The Utah Democratic Convention

Sorry for my absence! I’ve been rather occupied for a couple of weeks, and was unable to make my blog a priority. But never fear; I finally have time this afternoon, and since I wasn’t invited to the birthday party for my niece Heather (about which I just found out from talking to my nephew Caiden on the phone—you’ve been ratted out, Julie), I figured I’d finally get around to updating things here. I’ve not been ignoring current events, and will be addressing a number of issues presently.

Today has been a nice day. My wife and I attended the Utah Democratic Convention, and left rather excited by the event.

Now neither I or my wife are registered Democrats. But we are fully conscious of the fact that these are the only relevant parties in our nation today, and that if we want to participate in politics in a meaningful way, we have to play within the two-party system. As jaded as we are about the national party, I believe that the local party is more legitimate and more capable of being truly liberal and progressive. So when the party caucuses were held a few months back, we went to the Democratic one.

As we met our caucus, we were pleasantly surprised to find a member of our stake presidency our precinct chairman. He nominated us to be precinct delegates. We warned him that we were not actually registered Democrats, but he assured us that this would not be a problem. Unlike the state Republicans, who have closed convention and primary—secret combinations, anyone? ;)—the state Democratic party is truly an open party, and we would not be denied our opportunity to participate.

So I attended the county convention a few weeks back, electing the democratic candidate for state Senate (Scott McCoy, a man who served with aplomb this past term), and then attended today’s convention.

The keynote speaker was Joey Cheek, the Olympian gold-medal winner who donated his gold (and subsequent silver-medal bonus) to charity, and by his example and challenge inspired a number of other donations. His speech was nice, and can be heard on the internet via local NPR affiliate KCPW.

But what most impressed us were the Democratic candidates for congress running this year. All three new candidates, including Senatorial candidate Pete Ashdown and our district 1 representative candidate Steve Olsen seemed very bright, very confident, and very grounded on moral/spiritual values (both Pete and Steve are LDS). We recognize that both face long odds on defeating the encumbents and entrenched powers. But I think they have the potential to give Hatch and Bishop good battles, and could conceivably pull off upsets. Sara and I are both eager to volunteer and to our part to make that happen!

On the way out, we saw a Democratic fundraising booth. It carried a t-shirt which tickled us both. We couldn’t help ourselves. Tomorrow we go to visit the family for Mother’s Day, and Sara can’t wait to proudly wear her new shirt to the festivity! She has become quite a little hellion—and I love it!

6 Responses to “The Utah Democratic Convention”

  1. Left Hanging Says:

    Well?! Out with it, man, what did Sara’s t-shirt SAY?

  2. Ratted Out Says:

    Ummmmm…. I’m sorry, Derek. (For the following and commenting completely off-topic.) Heather’s party was geared toward, well, 3-8 year olds. I did not actually invite any adults. Yes, mothers of children mostly stayed because there were lots of kids and mostly just one stressed-out adult. (And now she is stressed-out further, thank you very much!)

    Sorry I did not think of you and Sara to come help supervise frisbee-throwing, wand-decorating and shirt-coloring. I will do better next time!!

  3. Derek Staffanson Says:

    It wasn’t too exciting, Left Out. There was a red state of Utah on the left breast, over which a can with the letter “D” was pouring blue paint. The implications should be obvious.

    Not incredibly scandalous, but we were hoping for some reaction. After all, my family is overwhelmingly (if, I suspect, without much thought) conservative. And while they’re used to me relishing my role as black sheep, Sara has never really made the effort to flaunt her minority status like that.

    Oh well. She still loves the shirt!

  4. The sister, Julie Says:

    Oh, yes. I remember the shirt vaguely now. Didn’t it say something like “paint the state blue” or something? I did not specifically remember the D pouring blue paint. And sorry for no reaction: I thought it was a USU shirt!!! lol

  5. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Julie, Sara just graduated from the U. Why would she wear a t-shirt about USU?!

    Silly woman.

    And you’re forgiven for Heather’s party. Just don’t forget to invite us if you have an adult party like you usually do. We probably won’t come since we aren’t so close physically as the rest of the family, but we still want to be invited.

  6. swiss Says:


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