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Woman behind anti-Matheson ad speaks out

By Richard Piatt | Posted - Oct. 28, 2010 at 5:30 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah woman who has spent thousands of dollars of her own money on political ads says she's really worried American freedom will be taken away.

We told you about Barbara Baker Wednesday -- the woman promoting Morgan Philpot against Jim Matheson for Congress. Baker is the President of Challenger schools, but there's a lot more to her.

Baker, 79, is a history buff. She's also a little shy about the attention she's getting and says she's taking a stand, like the Founding Fathers did.

She's a woman with a passion for education, history and America. Throughout Challenger's headquarters are portraits of the Founding Fathers .

Baker says as a little girl she feared Americans would lose their freedom during World War II, and again later during the Cold War. Now, she says she has that same concern.

"Both parties have been at fault with ignoring how to maintain freedom, and getting bigger and taxing more and spending more," she says.

But in her ad, she promotes Philpot, who she says is the more "constitutional" candidate. Baker's ad ties Matheson to Nancy Pelosi as she pushes his opponent.

Philpot and Matheson have been sparring throughout the campaign. Again Wednesday, Matheson stressed he takes a balanced approach.

"Everyone knows I'm not a representative from any political party," he said. "Everyone knows I'm an independent voice, I have a track record that backs it up. Utahns have heard it before and they've rejected it before."

Baker says she used Alice, her middle name, in the ads because she didn't want to draw attention to herself.

"By using Alice I could be just a citizen, and that's all I wanted to be," she says.

Her "random act of patriotism" cost her about $50,000 so far -- money well spent, she says.

"I feel it was my duty," Baker says.

Baker says she did not coordinate with Philpot's campaign. She says she's not afraid of backlash from Challenger school parents. She says most of them already know where she stands.

E-mail: rpiatt@ksl.com

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