How many states use the "caucus" system these days anyway? Most states
got rid of it decades ago. I don't think Utah will have trouble getting
this on the ballot and I would be shocked if the overwhelming number of voters
didn't support it.
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. We believe the Count My Vote /
Buy My Vote group would ruin that.
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.
Mr. Druummond,When people realize this "County My Vote initiative will
give them less of a chance to participate but give media and power brokers more
power, they will not sign any initiative. This is a power grab by Lobbyists, and
those that want to run for office but don't believe they can win if vetted
by average citizens asking one on one questions. Perhaps you should
realize that Utah was one of the early states to get rid of the Caucus System.
We didn't like the results and voter turnout went down. We changed it to
get a governor that wouldn't have won otherwise. Who are we
going to change it for this time? The people, or some desperate candidate?
I agree with Utah_1. The caucus system works because most delegates spend many
hours vetting the candidates and making informed comparisons. This compared to
a primary system that requires large amounts of money and the decisions of the
electorate are based on sound bites. The caucus system reduces the number of
candidates for each party to two , unless the majority (60%) think one candidate
is superior to all others. With a primary system where there could be 7+
candidates, like in one congressional district this year, the final candidate
could end up with receiving less than 30% of the vote.There were only 5
races out of 45 in the republican party that would have required a primary
election if the two top candidates were running. Four of these were in races
where the they ultimately ran against Jim Mathewson and lost. What would be
gained.When Hatch was originally elected he received less than 50 5
0f the vote because his republican opponent decided to run as an independent.
This is what providing open primaries will cause. Election of someone that can
enthuse a small base of supporters rather than the majority of the electorate.
Utah is not unlike the children of Israel wanting to be like the other states in
all ways and manners. Enid Green Waldholtz Mickelson was the spokesperson at
the convention and that turned me against that process to listen to her tell how
she won when the percentage was higher. That is a good reason to keep it lower
as we didn't win with her as a representative even though she is still on
radio and in politics. It doesn't make sense to have a Primary when the
percentage for primaries are low especially in June. Even the General Election
was very low as people have probably already become like people in other states.
Only 1 of 5 voted in the general election which was dismal. The problems with
the convention is that the Party chairman acts like the President we have now
and makes his rules up as he goes along. The electronic voting works but he
kept on using voice votes for a lot of the resolutions and general type
business. The chairman and other officers were voted by electronic. It is
quick and the only problem was a lot of the delegates left early and skewed
As far as I can tell it's the elite "power brokers" who are behind
this initiative effort. The "enlightened ones" don't think they
should have to pander to the lowly state delegates. They think its much better
to put out obnoxious, incessant commercials that actually convey little
information.Apparentally they think its much more preferable to buy
half a million dollars worth of ads BEFORE the primary, which would obviously
make the media companies happy because that's their business.Don't forget - on ANY ballot you can write in anyone you want. Including
yourself if you desire. There's nothing at all wrong with the
present system except that we need more people to participate.
"Count my advertising profits" is a better description.This
hare-brained scheme is aimed at getting incumbents with deep pockets to enrich
advertising giants by misleading the "low information voters" who really
have little interest in political candidates and the details of their positions
on issues. But, they can be easily swayed by slick sound bites or mind-numbing
repetition of ads that increase name recognition. This passes for political
debate these days.Alas, we are the seeing further "dumbing
down" of our political system. It will inevitably hasten the bidding war to
lure the "takers" for their votes while punishing the "makers"
and those who might actually solver or serious problems instead of just exploit
them for personal gain.Keep the caucus system, and reward the
efforts of those who care and study issues, not those we really don't care
enough to show up at a well-publicized meeting a few blocks from their home on
one evening in March.
