Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Luz Robles' Fizzling Campaign Theme

Thursday night, 9/25/14, Utah State Senator Luz Robles will debate Representative Chris Stewart.

The question is: will she continue her early campaign theme of trying to paint Stewart as an extremist or will she adopt a different tactic?

Her campaign website (, for example, quotes her as saying:

"I think my record speaks for itself in the Legislature. I’m very much in the middle. I focus on issues of veterans, immigration and education that are pertinent to all Americans."

The website then quotes former Utah State Democratic Party Chair (and current state senator), Jim Dabakis:

"Voters, will come to see Stewart as an extremist who doesn't really share Utah values."

Ms. Robles apparently wants us to see her as one of us, as just a regular person, fighting to make Utah and the United States better by removing the extremist, Chris Stewart, from office.

The extremist theme was also used several times in early campaign emails.

For example, in a 10/30/13 email, the campaign threw in these two gems:

"The only way we can see real change is to replace extremists in Congress like Chris Stewart."

"We must have the resources to combat the special interests that support extremists like my opponent who recklessly shut down the government."

A bit later in the year (12/28/13), the campaign threw this into an email:

"Going into the New Year, we must prove that we can keep this pace up in the face of these outside interests and extremists that support our opponent’s Tea Party agenda."

The new year (1/23/14) brought a couple more slams to reinforce the theme:

"My opponent is completely out of touch with what Utahns and the 2nd Congressional District believe are most important."

"We cannot afford 2 more years of an extremist Congressman that supported the government shutdown, cost Utahns over $300M and is completely disconnected from the State and the hard working people of the 2nd Congressional District."

To be honest, I have not seen any Robles campaign emails since March, so I don't know if Ms. Robles has continued with this extremist theme since then or not.

But, if the tone of statements about Mia Love on the Utah State Democratic Party Facebook page is any indication, the theme of labeling opponents as extremists may be a more widespread strategy of the Democrats than the representation of a single campaign's conscious decision to flay an opponent with misleading labels.

It will be interesting, therefore, to see the debate and how Ms. Robles characterizes Rep. Stewart's views and record.

In any event, the move to characterize Rep. Stewart as an extremist appears to be fizzling and a non-starter as we head into the final weeks of the campaign.