Who says Democrats don't have a sense of humor? Utah supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis got together on Sept. 23 to celebrate Christmas a little early.The red card announcing their party explained their thinking: "This function is held compliments of George Bush . . . since he celebrates Pearl Harbor on Sept. 7, surely he celebrates Christmas on Sept. 25!!"
The vice president has been the target of such barbs ever since he told an American Legion convention audience on Sept. 7 that it was Pearl Harbor Day, when in fact Japanese bombed the harbor Dec. 7.
- Democrats also want to remind voters that Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, opposed major bills improving health care for the elderly and protecting jobs for the American worker.
A press release from the Congressional News Services, a project of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, noted that the congressman voted against the catastrophic health care bill and the plant closing notification act.
The release also criticized Nielson for voting to continue aid to the Contras in Nicaragua. "He has chosen to fund an unpopular war in another country over the well-being of the people of this country," said the chairman of the campaign committee, Rep. Beryl Anthony Jr., D-Ark.
- Republicans have plenty to say this election season, too. Peter Jenks, campaign manager for Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, slammed Hansen's opponent, Gunn McKay, in a recent press release.
Jenks labeled radio advertising by McKay that depicts Hansen as unfeeling for voting against Democratic versions of bills that deal with education, health care and Head Start programs "a sad irony.
"Because he cares, Jim will not vote for budget-busting bills that increase the tax burden on an already over-burdened America, bills that offer little to the people they were intended to benefit," Jenks said.
The sad irony, according to Jenks, is that McKay is "ashamed of his liberal voting record. He never mentions that 14 of 14 times he voted to raise the national debt or that he voted to raise his own salary three times or that he voted with (former House Speaker and retired Rep. Thomas P.) Tip O'Neill (D-Mass.), one of the nation's most liberal politicians, 80 percent of the time."
- Good news for Ted Wilson, the Democratic candidate for governor, came from the Utah League of Credit Unions Inc. Wilson was the winner of a mock election held by the group at their annual fall institute last month.
Some 500 credit union presidents, directors and volunteers from throughout the state gave Wilson 49 percent of their votes, while incumbent Republican Gov. Norm Bangerter and independent candidate Merrill Cook split the remaining vote with 25.5 percent each.
"The election is really a very accurate gauge of the current sentiment from all over Utah," according to Chris Kerecman, government affairs director for the league.
Kerecman pointed out in a press release announcing the mock election results that about 70 percent of all Utahns of voting age belong to credit unions and that those attending the conference represented a cross-section of business and industry.