"Delegates opposed to the changes sought by Count My Vote, however, said
they felt they were being blackmailed by the group and doubted a pledge that the
initiative would not go forward if the reforms were approved at the party
convention."That's funny, because I feel the current system
is controlled by the politically elite--the delegates who want to shut the
voters out of the process. In a one-party state, they need to open the process
to voters. Otherwise, Utah's Republic becomes not much different than
China's Republic or Iran's Republic where "delegates" choose
who is on the ballot as well. Bring on the petition. I will be glad
to sign it.
Look who is behind this. The big money consultant class and the establishment
politicians. The answer to this should be simply no. They will raise their
money put it on the ballot and win and the days of underfunded challengers will
be done away. Incumbency will be protected and the consultants will cash their
paychecks. This is a sure way to take Utah from the best managed state in the
Union to average at best.
According to Rich McKeown, "There's a core of people who really
understand that this is a place where you can gain some control, and have some
control over the party mechanism,— something they are intent on
maintaining." The they referred to hear are the 4,000 delegates elected in
neighborhood caucuses as opposed to former party chair Thomas Wright who favored
some changes and members of the Count My Vote group including Mike Leavitt, Kirk
Jowers, LaVarr Webb ... . Which group to do you think better represents the
people and which represents the elite and party bosses. Rich also says, that an
initiative is, "last hope you have for changing things." Now that they
have been unable to threaten delegates to accept change and were unable to
persuade legislators to run with their ideas CMV members seek to impose their
ideas on private groups through a state law created by an initiative process.
CMV is willing spend $1M to $1.5M drive this initiative and claim that this is
the "last hope." Why don't they spend a faction of the dollars to
research, educate, and persuade delegates of all parties to implement change.
Maybe that will work better than threats.
My experience with Republican delegates (at least in Utah County) is that they
are egotistical and all-knowing. They think they know better than other
card-carrying members because they got elected as a "delegate." In
watching the election of delegates, one is utterly amazed at the "grass
roots corruption" one will often find with the election of delegates. They
will often run as voting blocks, nominating each other (family dynasties in Utah
County), and bringing out "neighbors" and "friends" to vote for
them who aren't all that interested in politics, but rather are people who
are returning personal favors by turning out to Caucus Meetings that they
can't wait to leave. After they cast their ballots for their
"preferred" candidate they don't even stick around to see the
outcome, but leave immediately. This is how so many
"fanatically right-wing" delegates are elected in a state that is more
moderately conservative. Most Republican voters are shut out of the political
and democratic process because of such an inane system who calls Mike Lee an
improvement over Bennett. Mike Lee is an embarrassment to Utah and was
basically "installed" into office by 4,000 people who crave power.
Our career politicians are scared-to-death that the precinct delegates are going
to impose term limits on them. Uncle Orrin was so terrified of retirement that
he even pandered to the Tea Party. All of you "Count My Vote"
supporters don't realize that party insiders consider the uninformed much
easier to manipulate than the interested and informed Caucuses and delegates.
Don't be fooled! Force the politicians to answer to those who invest their
time to be truly informed. Don't turn our government over to those couch
potatoes who spend all their time swallowing expensive TV sound-bytes.
The delegates at the convention were warned that if they didn't give up a
small amount of their power then most of it would be taken away. They failed to
listen. They failed the entire GOP. They had to act tough instead of being
reasonable. They are responsible for losing the caucus system. I am a die hard
caucus attendee and I blame those who scared the delegates into voting against
reforms. They need to leave the GOP now.
It wasn't the LDS Church that got people to the caucus meetings. It was
voters' anger at the ousting of Bob Bennett by far-right delegates. That
anger will be manifest again as voters sign the initiative.We voters
are not too ignorant to choose our candidates ourselves. The arrogant delegates
remind me of the liberal left which believes only government knows best how to
manage your life.
Let's dump the caucus system entirely. How hard is it to see that the
delegates and county chairs don't want to give up the power they already
have? "What?! Trust the ignorant masses? Those dummies will get fooled by TV
and radio ads!" Yes...to a degree they will and the caucus system almost
ensures that those ignoramuses will have zero participation in choosing the
party's candidates. Sure...they can vote in the general election after the
smart people (i.e. delegates) have figured out who they want as candidates.
