Posted by: Deb Henry | 05/10/2010

Know Your Values = Claudia Wright

Claudia Wright made it through the Utah State Democratic Convention on Saturday to earn a primary against Rep. Jim Matheson.  She made it through to convention even though Matheson filled the building with teenagers wearing his t-shirts and gave away pizza and donuts.  She made it through even though her signs were painted by hand and his signs covered every wall in the building. She made it through because Matheson’s office only chose to call once they found I was a delegate and “mattered” to them.

The reason Claudia made it through to convention was because we want a real representative in Congress and she deserves to win that responsibility.

There are a lot of reasons why Claudia is superior to Matheson as a candidate.  So many in fact, that Matheson supporters only cite an opinion, “inability to win,” as a reason not to support her. Einstein used to say that the sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Perhaps I was insane when I called and wrote Matheson hundreds of times expecting him to get into contact with his constituents about our needs. Instead, maybe insanity is voting for him after he has failed us so many times.

To those of you who are afraid to support Claudia and afraid she is going to eventually  lose, I ask you to stop the spread of negativity in your lives. It is crippling you and the people around you.  It’s the same negativity that made one of my best friends struggle with his self-confidence at only 7 years before losing the fight some 20 years later. It’s the same negativity that breaks the heart of a child when you tell them they will never be a famous singer/ pro-athlete/ President of the United States. It’s the same negative people who chastise friends about failure when they want to move across the country to a new place.  It’s poison.

We want an end to corporate person-hood and a restoration of personal responsibility.  We want cleaner air. We want access to affordable private heath care (at the very minimum) for all Americans. We want someone who doesn’t ignore us when we have a desire to get in touch with them. We want someone who supports the rights granted in the Constitution for all Americans. No Democrat OR Republican would disagree with these statements.

We want Claudia Wright.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

  • The election is June 22, 2010 — Add it to your calendar RIGHT NOW.
  • Here is a map of Congressional District 2
  • Just because you don’t live in CD-2 doesn’t mean we don’t need your help
  • Campaign meetings are Tuesdays at 7pm
  • Please make sure to remind your friends to vote June 22
  • More information on the Claudia campaign can be found here.
  • Please join the Facebook group for updates.

“In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?”  -Barack Obama



  1. Thank you, Deb, for a great article on power of hope in our lives and in politics.

    Claudia Wright, a retired high school teacher of history, government, and civics is uniquely qualified and positioned to represent Utah’s 2nd congressional district in the US House. If any state needs a lesson in civics, it is Utah, and if anyone can give Utah that civics lesson without alienating people, it’s Claudia Wright. I’d love to see her oust Jim Matheson, whose voting record closely follows his corporate campaign contributions and who has a distinct disdain of mingling with his ordinary, less-affluent constituents. I can’t see Jim Matheson debating anyone, but I can very well see Claudia Wright successfully taking on the extreme right-wing constitutionalists also running for this seat.

    If Claudia Wright and her 100% volunteer-run grassroots campaign can force Jim Matheson into a primary despite obstinate opposition from the Utah Democratic Party establishment and Matheson supporter Steny Hoyer (check out their mutual PAC contributions), they do have a good chance of defeating Matheson for good and of defeating the Republican nominee, extreme right-wing Republican Morgan Philpot.

    Yet Claudia Wright still faces tremendous opposition from the nay-sayers in her own party who claim that only a Democrat who is really a Republican (i.e. Matheson) can win in this district. The Utah Democratic Party is still engaging in a defensive politics of cynicism while Claudia Wright’s campaign is running on an offensive politics of hope.

    The life and future of the Utah Democratic Party is at stake. Will Utah Democrats stand behind a corporate Democrat who really isn’t one because of fear of losing the seat? Or will Utah Democrats rally around Claudia Wright who inspires voters every time she speaks? A party of Nope or a party of Hope. That’s the precipice on which the Utah Democratic Party hangs today.

  2. Don’t assume that all those who agree that Wright can’t win UT-2 are Matheson supporters.

    I’ve been a very vocal critic of Matheson’s when they deserved it. Written many times that he had the political capital to vote for HCR. Also suggested that after he voted against some of these bills, he could at least have the courtesy to stay off of Fox News, and hold off on actively campaigning against them.

    But all of that aside, there is still a political reality that no amount of idealism will counter:

    Her politics, while every I would want in a representative, would be toxic in a general election in UT-2.

    I am not willing to see a Congressman Morgan Philpot in order to send a message.

