JBT on May 9, 2010 - 9:52 am

    If Matheson is replaced by a Republican, will anyone even notice?

  7. #7 by Ronald D. Hunt on May 9, 2010 - 5:08 pm

    Losing Matheson now isn’t a bad thing, even if the seat falls into the republicans. Having a more competitive race in 2012 after Utah has a 4th house seat will get us a much better candidate, As likely the republicans will create a safe Democrat district rather then having 2 swing districts.

    Getting a true progressive in the house from Utah would be wonderful.

  8. #8 by Larry Bergan on May 9, 2010 - 10:34 pm

    Uncle Rico:

    Interesting article from the Tribune. I read through about half of the comments and they are overwhelmingly pro-Wright. Rampton was a good Governor and I trust his daughter.

    Matheson has let us down too many times with his cowardice to stand for true democratic values. I think people here are so tired of his saying he has to go to the other side to please his constituents, we are willing to face hell for something else!

    This is already shaping up to be a greatly interesting midterm!

  9. #9 by cav on May 10, 2010 - 7:04 am

    Why someone like Dwight / not Kagen, should be the new Supreme Court Justice nominee:

    Yes, Kagan has an adequate, perhaps even exceptional legal background. The problem I have with such a person is that they really have no idea of what it means to be a working person: simply one more part of the effete, elite, and ultimately, arrogant Eastern Establishment.

    If I had my choice for a justice, my first requirement would be that they had to work at a lowly job, perhaps even one they hated, taking orders and condescension from vastly inferior, malicious assholes because there really was no choice.

    Millions of people go to work every day fearing for their jobs and are exploited endlessly by a system designed to keep them down. If they understood the nastiness that people are experiencing they might have an idea of what it means to be an “Average” American.

    DSA more than fits that bill, and is gifted with intellect, tack, dignity and a sense of fairness as well. Who would make a better SCJ?

    But instead we have one more person who has never had to beg for a job being cleared and signed-off on by the bought and paid for Senate judiciary committee.

  10. #10 by Bubba V. on May 10, 2010 - 3:39 pm

    I think Matheson might represent Utahns better, less dogmatic and orthodox liberal. How can the party be “big tent” if it kicks out its moderates? In a winner-takes-all election system, parties have to be flexible and pragmatic more than ideologically orthodox to both win and represent. (I suppose I’m biased on this one because I don’t consider myself purely either liberal or conservative).

  11. #11 by Deb.bee on May 10, 2010 - 5:44 pm

    Matheson voting against Healthcare reform and public option did him in.He was worried about his Republican voters that he forgot who put him in to begin with. He did not vote from the heart but in hopes to keep his seat. I am a delegate and after speaking with Claudia I know she will vote from the heart. She truly appears to care about Utah and all the people in it. Health Care reform was very important and Matheson voted against Public option. Then voted against a watered down proposal as well. With an unsubstantiated reason it would cost Utahns to much. He gave no facts to back this statement. Out with the old in with the new. If you do what you have always done you will get what you always have gotten.

  12. #12 by Deb.bee on May 10, 2010 - 5:54 pm

    Bubba V. Health Care was carried by the Dems but it was a human issue not a party issue. Not one Republican voted for it including Matheson. I know many republican constituents who wanted a health care reform. At least we got something out there but it was not enough. No help from the politics in Utah. I consider myself an issue person. We need politicians that care about the people and put them first, not politics !

  13. #13 by Bubba V. on May 10, 2010 - 8:24 pm

    Deb.bee, like you I agree we need health care reform. Like you I know Republicans who want health care reform, and I also know people from various parties who had ideas for health care reform that were not considered by either party. It is fine to care about people and you and Claudia may arguably care more about people than Matheson (or I) do. I don’t know him. I’m also an issue person. But caring is not enough, voting from the heart is not enough. plenty of bad decisions have been made by people who care and have good hearts. The people ant the Utah Healthcare Initiative care also, but they believe that the recently-passed bill is worse than nothing, will not fix the problem, and will take down the economy. It may make us feel good to do something with a caring heart, but if what we did is ultimately ineffective or even destructive, how valid are those feelings. I want a politician who is skeptical enough to question the party line and be open to creativity. We have plenty of uninformed emotion and principle in both parties. Let’s do something effective and creative, whoever gets in there.

  14. #14 by Dwight Sheldon Adams on May 11, 2010 - 7:16 am

    Bubba V.–

    How dare you not consider yourself either purely liberal or purely conservative? Whose side are you on, anyway? Are you for the terrorists, or against them? For God or Mammon? Do you like green eggs and ham or do you believe it an abominable combination? Come on, man, make up your mind!

    Incidentally, I don’t consider myself purely one or the other, either, and I think those who do are sadly out of touch with their own identities. I think they’d do well to at least try the eggs and ham before they judge it, but there’s no reasoning with some people.


    I have to concur with Bubba on this one. Although I probably lean more than he does towards the human decisions and less than he does towards the pragmatic ones, I can’t help but think that the best course of action contains a healthy degree of each. Of course, part of the challenge of politics is managing disagreements between multiple different—yet united—cultural contexts. Unfortunately, relationships rarely work when one side won’t be an active part of making that relationship work. When neither side will, you end up with a broken marriage. I’d have to say that Dems and Repubs alike, over the last year, have shown that they have little interest in maintaining a healthy relationship, even when the best-intended among them attempt to straighten things out. Rather than digging our heels in, it may be time for a party divorce—divorce of the parties from each other, and divorce of the people from their parties. Accomplishing a dissolution of that magnitude would certainly be a challenge, though, if it’s possible at all at this point and in this political atmosphere.


    I graciously accept your nomination. 😉

    Dwight Sheldon Adams

  15. #15 by Richard Warnick on May 11, 2010 - 4:41 pm

    I exited the blogosphere for a few days, not expecting good news really. Thanks for the happy surprise, Cliff. How can we help Claudia campaign?

  16. #16 by Larry Bergan on May 11, 2010 - 9:20 pm


    Two more good things:

    Since you’re back on the internet now, you probably know that the Senate voted 96-0 to actually audit the fed – I wonder if Bennett’s snub here had anything to do with the total. The congress has a better bill which would audit the fed on an ongoing basis.


    The FCC actually stood up to the communications giants who wanted to control the internet. Free Press, (the organization which has been WAY out in front of this important issue), Research Director S. Derek Turner said:

    “It was the FCC led by Michael Powell that started this mess in the first place. In 2002, Powell said his classification move would not leave the FCC ‘neutered,’ but we now see it did exactly that. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s proposal is designed to correct the mistakes of the Powell and Martin FCCs and bring the regulatory framework back into harmony with the law.

    Of course the battle is never over when money is driving a movement in American, but we came very close to losing the only good tool democracy has left: Al Gores “information super highway.”

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