Ugh, Democrats…

Not surprisingly, Utah’s minority party completely screwed up their response to Gov. Gary Herbert’s State of the State address Wednesday night.

I happened to be watching the address on KSL-TV. After the governor finished speaking, the anchors on the tee vee lookie box urged their audience to switch over to their website for live streaming of the Democratic response.

Makes sense. For years Utah Democrats have provided a pre-taped response that television (and radio) ran either on the air or online. At the very least the response was available for playback later.

So, I whipped out my laptop, dialed up the live stream and saw this:



Nothing but a blank wall. Occasionally the camera guy would walk back and forth in front, but there was nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.

Turns out the Dems were holding a press availability for their response outside of the House chambers. That’s nice and all, but they had a prime opportunity to respond to the governor without their comments being reduced to sound bites and blurbs.

Don’t think this was KSL’s screw up.

About 10 minutes after the live stream started, I heard the camera operator answer his phone. From his side of the conversation he clearly said “I don’t know where they are. I came to the desk, told them what I was there for,  and they escorted me back here and told me this is where I should set up.”

This went on for a while. More phone calls from the station to the camera guy. Calls to KSL’s reporters who were at the press conference.

I’d like to say this was an anomaly, but I can’t.

I’ve long contended Utah’s Democrats have absolutely zero idea how to handle the media. They think they know how to handle the media. They are convinced they know how to handle the media…but they don’t.

Case in point – they held their pre-legislative conference on the Tuesday before the session started. That’s a terrible time to do it. Nobody is really paying attention yet.

Hey, here’s an idea. Why not have your press conference about the opening of the Legislature when the Legislature opens? Tuesday was a dead media day. All of the committees were about appropriations and budgets. You have a captive media corps who are bored and just looking for something to cover.

Utah’s Democrats complain they can’t break through in the media. If they ever figure out how to use the media to maximize their message, they might be able to expand outside of Salt Lake County.


Howard Dean? Seriously?

Howard Dean01Look, I admire Howard Dean. I really wish he had been the Democratic nominee in 2004 over John Kerry. But he is exactly the wrong person for Utah’s Democrats to bring to Utah to kick off their voter registration drive.

Associating themselves with Dean basically confirms every single stereotype the average Utahn might have about Democrats and, by association, Utah’s minority party.

Sure, the former Vermont Governor, Chair of the DNC and erstwhile presidential candidate will make Utah’s Democrats feel good about themselves, but his appearance may do more harm than good outside of their little political bubble.

An east-coast liberal who is most famous around these parts for the “Dean scream” is probably not the image Utah’s Democrats want to pop into the minds of the average Utah voter.

Dean has been mocked relentlessly by conservative media – which is very popular ’round these parts – so his public perception here is basically in the toilet. I just don’t think too many Utahns watch MSNBC (where Dean is a frequent guest and treated with more respect than he is on more right-wing outlets).

I get it. It’s difficult to get big-time Democrats to come to Utah. When they do make their way to the Beehive State, it’s usually for private fundraisers in Park City or at the Alta Club.

It doesn’t hurt that Dean and former Salt Lake County Peter Corroon are cousins – making Dean an “easy get” for the party.

But, putting forward an unabashed progressive as the face of your 2014 voter registration drive really isn’t gonna win you many converts in Utah.


Utah’s Democrats are trying to freeze me out

You would think I was doing something wrong. For some reason, the Utah Democrats have taken me off their press release list and won’t respond to my requests to be put back on.

I’ve emailed communications director Anna Thompson many times asking why they have seen fit to remove me from their distribution list. At first she said she was “checking into it.” Then she said she would “fix the problem.” Now they have gone radio silent.

The same thing has happened with the Senate and House Democratic caucuses.

Yes, I’ve been critical of the Democrats, but that’s no reason to completely remove me from their email list.

For the record, I’m still getting Chairman Jim Dabakis’ monthly email newsletter screeds without fail.

Thankfully, a friend is forwarding their press releases to me. I just hope they don’t figure out who that is so they can remove them as well.

Maybe I can get back on their lists before they actually do something newsworthy.