by craig41bl, Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 09:32:54 AM EDT
Democratic candidate Morgan Bowen has been after Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) for several months regarding his campaign contributions and corporate ties to companies like engineering firm Es3, and the nuclear waste importing Energy Solutions. And it has fallen on deaf ears.
Morgan's campaign has garnered a lot of local activist attention via an aggressive YouTube and blog based messaging machine, but has been ignored, for the most part, by the majority of Utah's media (who are busy explaining to voters why they must re-elect Republicans because "their stuff is already in the office" and "that straight ticket ballot just makes it so easy!"). But now, it seems Bowen was onto something, and the media is beginning to notice. Via the Salt Lake Tribune:
Salt Lake Tribune: Rep. Rob Bishop has secured millions of dollars in congressional earmarks that benefit a small engineering firm, whose executives continue to contribute heavily to the Utah Republican's re-election efforts.This bad news comes for Bishop hot on the heals of his back-and-forth comments on the bailout (It was even harder for him to vote against it after they put the pork in!), and a now stalled battle between Utah and Energy Solutions, another Bishop campaign contributor - to the tune of $28,000 - petitioning the state and federal representatives for approval to import radioactive waste from Italy into Utah and Nevada.
The latest campaign-finance reports, released this week, show the leaders of Engineering and Software Systems Solutions, known as ES3, donated $22,000 to Bishop in August. That money accounted for more than half the funding Bishop raised between July 1 and Sept. 30.
This year Congress approved a budget bill that included an $800,000 earmark for a program the contracts with ES3, a California firm with an office in Clearfield. The money funds what the military calls Science Engineering Lab and Data Integration (SELDI), which is run through Hill Air Force Base. SELDI pays ES3 to track spare jet parts to avoid duplication.
The earmark and the contributions are nothing new. ES3 holds a fundraiser for Bishop each August, normally after the Utah Republican has inserted an earmark in legislation but before its final passage.
Morgan is not your perfect Democrat. He is what is referred to, in the West, as a "Utah Democrat" (think of a more libertarian Jon Tester). But he has shown judgment far exceeding Utah's current representation (including Blue Dog Jim Matheson, who Bowen butted heads with speaking out against the FISA re-write and immunity for Telco's), and promises to steer Utah away from oil-shale and toward wind energy. Please throw him a bone. This is a low dollar race, so even $10 could make the difference. Visit Morgan's YouTube Page for an idea of where he's heading, and his latest ad here.
Utah has a long way to go to be even purple (despite what delusional state party leaders might tell the candidates), but with a little help, Bowen will lead us in the right direction.