Officials of the Dukakis for President in Utah campaign used a press conrference Saturday to criticize Governor Norm Bangerter's latest call for a special session.
Pat Shea, chairman for Dukakis for President in Utah, likened Bangerter's call for a special session to Vice President George Bush's campaign tactics, which seek unfairly to divert attention from his opponent's campaign.The press conference was held in the Capitol building Saturday morning.
"In the last two weeks we have found a tactic on the part of the Bush campaign that we want to inoculate the public against," said Shea. He said when Dukakis or his choicefor a vice presidential running mate, Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, D-Texas, appear in a city to campaign, the Republican National Committee sends a surrogate.
"We deplore this kind of tactic," said Shea. "It does not facilitate an active dialogue by which voters can be informed. It gets more into theatrics and artificial drama."
Bangerter was using a similar diversion tactic by calling a special session during the Democratic National Convention, Shea said.
Bangerter has called a special session to consider bonding for a rocket fuel plant near Cedar City.
"I am certain that this special session, which will be held Wednesday, would not have been called if the Republican National Convention was being held next week," Shea said.
"This meeting diverts attention away from the special Democratic event," he said. Sen. Rex Black, D-Salt Lake, and Reps. Mike Dmitrich, D-Price, Janet Rose, D-Salt Lake, and Beverly White, D-Tooele, all delegates to the national convention, are under pressure to decide which event to attend.
Shea said former governors Rampton and Matheson never played that kind of politics.
The local Dukakis committee promised a positive campaign that would boost Utah's image and economic development.
For the last eight years, parents have seen their children migrate out of Utah, because there has been a decline in the number of new jobs as well as a decline in education, said Nick Floros, co-chairman of the committee.
Dukakis is concerned about such issues, Floros said. "He wants his organization in Utah to run a grass-roots campaign, county by county and city by city, including phone banking, voter registration, voter information and awareness - to make voters aware of the issues and the candidates."
The Utah Dukakis campaign will try to bring Bentsen to the state later this summer.
Shea said Utah Democrats will do everything they can to boost Utah's image at the Democratic Convention next week. Utah delegates will give away river trips, ski trips, weekends in Salt Lake City and Utah products every day of the convention.