Calls for debates between supporters of George Bush and Michael Dukakis and name-calling in local congressional campaigns are among recent developments in local politics:
*THE UTAH FOR DUKAKIS Committee has challenged George Bush's Utah campaign workers to debates in the state.Utah Dukakis Campaign Chairman Patrick A. Shea wrote to Utah Bush Chairman Bonnie Stephens asking that both sides pick Utah spokesmen to debate the candidates' issues to help Utah voters make an informed choice.
"I believe the Dukakis and Bush campaigns cooperating on this matter will provide information to inform those voters," Shea wrote.
The national Dukakis campaign has been accusing Bush himself of avoiding debate possibilities.
*REP. JIM HANSEN'S CAMPAIGN is attacking his opponent, former Democratic congressman Gunn McKay, for voting in 1978 to "use American tax dollars to give away the U.S. Panama Canal."
Hansen is now co-sponsoring legislation calling for the president to withdraw from the 1977 Panama Canal Treaty, and to require that immediate discussions begin on a new agreement that would guarantee U.S. control of the canal and allow permanent U.S. base rights in Panama.
Hansen's campaign manager, Peter Jenks, attacked McKay for voting in 1978 to use tax dollars to implement the treaty that Hansen is now trying to overturn.
"U.S. Taxpayers bought, built and generously paid for the upkeep of the canal. We are talking about a $10 billion investment, but Mr. McKay gave little thought to wasting tax dollars or to America's rights to the canal.
"After 1999, there will be no stopping Gen. Noriega or his successor from turning over the operation of the canal to the Soviet Union, Nicaragua or Cuba," he said. "I believe Gunn McKay owes every Utahn a big apology for voting to surrender the canal."
*DEMOCRAT BRIAN MOSS is again accusing Sen. Orrin Hatch of hurting the elderly and children through his votes on education and cheese program funding. But Hatch's campaign manager, Bud Scruggs, said Moss is distorting the record and continually repeating false claims to obtain "cheap press."
The latest rounds of accusations began with a press release from Moss that claimed Scruggs admitted that Hatch's voting record scares old people and children.
What Scruggs said on KALL radio was, "I just wish that he (Moss) would understand that one of the things we don't do in Utah is we don't try to pick up percentage points by frightening children and the elderly by distorting the record. And that's what he's opted to do."
Of that comment, Moss said he hasn't distorted Hatch's record and the truth is scaring people. "Low-income families and elderly citizens worry whey they discover that Hatch voted against the cheese program" and that he voted against several education programs.
Scruggs in turn responded that Hatch has already proven that Moss' claims are incorrect - that the truth is Hatch has not only voted for but also sponsored every major education funding bill in the past six years, and that he voted against the cheese program only to reform it - which was accomplished quickly and its funding was continued.
"Alice Longworth Roosevelt said the public will forgive a politician for being wrong, but not for being boring. After six months of being wrong, Brian Moss is now getting boring. He believes that if he repeats these distortions enough, that the public will believe them," he said. "It raises questions about his qualification for office."