Commentary by Ed Wallace / Publisher of UtahStandardNews.com / April 24, 2020

It must be really hard for a politician when his constituents wake up and realize that the illusions they were under all of a sudden start unraveling and the face behind the well-crafted mask becomes visible for everyone to see. Maybe this is why Congressman Chris Stewart has changed his campaign from touting how much of a fiscal, freedom-loving conservative he pretends to be to that of a whining, sniveling, and conniving Gandalf-like character whose true intentions are being exposed.

Politicians begin to lose it when they feel vulnerable and are up against the wall because their power is being threatened. That’s when they lose all sense of decency and are the most dangerous, not only to their challengers but to democracy itself. They become nasty and make false accusations. In the case of Chris Stewart, it’s hard to decide if he’s losing it or is afraid of losing the election. When someone lies and misrepresents himself as much as Stewart has over the past 8 years, they tend to believe their own lies and have a difficult time separating reality from fiction as their facade comes crashing down around them. 

Thankfully, we have campaign records, articles and speeches galore of Stewart’s claims to be “Mr Fiscal Responsibility”. Stewart is always talking about how we need to get the federal budget under control. He even recently reminded people that he originally ran on getting federal spending under control. Now that his duplicity is being pointed out on multiple fronts, Stewart is trying  to shine the “sleaze” spotlight on his challenger, Mary Burkett, in an attempt to get it off himself. What else can he do… tell the truth? 

When Stewart feels threatened, he gets ugly. He can’t defend his voting record so he turns to his playbook and he creates a distraction. He did the same thing in 2010, also on a Wednesday before the Republican convention, with his shenanigans against Cherilyn Eagar Bacon. The delegates were duped by the accusations and believed the lies to the point of being disgusted with her DESPITE having done nothing wrong. Throughout that campaign, Stewart acted like a little lizard lurking from the sidelines and seldom spoke to or smiled at any of the other candidates and refused to debate, then and now.

This year is no different. Mary Burkett is without guile and is incapable of even thinking of the charges that were outlined in a rare display of journalism by the Salt Lake Tribune. Their articleFEC complaint alleges a Utah candidate illegally coordinated with outside group to attack Rep. Chris Stewart. The article includes reference to the 2010 convention dirty-tricks that went on when Stewart first ran.

A false accusation is worse than rape. The complaint offers only innuendo and jumps to a carefully constructed conclusion based on an erroneous compilation of events similar to one of Rube Goldberg’s absurd and complicated machines taped together in a confusing and indirect way. The conclusion is as delusional as the “group” filing the complaint from a virtual office and mailing address shared by 200 other “front” organizations.

One has to wonder how a “group” that doesn’t really exist, in the real cesspool of Washington D.C., would come to care, or even know about, a grassroots campaign in Southern Utah? That complaint will not go anywhere beyond it’s true purpose: to destroy the reputation of a decent person by accusation, just like the Democrats did in a shameless and dirty way with Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Is it possible that Chris Stewart is self-projecting and doing the very thing he falsely accused Burkett of doing – hiding behind a third party? Is his record on spending so indefensible that he has to resort to bullying? These are not the actions of a statesman. They are the actions of a weasel and hypocrite. 

In a statement for Utah Standard News, Mary Burkett said: “I want to state for the record these accusations are false. Neither I, nor my campaign, have ever coordinated with any outside group. At no time have I or any member of my campaign team engaged in negative campaigning. I have simply pointed out the facts about Chris Stewart’s voting record. I personally contacted the group being accused of sending a negative text message against my opponent, via email, the only method of communication, on their website. Not only have I informed them that I do not wish to be associated with their group’s practices, I clearly requested that they stop any “personal negative attacks” and publicly disavowed the message they had sent to delegates. I was public in my comments and made sure to let delegates and voters know of my position about the text message via Facebook, email, and during my zoom meetings with delegates and voters. I feel that Chris Stewart’s voting record has been and continues to be the focus. I also made it very clear to my all-volunteer staff that I would not tolerate this kind of campaigning in any manner!”

I continue to firmly endorse Mary Buckett. She is an honorable person who is deserving to be our representative. She is very forth-coming about her intentions and she has a proven track-record of uncompromising character.

I enjoy the irony of hearing Chris “Mr. Fiscal Responsibility” Stewart saying how horrible Pelosi is for holding up more funding for the business loan program. He has been in Congress for 8 years and the debt has gone up $14 Trillion! He has done the EXACT opposite of what he promised to do. Stewart  talks a good game and voters have let him get away with it, so far.

The fiscal situation for the United States government is grave. Since Stewart has been in office, the national debt has gone from $16,066 trillion (99% of GDP) to almost $30 trillion (107% GDP) with the recent bailouts and FedRB action. That means that 140.9 MILLION TAXPAYERS ARE LIABLE FOR WELL OVER $200,000 DEBT EACH that was created by Chris Stewart and his colleagues, all of whom swore an oath to protect and defend our country. Some would call that treason. I’ll just call incompetence and misrepresentation. 

Hopefully, the voters of CD2 do their due diligence and seriously study the issues and Stewart’s record. He REALLY likes spending our money. For anyone who wants to look, the Silicon slopes PAC has assembled a long list that compares Stewart’s words with his votes. You can decide for yourself if he has been honest with the voters of CD2, or not.

After they passed the last bailout,  members of Congress were lining up in front of network cameras to tell Americans how much they’ll benefit from the largest such aid package in U.S. history (the bill they have yet to read). NOT ONE member of congress said “let’s cut out all that pork and just fix what we broke.”… especially Chris “Mr Fiscal Responsibility” Stewart.

The ink isn’t even dry and Congress is now considering a reported “Phase 4” rescue package. Throwing more money at the pandemic will only heighten the risks of a public debt crisis. If they continue to do business-as-usual, the dual nightmare of a worldwide pandemic and endless debt will be something that we never wake up from.The social, economic and government response to the coronavirus pandemic is turning into the most immoral decision of our time. We have Chris Stewart to thank for that. Do you really want to be represented by someone who has enslaved your great-grandchildren? I say ENOUGH!!! It’s time to send Chris Stewart packing and elect someone who is at least as honorable and as frugal as we are. Vote for Mary Burkett.