Utah Democrats elect Dabakis as new party chairman

He invites Utah Mormons to join the party


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  • armyvet48 cottonwood heights, Ut
    July 19, 2011 3:30 p.m.

    Lost in DC....are caring for those less fortunate that yourself (see Matt 25 and Mosiah 4) be considered as "not compatible with LDS Theology? Please review them and see what you think. You might find that they are not all that compatible with what some Republicans espouse...see what you think about that idea.

    July 18, 2011 12:22 p.m.

    I feel that both the Democratic and Republican parties represent extreme views that are not in perfect harmony with the restored gospel, which is why as a latter day saint I do not identify myself with either. On the one hand, the Decmocrats have many liberal views which are in direct contradiction to gospel principles, but on the other, I have also found the Republican party to be fillied with selfrighteous hypocricy. I mean, how do you stand for religious freedom and at the same time seek to impose your religious views into politics? How do you call yourself a Christian and seek to deny welfare to the less fortunate because you feel they are just being lazy? How do you support the deporting of immigrant families based on nothing more than principle? How do you defend capitalism so much when the kingdom of God in its purest form is a socialistic government? I could go on and on.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    July 18, 2011 10:03 a.m.

    I remember when Debakis was on the radio. I seem to remember him bagging on Mormons all the time.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    July 18, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    I wonder if a hugh number of LDS affiliated with the Democratic party in Utah, and then started moving it "right" whether they would still be welcome?

    Who determines the platform of the Democratic party in Utah? Is it them general membership, or is it the leadership?

    And herein lies the problem: If hugh numbers of LDS affiliated with the State Democratic Party, and then saw that they were considered votes only, and not allowed to have an influence, would they stay?

    I went with my wife to a neighborhood caucus some years ago. At one point she expressed an idea that would traditionally be considered "conservative." She was told by a woman in control that that idea was not Democratic, and therefore not acceptable (it had to do with limiting spending.) She has never been back.

  • Bruce Van Orden Springville, Utah
    July 17, 2011 11:37 p.m.

    I am LDS and worked for the Church. I am a Democrat. My parents were Republican. I am not rebellious toward the Church or the country. In fact, I am highly patriotic. I am a retired professor from BYU where half of the faculty vote for a Democratic Party candidate for president. I am not misinformed. I spend about five hours per day keeping informed about all the issues and concerns that face our country. I love God, our living prophet, and the restored Church. I believe the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. I go to the Utah State prison weekly to serve my fellow beings there. Please don't tell me that I have no place in the restored Church of Jesus Christ. I would never do that to any of you.

  • Herbal Tea Partier Kearns, UT
    July 17, 2011 8:31 p.m.

    LDS democrats that I know very well are democrats for these 3 reasons: out of tradition (their parents or grandparents were democrats), they are misinformed, or they are rebellious.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 17, 2011 7:02 p.m.

    Conservative members of the LDS Church are opposed to abortion on demand unless the health of the mother is in danger or in cases of rape or incest. For that reason it is hard for those members to align themselves with a party that does not share those values.

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    July 17, 2011 4:07 p.m.


    Free Market? The LDS religion is a world-wide religion and encompasses many form of governments. Yes, the Book of Mormon talks about freedom and we do value it, but that is not the same as free markets. Please tell me any doctrine where the free market is specifically discussed.

    Nowhere in the New Testament did I read about trickle-down economics, tax breaks for the wealthy, etc. In fact, when the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus, he said, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's." I don't recall him saying, "Oh no, we are taxed enough already and we need government to get out of our way." In fact one verse may even get you a little frightened, the verse where Jesus throws the moneychangers tables at the Temple. That's class warfare, isn't it? Sounds like socialist rebel-rousing to me.

    The early Saints lived the law of consecration--shared property, goods, and profits. Do you think less of them? If that law was restored in the future, would you follow it? Free Markets as an LDS value, thanks for the laugh.

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    July 17, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    Have you ever talked to a "tea party" person? More than one? What I find funny is that you call a group of people who share a political philosophy hateful and fearful. I've rarely been to some political meetings, but you know what I find when I do go? Diverse personalities. Shared ideals AND differences of opinion. Outright racist remarks on immigration AND open, concerned discussions about immigration policy. You are mistakenly stereotyping all followers of a political idea, and your comment only further drives people away from the party you support. I'm pretty sure you are a pretty open, thoughtful and accepting person, but after reading your post, can't you see that you seem like anything but open and accepting?

  • runwasatch Ogden, UT
    July 17, 2011 3:56 p.m.

