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Comments about ‘Mormon leaders express concern at declining caucus attendance’

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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 14 2012 12:00 p.m. MST

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JWB
Kaysville, UT

For the Republican Party, the attendance at the precinct level caucus is really what this article is about. At the Precinct level which was highly attended in my precinct last time, March 2010, was extremely high. For 20 years, it was a handfull of people to fill positions for the County and State conventions and sometimes one would have to fill both positions. However, last time, instead of the handfull there were about 80 in attendance. The couple of delegates from each precinct then go to the County Convention and usually a couple of others go to the state convention. The county and state conventions can have multiple people at the conventions, only the selected delegates. It is important to attend and be involved but again, the people attending the precinct level vote or select people for the county and state. So the 80 people did that. In that caucus meeting in 2010, the other majority of those people I hadn't seen before. You are supposed to verify the people in attendance but I don't think that was done for everyone in attendance. Senator Bennett is a good man, but didn't provide feedback for years of letters and e-mails I had sent. Since 2010, Senator Hatch has been more enlightened but also, he has given me feedback for most of the 20 years. The Tea-Party type people did help hold accountability and they were in attendance. Common sense is also important to our system.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

re: New Yorker,

With all respect due to citizens from New York, your comment is complete untrue.

In 2010, the citizens of Utah, not the "King Makers", rejected Mr. Bennett in his quest to be "King". The ordinary citizens of Utah went to a caucus and voted for a delegate who pledged to vote for someone other than Mr. Bennett. The system worked. All of Mr. Bennett's millions did not put him on the ballot. The citizens were tired of hearing that someone "deserved" to represent the State of Utah, that someone's father had represented the State and that the son should continue to represent the State. The citizens were tired of hearing that a Senator who only poked his head out of his office every six years, was somehow representing the State of Utah.

This year, on March 15th, Mr. Hatch is going to learn that the people of Utah have grown tired of his "King Making" rhetoric, or his claim that he is the only person fit for the job, of his political promise to get the job done "this time".

We have a primary election AFTER the caucus has allowed us to select our candidates.

Phranc
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@carnack

one word

unconstitutional.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

Carnak | 10:57 a.m. Feb. 14, 2012,

2 word reply:

9th Circuit

RBTJR
PLATTSBURGH, NY

The next time I hear a fellow member of my local NY LDS congregation exclaim, "How can someone be a good LDS and a Democrat?", I'll use the quote in this article, "principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of the various political parties." As a registered Independent, I have found both attractive and negative aspects to both major parties' platforms...and candidates, as well!

Something to think about
Ogden, UT

We, Utah, is dominated by Republicans. So, whether there is full participation or low participation, it does not matter in the grand scheme. Utah's will vote for the Republican with an average of around 68-70% everytime. Social issues must be the reason, because most Utahns economically fit into the frame of the Democratic policies.

Examples of Republican dominance

Look at the whole Merril Cook experiment. He could not get elected as an Independent... first go round as a Republican and he's in! I think it's good for all Americans to be involved in the process. Yet, for Utahn's, in the end, the result will be the same. Only once since 1948 (LBJ) has Utah voted Democratic in the Presidential race.

USA
Salt Lake City, UT

As a strict independent, caucus season is always a trying time for me as a 110 percenter member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-day Saints (you know, bishopric, high council, quorum president, group leader, other leadership roles, etc.). I can't align with any political party, yet we are admonished to attend our caucus meetings. Perhaps we should organize a caucus of the unaffiliated. My voice is needed, along with so many others, to temper the voices of extremism in the major parties. I just want to see problems solved. I can't stomach registering as a Republican. What to do...

Carnak
Salt Lake City, UT

@ Pagan | 1:00 p.m. Feb. 14, 2012
Salt Lake City, UT

Last word:

Supreme Court

ironmania
San Diego, CA

When I lived in Salt Lake, I attended the Democrat precinct caucus. I was the only one who showed up from my precinct, so I nominated and elected myself to be precinct chair. My wife later joined in as vice-chair. As a result, I got to go to the county and state conventions and met many very nice people with good intentions.

I had a blast and would recommend it to anyone.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

re: USA,

The operative words are "party caucus". A caucus is not a primary. A caucus is not the general election. A caucus is the time when people who belong to a PARTY elect delegates to represent them at the PARTY nominating convention. Those who choose NOT to belong to a party will have to wait until others have made choices for them. Those who choose NOT to participate will also have to wait until others make choices for them.

