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Letter From A Defeated Blue Dog


McAdams (l) and McMullin (r)

I received an e-mail yesterday, ostensibly from Ben McAdams, subject line, "I'm personally asking." And it began, "Hi Howie, My name is Ben McAdams. I served as the Democratic Congressman from Utah’s 4th District" Oh yeah, I know exactly who he is. There were only 6 Democrats who voted against raising the minimum wage when he was in Congress. He was one of them. He was in a constant battle with a handful of other Blue Dogs for the worst voting record of any congressional Democrat. He was always one of the worst of the worst. And after one miserable term, Democrats and independents in UT-4 (the suburbs south of Salt Lake City as well as a small piece of Utah County and insignificant amounts of Sanpete and Juab counties).


He managed to very narrowly oust Republican incumbent Mia Love as part of the 2018 anti-Trump blue wave-- less than 700 votes 950.1% to 49.9%. McAdams. After running up a putrid voting record, McAdams was ousted 2 years later by Burgess Owens, 47.7% to 46.7%, even though McAdams outspent Owens by half a million dollars and even though the DCCC and their allies spent over $7 million on the race.


Today he was shilling for Republican Evan McMullin, who is running as an independent for the Senate seat held by Mike Lee. There are 3 Democrats contesting the Democratic Party primary. McAdams is way too conservative to be thought of as a normal Democrat who stands by the values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, so it doesn't surprise me to see him backing McMullin. He never appealed to any kind of Democratic base. Remember, in 2016 Bernie beat Hillary 79.3% to 20.3%, winning every single county by landslide proportions. In 2020 Utah Democrats turned out for Bernie again, especially in Salt Lake County. Statewide primary returns:

  • Bernie- 79,728 (36.14%)- 16 delegates

  • Biden- 40,674 (18.44%)- 7 delegates

  • Warren- 35,727 (16.20%)- 3 delegates

  • Bloomberg- 33,991 (15.41)- 3 delegates

  • Mayo Pete- 18,734 (8.49%)- no delegates

Meanwhile, please note:


This didn't win him many Republican voters-- but it sure did turn off Democrats

McMullin endorsed McAdams in his failed reelection bid. Yesterday a spokesperson from McMullin's campaign told the local Fox News affiliate "We are grateful to the Congressman for answering Evan's call for a cross-partisan coalition of Democrats, Republicans and independents and appreciate Ben’s support on the campaign trail. The fact is, a majority of Utahns want to replace Mike Lee and our campaign is the way to do that. All are welcome regardless of political party or who they voted for in past elections. It is critical that we unite on common ground and stand up to the chaos in Washington. We're eager to take our message to every corner of Utah in the coming months."


"Look," wrote McAdams in his e-mail, "I know how to win elections in Utah, and I want to talk to you about Evan McMullin and his campaign to unite Utahns and send better leadership to Washington. But first, I've got to ask: will you chip in..." That seems off first chip in and then hear about the campaign. Anyway, he went on that with some typical both-sides-ism:


To fix what’s broken in Washington, it’s time to try something new.
Folks on both sides of the aisle aren't talking to each other anymore. And if a global pandemic can’t bring us together, I’m afraid we’re headed down an extremely dangerous path.
That’s why I’m excited to support Evan’s campaign in Utah. He isn’t running as a Democrat or a Republican, but as a patriot who embodies the independent spirit of our great state.
More than ever, we need to come together and solve the polarization that has gripped our country. That’s why it’s so important we elect Evan.
Your support couldn’t be more critical. Extremist special interest groups are going to spend millions of dollars to protect Mike Lee and his divisive politics. We have to build a cross-partisan coalition to outwork them every step of the way.
The success of Evan’s campaign is in your hands, Howie.

They'd better hope not. Not a single word about a single issue the e-mail. McMullin's website features a mixed bag of planks he's running on, some pretty good, most less so. He talks about "access" to healthcare, which is how conservatives say they're for continuing the control of private insurance companies over health care and that they're not supporting Medicare-for-All. On the other hand, he says he does favor allowing negotiations for lower drugs prices. Not enough; I didn't donate.

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