    To embrace the ideology of the Democratic Party the LDS simply need to do the following:

    1. Accept elective infantecide as a means of birth control and a womans right.
    2. Accept the notion that the dole welfare lifts and improves man rather than creating dependence, despondency, and degradation.
    3. Embrace lifestyle choices that are contrary to the Word of God, celebrate perversion in the name of diversity, and stand on the sands of moral relativism.
    4. Remove any semblance of God from our government.

    Yes, for the LDS, I can see how tempting is an invitation to join the Democratic Party. The thought of joining ranks with Harry Reid is surely almost too much to resist.

  • facts_r_stubborn Kaysville, UT
    July 17, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    Democrats in Utah have always been significantly more conservative than nationally. I've voted for Democrats locally, but Congress is a different story. I still don't trust or approve of the direction of the party nationally and do not wish to give persons with political persuasions so different than may own, like President Obama or Pelosi leadership of our nation. I like Obama personally, but we have nothing in common politically.

    My grandfather was a Democrat, my father a Republican and I a Republican. My grandfather said late in life that the Democratic party had left him. I still feel that way. I believe the party began to trade entitlement benefits for votes. They adopted a populous tone, and redistribution of income structure that has gone too far.

    Having said that, I also feel that the Republican party is leaving me. It is no longer the party of limited but wise government, of economic development and a strong national defense. It is now becoming the party of the far right of our nation. It's gone from conservative, to confrontational and brainless, an angry ignorant mob. If this trend continues, I'm afraid neither party can represent my philosophy of good government.

  • Winglish Lehi, UT
    July 17, 2011 2:44 p.m.

    Let's try spreading the truth a second time.

    President James E. Faust of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints was the chairperson of the Democratic Party in Utah. He once said, "It is in the interest of the Church to have a two-party system . . . . Both locally and nationally, the interest of the Church and its members are served when we have two good men or women running on each ticket, and then no matter who is elected, we win."

    Faust also said, "I am liberal in terms of human values and human rights. I believe what it says in the Book of Mormon, that the Lord values all of his children equally black and white, bond and free, male and female, Jew and gentile and that the Lord likewise has compassion for the heathen.

  • golfrUte SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 17, 2011 2:08 p.m.

    I can't imagine voting 100% along party lines. I vote for the individual candidate who most closely represents what I believe to be prudent, responsible policy. Both parties have so many candidates that are so extreme in their views, voting only along party lines perpetuates blind allegiances. Take the time to understand a candidates point of view and vote accordingly.

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    July 17, 2011 1:57 p.m.


    The church is politically neutral and believes there are good values in both parties. I think it is sad that you actually think a vast majority of women, if not all, getting abortions are doing it to avoid responsibility and that a vast majority of people on welfare are being idle--so false. The hate merchants of this country have you eating out of their hands and keeping their evil empire going. What about there but the grace of God go I?

    Why some LDS members do get it and do vote Democratic: ministry of Christ taught serving others (welfare), supporting government (12th article of faith), a rich man entering heaven would be tougher than a camel going through the eye of the needle (warns of the evil of greed--which is why the democrats favor an economic agenda geared towards the common good and not the based on the elite), not judging others (good Samaritan), loving everybody, free agency, etc.


    Self-respecting Mormons don't judge others or cast stones. Statements like yours can push some good people away from the church. I am both proud of my faith and my politics.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 17, 2011 1:23 p.m.


    Hmmm. I am pretty self-respecting yet I call myself a Democrat. I taught a lesson in church today, attended all my meetings and love my church, even if I don't hold the same political views as most of my ward members.

    Thanks, though for making sure I am not welcome in my own church unless I am a Republican. You've fit the stereotype perfectly.

  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    July 17, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    I predict a wave of Mormon-movement to the Big D side. Mormons are generally good, smart and brave people and the extreme ends of the Republican party (an end that becomes wider every day, it seems) are filled with hateful, sheepish and fearful people. And remember this about those people, my Mormon friends--they DO NOT like you and they have done their best to make that clear. This boggles my mind. It's like the ugliest girl in school has let the word out that she doesn't want to date you and you're still trying to win her affections.
    In my tent, I can argue with you all day on any issue you choose (gay marriage, big govt, education, right to life, Darwinism, climate change)---agree or disagree and still respect you and your right to hold that opinion. If you honestly feel that Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh and your Tea Party brotherhood will do the same--you are probably wading into that extreme end I mentioned.

  • isrred Logan, UT
    July 17, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    "The fact that Dabakis is "openly gay" and elected to chair the Democrat Party says it all. Very few Mormons will join their party and the Dems STILL don't get it."

    This is a saddening post and one that makes all LDS people look bad. The blind rejection of someone based solely on their sexual orientation is entirely COUNTER to what the Church teaches.

