I have been very interested in the senate race in Utah where Senator Hatch is running for his sixth term in the US Senate. I spent a lot of time last year hoping that some of the challengers in the Republican party would be able to unseat Senator Hatch in the Republican primary vote. Sadly, these challengers had basically fallen away before the primary even arrived and Hatch is still the Republican nominee.
I think my position with regard to Senator Hatch are fairly plain. I think I should explain why. While I agree with some of what the senator has done over his three decades in office, I do not believe that he is doing a good job of representing Utah in the last few years. His votes seem to be driven more by his party affiliation than his state affiliation. He appears to have a lack of understanding with regard to some legislation regarding intellectual property and emerging technologies. I honestly doubt that his views and votes are based on a lack of understanding as much as they are based on voting in favor of whoever has money tied up in the issue. In addition to all of that, Senator Hatch has continued to waste time and energy on a flag burning amendment that is no longer relevant. Perhaps when he began pushing this legislation, early in his 30 year tenure, it was an issue worth fighting, but the problem has proven to be a thing of the past. Even among protesters there is not enough flag burning taking place to warrant a constitutional amendment. Changing the constitution is a process which is difficult by design, but each time we make the attempt we run the risk of diminishing the original document. For that reason we should be very careful when deciding to amend our constitution.
In the other corner, the Democratic nominee for Hatch’s seat is Pete Ashdown. Pete is a political newcomer, but he has a few things in his favor. Pete understands about technology and will not be fooled by money or terminology with regard to those types of legislation. Pete understands that the old way of running politics by the money should be a thing of the past. We have the ability to increase communication, transparency, and accountability in our nation by making use of technology. Pete is doing that in his campaign. His status as a Democrat has more to do with necessity than ideology. In fact he complains about the lack of transparency among Democrats as much as he does among Republicans. I believe that Pete will strive to represent anyone who cares to communicate with him rather than representing anyone who can out-pay the competition. Whether Pete wins this race or not, I hope that his ideas will catch on throughout our political system and change how our political leaders represent, interact with, and answer to their constituents.
To learn a little more about Pete, visit his website at http://www.peteashdown.org/. You can also listen to his interview on RadioWest. I will post links to Senator Hatch’s website and interview with RadioWest after that interview takes place (not sure when that will be).