Whenever I am looking for something specific, like a brand of snowboard, I post an ad in the wanted section of Craigslist. Tim DeChristopher took this a step farther by posting an ad looking for a congressional representative to replace Jim Matheson. The top five candidates spent two hours yesterday meeting with locals and answering questions from civil rights to health care. John Weis, a professor at the University of Utah, was chosen as the Citizen’s Candidate.
Update 2/6/10: Claudia Wright replaced Weis when he withdrew suddenly, citing running for office and continuing his job being too difficult to juggle.
A Blue Dog Democrat, Matheson has upset local progressives with his evasive approach to some of the country’s most pressing issues. His non-confrontational approach to health care, sporadic conference call town hall meetings, climate change, civil rights and other issues have us wondering why he even bothers to go to Washington. Matheson received $350,994 from the health sector and $27,500 during the 110th Congress in coal contributions (not to mention the $194,247 from oil companies between 2000 and 2008). He seems to have trouble juggling the biggest donors to his campaign and the policies that his constituents want addressed.
I love that people are getting involved in changing things they don’t like. Politicians like Matheson get away with mediocre performances only because we let them.