Politics
5:36 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Lawmakers Decry Negative Campaign Ads

Democratic State Lawmaker Patricia Jones tells voters to follow up on campaign mailers. Utah Republican Party Chair Thomas Wright says the party is not taking part in negative campaigning.

Two Democratic State Lawmakers joined progressive watchdog group Alliance For a Better Utah this morning to condemn what they call a barrage of negative campaign ads leading up to this year’s election. 

Senator Patricia Jones says voters should not ignore the onslaught of negative political mailers and television ads being employed during this election season.

“If we feel offended or if we have questions about something that’s been said in the campaign, we owe it to ourselves and to our democratic society to call them on it and that’s what we’re doing today," Jones said.

The lawmakers pointed to a mailer the Utah Republican Party distributed that states in bold letters 'Dead People Should Not Vote,' followed by a line that says 'Twelve-year politician Carol Moss voted against removing dead people from voter lists'. What the mailer didn't say is that the bill, which is now law, also calls for the removal of inactive voters from the rolls, which Moss opposed.

But Utah Republican Party Chair Thomas Wright stood by the mailer.

"That’s an honest campaign discussion," Wright says. "That’s not a negative mail piece. Jim Matheson is running a negative campaign because he’s leading people to believe that Mia Love will destroy the education system if she’s elected. That’s dishonest.”

Wright says the state Republican Party has never engaged in negative campaigning and doesn't plan to start.

Congressman Jim Matheson said Wednesday his GOP opponent wants to eliminate federal funding for special education. Love says she just wants to see more local control of education dollars.