The statement about the resolution the central committee approved is inaccurate.
It said we should INVESTIGATE those things. Not necessarily implement them. Chairman Wright has latched onto that resolution as if it were his
lifeline. What this is really about is letting big money lobbyists
buy the primaries with their advertising dollars. It is easy to see why
newspapers and TV stations are routing for the path that generates more
political advertising dollars.
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.
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.
Y'know, it really won't. Yes, it's on everybody's lips, but
the off year conventions are about choosing the best leadership for the Party.
Been doing these for 10 years now, it's always the same -- lots of hype
about something or another, but when the day comes, we are at candidate booths
talking, deciding, electioneering.We are nowhere near as dumb or as
narrow-minded as some people would like you to believe.
Yes lets get rid of the caucus system so that D.C. lobbyists can determine our
elections. In a primary the candidate with the biggest bank account and most
name ID wins. There are too many voters for the candidate to meet with 1 on 1 or
even in town hall settings. This causes the candidate who can buy the most
advertising to win. This is why it's so crucial to have
delegates elected by their neighbors who trust their judgement to go and
thoroughly vet these candidates. They have one on one discussions with the
candidates and thoroughly vet them. They ask tough questions of the candidates
to ensure they represent the views of them and their neighborhood.More primaries does not mean more participation. More primaries means more TV
ad's, more mass mailers, more negative campaigning, more autodialers. The
caucus system works, don't fix what isn't broken.We are
the best managed state for a reason, the reason is that we have a Jeffersonian
republic called the Utah Caucus System.
With the 60% threshold, 47% of the time candidates in contested races go to a
primary run-off. This brings a balance between candidates nominated at the
convention and those that go to a primary run-off. If we were go
raise that threshold to 2/3, candidates would go to a primary run-off 67% of the
time. Balance is everything. More important, this entire debate is
about whether we want to allow big DC lobbyists to control Utah's
elections. Their clients include the Democratic National Convention, Steve
Colbert and his SuperPAC created to mock Republican candidates. They are the
ones that take credit for the great campaign finance debacle called
McCain-Feingold that gives advantage to the rich candidates who are allowed
self-fund with no limits (people such as ... McCain), while the little guys are
limtted to $2,500 per donation. cont...
Ridding Utah of the caucus system could involve many more Utahns in the election
process. I've tried to attend every caucus meeting, but had trouble
learning when and where it's held. I've seen persons who wanted to
participate thrown out without reason. Going to the meetings, I've seen
countless people outside in their yards--not because they wanted to leave all
the decisions to someone else, but because the parties go out of their way to
avoid having the electorate know how and where to participate in the election
process.Organized and outside political groups have disenfranchised
Utah voters. A primary would go a long way to re-enfranchise voters. Grass roots
candidates can get their message out; they don't necessarily have to
outspend incumbents.Above all, the current system is not working and
Utahns have been unable to participate. We need change. The State went to a
caucus system because a politician who couldn't win a primary had the
backroom strength to change us to a caucus system, even though voters
didn't back him. We seriously need change; we seriously need to
re-enfranchise Utah voters. Abandon caucuses!
Those opposed to the proven benefits of the caucus system seem to fall into a
few groups:a. Incumbents with name recognition and deep pockets to
advertise who hope to fool voters again after becoming nothing but hack
politicians.b. Media empires standing to profit handsomely from
advertising money if primaries replace the caucuses.c. Special
interest groups able to dump a ton of money into a race to mislead the "low
information voters" who make up too much of the electorate these days.The core of the caucus system is the locally elected delegate with the
interest and concern to take the time to meet and study all candidates, and get
to know the details of their beliefs and character and ability to serve in
office. These delegates are not easily swayed by slick advertising after
meeting personally with a candidate.Keep the caucus system! Even
though the media monopoly, party bosses, and moneyed special interest groups
hate it.People can still vote for another party's candidate if
they don't like the ones selected by the Republican caucus. But, many of
the complainers are closet Democrats anyway.
