Feisty first debate between Mia Love and Doug Owens

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SALT LAKE CITY -- It was a feisty debate as the two major party candidates for Utah's Fourth Congressional District faced off for the first time.

Democrat Doug Owens, viewed as the underdog in the race, immediately took jabs at Republican Mia Love, calling her views "extremist."

"Mia Love is driven by a national Tea Party agenda," Owens told an audience of about 150 at the Utah Taxpayers Association conference on Tuesday. "I'm driven by local concerns."

Owens said Love supported the government shutdown last year, and wants to shut down the U.S. Department of Education. Love fired back at Owens, at one point sarcastically saying: "I'm absolutely flattered that you would bring my name up so much and that you're paying so much attention to me!"

"There's not one thing you said that's true," she told him. "I'm interested in tackling problems, not people."

About the only thing the two candidates agreed on was that corporate tax rates are too high. Love said she wanted Obamacare defunded, Owens said he supported tweaking it in a bipartisan effort.

Love said she wants the federal government to hand over its land to the state of Utah, Owens said he supported the lands staying in federal hands. She also said she supported a tax code "that could fit in a three-ring binder."

Several times, Love would utter "no," or "wrong," as Owens made claims against her. The Democratic candidate tried to portray himself as a moderate, calling Love an "ideologue." Love said she favored local solutions to problems, not Washington D.C. bureaucracy.

"I'm going to remain above board," she told reporters after the debate. "I'm going to make sure that I'm positive throughout this whole thing because I believe our best days are to come."

Owens said he was not planning to portray his Republican opponent as an extremist.

"I don't intend to portray her," he said. "I intend to point to the facts and I think they portray her, absolutely."

The Fourth Congressional District race could become the most hotly contested political contest. Rep. Jim Matheson, Utah's lone Democrat in congress, is not seeking re-election.

Doug Owens is the son of former Democratic congressman Wayne Owens. Love is the former mayor of Saratoga Springs.


  • Josh

    I went into the debate with a very open mind. I’m a Republican, but I’ve voted for Jim Matheson several times in the past. After hearing both candidates speak, it’s clear that Mia Love is by far the most ready to lead. I walked away not knowing much about Doug Owens other than that he doesn’t like Mia Love. He shared virtually no ideas of his own, and instead used his time to attack Mia relentlessly. I’ve never seen such a negative debate in my entire life, and all 100% of the negativity came from one side: Doug Owens.

    Mia handled Doug’s attacks with grace and class. She also presented far more ideas–specific ideas–for how to approach problems like the corporate tax rate, the Affordable Care Act, education, and Utah’s federal public lands. She definitely has my vote.

    • Cartman

      I missed the debate, but I hope she made the point that there is no such thing as “corporate taxes.” ALL taxes are paid by consumers at the point of sale. We just can’t SEE them, and have no way of knowing what we’re actually paying. That’s why government loves “corporate tax” so much: It’s hidden from the people who pay it. Most of them ignorantly clamor for MORE, in fact.

      Since we’re paying ALL taxes at the point of sale then the ONLY tax should be a sales tax on consumers. Can you imagine how popular the Tea Party would be if liberals actually knew what they’re paying? Nothing frightens the socialists more than the concept of open, obvious, simple tax policy that lets people see what they’re actually paying. Socialism cannot survive without hiding the truth from the folks who are paying for it.

  • Bob

    I am tired of politicians defending the federal department of education. Since it was introduced under Jimmy Carter, have test scores gone up or down? It has been a colossal failure and complete waste of billions of taxpayer dollars. ALL responsibility for education rests with the states to a point, but mostly with the local community.

    • Cartman

      If the American people want the Fed involved in education then they should authorize it by Amendment. That’s how the process is supposed to work. This is supposed to be OUR country. OUR Constitution. But we’ve allowed ourselves to be convinced that anyone who says “Constitution” in a positive tone is a “kook”. A “racist.” A “Nazi.” Etc.

      This country can, and should, be as socialist as the People want it it to be. There is a Constitutional mechanism for that. But anything the Fed does without Constitutional authorization is illegal, according to the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights. (But what do I know? I’m just a kook and a Nazi……)

  • Cartman

    The “national Tea Party agenda” is called the Constitution.

    The GOP Old Boy’s Network absolutely HATES Mia Love, which is reason enough to vote for her.

  • Bob

    Harry Reed said it better than I can. The Democrats are in trouble. Doug Owens can blame Obama for his defeat this coming November. It will only get worse for Owens as the widespread corruption under Obama’s rein gets more media attention.

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