Comments about ‘In our opinion: Nominating Process’

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Published: Tuesday, April 23 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

The 60% threshold to avoid a primary works, allowing a shot of a challenger to eliminate an incumbent and yet requires a challenger to be a strong candidate.

Based on the state gop released stats since 2000 for state wide or congressional races, at 60%, threshold to avoid a primary, 47% of contested races went to primary. If at 2/3, 67% of contested races go to a primary and at 70%, 70% of the races go to primary.

70% would not have helped Sen. Bennett in 2010. He was not in the top 2 coming out of convention. In fact the more moderate Tim Bridgewater was selected by 57% of the delegates in the last round. Mike Lee managed to get 43% and make it to a primary. Sen. Bennett endorsed Tim Bridgewater during the primary, but with voters ticked at TARP and ObamaCare, they went with Mike Lee.

Sen. Hatch just barely missed eliminating Dan Liljenquist by hitting just under the 60%, and Jason Chaffetz just missed eliminating Chris Cannon by hitting just under 60%.

The current system does not protect the incumbent, wealthy or famous. I think that is a good thing.

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

One of the principles of those wanting to gut the neighborhood election caucus meeting and convention system we have in Utah, was this: " A system that provides inherent advantages to those who are incumbent, wealthy or famous is not acceptable."

The problem is their proposals would do exactly that.

The Caucus System in Utah 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 120,000 republicans in Utah that went to the neighborhood caucus elections in 2012 to elect the 4000 State Delegates. Add to those numbers the democrats and the primary elections. Certainly the municipal elections didn't do any better in voter representation.

Bypassing the Caucus / Convention System will NOT create more participation. There are 4000 state delegates that spend countless hours vetting candidates to be on the ballot. They are selected by those that attend the neighborhood election caucus meeting. You just have to attend.

The current system does not protect the incumbent, wealthy or famous. I think that is a good thing.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

I agree with Utah_1. The current system works just fine. We are a Republic. The Utah Republican caucus system represents that principle. The most important vote that we can cast is at the caucus when we elect delegates to represent our precinct at the nominating convention.

Those who bemoan the fact that they can't vote for the candidate of their choice at the primary election are those who did not participate in the caucus.

If change is needed, that change should be limited to finding a way to allow those registered republicans who cannot attend the caucus to vote electronically or by some kind of absentee ballot or to give another voter in their precinct proxy authority to cast a ballot for their preferred DELEGATE.

At the last caucus, there was excellent turn-out, but many who showed up to vote had not done their homework and were not prepared to cast an informed ballot.

Voters have a duty. Coddling people does not promote responsibility.

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

The ONLY time the caucus system has proven to be a "thorn in the side" of incumbents was the 2010 election when Bob Bennett was ousted. He was a RINO who voted with Dems. at least as many times as he voted Republican that's why he didn't get to keep his job.

Democrats, and those in the media who would like to stay with the "elitist" candidate get upset when THEY can't determine who is and who isn't elected.

Change is upsetting to some. Might as well get used to it.

Politicians are answerable to the PEOPLE, not the media.

one old man
Ogden, UT

People are starting to catch on. Even the more sensible members of the GOP. They see the likes of Lee and Hatch in office and realize we could do much better.

If they feel they have lost their voice in the party, maybe they will switch parties. I personally know several long time Republicans who have done just that.

Maybe someday Utah's GOP will wake up and find themselves out in the cold.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

The GOP said it best when they said, "our founding father didnt like democracy and neither do we."

There ya have it folks! Your Utah repubs don't like Democracy! Need we see more?

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Don't change from the current system.

We have a system in place that makes it possible to limit the number of terms of the representation. If legislators have to worry about the possibility that they might not be reelected, then perhaps they might listen to their constituency more. Hatch was threatened and had to organize and actually listen to his public. (He seemed a bit annoyed that he had to do this)

L White
Springville, UT

Maybe someone should tell Maverick that we live in a Democratic REPUBLIC where we elect delegates to represent us. We selected the Republican form of government to keep "mob rule" to a minimum. I agree with the Founding Fathers. They did their homework and knew the difference between a Democracy (like ancient Greece) and a Republic. Maybe if Maverick recited the Pledge of Allegiance he would remember "and to the Republic . . . "

Ajax
Mapleton, UT

I have heard Utah Republicanism characterized as a desperate ideology of self-serving expediency masquerading as the "Constitution." Too bad it can't better represent the good people of Utah.

