The Utah Democratic leaders are challenging the Republicans to gather more names of national delegates interested in visiting Utah during the Republican National Convention than they gathered at their convention.
But GOP state chairman Craig Moody says the Republicans have more important things to do in New Orleans - "like put together a solid platform that means something" - and won't play "that cheap political game."Pat Shea, chairman of Utah's Democratic delegation, said his delegates gathered about 700 cards signed by other delegates during the July 18-21 convention in Atlanta. They also gave away about 35 presents in a lottery, including free trips to Utah, in a combined effort to sell Utah to the 4,200 Democratic delegates.
On Wednesday, Shea turned those cards over to the Utah Travel Council, which will follow up to try to lure those delegates to Utah for a vacation. Shea said if the Republicans come up with more names, the Democrats will treat the GOP Central Committee to free Mrs. Field's Cookies at the committee's next meeting. "If they don't, they buy cookies for us," said Shea.
Forget it, said Moody. "Frankly, I didn't want to say anything about what we're doing, because it is more important to talk about the platforms and what the parties stand for. But we're giving out 2,500 packets to the (Republican) delegates (who gather in New Orleans next week). We have free ski passes, information about Utah, buttons, stickers, those kind of things. We won't trivialize the convention like they did. We're going there to work on a platform that means something, not one that hides the party like the Democrats' does."
Disappointed in the Republicans' attitude to the challenge, Shea?
"All I can say is: Utah's a pretty, great state, but only if we work at it," Shea replied.