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Mia Love hits up GOP leaders, BuzzFeed news reporter for fundraising help

Published: Thursday, Aug. 2 2012 12:16 p.m. MDT

Rep. Jim Matheson talks with Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon during the state Democratic convention in Salt Lake City April 21, 2012.

Brian Nicholson, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Mia Love has some big name Republicans coming to Utah to boost her bid for Congress. But the 4th District candidate also recently took a curious approach to soliciting money for her campaign.

Love hit up the online news source BuzzFeed for a fundraising plug during an interview at the Utah Republican Party headquarters last week.

As the "darling of the conservative blogosphere," her instinct was to ask the site for help, BuzzFeed Politics reported.

"Here's what I need you to do for me," Love told reporter McKay Coppins. "This is very important. I am running a race against Democrat Jim Matheson, and it's all hands on deck. … I need you to put a ticker on your website to say 'Donate to Mia Love.'"

When the request was met with mild befuddlement, Love kept pushing: "Seriously! The time has come for us to no longer just stand on the sidelines and watch and see what happens. If you understand and can see the sincerity of what I'm saying, I need people to take a stand. … I need you to put a ticker, and we need to raise a million dollars."

"Will you do that for me?" she concluded.

Informed that BuzzFeed Politics was a nonpartisan news site, she shrugged and offered a half-hearted "OK."

In a more conventional strategy, Love has House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., scheduled to raise money and stump for her this month.

Boehner will attend a $500-per-plate luncheon for her at the Little America hotel Aug. 14. A photo with the speaker runs $2,500 and $10,000 will buy a seat at a roundtable discussion. Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee and Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz are among those hosting the event.

McCain will appear with Love at a town hall meeting at Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City on Aug. 15.

"I am very grateful Speaker Boehner and Sen. McCain are willing to come to Utah and lend their support to my campaign. Speaker Boehner, Sen. McCain, and other conservative leaders have diligently fought Barack Obama's reckless spending, while Jim Matheson has essentially been signing the checks — voting with the president 75 percent of the time. Utahns deserve a representative who will fight for their values 100 percent of the time," she said.

Love nearly matched Matheson in second-quarter fundraising this year. But overall, Matheson had $1 million more in is war chest than his challenger as of the end of June.

The six-term Democratic congressman also leads Love in a couple of recent polls.

A survey for the House Majority PAC and Center Forward showed Matheson with an 18-point advantage over Love, 51 percent to 33 percent. The poll of 400 likely 4th District voters was conducted July 26-29 and has a 4.9 percent margin of error. The PAC's goal is to get Democrats elected to the House.

“There is no question about it, Mia Love is out of touch with Utah voters,” Alixandria Lapp, House Majority PAC executive director, said in a statement.

“Whether it’s promoting a plan that essentially ends Medicare, backing efforts to eliminate the student loan programs that help Americans afford college or taking a pay raise as mayor even though Saratoga Springs faced financial collapse, Mia Love has the wrong priorities.”

A Deseret News/KSL poll in June showed Matheson leading Love 53 percent to 38 percent.

E-mail: romboy@desnews.com

Twitter: dennisromboy

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