The problem is big money, not party affiliation
I was not surprised by the skeptical nature of Robert Pursel's letter in the Sept.14 edition of the Sandy Post ('Ideological neutral? Reader has his doubts), in response to the previous week's articles on a proposal to limit the influence of big money in our local House District elections.
As one of the chief architects of that proposal, I would like to briefly address what appear to be Pursel's two main concerns.
When this proposal was first conceived, we considered running a non-affiliated candidate for state representative in the 2012 election. Because all of us involved at the time were either Democrats or former Democrats, it was determined early on that we would likely be accused of running a stealth Democrat anyway, so we might as well try our model in the Democratic primary.
Most of our assets and connections are of the Democratic persuasion, so if we did end up running our own grassroots campaign, it only makes sense to run a Democrat. The actual campaign model itself however is, indeed, ideologically neutral, and could be used in any party, by any candidate, who is willing to run against the negative influence of big money.
If we are able to find a candidate for the 2012 campaign cycle, we plan to be honest about whatever their ideology happens to be, but ideological warfare is not the focus of this campaign. We are looking for someone who will get things done. We need a candidate whose ideology won't prevent them from getting elected in our district, so they can't be too far out there, on either side of the spectrum.
Even if we found the bluest Blue Dog Democrat ever, the other side is going to paint them a socialist anyway, so I'm not sure how much it matters. If Pursel, or anyone else, can find us a conservative Democrat (or a moderate or even a liberal one) with a proven record of pragmatic behavior, I guarantee they would get, at the very least, our serious consideration.
As far as the other assertion that we wouldn't be doing this had Suzanne VanOrman won re-election in 2010, Pursel should consider having his 'BS detector' checked.
As a supporter of hers, I was so disturbed by the behavior of VanOrman's campaign in 2008 (the year she won) that I waited nine months for a sit down with the speaker of the house and the director of FuturePAC.
That day I told them - to their faces - exactly what I thought of the VanOrman campaign's behavior. I resigned my position as the local Democrat's district leader. Three weeks later I resigned from the party and I've spent the last two years almost entirely on the sidelines.
My friends, this is anything but 'BS.' The scourge of big money in politics has us all heading straight to hell in a handcart. If we don't start doing something different, we could all be in for a mighty rough ride.