Maybe the party should spend its efforts motivating the ignorant masses to vote
in the first place. The passion and fervor of a typical dyed-in-the-wool party
delegate in the defense of the current system is enough to send reasonable
people walking the other way in disgust. Face it...a political party is a club,
with its own rules and traditions. Those in the inner circle (leadership and
delegates) take pride in their status and associated power and are not going to
give it up easily.
So some people choose not to vote, that is a choice I can live with. I vote,
sometimes I win, sometimes not. I really don't care if my neighbor votes
or not, that is his/her choice. However, if you don't vote I really
don't care to hear you gripe.Those who don't care enough
to garner support for themselves in caucus meetings, and complain the meetings
are perpetuating a dynasty they don't like - care enough to get your own
block of supporters to vote them out! You can't do it by waiting until the
last minute, you have to work at it. Put down the remote, learn the rules and
work at getting your way. Politics is not fair, never was meant to be fair,
only orderly.Some folks like to play the victim of almost anything.
Start your own party, join another party, but to come to someone's party
and want to change the rules because your feelings are hurt and you don't
get to play won't cut it.
The idea that delegates put all this time into studying the candidates is a load
of hooey. The delegate elected from my caucus already had his mind made up
before the night was over. Dump the caucus. It entrenches the power brokers.
The Count My Vote people are trying to increase voter participation. Their aim
is to dump the caucus system under the guise that more people will participate
if we have primaries. Sorry but nothing could be farther from the truth.They are mad that their buddy Bob Bennett got bounced in the convention
four years ago and they want all of us to pay. The problem is,
having primaries won't increase voter participation. That is up to the
individual voter to participate in elections. Dumping the caucus system will
not change that. Voter apathy is an individual thing. Different people are
motivated in different ways. I for one have not missed voting in an election
since I started in 1976. I'm a motivated voter. I feel it is my duty as a
free citizen of the United States to vote. I would feel bad if I didn't
vote. Others do not feel that way.I spen a lot of time as a
delegate the past two years vetting the candidates. I studied them, I talked to
them, I read their propaganda. I made decisions that I felt reflected my
research and my neighbors wishes.
I wasn't "egotistical". I knew before the convention last year
that John Swallow would not be the man for the job of Attorney General. So far,
I have not been wrong. I didn't vote for him in the convention or in the
primary election. I didn't even vote for him in the general election. I
left that vote blank. I could not in good concience vote for him.Most state delegates take their responsibilites seriously.Lets
look at people who have obtained high office as a result of the caucus system.
Orrin Hatch was a beneficiary of the caucus system. Norm Bangerter, Jim Hansen,
Jason Chaffetz, Rob Bishop, John Huntsman (unfortunatly), Gary Herbert,
candidate Mia Love, and the list goes on and on.Bob Bennett said it
best after he got beat in the convention. "I have just lost my job."
He thought the Senate was his job. He lost the perspective that We The People
were his boss. We in effect fired him because he was out of touch. He thought
he deserved the job.The Republican establishment needs to quit
crying and work toward helping Republicans. Not hurting them.
@Henry, and tell me again why Utah should look to other states for how to
nominate candidates to public office? Lets see you live in CA and want us to
change to CA system so we can be bankrupt right next to you? How about Utah
keeps the system that has made them the best managed state in the nation.
@Henry Drummond from San Jose. Hmm. Utah is the only state still doing the
caucus system, and is "the best run state."Your state,
California, uses only primaries, and is bankrupt. I wonder if there is any
More people vote in primary elections than attend caucus. Until that changes the
proposed initiative will bring government closer to the people.Big
money plays on both sides. It advertises for primary candidates but also grows
grass roots radicals who are fooled by right wing radio and the think tanks who
are behind them pushing ideas that the public wouldn't normally accept.Either show up at the caucuses or show up at the primaries. Either way
we can come closer to one person-one vote instead of one dollar-one vote.