The caucus system needs to go. It has outlived it usefulness. Do you like
reading about and trying to understand the Iowa caucuses? Utah's system
is viewed the same way. For those who support the caucus system, I
suggest this: Let's try a closed primary election in 2014 or 2016. It
wouldn't be that hard. All one needs to set is a declaration date, a
primary date, a runoff date. Forget all of those caucuses, county conventions,
state conventions. Let candidates connect with ALL the people using whatever
mode they want. Let ALL the voters have a say. Try it for a year, see how it
works (or doesn't work). If you are afraid to try something
new, nothing changes. Hardly a good solution in this day and age where
everything changes and usually improves.
Count My Vote should not negotiate with these elitist, "we know better than
the people" party leaders. There are plenty of people who want to take the
party back from the current system where the loudest most strident bully voices
have perverted the secret ballot one-man one-vote principle.The
party elite's opinion of the voters is insulting. The idea that purchased
outside influence will take control is out of date in a web saturated world.
Anyone with a message and a little bit of tech savy can get the message out at
next to no cost.
The caucuses I've attended have been laughable. They have been completely
controlled by a small number of loudmouthed, extremist bullies who have
literally shouted down anyone who tried to express more moderate views.It is painfully obvious that Utah's GOP caucuses are rigged and
controlled by people like Orrin Hatch, Rob Bishop, and now Jason Chafetz and
Mike Lee.It's absolutely ridiculous to call this "grass
roots." It's more like "poison ivy roots."
The issue in my mind is not just low participation but the fact that the primary
and general election is determined by sound bites and money. Electing
representative in the precincts to take our views to the convention is the best
way to get the best candidate selected. If those that decide to be delegates
will devote the time to go and hear each candidates views, ask pertinent
questions, and carefully consider the individuals views and demeanor; then the
best candidate will/can reach the primary general elections. The primary
system is a very expensive and wasteful process for either party/candidate.
From being involved in the last cycle I saw the waste in the senatorial campaign
when Hatch barely missed being selected at the convention. Under this system the
organizations outside of Utah can pump money into campaigns to disrupt the
process that we as Utahans should be concerned about. My take on this election
was that Lilenquist represented the same coalition that Mike Lee did/does and
that his extremist views and his freshman status would have impacted Utah's
ability to make any significant progress.
Many say "primary elections are just places where low-information voters get
mind-controlled by wealthy advertisers." What they're
really saying is "my neighbors are ignoramuses and deserve to be
disenfranchised; I'm the only one 'informed' enough to deserve a
vote. The 'ignorant' should stay out of this and let me and my pals
run the show-- and anyone who doesn't agree with me is ignorant."
Taylor,Caucuses aren't held in secret and the information about
where and when they are held is widely available. No less easy to find than
where to vote in the general election. There are those who are seeking to
undermine the principle of representative government and to tear the community
out of politics. Each man goes to the polls to vote by himself. We do not want
neighbors meeting with neighbors to elect one of them to choose their candidate.
They don't want them in the same room unless they are waiting in long lines
twiddling their thumbs."We seriously need change; we seriously
need to re-enfranchise Utah voters. Abandon caucuses!"You are
advocating the opposite. The disenfranchisement of people. Caucuses, unlike the
primary, is about people meeting with neighbors and gaining the skills to work
within a political system. If voting is the definition of the franchise you are
right but that's not the definition of franchise. It's a narrow part
of itExcesses of democracy and limits on representative and
community lead to mental illness. Causes enfranchises a person because it
empowers them. Advocates of primaries want them out of sight and mind.
