The caucus system is the best way to make sure grass roots movements can work
over large amounts of money. It is the only way someone with $100,000 can go
against someone with $2,000,000 in election funds.There were about
60,000 republicans in Utah that went to the neighborhood caucus elections in
2010 to elect the 3500 delegates. Add to those numbers to democrats and the
primary elections and certainly the municipal elections didn't do any
better in voter representation. In 2012, the numbers doubled. Even with the
problems with the 2nd congressional race, it is still better than some alternate
route. Most people that want the caucus system changed, there are
exceptions, are frustrated that they don't have as much power as people
that show up to the neighborhood election caucus meetings. It doesn't take
money, you just have to show up.What we need are more people getting
involved earlier, not shutting down the system that protects us from power
hungry people wanting to take over.
No, we don't need to change the caucus/convention system. Webb's
proposal for a "modest reform" to provide an alternate method is
anything BUT modest. In reality it would undermine the very foundation of the
caucus/convention system. It would override the voice of the
grassroots-elected delegates, and replace it with the hand-picked choice of
party leaders or candidates who have lots of money and influence. Sorry, but
that's what the OTHER states have, to their detriment.Secondly,
Utah Republicans should NOT open their caucus/convention/primary process. The
Democrats could do it with little risk, because they are the minority party, so
there is little incentive for outsiders to mess with their selection of Democrat
candidates.For the Republicans, on the other hand, opening the
process would present GREAT risk. Because Utah Republicans are the large
majority party, if they open their candidate selection process to
non-Republicans, they will invite serious mischief from outsiders attempting to
undermine the majority party.Finally, if the Tea Party movement is
considered "extreme," that's a sad commentary on our modern
political complacency. The tea party views were NORMAL with earlier
generations who respected Constitutional limits.
We need some definitions: "rock-solid Republicans" come to mind first.
I'm not even sure what a Republican is let alone a "rock-solid"
one. The term itself seems a shifting, sandy one, or in fact baseless.
Isn't a "Republican" just another Statist wearing a different badge
than Democrat Statists, a red elephant (but red is the color of socialism
isn't it?) rather than a blue donkey.Also "reign of
terror" needs to be defined in its application here.I know about
Robespierre and his group of terrorists in eighteenth century France, but they
literally chopped off people's heads, many thousands of them, including
some of their own number, and did so entirely illegally. It is surely extreme
hyperbole to apply the term "reign of terror" to a movement generally
thought to be about constitutional government, ending government waste and
lowering taxes, and who operate with neither physical violence nor illegality.
Maybe "tea party" needs to be defined too, but who will do it; the
organization is rather amorphous and has no platform that I know of.
Funny to see Jason Chaffetz win easily and yet this shows how "moderate"
the process became this year. Media folks sure change their tune in a hurry.Also funny how people complain that a small faction can control an
election because of caucuses. What do you think happens in non-caucus systems?
All of the early party results are negotiated behind closed doors from those on
the inside, and the process is especially influenced by those with loads of
money who can buy name recognition. You prefer that to a caucus system? At least
with the caucuses regular folks have a shot at exerting some level of influence.