Friday, February 12, 2010

Extra Extra

My feelings towards writing for The Daily Universe change way too day I'm loving it, and the next day I'm back to being bitter that the 3-credit class consumes way too much of my life. I'm just glad I have the White House beat instead of one of the many random topics other students are the Provo residential landscaping beat. Ok maybe I made that one up, but it's a little more believable than some of the real assignments, trust me. This story in particular took away a bitter day and helped my relationship with the BYU paper.

Fireside felon running against Bennett in Senate race

Political candidates and firesides — they both fight to be memorable, and some succeed more than others. For Cody Judy, running against Sen. Bob Bennett for a seat in the U.S. Senate, it’s a “two birds, one stone” kind of thing.

In February 1993, Elder Howard W. Hunter, then president of the Quorum of the Twelve, was publicly accosted at a BYU fireside by Judy, who rushed the Marriott Center stage claiming to have a bomb in his briefcase. He intended to have Hunter read a 3-page document, allegedly explaining God’s plan for Judy to lead The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the speaker refused.

Distracted by a spontaneous chorus of the hymn, “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet,” led by the audience, Judy was met with pepper spray from a front-row student. Judy was then taken into custody, and Hunter continued his talk on adversity.

“Everyone was complimentary of the students for having the presence of mind to sing that hymn,” said Kent Harrison, a professor at BYU at the time of the fireside. “It was quite a big deal.”

After examination, police reported the briefcase to contain only books and papers. This was, in fact, consistent with Judy’s later explanation that he had only ever claimed to have a BOM — a reference to the Book of Mormon. His “BOM threat” resulted in a 15-year prison sentence.

After serving seven years, Judy was paroled. He has since turned his focus to the political stage, running as a write-in candidate for a Utah seat in the US House of Representatives in 2002. He lost, receiving only eight votes.

In 2004, Judy doubled his vote count to 16 in his race against Bennett for a seat in the United States Senate. And now in the upcoming 2010 election, Judy is continuing his campaign.

In an e-mail interview with The Daily Universe, Judy explained how this year’s campaign will be different from past elections.

“This year I began earlier then I did in 2004 and though I haven’t received any contributions I have the Web site up and my book, Taking A Stand — the ‘Conservative Independent Voice,’ out, which I think will help people get to know me much better then they did before,” Judy said.

Judy is challenging Bennett’s position with a five-point platform, including defending the U.S. Constitution, working for a flat tax, increasing energy independence, securing borders and leveling trade.

“Utah needs to be aware that I have worked tirelessly in Defending the Constitution in every way I could and I certainly agree Senator Bennett and I differ on this,” Judy said.

When asked what effect the 1993 fireside incident will have on voters’ opinions, Judy encouraged they turn to his book for the full story.

“I paid the debt that was asked of me by the law,” Cody said. “Unless you abolish the Constitution’s freedom of speech clause and dictate by State Force that the evidence of my words which was a Book of Mormon in my brief case abbreviated BOM in every Ensign, the prosecution was overstepping the Constitution and I don’t look to it as something that will go down in history as something the state is very proud of prosecuting.”

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