Comments about ‘Robert Bennett: History of Utah's nominating process’

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Published: Monday, Nov. 14 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

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654321
AMERICAN FORK, UT

Whoever asked Bob to write about the Utah nominating process was no friend of his.

Bobs campaign was unprepared for the Tea Party movement and lost in the second round receiving only 26% of the vote behind Mike Lee (the ultimate general election winner) and Tim Bridgewater.

I believe the Bennett campaigns mistake was our loss, but Bob bowed out honorably, and didn't make a public uproar regarding the rules that didn't favor his campaigning style. However, this column will give his opponents reason to call him a poor loser.

Every electoral system has its weaknesses. Bob has pointed out some of them. Unfortunately, adding to the appearance of sour grapes, he has failed to point out any of its strengths, such as empowering grass-root movements, who, if they work hard enough, can make an impact and a change on the political landscape. If at a grass root level dislike grows for Mike Lees politics and if he does not manage his reelection campaign any better than Bob Bennett, he could be tossed out too. For that matter, Orrin risks the same fate unless he has learns the lesson for the failed Bennett campaign.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Not my fight, but just a question. If the issue is not declaring a party allegiance, why not more open primaries?

In another state where I lived, you could register as a Democrat and vote in the Democratic Primary or as a Republican and vote in the Republican Primary or as an Independent and vote in either one you choose.

When you came into the voting station, you got the ballot for the party primary in which you were voting and your name was checked off so there was no ability to vote twice.

I do not recall any fraud or significant issues with folks crossing over to elect an idiot to head the other party's ticket (because that meant you could not vote for your person to head your ticket).

It gave a wide pool of voters the ability to pick. And no one had to declare a party that did not want to.

Just an idea.

one old man
Ogden, UT

And exactly why did the Republican Part abandon the old process?

Could it be that a small group of very powerful political activists wanted to increase their stranglehold on power?

Because that's exactly what we have now.

Yes, let's put this entire issue to a voter referendum. But the powerful won't allow it, will they?

squirt
Taylorsville, ut

The horror stories of the bullying in Republican caucuses are rampant. The Tea Party folks have gained control over the caucus system and are literally hijacking the Republican party.

Here is some alarming data. Public education is the number on concern among Republican voters, Democratic voters, Independent voters, and Democratic delegates. Guess where it ranks among Republican delegates-eleventh!

Now if that does not speak loudly to the fact that there is NOT representation of the people, I don't know what will.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Did you read the part about 100 years?
100 years ago....

I knew Utah was behind the times in just about everything,
but I was guessing more like maybe 20-30 years.

I'm thankful we finally have recycling, (ala 1970's everywhere else).

A good friend of mine from Seattle, a Democrat, was hired a few years ago to finally bring electronic voting to the State. [No more hanging chads, and guessing voter intent].

I LOVE my Pioneer ancestors. They were risk takers, innovators, leaders into the great unknown.

Utah used to be like that, progressive.
What's happened?

Brother Chuck Schroeder
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

The "one and only" Robert Bennett, For the Deseret News, brings up the long history of Utah's nominating process, that any Political parties initially picked their nominees by means of conventions, not the people, just the think tank's at the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics. That any law maker that allows America's illegal immigrant population into Utah to stay, while the middle=class pay for them, that now doubled since 1990 and nearly tripled since 1980 under my watch in the US Senate. Mexico was by far the origin of the most immigrants during that decade, nearly 12 million, followed by China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, 2.16 million; India, 1.78 million; Philippines, 1.77 million; Vietnam, 1.24 million; and El Salvador, 1.21 million. Absent a change in policy, new immigration will likely continue at very high levels. Just deport them all, and no more work visa's. Facts and truth don't lie. Utahns valued this independence?. That's Constitutional?. IF Polls show that a majority of Utahns don't like that, then why is it still there?. Who are the Puppet Master's, and who is the puppet's?. Who's playing who here?. No voice for Utahns?.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

I find it peculiar that the tea-party extremists who took over the Republican caucuses in 2010 claimed to be "we the people." Now their favorites are controlling the Utah legislature and are dead set against allowing "we the people" to have our say through referendums and initiatives. They are dead set on doing what they think is right, despite popular opinion, because they prevailed in a single caucus season. They have even criticized the concept of democracy itself as being "mob rule."

Now, you may believe in a representative republic form of government. That's fine. No problem. But don't tell me that ignoring the will of the majority is noble. The Utah majority is not a mindless mob. But they might as well be mindless if they don't show up at the next caucus.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

ANY republican can attend the Republican caucus. ANY republican can vote for those elected to represent his precinct at the nominating convention.

We live in a republic where we elect representatives. We do not live in a democracy where the "mob" rules.

Why would anyone think that republicans should allow democrats or independents to select which republican candidates should appear on the primary ballot? Yet, that is exactly what would happen if an open primary were permitted.

Bob Bennett misunderstood the mind and will of the republicans who cared enough about politics to attend their caucus meeting. His campaign bombarded us with suggestions to be sneaky by claiming that we favored another candidate so that we could attend the nominating convention where, they assumed, we would vote for Bob. Integrity should have stopped that thought process before they ever sent out those emails.

Suggesting that the caucus system is broken is nonsense. It works. It works very well - except for those who think that we have royalty in the republican party who somehow "deserve" to be returned to office.

educated_conservative
Springville, UT

Mike Richards,

You hit a sore topic with the false dichotomy of republic vs. democracy. Yes, we DO live in a republic; we are governed by representatives. China is also a republic; they too are governed by representatives. OUR reps are selected by popular elections. Well, that is a democracy. We are a representative democracy, aka democratic republic. That is very different from China.

