Wednesday, September 10, 2008

RaDene, it's time for a PIZZA PARTY!

Pizza girl delivering for Democrat
Joe Pyrah - Daily Herald

"I deliver pizza. I know nothing about politics. But I'm learning."

So goes the introduction to Anna Eagar. The Provo resident's online post last month about her experience delivering pizza to Sen. Curt Bramble's home garnered more attention than she ever expected. The post included details on Bramble's attempt to pay for the order with a personal check and his repeated references to being a CPA and Senate majority leader. It sparked a firestorm in the blogosphere and got coverage from multiple media outlets. (It has its own entry on Bramble's Wikipedia page.)

Previously politically apathetic, Eagar caught the attention of Bramble's Democratic opponent RaDene Hatfield, who asked for her while eating at Nicolitalia Pizzeria, where Eagar works. The two chatted for a few minutes, and 10 days ago Hatfield got to thinking again about the 24-year-old pizza delivery woman.

"Anna has already got the people's attention," Hatfield said of her thoughts at the time. "Maybe I could ask her to be a volunteer for my campaign."

A phone call later, Eagar was on board, though it's more a choice about the person than the party.

"If she chooses to participate in political process that's great," Bramble said.

Growing up in Boston, Eagar writes, she almost "choked to death on the extreme liberalism that my peers and teachers were shoving down my throat." Coming to Utah, she said, she found the same atmosphere, but from the opposite political direction.

"I frankly see myself pretty down the middle," she said.

Getting involved

There are a variety of reasons people get involved in politics, says Kelly Patterson, director of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at BYU:

• Direct interaction with candidates. "Encounters with public servants in some ways show you just how close you are to politics," Patterson said. This is the category Eagar falls into.

• Social interaction

• Ideological reasons

• "And then there are the people who get involved because their ox has been gored in some way," Patterson says. That includes business groups, trade associations and others who are directly impacted by legislation.

And so it begins

Eagar got her first taste of Hatfield's campaign at a Democratic event on Saturday. She brought pizza.

"I was kind of a celebrity there," she said of all the handshaking. "It was a little surreal."

Again dismissing partisan politics, Eagar sees this as a chance to better understand politics, a subject to which she and many others have paid little attention.

"It's really confusing when you listen to both sides and both sides say the other is wrong."

Her next job is to spend time working the phones for Hatfield's campaign. She's also blogging her experiences at a new Web site,



As of the Sept. 2 deadline

Curt Bramble:

$56,525 raised

$57,213.20 spent

$78,453.80 on hand

RaDene Hatfield

$21,521 raised

$16,014.91 spent

$5,506.09 on hand

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