This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Sam Granato is the kind of guy voters often say they want to represent them in Washington.
He's a small businessman who runs the food importer and deli his father founded and in which Sam has worked from the time he was a kid. He's lived in Utah all his life and took his college degree in business from Southern Utah State College. He's served his community on the Salt Lake City-County Board of Health and is the current chairman of the Utah Liquor Commission. He's one of us, a regular Sam.
That's one reason we are encouraging Utahns to send him to the U.S. Senate. But there are others.
The economy is the biggest concern of Utahns and all Americans. At this critical time, it makes sense to send a man to the Senate who is one of those small business people that everyone is always paying lip service to. You know, the men and women who meet a payroll and create new jobs. The folks who struggle to provide health insurance benefits for their employees. Sam could provide some Main Street smarts to Senate debates on tax and economic policy.
Sam Granato's a Democrat, and he supports President Obama on extending the Bush tax cuts (Yes for people with joint incomes below $250,000; no for the rich). But don't read too much into the party label. He wants more tax cuts for small business. Sam's a nondrinking Mormon who helped former Gov. Jon Huntsman's effort to reform Utah's liquor laws. He advocates more energy extraction on public lands in Utah, and he supports development of nuclear energy, oil shale and tar sands, though he worries there might not be enough water. However, he opposes the importation of foreign nuclear waste and the mixing of wastes at EnergySolutions. He believes that local residents in rural Utah should have a bigger voice in the wilderness debate.
He says the federal health care reform law is a "good start," but more must be done to contain costs. For that reason he admired Sen. Bob Bennett's bill, and he believes the Obama administration should send people to Utah for a couple of months to study the cost-containment methods of Intermountain Healthcare. (He serves on IHC's board.)
Granato's opponent is Mike Lee, a radical, hard-right Republican lawyer whose policy stands flow from his extremist reading of the Constitution. He argues for repealing the income tax, asserting limited state sovereignty over federal lands in Utah and amending the 14th Amendment so that children born in the United States to parents who do not have legal status here would not be citizens.
Granato hopes to accomplish the return to civility in politics that Americans say they want. We believe he would work with members of both parties. That's another reason he deserves Utahns' support on Election Day.