Dirty Politics Enters Salt Lake City Council Race
Mailings in the Salt Lake City Council District 2 race attempt to divide communities and falsely portray a candidate as anti-LDS.
Salt Lake City, August 7, 2011 — Defamatory mailings and whisper campaigns appear to be the tactics of one of Kyle LaMalfa’s two opponents in the Salt Lake City Council District 2 primary race, which takes place on September 13.
Last week a District 2 resident notified LaMalfa that she had received a postcard with LaMalfa’s campaign logo. The postcard maligned both of LaMalfa’s opponents for being members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Republican while highlighting LaMalfa’s participation in Salt Lake City’s Gay Pride Parade. The postcard had no contact information or return address, leaving the sender anonymous.
“We first took some time to determine whether this unauthorized postcard was sent by a supporter, but ultimately we determined that it was not sent by any of my supporters,” LaMalfa said. "I've explained to everyone who received the postcard, that this does not reflect my views or my campaign. I invite anyone who received the postcard to call and talk to me so I can set the record straight with them personally. I also reached out to local LDS Church leaders to let them know that these disparaging remarks were not from me, my campaign or my supporters."
“This postcard was printed and mailed without the authorization of Kyle or his campaign,” stated Richard Jaramillo, LaMalfa’s campaign manager, “so if Kyle’s supporters didn’t send this postcard out, we can only conclude it was one of his opponents.”
LaMalfa immediately contacted his two opponents about the postcard. “Van Turner suggested I report it to the City Recorder’s Office, which I’ve done,” LaMalfa said. “Michael Clara’s told me he thought the postcard accurately reflected my campaign—which it does not—and said his campaign was planning a response,” Kyle explained.
A few days after the postcard, a Clara supporter mailed letters expressing outrage at the postcard and accused LaMalfa of religious intolerance, divisiveness and bigotry.
“My campaign has been about bringing people together for a stronger community and a better future for our West Side,” LaMalfa responded. “I have never said anything negative about my opponents, their faith, or their party affiliation. In fact, my campaign advisers include LDS members and Republicans, so these accusations are completely baseless.”
As evidence of his desire to run a positive campaign, LaMalfa signed Salt Lake City’s “Pledge of Fair Campaign Practices” in which candidates pledge to not use any scurrilous or defamatory attacks in their campaigns. Turner also signed this pledge, but Clara did not.
“I got into this race to talk about issues that matter to the West Side, I’m shocked that one of my opponents would stoop to this low. It’s not good for our community or our politics. These postcards and mailings are designed to manipulate voters and divide the community,” LaMalfa explained. “West Side voters are smarter than these sneaky tactics and they’ll see these attacks for what they are—dirty politics.”
Days Until Election
November 8th, 2011.