Ashdown brings his gauntlet to the press conference

On my way to the office this morning, I was thinking to myself that there must be SOME way to get Pete out there a little better in the general public. After all, it's August, it's home stretch time. The underdog can't wait til October to pull off a miracle, like a longterm incumbent. He needs billboards, he needs TV, he needs press, he needs vocal support farther and wider than a blogger community. (Not that there's not a ton of support there, but it's fairly invisible in the wider perspective.)

What can I do, what can he do?

Then the press conference was held yesterday - I wish it were more widely covered. Print is one thing, but it would have been GREAT to see a little blurb on the TV news. KUTV covered it, but only online, with four measly paragraphs - pretty vanilla. I guess the press isn't geared up for it to be campaign season either.

What was great about the press conference was that Ashdown set out his campaign promises, signed them in front of a notary, and had them delivered to his opponents and the press, stating that if he didn't follow them, he would welcome being called out on it. Gee, there's a thought. In this world of the 4 second sound bite, coupled with an astonishingly short public memory, a candidate would encapsulate promises made and actually ask to be held accountable.

It's sad that he would have to ASK to be held accountable for promises made - that should be a given, but alas, it is not.

His promises:

Democracy – I will actively strive for broad public
collaboration, equally weighing and considering the input and
advice of the American people with those alongside me in Washington.

Open and Honest Leadership - I will be open and honest about the
dealings of my office. I will continue to publish my calendar of
meetings and events in relation to my public life. While doing
this, I will protect individual privacy and national security
where requested or necessary.

Fair Elections - I vow to serve only three terms if incumbent
advantage cannot be overcome or eliminated. I will reform campaign
financing either by a shared donation pool for all candidates
seeking the same office or through public financing. I will also
work to eliminate the seniority system in Washington by replacing
ranking committee leadership with a random lottery appointment system.

Fiscal Responsibility - Until there is a balanced budget and the
United States is cleared of all debt, I will stand with
Congressman Jim Matheson in voting down congressional pay raises.
Until this happens, I will donate any salary increase to charity.

No Nuclear Testing - I will fight against any and all forms of
testing on the Nevada nuclear testing ranges.

The Tribune's coverage of the event went like this:

"Ashdown has also called for a debate with Hatch and all other third-party candidates in each of Utah's 29 counties in August, but Hatch's camp says no way. Hansen said Hatch would be open to candidate debates after August."

And yes, I have the NUTCAKE sticker on my car window.

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