Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Utah Congressional hopeful, Mia Love

Utah politics bring up immediate assumptions and stereotypes. The state is perceived to be all Mormon and Republican. This is close, but not at all accurate. 2.8 million residents, a median household income of $50,000, and yes, in the last Presidential election, 62% of the state voted Red.
Currently both of the senators, Orrin Hatch, and Mike Lee, are GOP. They are joined by Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz. The state also managed to elect one Democrat in the last House election- Jim Matheson. Salt Lake City has a tendency to elect Democrats as mayor.
But now that I've convinced you that Utah is as Red as the stereotypes sound, let's move on.
Utah has an interesting hand of biting the hand that feeds it.
Case in point- former Senator Bob Bennett was defeated by now Senator Lee in 2010. Why would a state oust a senator that sat on 16 committees or sub-committees to bring in a freshman with the same exact platform and policies? Does new blood really help? Or does a ranking senator with a history, partnerships, and clout serve a state better? It would be one thing if you shook things up by bringing in someone with entirely new ideas. But Lee and Bennett? Not all that different from each other. (Lee sits on 10 committees or sub-committees, and is ranking member on one.)
Now Utah has the chance to actually shake things up in appearances, if nothing else.
Her name is Mia Love, a black, Mormon, woman. And she's running for the newly formed fourth congressional seat in Utah. If elected, she’d be the first black Republican congresswoman in the House of Representatives. Not just from Utah, but in the full U.S. House.
What qualifies her for the job? She is currently the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, a small town in Utah County. She also served on the city council. She is the daughter of [legal] Haitian immigrants. Her politics are conservative. Her website supports her views on limited government, increased citizen liberties and limited restraints on business. She believes the best thing she can do as mayor is stay out of the way of business and out of the lives of citizens. She advocates a return to the personal responsibility and reduced government dependency.
"Cut programs, cut spending, cut taxes and empower business and citizens to thrive and profit." - words from her website.
On the outside she may appear to be young, new, innovating, and different, bringing something exciting to Utah.
But policy-wise? She's the same as all of the other Utah Republicans.

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