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Showdown in Utah

By Michelle Malkin  •  June 22, 2004 01:09 AM

The GOP primary in Utah is today, and the race to watch is the battle for the Republican nomination in the 3rd Congressional District. It’s an important grass-roots versus elite battle between conservative challenger Matt Throckmorton and four-term incumbent Chris Cannon.

Cannon is full of himself. He’s a lying open-borders zealot. And he’s a chauvinist pig. I know these things because he displayed all these wonderful characteristics in a debate I participated in with him two years ago at David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend. The topic was supposed to be immigration policy in a post-Sept. 11 era. Cannon gave an anachronistic, out-of-touch speech about embracing diversity and extolling the economic benefits of mass immigration. He smeared supporters of controlled immigration as environmental wackos who worshiped “Gaia” (if this sounds familiar, it’s because Cannon’s patron saints at the Wall Street Journal recycled the charges last week) and at the same time he insisted that he opposed illegal immigration.

When I matter-of-factly noted that he had lied to the audience and confronted him about his support for the DREAM Act, which provides in-state tuition discounts for illegal aliens, he sputtered. Then he tried to convince the audience that the bill wouldn’t encourage law-breaking. Then, with voice rising, he insisted that it wasn’t fair to punish illegal alien students. (The audience responded with boos and hisses). Then, with his chins quivering, he accused me of being “emotional.”

More Cannon fodder here (note especially that Cannon has bragged about supporting policies that blur the line between legal and illegal immigrants) and here and here (note especially the recent controversy over Cannon’s alleged solicitation of campaign donations from illegal aliens on Spanish language radio).

On a related note, The Hill reports that Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay held a private meeting with leading secure-borders advocate Rep. Tom Tancredo (who supports Throckmorton over Cannon and founded a PAC to help elect advocates for strong immmigration enforcement). Reportedly, DeLay’s message to Tancredo was “Play nice with your Republican colleagues or you’re going to remain stuck in your lowly committee positions.”

The meeting was reportedly prompted by “centrist” Republicans who are hiding behind Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment (“Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican”). Funny, when open borders Republicans go after other Republicans, the commandment doesn’t apply.

Update: Sigh. Cannon won. But as David Orland notes in an excellent analysis of the race, it was a wake-up to the Rove-ian open borders elites in the GOP. My friend Joe Guzzardi also weighs in at VDARE.

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