Democrats, who have always faced an uphill battle to win seats in the Utah House of Representatives, are raising money to continue publishing a newsletter that keeps their names and accomplishments before voters.
Lobbyists paid $50 to mingle with Democratic lawmakers at a fund-raiser held in the Shiloh Hotel Wednesday night to benefit their efforts, dubbed the "Incumbency Program."The money, which could amount to several thousand dollars, will be used to publish a newsletter in February, said Rep. Frank Pignanelli, D-Salt Lake City.
Pignanelli and Rep. Kelly Atkinson, D-West Jordan, have been publishing two newsletters annually since the 1987 legislative session using mostly their own money.
It costs about $2,000 to publish and distribute a newsletter in a legislative district. Residents of a district receive an edition that includes targeted information about their representative.
The newsletters contain about 75 percent general information about the Democrats' activities on Capitol Hill and about 25 percent specific information about an individual representative's doings.
Pignanelli, who faced a tough battle for re-election in his Avenues district against former legislator Robert Sykes, said the newsletters can make a difference at election time.
"It lets people know who their legislators are and what we're doing," Pignanelli said. "To be honest, it's good politics, too."
However, he said, the newsletters are not to be confused with campaign mailings. To make sure constituents take them seriously, the newsletters are mailed before Labor Day.