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Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Why are some big controversies a non-issue in election year?

Published: Sunday, April 27 2014 2:00 p.m. MDT

The legislative compromise on Count My Vote is disparaged by right- and left-wing delegates. Some lawmakers who voted for the measure were threatened in a general sense immediately after the session concluded, but most have survived. Those incumbents who do not survive a convention, or place in the primary, were hampered for other reasons. Is Count My Vote a non-issue?

Pignanelli: The legislation preserves an option for delegate selection of nominees, which did not exist with the original initiative. Activists are angry, but it is hard to motivate most party regulars when they retain some power. (Republican hardliners seem unaware about a feature in the legislation that could hamper ultra-conservative ideological purity — allowing non-affiliated voters to participate in a party primary).

Webb: The compromise legislation passed by healthy margins, and these election reforms are supported by a big majority of citizens. Except in the most conservative districts, running against Count My Vote wouldn’t be smart strategy. So most candidates are happy to avoid this argument.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D’Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com

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