No one is forced to belong to a party, but only the very foolish would think that they should have the privilege of choosing candidates for a party when they have chosen to not affiliated with a party.

REPUBLICANS decide who will run on the REPUBLICAN ballot in the primary election. I won't comment on the process used by Democrats because I'm not registered as a Democrat. I'll let them decide how they choose those who best represent them and the platform of their party.

There is no "independent party".

Your choice is to affiliate with a party or to let others make your decision for you.

Sitting on the fence and waiting helps no one.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Mountainman, that is exactly how I feel when I try to reason with Republicans.

Perhaps we all need to learn to listen and respect one another. But when you attend a neighborhood caucus only to be shouted down -- with a lot of pretty foul language mixed in -- that's not America.

Or at least it shouldn't be.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

"principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of the various political parties."

Except that, de facto endoresment of political parties and candidates occurs because of the church-owned Deseret News. The articles are often written from a Republican/Conservative viewpoint and the op-ed and editorial columns are far-right. Are there any moderate, center-right columnists regularly published in the Deseret News? Was there a general article about Obama's budget--covering the various things he has proposed? Or was the main article about Obama's budget focused on how it may affect charitable giving? I would expect if the church truly was not endorsing a political party then their newspaper would be more moderate and even carry articles/op-eds from both sides of the political spectrum.

But that is never going to happen. So, despite the Church's stated position, many members will continue to believe that one can't be a good church member and Democrat at the same time.

atl134
I've had similar experiences....

Florwood
American Fork, UT

The caucus I attended in 2010 had almost double the participation of previous years. Perhaps they are thinking more of turnout in primary and general elections.

stmichaelpray
,

Two words

9th Circus

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Since when did a newspaper have to appeal to the Left or even to the "moderates"? Truthseeker would have us believe that in order to be fair, news can't be reported truthfully and that it first goes through a "slanting committee" to verify that nothing too far right is printed.

What utter nonsense. News is news.

If the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages its members to get off their couches and participate in the election process, why should it bother Truthseeker?

How little Truthseeker knows about the LDS Church if he thinks that anyone would speak, over the pulpit about a candidate or about a party. When the Church gets involved, it is about issues, not about people and not about parties. When an issue goes against the Doctrine given us from Christ through His prophets, that issue is fair game. Just because Nazi Germany turned their heads when moral issues came up does not excuse the rest of us from taking a moral stand when ignoring that stand would nullify our belief in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Gemimi
Bakersfield, CA

Trapdinutah,
I feel your pain. It is also difficult to read run-on paragraph rantings and liberal diatribes here by those who claim membership in a church whose every document extols the virtues of Biblical ethics and obedience to the mandates of Jesus Christ...

Not that knowing when to go to a new paragraph will win over your opponents, but it reveals a soul unwilling to abide by even the basics of universal grammatical rules. Why should they then be willing to cooperate in the community of ideas?

You would probably be happier back in the European neighborhood of thinking. Just don't get caught in a dictatorial one. They're really not fun.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

This year more than most, this admonition from the LDS is wise. Either that or the tea party will rule. They aren't in the majority, but they will win anyway if LDS regulars don't go add their voice to the mix.

New Yorker
Pleasant Grove, UT

@ Mike Richards

Sorry you didn't notice, Mike that I'm from Pleasant Grove. I've been voting in Utah for the last 47 years, and am thoroughly familiar with Utah history, politics, and idiosyncrasies.

When the "at-large" delegates in the county and state elections, they can easily tip the majority. Have you done your homework so that you now know what the total number of delegates in your county will be and what percentage will be "at large" delegates not selected by the neighborhood caucuses?

For example if 10% of all delegates were "at large" in a county with a total of 100 delegates, then the neighborhood delegates would have to be 55% in favor of something to avoid being vetoed by a potential block of "at largers."

If the "at large" delegates are 20% of the delegates, then it would take a 60% of neighborhood delegates to for something before they could assure passage.

I watched this for years affecting the selection of candidates, the platform, and especially the rules. Then I just quit going.

The primary you speak of doesn't always happen, and it never affects the rules or the platform.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

The church will get its' lapdog, even if 50 people turn out to the caucuses.

Sandy
Salt Lake City, UT

I hope the efforts to update the caucus -- hopefully replace it with a primary -- will be successful. That will bump participation more than any plea.

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