SG in SLC
Salt Lake City, UT

The problem is that both systems have inherent weaknesses.

The democratic primary referendum system has a tendency to become a popularity contest, and favors the wealthy, the famous, and incumbents. On the other hand, the representative/republican caucus delegate system favors the underdog, but is also highly susceptible to being hijacked by fringe elements (themselves underdogs) who are adept at procedural manipulation. Consequently, you get a carpetbagger like Senator Hatch, who was originally elected when the Republican caucuses and primaries were open, and who is riding incumbency well into his sunset years, or an ultraconservative "hired gun" like Senator Lee, who was heavily backed by adept and well-connected fringe element "kingmakers" in the state GOP.

What is needed is a balanced system that incorporates the broad participation of an open primary with the ability of an underdog to legitimately compete that comes with the caucus/delegate system. Of course, the devil is in the details, and I'm not sure what precise form such a system would take, but its primary feature would be a level playing field for all candidates.

Don Bugg
Prince Frederick, MD

We hold caucuses. Too few people bother to show up. So which solution do you think makes sense: 1) get rid of the caucuses or 2) start showing up?

I'm for the second option.

VST
Bountiful, UT

"People are starting to catch on. Even the more sensible members of the GOP. They see the likes of Lee and Hatch in office and realize we could do much better."

"There ya have it folks! Your Utah repubs don't like Democracy! Need we see more?"

"I have heard Utah Republicanism characterized as a desperate ideology of self-serving expediency masquerading as the "Constitution." Too bad it can't better represent the good people of Utah."

My, my! Such silly trash talk.

Meanwhile the Democrats in Utah continue to struggle to come up with candidates that will politically appeal to the majority of Utah voters in order get elected.

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

Can the current system be made better, yes, but don't gut it.

We need to make sure the Utah neighborhood election caucus system is set up so it could be done in 2 hrs. and we get the election results, not just back to the county and state, but to those that missed it so they can still contribute and let their elected delegates and precinct leaders know what they think. The person that got a babysitter for 2 hrs to attend their neighborhood caucus should be able to vote.

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

The GOP is frankly afraid they will lose power in a true democracy where there is 1 person = 1 vote. Mountainman loves a "republic" apparently even though it's a compromise of the tenets of personal freedom. We have the means to give everyone their vote now....

Nothing but shame Utah.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

It's interesting to see how many Democrats feel the need to tell Republicans how to nominate republican candidates. You would think that Democrats would spend their time finding their own candidates instead of bad-mouthing Republicans and the process that registered Republicans use to nominate candidates. What difference does it make to a Democrat how the Republicans nominate a candidate - unless the Democrats want to vote for the weakest Republican in an open primary?

Government Man
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Utah has some of the nation's lowest voting rates due to the lack of Democracy in Utah. The average Utahan realizes that their vote does not count. We have more in common with Cuba and China than we do with the other states. Let's open upon the process and have our State governed by moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats!!

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

There could very well be a democrat candidate if republicans in Utah didn't keep gerrymandering and choke holding democracy there.

Just like many supposed "republican" states Utah isn't all red. You might be very surprized Richards who Utah would vote for if they had more choices.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Government Man, that is one excellent comment! You nailed it.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

As a Democrat, I hope the GOP hangs onto their caucus system, because it produces representation far to the right of Utahns, in general, which leads to disgust with the Legislature, an insular sense of invincibility by the GOP politicians, and rising anger among increasing numbers of Utahns.

It will take a large amount of anger to dislodge the GOP hegemony, given the unique demographics in Utah, but it's becoming more within reach,, given the results of the existing system, and enough foolish and corrupt moves by an out of touch Legislature that try to out do each other with really marginal ideas.

Utah is really closer to 60% Republican, and more and more of them are defecting. GOP politicians act like they reign over Utah, who is lucky to have them.

Keep the existing system, by all means.

MiddleRight
Orem, UT

Wow, those republicans! They should be just like the Democrats! That way there wouldn't BE any grass roots to force them to hold the line. If we could just make all the republicans be democrats. That would be one way for the Democrats to get back in power so they could bankrupt the state like other great blue states.

Getting ANY participation from the voters is a plus in my book. With the neighborhood Caucus, I at least can talk about what I think is important, and push for those who I think would represent my views. Oh, we can't have that...

With a primary system, only those who have the cash and the media will be able to hold office. The Media LOVED Benson, and still LOVE Hatch who now he is elected once again, is back to his "Democrat lite".

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