    And the sad irony for you is that Dabakis actually has VERY good and close relationships and personal friendships with LDS leaders and General Authorities.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    July 17, 2011 11:09 a.m.


    "Official statements from the Church over the years, make it clear that we are NEVER to accept government help."

    What are you talking about? I've known multiple members who delivered their babies thanks to the Oregon Health Plan and fed them thanks to WIC. I also know members who receive government assistance to help with housing and Pell Grants to help pay for college. All of this is done with full knowledge of their bishops and they're all members in good standing. You seem to be doing what so many members do: confusing their own right-wing dogma with Church policy.

    And based on your logic, why do we even enforce laws at all? Isn't that "forcing" people to do the right thing?

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    July 17, 2011 11:04 a.m.

    "Our state is not the Republican Party. People are looking for real life answers to problems," he said. "I believe to my core, Democrats can win in Utah. I believe that we can win, and I believe that we will win. Our party is and must be the party of the big tent."

    I hope you are right but its an uphill battle. For some reason we Democrats are perceived in Utah and Idaho as being less patriotic and less faithful. I absolutely do not see how that perception could be sustained by reading the Book of Mormon nor looking at facts. I finally decided to stand up and not slink into a corner and wonder why. But you have a better chance in Utah than in eastern Idaho. Groeberg's father may have been the last Idaho bred Democrat.

  • MJF Somewhere in Time, UT
    July 17, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    The fact that Dabakis is "openly gay" and elected to chair the Democrat Party says it all. Very few Mormons will join their party and the Dems STILL don't get it.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    July 17, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    Dear Mike in Texas: I love the way Dems always reference George Bush. The Republican Party is NOT George Bush. LDS and Republicans believe in traditional and conservative values--not individuals. What Bush did or didn't do is largely irrelevant to that debate.

    No one, who is not in denial, could possibly think that the Democrat Party as it stands today is in any way compatible with LDS principles in general. Ah, but you say that the Democrats are more Christian. They want to help people. Republicans only want to starve poor people and let old people eat dog food. Everyone should be forced to contribute to these liberal causes because their heart is in the right place.

    First, forcing others to do "right" is Satan's way. LDS are taught that we should do good based on our own FREE AGENCY--not through force. Second, these programs don't work, have never worked, destroy lives and are bankrupting us. That's against LDS principles.

    Official statements from the Church over the years, make it clear that we are NEVER to accept government help. That is a violation of the admonition to be self sufficient. Another Democrat priniciple bites the dust.

  • Winglish Lehi, UT
    July 17, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    geedub, President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, was the Democratic Party Chairperson in Utah for years. He served as a House Representative as a Democrat.

    President Faust once said, "It is in the interest of the Church to have a two-party system . . . . Both locally and nationally, the interest of the Church and its members are served when we have two good men or women running on each ticket, and then no matter who is elected, we win."

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    July 17, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    DN subscriber: I am an independent who usually votes Democrat in Utah. I don't agree with some of the views of Democrats and Republicans but I see them, more than Republicans, as being a party of inclusivity in Utah. Please note I am not talking about the national party but the state and local party. I voted for McCain in 2008 but could never vote for Mike Lee. I could vote for him because he is willing to work across party lines, understanding that half a loaf is better than no loaf at all.

    What our country needs to understand right now is that both parties (and their representatives voted in by use over the last century) put us into our current economic situation. It can be fixed over the longer term but if our representatives do not reach a compromise we will see a domino effect worldwide that will have devastating effects on our economy. So raise the debt ceiling and make cuts in federal programs, go back to the tax rates in place before Pres. Bush and let's restore some fiscal sanity.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    July 17, 2011 7:55 a.m.

    So....after having driven the LDS people out of their party for many years, now they want us back. I think you're a day late and a dollar short. Most LDS people have been made so uncomfortable in the Democrat Party, they fled many years ago. The Dems have no one to blame but themselves

    No matter what claims the state party makes, the fact is, the national Democrat Party has gone so far to the left, that most Mormons just flat out can't be part of it. The LDS people are taught to believe in personal responsibility, taking care of themselves, traditional marriage, high moral values, right to life, free markets, freedom and opportunity, etc., etc. The Dems support dependence on government programs, gay marriage, abortion rights, socialized medicine and on and on. Mormons just can go along.

    In order to be Democrats, Mormons must adopt two competing philosophies. At this time in the world, the Republican Party (although not perfect) is much more aligned with LDS beliefs. Most Mormons easily discern this. Unfortunately, a few still don't get it.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 17, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    "not to mention the hundreds of other voting LDS Democrats who live in this state." out of the 3 million who live here? hundreds out of three million?

    fair, honest, decent people do not cheer a convicted felon (DeChristopher)

    homosexual marriage and abortion on demand are inconsistent with LDS theology.

