ST. GEORGE — After not participating in Saturday’s Swiss Days parade because of a rule banning political campaigning, a candidate for the Utah Legislature was left wondering why his opponent was allowed to break the rule and be in the parade.
Daniel Holloway, a Libertarian from Ivins who’s challenging incumbent Rep. V. Lowry Snow, R-Santa Clara, for House district 74 this year, said he wanted to participate in the parade through Santa Clara but opted out after reading the parade’s official rules.
One of the rules on the application stated “this parade may not be used as a forum for political promotion or campaign, but campaigners may have a presence that is in keeping with the theme,” which was “Celebrating Traditions.”
“As my entry was going to be used for a political promotion, and they asked us to abide by the rules before I sent in the application, I felt like I wasn’t going to follow the rules, so it wasn’t appropriate for me to put in an application,” Holloway told St. George News.
Lack of enforcement
Holloway said he was disappointed when he heard that Snow and Sen. Don Ipson drove a car in the parade that was lined with campaign signs, including ones urging people to re-elect Snow.
“It reeked a little bit of favoritism,” Holloway said. “I felt like I was trying to be honest by abiding by their rules for their parade, and I didn’t want to hijack it in any way.”
The rule that Holloway followed by not entering into the parade is not one that has ever been enforced, said Edward Dickie, Santa Clara city manager. Holloway would have been allowed to participate in the parade if he had applied, Dickie said in a statement.
“I have asked staff and our Swiss Days coordinators and the parade volunteers and as far as I can tell, no one from the city denied Mr. Holloway an entry into the parade or told he couldn’t be an entry,” Dickie said.
Who’s to blame?
Snow told St. George News he was not aware of the rule that prohibited campaigning in the parade, but if he had known about it, he wouldn’t have been in the parade. Snow said he wanted to apologize to Holloway and would have welcomed his opponent in the parade
“It was certainly not my intention to violate (the policy),” Snow said. “I’ve been in the parade every year for the past five years. This is the first time anyone has said I’m in violation; if I am, I guess I plead ignorance.”
Snow said the decision on whether or not to let him participate in the parade is up to the parade organizers, who let him be in the parade with campaign signs for the past several years.
Kristen Anderson, a Santa Clara resident who highlighted the issue in a letter to St. George News, said it should be the city’s responsibility to enforce the rules they have every parade applicant sign. If this rule wasn’t being enforced, Anderson and Holloway both said it shouldn’t have been on the parade application.
Because Holloway followed the rule and Snow didn’t, Holloway lost the chance to get exposure to hundreds of people, Anderson said.
“Letting one person break a rule but still posting the rules on the application looks like they’re allowing the one they want to stay in office in and dissuading others they don’t want in office,” she said.
The rule about allowing political promotion during the Swiss Days parade will be brought up at the next Santa Clara City Council meeting for discussion, Dickie said.
“I am sincerely sorry for the confusion and hopefully we can learn from and correct this so it doesn’t happen again,” Dickie said.
Holloway said he is working with his campaign strategist to decide what they will do in response to Santa Clara not enforcing the parade rules. He hopes the city will update their rules on the parade so it doesn’t become a problem in the future.
“They can’t go back in time – all they can do is fix it for the future,” Holloway said. “They need to either remove the rule or, very transparently, change the rules for everyone.”
Holloway and Snow will face off against each other in the general election Nov. 6.
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