Republican congressional candidate Bill Dew took a shot Thursday at his opponent, Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, but ended up also hitting three Republicans in the Utah delegation.

Dew's scattershot criticism started when he attacked Matheson for accepting $24,500 in donations through the years from mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and then supporting legislation that helped them.

The trouble is, Sens. Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch and Rep. Chris Cannon, all R-Utah, did exactly the same thing. Bennett accepted $107,999 — four times more than Matheson received — since 1989. Hatch received $18,250 and Cannon took in $2,500.

Still, Dew said in anews release, "Voting for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae after receiving nearly $25,000 in donations is a clear conflict of interest, and Jim should know better. Jim Matheson should have abstained and not voted on giving them a bailout."

When Dew's campaign was asked if it realized that the other Utah Republicans had done the same and if Dew were also criticizing them, his communications director, Tiffany Gunnerson, said, "Our criticism is that he (Matheson) should have not have voted in that situation, and anyone else receiving contributions should not have."

She added that if that puts Dew in a position of criticizing actions of others in the delegation, "We're not afraid of that."

Dew specifically criticized Matheson for voting for the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008. It passed both houses of Congress by large margins and was signed into law by President Bush.

Congressional records show that all members of the Utah delegation voted for final passage of that bill.


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