    Another year, and another time, this could work. Perhaps a year when the GOP isn’t sending up far-right ideologues, but pragmatic moderates instead, then it would be worth the risk. Or even a year when the politics of UT-2 had changed enough (and yes, Matheson could be doing more to help that shift happen, and he should).

    But for me, it boils down to that. I believe she would be a great representative, and I wish Utah at large would grow up enough to elect such a person.

    But I believe the reverse is the case this year, and Claudia’s chances in UT-2 as the candidate against the TeaBagger would only result in the election of the TeaBagger.

    • So, who will you vote for in the Matheson/Wright primary and who will you vote for if it is Philpot/ Wright?

    • You might want to consider that there are a lot of frustrated Dems out there that will refuse to vote for Matheson again if he becomes the Dem nominee. We cannot disenfranchise even more Democrats this cycle and take the chance Corroon loses too because of low turn-out.

  3. Ms. Henry, you’re just the bees’ knees. Thanks so much for this heartfelt and excellent post; it certainly brightened my afternoon.


  4. Can’t vote in the primary (live in UT-1) but in a general between Wright/Philpot, I’d of course vote for Wright if I had the opportunity. I think the problem is that it’s Utah in the age of the tea party, and there are a lot more who’d vote for the far-right candidate than the far-left candidate given a choice between those two extremes. I wish it weren’t the case, and I hope that one day I can have a representative like Claudia Wright. But looking at the polls and the political climate, I think Wright would result in Congressman Morgan Philpot, and that gives me shivers. The best example? Matheson’s HCR vote that has angered so many of us was actually a very popular vote in the whole of UT-2.

    In fact, all Philpot has to do is mention Tim DeChristopher at every voter rally, and don’t think for a moment he’s above doing so. Sad, but true.

    • I don’t believe Claudia is far-left. I think she has very reasonable and intelligent arguments that will appeal to both Republicans and Democrats. They will appeal to the far-left and the far-right.

      For example: ending corporate personhood is a call for personal responsibility that will benefit smaller businesses that keep the United States economy alive. It’s also a stricter interpretation of the Constitution, which tea-baggers should like if they ever talked about issues.

      She wants campaign finance reform which will ensure campaigns are run by people getting involved in their communities and not authoritarian sources.

      Calling her far-left just because she is running with the Democratic party doesn’t aptly describe her views. I’m not worried about people voting for Philpot; I don’t think he is a candidate to get excited about. I’m more interested in getting people to vote for Claudia which is why we’re having a huge push for voter registration. Both parties have the responsibility of supporting a candidate that is worth voting for to get turn-out up, and that is why I’m supporting Claudia.

      • Ending corporate personhood is a “stricter interpretation” of the Constitution that Ms. Wright intends to accomplish by…changing the Constitution?


        Something doesn’t add up here.

      • It was the 1886 Supreme Court case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company that gave corporations their right to personhood. So yes, a strict interpretation of the Constitution would not suppose those rights.

  5. Go Claudia!

  6. Great work. Ignore the cowards that say she can’t be elected. That defeatist attitude upsets me.

    If you haven’t already done so I would suggest posting your essays on TribTalk and the other discussion boards as well. I’ve sent my essays to all the editors at the Salt Lake Tribune, New York Times-you name it.

  7. How ironic it is that the great, great granddaughter of our state’s founder Brigham Young ,is gay but descended from polygamists. The very same polygamists who were driven from their homes and who had their founding father, Joseph Smith of the Church of Latter Day Saints, murdered. Up until the church’s revelation, as a precondition of statehood, polygamy was publicly practiced in the Utah territory. Now, with the exception of the FLDS church, polygamy has gone underground in Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado.

    Ironic in the sense that Claudia Wright’s sexual orientation and polygamy are both considered by many to be immoral behaviors. I personally do not have a problem with either conduct; as long as it is between consenting adults. In many senses I am both “gay” and a “polygamist,” but at the same time I am impotent so sexual acts associated with both are irrelevant. My dear wife refers affectionately to my many female friends as “my wives.” On the other side of the equation I love many of my open and closeted gay friends.

    Like our LDS bishops, I am the man that so many of our friends turn to when they need comforting, work around the house or when they feel the need to vent. I firmly believe, as a non LDS citizen, that both polygamy and “gay” civil unions should be legal in Utah. I do not speak for the predominant church, but I find the overtures by their leaders to be a step towards acceptance of gay rights and eventually civil unions. I wish the followers would listen to their prophets.

    On the other side of the isle I doubt very seriously that the LGBT community would not recognize and support polygamy. Given the onslaught of christian fundamentalism, I believe both sides have a common foe, as well as common arguments for acceptance.

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