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Published: Saturday, June 1 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

"We will vote a straight ticket for the Democrats." Not a chance. The Republican Party even in its present demented state is the party of active LDS. So the Utah GOP doesn't need to change anything even when encouraged to do so by the Deseret News. Nothing is going to change here in Utah.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Great letter!!!

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 Caucus System in Utah is the best way to make sure a grass roots process 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. We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, wealthy or famous. This is a good thing.

Neighbors discussing the best candidates and finding ways to improve this state and nation.

That is being proposed to be removed from the neighborhood caucus meeting. Dropping off our votes but not discussing. That is what is wrong with Washington DC. They don't listen to each other in a meeting. They watch from their offices. We need to change that not follow it.

Perhaps the Count My Vote group should go watch WALL-E from Pixar again, the people on the spaceship.

We are talking neighborhood town halls. We aren't just meeting to elect delegates. Ie believe the Count My Vote / Buy My Vote group would ruin that.

It is the media and lobbyists that want to get rid of the caucus convention system, not the other way around.
Keep Fair Elections in Utah.

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

Apparentally the DN is determined to make changing from a caucus system to a direct primary a priority for their editorial board.

I am curious as to their motivation.

Are they: still mad that Chris Cannon doesn't get to still represent the cause of illegal alien trespassers in Utah?
" " " Bob Bennett didn't get re-elected?

I think its a little disingenous for them to so openly advocate changing to a system, where those with the MOST money will, undoubtedly, be re-elected.

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

My precinct caucus includes a couple of the big shots in the Utah Republican party. I would say their names, but I don't have their permission, and it doesn't really matter anyway.

I KNOW I will never be a delegate, but I don't mind, as long as my delegates listen to me. I UNDERSTAND that people have divergent views at the neighborhood caucus, and not everybody will get their way. But, without a caucus, precinct system, the ONLY way candidates will get elected to office is by spending enough money to overwhelm the opposition. Most of us know that this is made up of 15 or 30 second sound bites that tell me absolutely nothing (at least of any substance) about the candidate.

Until someone can prove to me that a system made up of sound bites is better than a bunch of neighbors getting together and "hashing" out the issues; I will continue to support the caucus system!

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Utah has perhaps the most unique demographics of any state. There is a high percentage of the population that has their minds made up on who to vote for in the general election before candidates are selected.

Often times, those who vote have no idea who the candidates actually are, they just know that according to what they're taught and what they believe, the candidate with the "(R)" next to their name is the candidate who represents "correct principles", and that's the end of the thinking.

The reverse scenario would be a state that is 2/3 African American and reflexively votes "(D)" without thinking about it. Well, of course, in that scenario, more radical liberals who are at odds with a national Democratic Party, who is trying to appeal to middle of the road voters, would want to have a Utah-style caucus, so they could elect extreme candidates on limited budgets.

With more extreme candidates who can enjoy automatic election results in November, why wouldn't extreme liberals want that kind of system?

Substitute "extreme liberals" with "tea partiers", and you have this situation, in reality, in Utah.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Until Utah Mormons stop quoting Ezra Benson's "you can't be a good Mormon and a Democrat" comment from 40 years ago, you will not see anything different.

I can only thank our Heavenly Father that most Mormons are;
not from Utah,
Not from America,
and therefore --
NOT Republicans.

Ajax
Mapleton, UT

Recent news commentary has questioned the future of the tea party. What taints the tea party and advocates such as Utah Republicans Mike Lee, Jason Chaffetz, Dan Liljenquist and Mia Love is their allegiance to far-right politics.

Agenda particulars of America's conservative far right include:

Mobilization against a supposed leftist socialist conspiracy to subvert America's Constitution and its sovereignty.

Unregulated access to guns as our best defense against tyranny in government and evil doing.

A free market capitalism of unrestrained competition biased on behalf of the fittest and disdainful of those less able.

Unquestioned patriotism to include an obligatory military force abroad in constant war against an illusory enemy.

No compassion for illegal immigrants who are scapegoated as unscrupulous takers responsible for our economic woes.

An uncompromising dedication to ideological purity.

Far-right regimes in practice are typically highly authoritarian and hierarchical, oppressively nationalistic, obsessed with ideological and ethnic purity, prone to resort to force and in general focused on policies that favor themselves at the expense of others. Modern examples are invariably catastrophic.

Woefully out of touch with reality, the far right is ultimately a dead end and a bad choice for Utah and for America.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The information on John Swallow's corruption was out before the election. He is an example of what happens when you vote for the party no matter what.

4601
Salt Lake City, UT

While I agree that times have changed, the Democratic party today is not the party of JFK (skilled negotiator), Tip O'Neill (sought a compromise) or Warren Magnuson (D-WA) who was strong on defense. Kennedy's famous speech noting that all boats float on a rising tide is now ridiculed by his own party. It is amusing to see that one party is frantic over the IRS scandal, but minimizes Swallow. The other party lives and dies about Swallow and wants to forget and move on over the IRS and Benghazi mishaps. It would make a bad sit-com.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "We will vote a straight ticket for the Democrats."

All three of us. That'll show you!

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Mr. Call seems to want us to believe that he would vote Republican if they would only get rid of the caucus system. Riiiiight. In reality, I’ll bet he’s been a Democrat for a long time and resents the fact that Republicans win the majority of offices in Utah. So he’s using the current bandwagon of anti-caucus sentiment as a convenient way to express his resentment. Keep the caucus system. It works just fine.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

I don't think voting party line... in any direction.... ever does anyone any good. The last thing we need is more straight ticket type people where thinking is no longer required.

Anyone who votes straight ticket has completely abdicated their responsibility as a voter. We are to vote for people - who we have studied.... not a dang elephant on donkey.

Government Man
Cottonwood Heights, UT

This is a good letter. We dearly need moderate, middle of the road politicians in this state. The Utah Republican Party has thrown their moderate members literally under the bus. The likes of Leavitt, Walker, Bangerter, and Bob Bennett are recognizing the problem with the political structure in Utah. I have talked to several well placed Republicans who have told me that what is currently taking place in Utah Politics is unhealthy and possibly dangerous. We need to scrap the Caucus System, and install Open Primaries, Term Limits, and a good recall law. The incidents happening with Swallow and Shurtileff are just the tip of the ice berg. We need to create an environment where moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats can get elected in this State. We need more Jim & Scott Matheson's, Mike Leavitt, Wayne Owens, Olene Walker, and Gunn MacKay's in this state. The example set by Mayor Corroon is what Utah Politicians should strive for in their careers. Be honest, only serve two terms, and don't get
corrupted by greed and money.

Clarifying Facts
Lehi, UT

You are right that our state is not being well served by our one-party ruled Republicans. You are also right that the caucus system has an absurd premise, that the general public is too dumb to get a vote of our own.

As to those who say that a primary will be too expensive, I ask, "Why on earth would you want to save money for candidates by taking away people's votes? Doesn't that just give them the leeway to spend every bit as much money, influencing even fewer people? And why won't you even consider other possible reforms that might help us reign in the corruption of money and politics, such as a well-crafted campaign finance measure, term limits, or both?"

airnaut
Everett, 00

So long as Utah elects Orrin Hatch 7 times in a row for the last 42 years.

All I can say is -- Only ignorant lemmings... must... always... vote... "R".

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

Voting straight ticket 'Democrat' would be just as bad as voting straight ticket 'Republican'.

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