(It appears that since writing this post, others in the Utah blogosphere have linked to it as a rundown of the candidates. While I appreciate the love, I should make clear that I did not intend this post as a comprehensive rundown of the candidates. I just wanted to share my impressions of the convention and a few of the candidates who stood out to me personally. Additionally, when I first wrote the post, I accidentally neglected to include someone I saw there whom I had intended to mention. Sorry, Richard. The omission has been rectified.)
Life has been busy the last little while, and so I haven’t been able to post as much as I’d like. This can be stressful for those as enthusiastic about (ie, obsessed with) blogging as I am (nod to Bob for the cartoon). But it is probably healthy to take a bit of a step away every so often. Frankly, this lull may last for the next couple of months or more. I’m getting involved in a few new projects which will soak up more of my time. I’m also involved in some rather intense research on some broad topics about which I’d like to post in the future. No, there will be no closing down the site or going on hiatus, but It will be a little more quiet for awhile.
Sorry, no Mothers Day post this year. I haven’t come up with anything more profound or relevant than my post from last year.
My wife and I, both Democratic delegates, very much enjoyed the convention over the past couple of days. We couldn’t make the entire schedule (I really wish I had been able to make the meeting for the progressive caucus), but we caught a great deal. It was energizing Friday night to hear the speeches by candidates for the national convention; people like Glenn Wright who has walked his entire precinct multiple times, or [name withdrawn at the person's request], who has pounded the pavement despite MS, or Kelvin Davis, who was out trying to drum up support for Obama well over a year ago, or Erika George, who attended school in Chicago and knew Obama personally. I was impressed by stories of their efforts to mobilize their districts and promote liberal values in counties much less liberal than my own. It’s impressive not only to see their drive, but their renewed hope in the current political climate. I’m not about to handicap any races or predict any changes in the balance of power. But I can see for certain that more people have been galvanized by the national and local events of the past several years to become involved and are determined to make a change in Utah politics. There seems to be more excitement than I’ve seen before. Who knows what might be possible if all that frustration, determination, and hope translates into grassroots activism? Maybe we have reached a tipping point here in Utah.
I also enjoyed getting to know many of the candidates for state and national office. Jean Welch Hill is a very dynamic personality, and would be a good replacement for Shurtleff as attorney general. While Shurtleff has been more tolerable than many in the local party when it comes to some of the social issues (homosexual discrimination), I find it unacceptable for our AG to have tried to abuse his power to promote the interests of his party’s pet project, or to have been so cavalier about campaign finance laws (not to mention his relationship with payday lenders in his own campaign financing). Hill really impressed me with her knowledge. She seems very personable, and yet firm, and I believe would provide the sort of integrity we need in our attorney general.
The other person who grabbed my attention is Morgan Bowen, candidate for the House of Representatives district one. Morgan is very enthusiastic and articulate. I was impressed not only by his education, but his career background. Having an entrepreneur who focused on sustainable development and agriculture running for office is very appealing to me. After years of representation with an extremely anti-environmental, pro-corporate, pro-militarist agenda from my district, the prospect of Bowen is very appealing.
(I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention my friend, Kyle Roberts, running for Utah House seat 20. I think he’ll make a fine, conscientious, dedicated congressman. As will Richard Watson of district 23, a hard-working and smart Davis County Democrat whom I met while helping Rob Miller during the last election. And I’m glad that Steve Olsen, the prior Democratic challenger for seat 1, is coming back to run for the state legislature. Steve is a well-considered, well researched individual, and we’re lucky he’s running again.)
My wife and I look forward to supporting these candidates over the next few months. I’d encourage anyone who longs for a more progressive atmosphere in Utah to do the same. This just might be our year to turn the tide.