The Utah Republican Party wants to hold the feet of the state's Democrats to the flame of the national Democratic platform, challenging each candidate to let the state know how much of the national platform he agrees with.
"When you vote for a particular candidate - either Democrat or Republican - you are also voting for a set of values and a political philosophy that daily affects each of us," said Republican State Chairman Craig Moody.The state Republicans held a press conference Thursday to point out that the 1988 National Democratic Platform includes taxpayer-funded abortion,homosexual rights, socialized health insurance and child care run by the state.
"In a state that believes innately in the traditional family institution, this is simply unacceptable," Moody said.
State Democrats matched harsh words with harsh words. State Democratic Chairman Randy Horiuchi responded in Atlanta by saying Moody is "full of hogwash."
Not all the Utah delegation was happy with the Democratic platforms' brief mention of gay rights and abortion, he said. "But if that's the best they can find to attack us with, they are digging deep in the trough."
The contrast between Democrats and Republicans has never been clearer, Moody said. "Unfortunately the local Democratic candidates have not been willing to talk about these differences. Ted Wilson stayed home from the convention to avoid being tied to Dukakis and Jackson."
Wilson's campaign manager, Rob Jolley, said Wilson didn't go to the convention because he is busy campaigning.
"We are 31/2 months away from the election. We want Ted here campaigning in Utah," Jol-ley said. He was campaigning in Ogden Tuesday and will be in Provo all day Thursday.
"Even though Ted has a huge lead over Gov. Bangerter, we are doing everything we can to ensure that Ted wins in November," Jolley said. That means Wilson stays on his own campaign trail.
If Wilson is so anxious to be campaigning, why won't he debate Bangerter as Bangerter has asked him to do time and time again?, Moody challenged. "He has said he will only debate the governor three or four more times. They were actually dragging Ted to the (Utah Farm Bureau) debate."
The Republican attack Thursday was founded in fear, Horiuchi said. "They realize that for the first time in a long time, we are unified, excited and looking forward to really making Utah a two-party state again," he said.
Moody warned Utahns that the state and national Democrats are espousing values out of step with the American people's.
Utah's Democrats owe it to the state to take a stand on the national Democratic platform, Moody said.
"The more we can articulate the differences between the two parties, the better for the voters."
Moody said Wilson will ruin Utah's economy with flagrant spending the way the national Democrats will ruin the nation's economy. "Gov. Bangerter has reduced Utah's 12-year debt policy to six years, while Wilson wants to increase spending and borrowing by $150 million. Ted has replaced the old Democratic philosophy of `tax and spend' with `tax, borrow, borrow and spend.' "
Moody's attacks are "preposterous," Jolley said. "The Republicans are trying to make the election year of 1988 the dirtiest in the history of Utah. But that's not what Utahns want. They want positive, forward moving leadership. They know Democrats have brought great leadership to this state. Utahns remember what kind of governors Cal Rampton and Scott Matheson were. While they were governors, this state prospered economically. But during the last four years, the state has declined economically."