Prodicus,That isn't what anyone is saying but your comment
shows the contempt you have for others and the reason why a caucus system among
many other community organizations is essential for a free society. No one is
saying low information voters shouldn't participate or get informed instead
they are saying the low information voter meeting with neighbors choose the
person they trust to represent them while they gain the knowledge and experience
they need to do the same if they choose.You place way too much
emphasis on the vote and not on the process and the benefits of the process. The
empowerment and education of a free people in the affairs of their government
which primaries don't do and caucuses do. Not every person will hold public
office before running for public office. The caucus system provides them the
skills, knowledge and their contacts to do that without having to sell out to
the "powers that be."You are the one with the attitude you
detest. Your vote is the only right one therefore you don't have to lower
yourself to go to a meeting with inferiors when you can just go vote
sherlock holmes,We are already seeing the negative impacts of
primaries the primary system in our country. We are seeing the breakdown of
civility and the polarization of our society. We are seeing the mentally
unhealthy outlook that so many people possess manifesting itself. Contrary to
what you may believe caucuses serve a fundamental human function. Socialization
of society and government. Personalizing it and keeping it within a framework of
people. We have to grapple with real issues and resolve differences
with people we know and care about or have to live with. This comes in handy
when some go on to seek office where they have to deal with people we do not
know or care about personally. Their minds are in the right place. They
generally do not have an overly adversarial or contemptuous attitude of
others.You say we should just try it. Why should we try
disenfranchising people? Why should we go from a system where ordinary people
actively participate in a core function of governments to one where all they do
is cast a single solitary vote? We already have that power in
general elections.You aren't adding to instead you take away
No matter what the system I bet the results will be the same. The GOP will
nominate a white, LDS male who will win the general election in a landslide.
Why would I send a delegate to a convention to vote for me when I can go to the
polls and vote myself. We all know that some of the delegates just do whatever
they want. The delegates are not bound by the people in their neighborhood.
The caucus system was great in 1903 when you couldn't run another election.
But, now that we don't ride horses or rely on the Pony Express it is
absurd. All you have to do is look at how hard the radicals in the party are
holding onto this power. George Washington once said the hardest vote for
someone to make is the vote to reduce their own power. Philpot isn't ready
to do that, that's why he's never won an election.
David, et al:David said, "Caucuses aren't held in secret
and the information about where and when they are held is widely available. No
less easy to find than where to vote in the general election."I
never said they were held in secret, but I did say I've seen persons who
wanted to participate civilly thrown out, which shocked many in attendance. The
caucuses haven't been easy to find. So that everyone can find them,
I've heard that they are listed on the respective party websites. However,
no mention of them is on the county websites, where we can easily find out where
to vote. Even Google couldn't help me find out where my caucus was a couple
years ago when going to the party web site to elect a public representative
hadn't occurred to me. Judging from caucus attendance and subsequent low
voter turn-out, I'd say most Utahns are disenfranchised. That bothers me.
continuedFurther, most of us want to be able to decide on and vote
for our candidate of choice, rather than go "elect" some other candidate
to do it all for us. Believe it or not, voters are intelligent persons, able to
read, write, search the internet, and decipher information.Our job
as voters is to pick the candidate to represent us, not as you assert, prepare
candidates to further their political aspirations and careers. Another
disagreement with the caucuses is that candidates manage to fill them with their
friends and puppets to bully others into acquiescence. That sounds a lot like
some warnings from a certain King Benjamin to me. I am unhappy with
the cronyism is caucuses and the cronyism in Utah politics. I don't believe
the primary system is perfect, or that the caucus is entirely bad. Unfortunately
the caucuses are much better in theory than they are in practice. I just want
Utahns to be able to vote for the candidates who will represent us and run the
government, rather than a few elites who caucuses select to be delegates at a
convention that few Utahns ever know anything about choosing everyone.
Bob Bennett was taken down at a caucus by the Tea-Party people that showed up at
the caucuses. That caucus in 2010 was done without proper controls in place for
people that were not registered for the caucus. Senator Bennett was definitely
one that was caught off-guard at wht the FreedomWorks type groups were doing.
Senator Hatch doesn't appear to be on the inside with FreedomWorks that
spent over $600K against Hatch. They may have a way with candidates at caucuses
but even last time there was an effort to disarm the Chris Stewart campaign with
disruptive people in their district meeting and even in the open convention.
Caucuses provide a medium that still allows Primaries. Primaries in June at not
the best timing as the campaigning has to be quick. Media and publicity firms
have not developed the best plan for the bucks they take in. Money still buys
GOP party officers as one candidate's company has put up $100K to in that
top position. House boats on Lake Powell is an incentive for being an officer
and candidate. Perks are still alive for John Swallow to take advantage of
defending out state.
Based on the state gop released stats since 2000 for state wide or congressional
races, at 60%, threshold to avoid a primary, 1/2 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. I had 47% earlier vs 1/2.