The Standard Examiner came out this morning with a blistering Op-Ed against my supposed conduct and lack of regret in the mistaken reporting of Kathie Darby's campaign contributions.
So, first, let me apologize to Kathie for getting the facts wrong. Nobody likes it when they are misrepresented and getting the facts right should be part of Politics 101. While the mistake was unintended, I accept responsibility for getting her donation information wrong.
Now, in my defense, I want to set a few things straight with the false innuendo and incriminations propagated in the Standard Examiner piece:
ACCUSATION #1: Did he apologize? No.
My Response: I received an email from the Lt. Governor's office late Friday afternoon indicating that the information which we had presented was incorrect. Within minutes of receiving that email, the bad information was deleted from the post. The email from the Lt. Governor's office was the first time we had reason to believe that the information we posted was erroneous. We swiftly removed the bad information once it was discovered. We have since posted a correction detailing the mistake. We accept we made a mistake and express our regret that we did.
ACCUSATION #2: He tried to pretend it never happened.
My Response: The Standard Examiner called me up immediately following the removal of the bad information. We openly and freely acknowledged and accepted responsibility for getting the donation information incorrect. No pretending ever occurred.
ACCUSATION #3: [Rep. Peterson] didn’t like it when the Weber County Democratic Party questioned his campaign finances. His response: You’re no better!
My Response: Spending campaign money to attend to legislative duties like travel to legislative conventions is better than spending taxpayer's money to so. Legislative practice in this matter is transparent, ethical, and legal. Legislators of BOTH PARTIES follow this practice. You can read the post that has provoked the Standard Examiner's ire here: POINTING FINGERS: Weber Democrats Poke Self In The Eye
ACCUSATION #4: Darby is pro-choice, but she’s not — as Peterson sneers — “a lifelong abortion advocate.”
FACT: Kathie has supported Planned Parenthood for a very long time and Planned Parenthood performs abortions.
ACCUSATION #5: Did he acknowledge that he’d been wrong? No.
FACT: I acknowledged a while ago (in the Standard Examiner, no less) we had been wrong - “In order to try to rebut the Democratic arguments, we pored over several campaign disclosures. There was a lot of research happening in a short period of time,” Peterson said. “We know Darby has been a longtime advocate of Planned Parenthood. We thought we had correct information, but it turned out to be wrong.”
So, will the Standard Examiner issue an apology to say they were wrong about saying I was wrong to never say we were wrong while we had already said we were wrong in their own paper? Something's wrong here.
ACCUSATION #6: It’s hard to campaign on your moral superiority when you refuse to accept responsibility for your own behavior.
My Response: I am on the record accepting responsibility for my behavior.
The Standard Examiner editorial board is notorious for its left-leaning bias. So, such a venomous Op-Ed is not surprising given that I am not their candidate. I admit that I am not a perfect person. But I am trying. I have learned a lot from this experience and, if I have my way, I won't be making the same mistake again. Hopefully, I can still have your support as we move to the polls on November 8th.