The Chronicle’s View: Matheson for Congress

The District 2 Congressional race has been one of the dirtiest campaigns run in recent memory.

While John Swallow began the mudslinging with his TV ads and pamphleting, Jim Matheson stooped to his level and slung back.

These ads alienated many voters in District 2. Some U students began changing the TV station every time the ads came on. Some U professors brought in the pamphlets to show classes the fallacies of argument the candidates used.

With the ads making the front page of the local media, few could escape the attacks.

What’s worse is that the ads made people forget about the issues, or confused them so much that no one knows what each candidate stands for.

But after scraping enough mud off each candidate and his issues, the clear choice for Congress is Jim Matheson.

Matheson is a man who has not followed party lines, but rather his constituency. One of the biggest controversies arising from Swallow’s attack ads focused on Matheson’s partial-birth abortion ban vote. Matheson didn’t vote for the ban the first time it went through Congress because there was no provision for the health of the mother.

After the ban added that provision, Matheson supported it. He did not follow the Democratic Party lines, but rather paid attention to what his Utah voters would want.

Another issue that Matheson supports is stopping nuclear testing on Utah soil. This affects college students in many ways. It is college-aged students who could easily become the new downwinders if nuclear testing were allowed. It would be the children of college-age students who would suffer the birth defects and other conditions of such testing. Swallow said he supports funding bunker-busting nukes, which he thinks could be done solely on computers. Matheson takes the more realistic approach and doesn’t support funding such war technology because he sees the easy bridge from funding new nuclear weapons and testing them in Utah.

Matheson’s has also given Utahns a reason to trust him, while Swallow has done little but made Utahns doubt him.

Swallow began the mudslinging, but even more detrimental, he put out false information. He did so not only with Matheson’s stance on abortion, but also on allowing the children of undocumented workers who graduate from the Utah high-school system to pay in-state tuition.

Swallow said Matheson led this campaign, while in reality it was Republican leadership in Washington, D.C.

The attack ads Swallow ran and Matheson responded to are shallow, misleading and wrong. However, after looking at the actual issues, the choice is clear: Matheson should continue to serve Utah in Congress.