I like Jim Matheson! I like him alot.
I appreciate the way he has represented the state of Utah. For alot of representatives and politicians, the way you vote is a more of a matter of the party with which you are affiliated than the needs and desires of the voters that elected them. I don't have that complaint with Jim Matheson.
Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater have, thus far, appeared to be pandering right wing puppets who will say and support anything they believe the far right "tea partyers" embrace. I have little doubt at this point that both men will become part of the problem in Washington as soon as they are elected. So who do we elect of these two men?
The answer may come by doing something that some Utahn's may consider a sin -- vote the Democratic candidate into office. If Sam Granato has political leanings similar to Mr. Matheson (which, from what I have read it sounds like he does), and if he is a man that will be willing to buck the party in the name of serving Utah voters as often as Rep Matheson has, I think he may our best choice for the next Utah Senator (I'm still considering his candidacy). My biggest hesitations are (1) a lot of the Granato campaign information has seemed somewhat vague and that vagueness doesn't give me full confidence that he isn't a raging liberal in moderate clothing, and (2) adding to the Democratic super majority likely isn't in the best interest of the country or (especially) the state of Utah.
Unfortunately the two party system has been most favorable to the state of Utah when Republicans are in the majority, and although Matheson (and possibly Granato) may be great representatives -- their mere presence in Congress may give detrimental power levels to the far-left factions of their party.
Nevertheless, I think Sam Granato's candidacy deserves solid consideration by all Utah voters. I think many Utah voters would rather have a representative like Jim Matheson over one would-be representative who panders extremely hard to the "your not a worthy member of the LDS Church if you vote Democrat" right wing and another whose personal history and campaign rhetoric are in seemingly sharp contrast.