Update 5-18-10 5:13 p.m. The authors of jimmatheson.com responded to reporter Jesse Fruhwirth's request for an interview--anonymously. Here's what they wrote in an e-mail:
If you covered or paid any attention at all to the US Senate race at the Utah Republican Party convention just 10 short days ago you’ll remember a quote from Senator Robert Bennett:
“Looking back on them -- with one or two very minor exceptions -- I wouldn't have cast any of them any differently even if I'd known at the time it would cost me my career because I have always done the best I can to cast the vote that I think is best for the state and best for the country.”
Senator Bennett’s integrity never came into question. Here’s a man who fully admits that he lost due to his voting yet sticks by his decisions. I have a great deal of respect for Senator Bennett yet am confident that delegates made the right decision.
That same kind of integrity is sorely lacking in the current 2nd Congressional District representation. Representative Jim Matheson voted against the Democratic healthcare bill not because he didn’t agree with it—but because he knew it would have cost him his job. Sure, he used the lame excuse that it was too expensive; but I fully believe that Claudia Wright, if placed in the same situation, would have made a different decision.
What you need to understand is that the jimmatheson.com website and those who support it have zero interest in a conversation about policy. That’s what KSL Radio Commentator Doug Wright doesn’t get. I fundamentally disagree with many of Claudia Wright’s positions. But at least I know what those positions are. At least I know where she stands. With Jim Matheson no one knows where he stands unless they ceremoniously lick their finger and stick it to the wind.
As you will be the only reporter we respond to, please note that we have absolutely nothing to do with any candidate, campaign or party. The reason behind the anonymity is because we don’t want this to be about “us.” It should be about the claims we’re making. No one has said anything on the website is factually incorrect. No one has said that we’re lying or misrepresenting the situation. Why is that? Write that story.
It’s about time people in this country stopped voting for politicians who tell us only what they think we want to hear and instead support people who tell us what they think and mean what they say. While not affiliated with the Tea Party or 912ers, these organizations are as upset at Democrats as they are Republicans. They’re not the extreme right of the GOP. They vote and support some GOP candidates because there is no alternative.
As for your question, we’ve complied with both Utah and FEC laws and rules and have been counseled that we don’t meet the qualifications of needing to register with either. Essentially, we would have to spend or raise $1,000 to become a federal PAC. We’re not raising money and we’re not spending any. As for state law, it’s a little more boring but we don’t meet the state’s requirements for either a PIC or a PAC.
The cynical spirit behind the much-ballyhooed Conservatives for Claudia Website (located at www.JimMatheson.com) can be glimpsed with the high-flying middle-finger graphic beside "Is any out-of-state money funding this?"
Naturally, the Website creators refuse to identify themselves. Congressional candidate Claudia Wright, running in a primary against Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson, denies any involvement with the site. While being interviewed on KSL Radio on today's Doug Wright show, she astutely asked, "Why doesn't Matheson own the name?"
Indeed, Mr. Matheson. Isn't that Campaign 101?
Matheson's rookie mistake aside, whoever did buy the domain did so back in July 2004, according to GoDaddy.com, when Matheson was running against John Swallow. The domain owners used an identity hiding company to conceal their identity.
Which means we should trust them, correct? That patriotic people with good intentions are behind the site? To the site owners/creators: thanks for breathing the long-buried scheming ghost of Richard Nixon back into politics.