Former S.L. mayor Rocky Anderson divorces himself from 'gutless' Democratic Party

Published: Saturday, Aug. 13 2011 12:21 a.m. MDT

Human rights activist and former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson says he's leaving the "gutless" Democratic Party.

Lee Benson, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — One of Utah's most liberal politicians has divorced himself from the Democratic Party.

In a harshly worded email, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson this week asked the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to remove his name from its list.

"I'm done with the Democratic Party. As I said on Amy Goodman's show a couple years ago, I've put my 'Proud Democrat' coffee mug in storage. I think now I'll just throw it in the garbage and have done with it," he wrote.

Anderson said in an interview that he thinks people are fed up with the Democratic and Republican parties, Congress and the Obama administration to the point of being ready to do something about it.

"I think the answer is a new political party that actually will advocate for and promote the interests of the public rather than the narrow interests of the wealthy who bought and paid for not only Congress but the White House," he said.

Though he doesn't have plans to run for office, Anderson said he would be interested in working with others to form a new party.

Anderson, executive director of High Road for Human Rights, listed several issues on which he believes Democrats have failed to "stand strong" as the party espouses.

"How dare you send an email with the subject line 'Standing strong,'" he wrote. "You didn't do it on Iraq; you didn't do it on torture; you didn't do it on signing statements; you haven't done it on Afghanistan; you haven't done it on defense spending; you haven't done it on real health care reform; you haven't done it on energy policy and the climate crisis; you haven't done it on the evisceration of our system of checks and balances through the invocation of the state secrets doctrine; and you haven't done it on the debt ceiling fiasco."

Anderson wrote that he wants no part of the Democratic Party until it "shows some spine and draws a line in the sand — that an end to the tax breaks for the wealthy needs to be part of any debt/budget bill."

He says he can count on one hand those who have stood strong in Congress, "and they have faced nothing but opposition by Nancy Pelosi and most of the rest of the so-called Democrats."

A good chunk of the letter deals with what he sees as the party ignoring torture and war crimes at the highest level of government.

"The Constitution has been eviscerated while Democrats have stood by with nary a whimper," he wrote. "It is a gutless, unprincipled party, bought and paid for by the same interests that buy and pay for the Republican Party."

Email: romboy@desnews.com

Twitter: dennisromboy

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