Part of the appeal of national conventions is making contacts with people who can help your political effort, either with cash or by dropping your name to the right people.
For former Gov. Scott M. Matheson, it's renewing old friendships and letting the word out that he's interested in being secretary of the interior in a Michael Dukakis administration.For U.S. Senate candidate Brian Moss, it's meeting and talking to "some of the big-money raising people in this party."
For delegation chairman Pat Shea and state Democratic chairman Randy Horiuchi, it's talking to dozens of people to raise money for the state party's $50,000 voter canvass and $20,000-$50,000 for its legislative candidates.
Horiuchi met for the second time Wednesday with Tim Dixon, an old friend who heads Project 500, the arm of the Democratic National Committee that provides support to local parties.
"It looks good for us," said Horiuchi, whose personal goal is to elect 11 more Democrats to the Utah House and take control of that body in a dozen years.
"Utah law allows us to receive money from businesses and union membership dues. Those kinds of contributions are outlawed in federal races under Federal Election Commission rules. So Tim can give us money that he couldn't give elsewhere," he said.
Horiuchi asked for $20,000 from Dixon. "If I get $10,000 from him, I'll be happier than a pig in mud."
He also met with Mickey Ibarra, also an old friend, who is head of the National Education Association's western PAC.
"We went over each Utah (legislative) race. Mickey will talk with Jim Campbell (Utah Education Association president) and I'm sure some money will come through the NEA to the UEA (who in turn will give it to Democratic candidates)."
Horiuchi also plans to talk to PAC leaders from the AMA, the national Realtors and numerous labor union groups.
Shea said he has personally promised to use his contacts to raise $50,000 to conduct a 175,000 household canvas of Utah voters. Democrats will be targeted, but even independents and Republicans who may well vote Democratic this year will be tracked.
Shea said he's received commitments of money. "But you don't count it until the check arrives."
Moss, who is having trouble raising money against Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, (Hatch has raised more than $2 million), has been meeting with prominent Democratic fund-raisers from San Francisco, Florida and other states.
Moss' last FEC financial report shows he's raised about $80,000 and spent about $30,000. "I planned to raise $1 million. But I've had to revise that goal. Now I hope to raise $500,000. But that will be enough to get my message out about what Hatch is really doing to Utahns in Washington."
Wednesday, several delegates visited Stone Mountain outside Atlanta, where a huge carving of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson is cut into the granite's face. The bas-relief sculpture is the largest of its kind in the world