Dignity Index releases first scores for Utah politicians

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – The scores for the first Dignity Index report have been released, less than 24 hours after John Curtis and Glenn Wright began their debate for the Third District in the House of Representatives.

The dignity index, which was announced earlier this week, notes politicians on the dignity of their speech leading up to the November 8 election. Speeches, public emails, advertisements and social media posts receive a score between one and eight on the Dignity Index, with one being the least worthy and eight the most.

For the first set of scores, coders with the Dignity Index attempted to find candidate statements that were both dignified and contemptuous to show that all candidates were capable of both.

ABC4 will update these scores weekly as the Dignity Index releases updated scores.

US Senate

Mike Lee (R) – AVERAGE 4.5

  • 4 –Lee received a four for a September 28 campaign email in which he called McMullin a “fake ‘independent'” who “many fall in love with.”
  • 5 – In a Washington Times op-ed published Sept. 20, Lee called for respect, reverence and the utmost care for children, regardless of national origin.

Evan McMullin (I) – AVERAGE 5

  • 4 –McMullin got his low score thanks to a campaign email sent in late September in which he called for support in his race to replace “filibuster Sen. Mike Lee.”
  • 6In a tweet sent on September 24, McMullin recalled his 10-year tenure in the CIA, saying, “The men and women I served alongside never questioned who they voted for and what political party they belonged to. We all knew we had the same goal: Protecting our democracy.

United States House of Representatives District 1

Blake Moore (R)-AVG 5.5

  • 4 – Thanks to an op-ed, Moore received his low score after saying, “We need to get back to a pre-2020 US government that puts people before bureaucratic paperwork. We need to get our country back on track.
  • seven – Moore got one of only two sevens scored this week for a comment he made in January 2021 regarding impeachment saying, “Without a single hearing or investigation, I just can’t reach the high bar of impeachment” before concluding by saying “we share the same desire for a more productive and unified America.

Rick Jones (R) – AVERAGE 4

  • 3 – Jones received one of only three for a statement about former US President Donald Trump on his website, saying something is “fundamentally wrong when Trump can spend 350 times more on paying prostitute pornstars than he does not pay federal income taxes”.
  • 5 – Another statement from Jones’s website got a five where he said “recipients of tax cuts worth tens of millions aren’t using the money saved to support local businesses and are eating more often in restaurants. Instead, the money is used to buy assets, such as land, which contributes to asset price inflation, making housing less affordable or even out of reach for many.

United States House of Representatives District 2

Christ Stewart (D) – AVERAGE 5

  • 6 – Stewart received a high six for a post he made on Facebookwhere he applauds a bipartisan bill he drafted with Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) that addresses the nation’s mental crisis.
  • 4 – The incumbent congressman got a four after criticizing President Joe Biden in a Facebook postclaiming that his “spending spree” will leave Utah families “facing inflation costs of over $8,000 next year.”

Nick Mitchell (D) – AVERAGE 4

  • 3 -Mitchell’s Tweet from September 21 received the only other three this week, after claiming his opponent “hated democracy” after voting against the presidential election reform law.

United States House of Representatives District 3

Incumbent President John Curtis and Democratic candidate Glenn Wright squared off in a debate Thursday night at Brigham Young University in Provo. With the first Dignity Index scores released, the two received additional scores based on feedback from their debate.

John Curtis (R) – AVERAGE 6

  • 6 – In a post on Twitter on September 27John Curtis said it was an honor to work with Rep. Lowenthal (D-CA) and recognize the role of Congress in harnessing the power of the free market and government collaboration to create jobs.
  • 6Another Twitter post de Curtis said, “No one can argue, right or left, it’s what happens on the border is okay.” In the message, he said he continues to work with colleagues in Congress to find solutions that bring “the best and the brightest to the United States.”
  • seven – Coders praised Curtis’ response to climate change, giving a seven for saying “you draw a continuum and get people to where they are on this issue, and you value everyone’s opinion the world, we can have a very thoughtful conversation about how we reduce emissions” during the debate.
  • 6 – Curtis got a six after praising his colleagues in Congress, right and left, working towards what is best for the country and not being in the division.
  • 6 –After speaking directly to Glenn Wright during the debate, Curtis earned six more points for talking about the respect he has for Wright’s military service before challenging him on “non-discretionary expenses.”
  • 5 – Curtis’ lowest score comes after he commented on the controversial bill banning transgender girls from participating in women’s sports. In the comment, he said he wanted it to be fair for young women. However, he ended by saying “if it’s more complicated than that, I’d be happy to sit down and talk about it.”

Glenn Wright (R) – AVERAGE 5.3

  • 6 – Wright’s first score came from a tweet from September 18 where he emphasizes working together. In the tweet, he says “we may not agree on the solutions, but we can no longer afford to be a divided country and state.”
  • 4 – In a tweet sent the same day, Wright also criticized the time it took to obtain protections for veterans. In the tweet, he pointed the finger at John Curtis saying, “Rep Curtis disrespected veterans by voting against the PACT Act.”
  • 6 – Wright got a six during Thursday’s debate when addressing what the Dignity Index is all about. “It’s important not to do a lot of cheap soundbites, and calling out your opponents’ names and putting them down,” Wright said.
  • 6 – In a comment on immigration reform, Wright praised his opposition for having some good ideas, but also said he thought they were lax in some places. Although Wright has made it clear that he is open to negotiating and finding an appropriate solution for immigration.
  • 6 – On climate and energy, Wright applauded Rep. Curtis for his efforts and said he agreed with many of the comments Curtis made during the debate. In his comments he said: “I think we need to be a lot more aggressive. We don’t need to sacrifice our economy.
  • 4 – Wright received his lowest score of the debate after strongly criticizing the ban on transgender sports, saying, “I think the really bad part about this bill is that it comes from a segment of our society that is scared of the LGBT community and they just found transgender people to be the last person to whip.

District 4 of the United States House of Representatives

Burgess Owens (R) – AVERAGE 4

  • 4 – Burgess Owens called the past two years a “failure of the Biden administration and the leadership of the Democratic Party,” saying his commitment to America brings a “future of hope” in a tweet from September 23.
  • 4In a Facebook post on September 21Owens said inflation is costing Americans an additional $717 a month before concluding that “basic necessities are unaffordable in Biden’s economy.”

Darlene McDonald (D) – AVERAGE 3.5

  • 3 – McDonald criticized Owens in a tweet from September 21 saying he “has proven he has no qualms about throwing people under the bus to get what he wants”. The claim scored a three on the Dignity Index.
  • 4 – Another tweet posted by McDonald’s September 27 asks voters why District 4 would re-elect “Republican MAGA Burgess Owens, who is more comfortable on FOX with the Betsy Ross flag behind him than he is speaking or showing up for voters”.

The next set of scores will be released on Friday, October 14, and will include analysis of the District 1 (October 10) and District 4 (October 12) debates, both of which will be broadcast live here on ABC4.com

For more information on the Dignity Index, visit their website at dignityindex.us.

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