Mudslinging has again broken out in the 1st District congressional race between Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, and Democrat Gunn McKay.
Hansen's campaign is charging that McKay is collecting excessive donations from out-of-state labor unions and is promoting union interests because of it.Hansen's charges follow accusations by McKay earlier this week in which he said Hansen is not tough enough on defense contractors in his assignment on the House Armed Forces Committee because he receives thousands of dollars in speech fees from the defense industry.
Peter Jenks, Hansen's campaign manager, said in a press release that McKay's criticism of Hansen is "cheaply political" when "McKay accepted money from organizations like the Teamsters whose leadership has been implicated in racketeering and fraud."
But McKay's campaign manager, David Dixon, noted that Hansen's fellow Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch also has accepted money from Teamsters. "He even gave the eulogy last month at (former Teamster President) Jackie Presser's funeral. If Jim Hansen has a problem with Teamsters, he should take it up with Orrin."
Jenks' press release attacking McKay said, "Federal Elections Commission records show McKay has raised nearly half of his total 1988 campaign contributions from labor unions, many of which have no interest in Utah other than to try to elect another liberal to Congress."
He said that includes $2,500 from the Seafarers Union; $5,000 from the Teamsters Union; $1,000 from the International Ladies Garment Workers Union; $3,000 from the United Auto Workers Union; $5,000 from the Communications Workers Union; and $250 from the Hawaiian Sugar Planters.
"In this campaign, Gunn McKay is doing the talking, but big labor is pulling his strings," Jenks said. "Utah has always been a state in which business and labor have tried to work cooperatively, hand-in-hand. We encourage the free enterprise system here. McKay's predominating out-of-state support from labor unions is very disturbing."
Dixon responded, "Jim Hansen's personal allegations and attacks are just a desperate attempt to switch attention from the real issues of jobs and quality education for Utahns."