Sunday, April 24, 2005

Frank Pignanelli Says What Others are Afraid to Say

In today's edition of his weekly column Frank Pignanelli takes off his gloves and delivers some tough love to the state's Democrats. His second point was particularly juicy: "Eliminate the anti-Mormon stigma. Bigoted conduct against LDS Church members is a cancer that has crippled my party (and infected too many Salt Lake City residents). Not only is this politically stupid but is contrary to core party principles of human rights. For the last 10 years, a coalition of LDS Democrats and nonmembers has attempted to reverse this trend, only to be rebuffed by party bigwigs and financial contributors with an agenda. The minority party has become a refuge for non-Mormons and former Mormons whose politics are focused on poking at the dominant religion. The purpose of the Democratic Party is to promote important ideas and elect Democrats, not to serve as therapy for Utahns who have issues with the LDS Church and its members. Party officials can root out this insidious disease by consistently exercising a "zero tolerance" policy against any bias based on creed." And so the debate continues. Will the Utah Democratic Party be a Mayor Anderson party, or will it be a Congressman Matheson party? Or can it comfortably be both? Or, as some would say, is there nothing wrong with the party, only with the population of Utah?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's an excellent point. I don't know why fellow democrats have adopted the "Equal protection, equal treatment for all...except Mormons" policy here in Utah. I wish we could amend that, as it has only served to further animosity between those who are Mormon/Republican and those who aren't.

I wonder if this same phenomenon occurs elsewhere in the U.S. where different religions and/or ideologies dominate the local culture?

Or is it uniquely Utahn?

4/24/2005 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

I'm behind Frank here, but when he identifies his 'coalition' of Democrats who want to broaden the party, he should be more specific.

This group first made the news shortly after its founding in 1996 during the Democratic primary for the Second Congressional District race to replace Enid. The principal founding members were Kelly Atkinson, Stuart Reid, and Frank Pignanelli. At the time, Kelly Atkinson was about to lose the primary to Rocky. After Rocky's spectacular loss to Merrill, Rocky ran in the 1999 mayoral election and defeated Stuart Reid. Then in Rocky's 2003 reelection battle, he defeated Frank Pignanelli.

So let's remember that when it comes to winning elections, the principals of the 'coalition' have a perfect losing record against Rocky and his team. Both the Democratic primary electorate and the Salt Lake City turnout for mayoral elections probably have a slight LDS majority due to the civic mindedness and high turnout of the LDS population.

Second, could Frank please tell us what are the issues that he proposes to pursue or the changes he wants to make to bring us more in line with LDS values. I understand that Frank, Kelly, and Stuart are all pro-abortion (in spite of being -- I think -- Roman Catholic, LDS, and LDS respectively). Since that's the chasm that divides people most, I don't see where they intend to make progress.

Third, Rocky could have stood up to do the right thing about the LDS plaza much faster. He should have done whatever to took to protect brides stepping out of the temple from the shouting of small minded bigots. And Rocky could at least pretend not to be still angry about whatever problem he had being raised in the Church.

But whatever Rocky's problems may be, he's the only one in the Rocky wing of the party. During the period in question for six years Meg Holbrook was Democratic party chair (and the other chairs have had more or less the same policies). Meg is well known for her endorsement of the occasionally successful proposal of BYU professor David Magleby who created the formula for winning Democrats: "Moderate, Mormon, Millionaire".

4/24/2005 03:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously Ethan? Democrats have been afriad to say this? Since when?
Francis is just angling for support from moderates with a persecution complex.

4/25/2005 02:20:00 PM  
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