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Comments about ‘Letters: Keep caucus system’

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Published: Saturday, May 4 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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micawber
Centerville, UT

"[P]probably also illiterate to issues and candidates." There's a lot of hubris and disdain for others packed into that single phrase.

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.

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.

isrred
South Jordan, UT

"Those who are too lazy to come to a meeting for a few hours every two years are probably also illiterate to issues and candidates "

Lazy and illiterate? Why such disdain for common people who, for whatever reason, may discover that the ONE night in which the caucuses are held conflicts with other things in their lives? Perhaps it's a mother who works two jobs and can't get the night off at her second job? Or maybe someone who is struggling to pay the bills and simply can't afford to pay a babysitter to attend the caucuses? Or maybe they are deployed overseas with the Military during the time the caucuses are held?

There are an infinite number of legitimate reasons that someone may not be able to make it on ONE night, at ONE specific time, at ONE specific place.

To call them "lazy and illiterate" is nothing more than elitist hubris.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The tea party influence and crazy ideas is the reason the professional politicians see the danger to our system of government.

Shaun
Sandy, UT

The problem with caucus system is the most extreme type voter usually attends along with all their extreme friends and usually vote for delegates who voted for individuals like Mike Lee. This wouldn't be a real problem if Utah had real competition from democrats but once someone wins the GOP primary it is assured they will win the election.

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

"The delegates picked Mike Lee"? Actually, no. He made the mistake of figuring he would win outright and didn't try to get 2nd and 3rd choice votes.

In fact in 2010, 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.

From someone from Salt Lake County, your idea that the democratic candidates don't win general elections is not correct. Democratic party members hold 1/2 of the seats in the Utah House and almost that in the Utah Senate for Salt Lake County. They have the county mayor and several on the council. A large percentage of municipal and school board officials are democratic members or vote that way. The GOP has a lot of work to do to solve that.

1conservative
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

I'm not quite sure WHY this issue keeps coming up.

Are voters still angry that Bob Bennett didn't get re-elected? He COULD always run again, just like I COULD!

Those who complain that the "same old, same old" people continually get re-elected SHOULD be all for the current caucus system. It allows anyone/everyone an equal chance.

An election WITHOUT a caucus system virtually GUARANTEES the election of the incumbent because he/she is the one with the massive war chest accumulated in Washington, D.C. as a result of their lobbyist benefactors.

isrred
South Jordan, UT

"An election WITHOUT a caucus system virtually GUARANTEES the election of the incumbent because he/she is the one with the massive war chest accumulated in Washington, D.C. as a result of their lobbyist benefactors."

Yeah, that's why Jason Chaffetz couldn't beat the "incumbent with a huge war chest" Chris Cannon in a primary. Oh wait...

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

"Those who are too lazy to come to a meeting for a few hours every two years are probably also illiterate to issues and candidates "

I don't know if lazy would always be the reason. Some people's schedules just might not work. Like people that have evening jobs.

Anyway, what makes you think that people that show up to the meeting have anymore literacy regarding the issues then those that can't make the meeting? Seems like a huge assumption.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

There are those who think they know everything, and those who know that these people don't.

To postulate that disagreement or apathy to a system that for all purposes is run by a few equates to ignorance just points to continued trend of some groups to castigate those who don't agree with them.

"If you don't agree with me.... well.... you must be stupid" is basically what they are saying.

And you wonder why people don't want to come play in their little meetings.

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

When I go to the polls, in both a primary an general election, I know that the vote I cast will go to the person for whom I voted, regardless whether that person wins or loses. I know that my vote will be counted. That is not true for a caucus. At a caucus, I can't even be sure that the people seeking votes to be delegates to the conventions know who THEY wil vote for, much less that the vote will be what I want it to be. That is not aeptable to me.

It's time to use primaries and not caucuses.

David
Centerville, UT

I completely agree with Furry.

I have been a delegate to my county convention before. In being selected I did not know who I would vote for until I had met the candidates, heard their platforms, and asked them questions. And yet I was selected to be a delegate.

I am certain that if I had revealed that I have not voted for a GOP candidate for governor since Leavitt in the early 1990's, I would not have been selected as a delegate.

But only 5 people attended my caucus meeting (several years ago). Each of the 5 were selected as a delegate. I attended the county GOP convention as an independent at heart, though a registered Republican.

At the convention a huge majority of delegates are conservative to ultra conservative, and the candidates sing a strong conservative tune.

Because of my experience I would favor a direct primary process, as recommended by Jim Hansen.

Eliot
Santaquin, UT

The Chaffetz victory over Cannon in the 2008 primary provides a compelling example of the representative nature of the convention system. 69% of delegates voted for Chaffetz in the convention and about the same percentage of voters favored him in the subsequent June primary. If delegates are more extreme than the party membership, why did both groups vote the same. Then in 2010, the "extreme" delegates went with Bridgewater in the convention while the more "moderate" primary voters chose Mike Lee. Please tell me how that happened? The convention system simply narrows down the field to the candidates that will most likely be favored by primary voters. Orrin Hatch handily won the convention vote in 2012 and repeated the victory in the primary election. The 2010 convention eliminated a whole bunch of candidates who would have had little to no chance in a primary election. Where or where is the evidence that the caucus-convention system does not work?

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