When you described a republic as a system "where we elect representatives," the word "elect" there means it is also a democracy. When you described a democracy as where "mob rules," you are simply wrong. You created a straw-man. If you sincerely believe that that is what a democracy is, you probably learned it on a tea-party produced youtube video or similarly biased source, not actual academic material.

True, we do not live in a direct democracy (where everyone votes on everything, I assume that is what you were implying with the "mob rules' line). But we DO live in one of the forms of democracy, namely a representative democracy or democratic republic.

The Utah Consitution itself explains that we are a democracy by using its definition in Article I Sect 2.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

The Legislature has spoken. Utah is not a democracy.

We live in what is called a "Compound Constitutional Republic", which is actually a refreshingly candid term - the opinions of a very small minority (GOP caucus meeting attendees and delegates) have compounded power, via a carefully tuned political structure and the state's unique demographics.

For example, maybe in no other state could a freshman Senator declare that he seeks to form a SuperPac where he can accept unlimited donations from any source, and in turn become a kingmaker in Washington DC as he doles out money to other candidates. In Utah, Lee is smart enough to murmur the requisite key phrases and will remain immune from electoral defeat, probably for multiple decades.

MormonConservative
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

Robert Bennett don't have a lot of room to talk, in his form of dictator democracy while in the US Senate, this is why he's not seated anymore. What I don't understand is "the alphabet" giant talking heads, along with Rush Limbaugh can't tell the truth, not even Glenn Beck, that their capitalistic system is a fine system and serves us well until greed takes over. Then it becomes a vehicle for the rich to get richer and the poor to suffer. We turn a blind eye to the excesses, hoping to get OUR piece of the pie. The Utah Consitution itself is as crooked as a $3 bill. Just like their leader's running it.

Do you not agree?.

My views.

@Charles
the greater outdoors, UT

Bob is still whining because he lost. He thought it was HIS seat. The people said that it wasn't his seat.

Bob is complaining about a system he once extolled. Now he is over with that dingdong at the U Political offices, he wants to change it.

Bob and his son have shown their true colors after Bob was released with a vote of thanks. His son went to work for a Democrat. Telling.

I find it interesting that there are still ignorant attacks on the Tea Party. Conservatives decided they were tired of being the silent majority and having our country sold down the Socialist toilet. Bush started it and Obama has gone there on warp speed.

Conservatives said enough is enough and went out and became delegates. I'd love to know the precinct numbers of where the rowdies are because I'd like to go witness what all these claims are about. Give us the numbers folks --- these "legendary" scream fests.

The problem is you don't like the result of the last couple elections. Too bad. Conservative are here to stay. The Tea Party is getting stronger and will continue to influence elections, like citizens should.

goatesnotes
Kamas, UT

Who beat Bob Bennett at convention in 2010? Here's the Quin Monson (BYU) survey of delegates:

50.6% said they declared their support for a candidate at the caucus.
48.1% said they did not.
98% said things in the country have gotten "pretty seriously" off track.
42% were tea party advocates.
42% said they were not.
15% had no opinion.
75% of delegates reported they had given no money to the tea party.
62% felt it's more important to have policies that adhere to Constitutional principles rather than crafting policies to solve pressing national issues.
74% wanted to see less government intervention in our lives.
95% use the Internet more than once a day.
75% were males.
64% were over age 45.
Only 62% considered themselves as "strong Republicans," with the others leaning more moderate or independent.
63% considered themselves as "strongly conservative," while 35% said they were "moderately conservative."
36% were college graduates and 39% held post-graduate degrees.
90% of the delegates were Mormons.
88.8% considered themselves "very active" Mormons.
95% were White/Caucasian.
92% were married.
79% made more than $55,000 a year.

Blame the tea party if you wish. Facts say otherwise.

Ronald Mortensen
Bountiful, Utah

Bennett writes: "Taken together, these changes have given us fewer primaries and lower turnouts."

Of course, in municipal and other elections where candidates have no party affiliation and where an unlimited number of candidates can be on the primary ballot, the voter turnout is much lower than for partisan elections with its few primaries.

Even when there are Republican primaries, the voter turnout tends to be very low in the primary and the turnout in the general election depends largely on how much interest there is in the national offices.

The bottom line is that Bennett and the "mainstream Republicans" were fine with the caucus and convention system as long as they controlled it. Now that they are no longer in control, they want primary elections where they and their powerful friends can use their unlimited money to purchase the nomination.

And, they will do everything possible to achieve their goals even if that means creating a hot enough conflict between public opinion and office holders to set things up for a referendum.

educated_conservative
Springville, UT

Mike Richards,

You hit a sore topic with the false dichotomy of republic vs. democracy. Yes, we DO live in a republic; we are governed by representatives. China is also a republic; they too are governed by representatives. OUR reps are selected by popular elections. Well, that is a democracy. We are a representative democracy, aka democratic republic. That is very different from China.

When you described a republic as a system "where we elect representatives," the word "elect" there means it is also a democracy. When you described a democracy as where "mob rules," you are simply wrong. You created a straw-man. If you sincerely believe that that is what a democracy is, you probably learned it on a tea-party produced youtube video or similarly biased source, not actual academic material.

True, we do not live in a direct democracy (where everyone votes on everything, I assume that is what you were implying with the "mob rules' line). But we DO live in one of the forms of democracy, namely a representative democracy or democratic republic.

The Utah Consitution itself explains that we are a democracy by using its definition in Article I Sect 2.

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