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Comments about ‘In our opinion: Editorial: Reform Utah politics’

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Published: Saturday, Nov. 19 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If "extremists" dominated the Democratic convention, they wouldn't nominate Jim Matheson every two years.

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

Well, for my part, I'd say that if the caucus system resulted in the ouster of Olene "Utah Compact" Walker, and Robert "illegal-alien loophole" Bennett, then it probably is a good thing.

EJM
Herriman, UT

This makes way too much sense. That means it won't happen.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

The political climate in Utah definitely needs to be moderated. One aspect not mentioned in the article is economic development. I can easily name 30 college educated, hard working people, who have moved out of Utah over the past few years, many of them are involved in information technology and education. The extreme right wing rhetoric coming from Utah politicians is very alienating to many people, and the ones with the means may not vote at the polling booth, but they do vote with their feet!

Esquire
Springville, UT

Utah has a system that protects the insiders. A change is indeed needed.

squirt
Taylorsville, ut

I am in complete agreement with DN on this issue. The horror stories of the bullying tactics which are happening in neighborhood caucus meetings are rampant. It becomes even more frightening when you look at the number of our legislators who have left in the middle of their terms and those who will be leaving to run for another office. Their replacements will be chosen by a few individuals who, because of Utah's system, have taken control of the delegate system.
I actually had a neighbor tell me that she went to the Republican neighborhood caucus and was told that she had to support the entire Republican platform or she would not be permitted to attend the neighborhood meeting!
I am hopeful that more mainstream Republicans will rise up and take the Republican party back from extremists who do not represent true Republican values.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I've never been so scared in my life, than with the last time I was at a caucus meeting.

All I kept hearing about were Communists, guns, and getting rid of Bob Bennett. Anyone that disagreed, was shouted down. It's scary man, I'll never go to a Caucus meeting again. It was so scary! It must have been the same when Hitler and his goons shouted down opposition, talked about revolution, guns, and getting rid of political opponents.

goatesnotes
Kamas, UT

This editorial has the feel of advocacy for aging politicians (Walker and Bennett, for example) who should have the right in perpetuity to get "one more bite of the apple" for as long as they choose.

No thanks.

What if "reports" of bullying tactics are really isolated incidents? What if non-participation has nothing to do with the caucus meeting/convention format?

There is a myriad of unsubstantiated rumors, but some of us believe the purest form of representative republican politics is exactly what we have in Utah.

What I love about the current system in the grassroots participation of it. It allows greater participation by a number of upstart candidates who can take on establishment types with deep campaign war chests and have a fighting chance.

We need more, not less, of that dynamic.

This garbage about Republican party "extremists" is nothing more than sour grapes over watching Bennett get creamed by his own at the convention. Bennett was overdue. At 77 years of age he was turned away at convention by a group of delegates who were split right down the middle - half tea party, half non-tea party.

Don't change everything over one predictable loss.

goatesnotes
Kamas, UT

Maybe the facts will help the discussion. 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 "extreme" tea party if you wish. Facts say otherwise.

squirt
Taylorsville, ut

Then let's talk more facts-Utah Rebpulican voters, Utah Democratic voters, Utah Independent voters and Utah Democratic delegates all ranked education as their number one issue.

Utah Republican delegates ranked education 11th! Clearly out of touch with the Republicans in the state. Yes, reform of the current system is needed and soon!

Invisible Hand
Provo, UT

@Esquire: Weren't Olene Walker and Bob Bennet insiders? They didn't get protected.

@Squirt: You probably feel bullied when you're outnumbered. This is democracy at work. Get like minded people to attend the caucus with you. Stop making excuses and get involved.

If it ain't broke don't fix it. Last I checked Utah was one of the few states that doesn't have a disastrous fiscal situation so we must be doing something right.

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

At my last caucus all they wanted to do was get rid of public education. It was filled with a bunch of extremist whackos. I completely agree with the DN on this one.

Our system stinks and there is a reason for low voter turnout.

squirt
Taylorsville, ut

Invisible Hand,
The bigger issue has to do with the bullying itself. I am involved and a delegate so you are "barking" up the wrong tree here. Democracy is NOT bullying. It is respecting differing viewpoints not bullying people into submission or preventing people from attending their caucus under false pretenses.

You are correct about getting like minded people behind you. That is absolutely how is should be done. The problem with the current system is that those who are novices in this process don't know any better.

It is shameful that the focus is not on those doing the bullying as opposed to those who attend their caucus in good faith.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Utah Politics =

Absolute power corrupts Absolutely.

goatesnotes
Kamas, UT

Getting rid of the Department of Education is much different than getting rid of public education. Just sayin'.

stevo123
slc, ut

@ Goatsnotes, You will have totalk to Howard Stephenson on that one.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Cheers to Deseret News for a thought provoking editorial.

Objectives of political reform should include:

1. Stop, remove, and prohibit the financial influence of any collective group on the election and representation of the people. Must include all businesses, churches, unions, associations etc. etc. etc.

2. Allow, encourage and permit any citizen to nominate themselves for any elective office.

3. Require each candidate to provide a complete, but brief, resume of his/her experience, training, pertinent organizations membership, etc., similar to the resume given for employment.

4. Publish all resumes in such a way to reach every citizen. Allow no campaigning other than the resume.

5. Provide a voting system that is easy, available to every voter, accurate and fair.

6. Hold each representative to the plan and philosophy of the resume. On pain of recall or even beheading.

Breakfast of Champions
Provo, UT

I COMPLETELY agree with this. Caucuses shelter politicians and disenfranchise voters.

Clair Ellis
Providence, UT

Oxymoron - "Republicans and Democrats select convention delegates in neighborhood meetings that are too vulnerable to manipulation and too loosely controlled."

Too loosely controlled by whom - manipulators?

Clair Ellis
Providence, UT

It just is not credible to claim that Jon Huntsman beating Olene Walker was a victory for extremists. Think how many times the GOP delegates nominated a Garn, a Bennett, a Bangerter, a Leavitt or a Hatch, and the Dems nominate a Rampton or a Matheson. All but once, so far. Where's the problem?

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