    "He is is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garment of the laborer" The Dem welfare state incompatible with LDS theology.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 17, 2011 7:27 a.m.

    As a conservative member of the LDS church I feel welcome in the Democratic Party where I don't always agree, but where we can disagree without being disagreeable. I do not feel welcome in the Republican Party were I must toe the party line or be dismissed, where there is no room for diverse opinions.

  • Mike in Texas Allen, TX
    July 17, 2011 7:07 a.m.

    As usual, right wing comments to this article misrepresent the political views of the majority of Democrats, If you want to see who really favors "big" government take a look at the record of the Bush Administration. I think that they were Republicans, were they not? Democrats believe in effective and freely elected government. Republicans work to suppress the vote and and "starve the beast". Republicans want a goverment that only serves the interests of big business and the wealthy. Because most voters are neither wealthy nor CEO's, the Republican party promotes and hides behind socially provacative wedge issues as a means to fog up what is really politically important. Sadly, it seems to work all to well, especially in Utah. The Democratic Party should achieve a more prominant place in Utah politics if for nothing more than to check the reactionary excesses of todays ultra- conservatives. As a political independant, I hope Utah Democrats grow in strength and become a more effective check against the ultra-right wing Republican crazys now dominating the political discourse in Utah and around the nation.

  • Gandalf Salt Lake City, UT
    July 17, 2011 12:34 a.m.

    Alan, you make me laugh. Barack Obama opposes gay marriage. There are many pro-life Democrats. In addition, the pro-choice position is much more compatible with the positions of most conservatives that government should get out of people's personal lives. But perhaps the biggest laugher of all is the idea that it's the Democrats who are unbridled spenders.

    Have you forgotten that it was Republican George W. Bush who passed a completely unfunded prescription drug Medicare program costing close to a trillion dollars? VP Cheney said at the time that "deficits don't matter." How about two wars started without any attempt to fund the cost of them? How about tax cuts regardless of those wars and new unfunded social programs? Which President ran a surplus for three straight years? That's right, Democrat Bill Clinton.

    Democrats are the big spenders? Yea, and I'm Santa Claus.

  • geedub Santee, CA
    July 17, 2011 12:11 a.m.

    No self-respecting Mormon would should ever be a member of the Democratic Party.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 16, 2011 10:48 p.m.

    I like the Democrats' "big tent" analogy.

    It reminds me of a circus, which also has many acts, some believable and others not. And circuses are full of clowns.

    I like circuses!

    Democrats, however, tend to believe in such fantasies as big government being the solution to everything; more taxing and more spending; less freedom- personal or economic (unless it involves gays). Democrats also tend to believe in gun control, and a weak national defense.

    Yes, I really do think I like circuses better than Democrats.

    But both are fun to watch!

    Congratulations ot Dabakis, who really does seem to be a nice guy.

  • George Bronx, NY
    July 16, 2011 9:43 p.m.

    you are welcome in the tent believe it or no there are others that agree with you on those issues, but understand it is not the republican party where such views are just accepted out of hand and held over candidates heads like a sword. If you think such issues should be a litanies test for any candidate you may do better with the republicans.

  • Doengelman St. George, UT
    July 16, 2011 8:59 p.m.

    In reference to Alan's post...the big tent means that you are welcome to enter and support the issues of clean air and water for Utah, that all people should have access to health care as well as other concepts on which we may agree. As a delegate to the Convention, I strive to find areas where we agree and can work toward. Mr. Dabakis realizes that folks often think we are miles apart, when in reality we probably agree on at least 75% of important issues; please consider this an invitation to join in a dialogue with others.

  • oxymoron Cedar City, UT
    July 16, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    Alan, you don't know Utah democrats very well... there are several LDS Democrats / fiscally and socially conservative Democrats who are already members of that big tent:

    - Senator Pat Jones, Senator Karen Morgan, Former Rep. Trisha Beck, Representative Marie Poulson, Representative Tim Cosgrove, to name a few ... not to mention the hundreds of other voting LDS Democrats who live in this state.

    The thing about your comment just proves to me that people don't go very far to look into things they don't know anything about. The State Utah Democratic party platform does not encourage or endorse any of the things you're referring to, but you wouldn't know that if you haven't taken the time to get to know us.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2011 6:18 p.m.

    As a practicing member of the LDS Church, I am flattered to know the Utah Democratic Party considers me a "tremendous resource."

    But I will continue to shun it until it lets people who oppose homosexual marriage, abortion on demand, and unbridled spending inside its so-called "big tent."