Utah Democratic Chair Jim Dabakis is raffling off the chance to sit with him at the LDS Church’s biannual General Conference. Does that amount to selling political favors or missionary work? And who is getting worked? Last I heard, Dabakis was not a Mormon–so is this some strange way of getting him to listen to two hours of high level Mormon testimony?
Recently (as in, Monday of this week), the Utah Democratic Party announced a new initiative: the “LDS Dems.” In Utah, the large majority of voters are two things–Republican and/or Mormon. Whether or not those things are part and partial is up for debate, but there is often a feeling that if you are Mormon, you should be Republican, too.
This, despite very public and notorious examples of Mormons who aren’t Republican. For example, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, arguably one of the most powerful Mormons in elected office.
In Utah, though, the vast majority of members of the LDS Church tend to vote Republican. And Democrats, facing redistricting and the likely losses to their elected ranks that will come with it, have decided to make it cool to be both Mormon and Democratic, too.
I think they have an uphill battle. While there are many LDS members who are also Democrats, I hardly think that creating an Dem brand around them is going to expand the base. Too much of what
Democrats believe is rooted in principles that people who already self-identify as Republicans believe is wrong. Adding “LDS” to that is not going make failed policies look any more attractive.
Putting lipstick on a donkey isn’t going to change the fact that it’s a donkey.
And raffling away tickets to LDS General Conference, held biannually and broadcast worldwide (read: an important weekend for LDS faithful), is not a great way to start off the effort, though it might be good for Dabakis, and who ever he takes, to spend a couple hours listening to talk about self-sufficiency, protection of life before birth, the traditional family, and other such things the LDS Church teaches (and that happen to also be found in the Republican platform).
To be fair, I’m glad the Utah Democrats are reaching out. There has been some concern (I have heard) that there is a divide between Democrats and the LDS Church. If this is how they want to reach out, then kudos. [blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/BenMcAdams/status/119906363064320000"]
(But seriously–a raffle? For tickets that are given away for free, anyway? I guess that’s just how they roll…no pun intended.)
- Weird things about Utah (carrieonwards.wordpress.com)
- Jim Dabakis Elected Utah Democratic Party Chairman (huffingtonpost.com)
- Democrats threaten lawsuit if new congressional map doesn’t change ()