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Rolly: Candidate's LGBT 'endorsements' that never were

Published November 1, 2013 8:06 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Salt Lake City Council candidate Bill Davis has received backing from a number of community leaders and was endorsed by The Salt Lake Tribune's editorial board for, among other things, his championing of neighborhood preservation and his four years on the Historic Landmark Commission that give him "useful experience in developing ordinances to protect the character of unique neighborhoods."

But he was not endorsed by Equality Utah and the Utah Stonewall Democrats even though his campaign website implies otherwise.

Those organizations, which advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, endorsed Davis' opponent, Erin Mendenhall, in the district that encompasses the Liberty Park area.

Davis' endorsement page lists this quote from the Stonewall Democrats' board: "Just from listening to you speak this morning, it's fairly obvious to all of us that you care deeply about LGBT issues as well as many other issues relevant to the residents of District 5."

But Todd Bennett, the board chairman, said that quote came from the rejection letter the Stonewall Democrats sent to Davis.

From Equality Utah, the quote on Davis' endorsement page says: "He did very well in our process and we believe he will do many great things for this city, this state and for the equality movement."

But the group's executive director, Brandie Balkin, said that was taken from an email she sent to a Davis backer who was upset because her organization supported Mendenhall instead of a dual endorsement. She said her comment that Equality Utah decided to endorse Mendenhall, despite the attributes it saw in Davis, was removed from the quote when it appeared on Davis' page.

Davis said that while the tab and title on the Web page says "endorsements," the page also contains the following subhead: "Endorsements and other things people are saying about Bill Davis."

He concedes that wording may be ambiguous but said he wanted to include the complimentary things that were said about him by the LGBT community because he feared, by not getting an endorsement at all, he could be seen as a bigot.

"I support LGBT causes," he said.

South Jordan politics • If this were Chicago, the location picked for candidate debates Tuesday might have seemed suspicious.

But it was in South Jordan, so the fact that the mayoral and City Council debates were held at Jenkins-Soffe mortuary held no nefarious underpinnings.

No, the candidates weren't courting the deceased votes?

By the way, the mayoral faceoff took place in the chapel, and the two council debates in viewing rooms.

Where better? • Sen. Mike Lee, who failed miserably in his attempts to defund Obamacare, is having an 11 a.m. rally Saturday to show the support for his cause from "We the People," according to a GOP news release.

And where is he having that rally? Very conservative South Jordan, of course, at Riverfront West Park.

It's the Utah version of going on Fox News.

prolly@sltrib.com —






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