We have the #1 state in the Union. Yes we have problems like less good
education than we would like. So we should go to liberal ideas and be like
I've attended caucus meetings. I've sat there as loudmouthed
extremists mobilized and emboldened by FreedomWorks browbeat their fellow
citizens while biased party officials selectively applied rules of order.
I've watched in dismay while, thanks to the lopsided caucus turnout and the
tactics employed, delegates were selected whose views were unrepresentative of
our precinct. We invited delegates individually to our home, discussed the
candidates and the issues, and pled with each to use his convention vote to
represent the will of the precinct voters, to no avail. The candidate favored by
the majority in our precinct and throughout the state was eliminated at
convention.Afterwards I visited a meeting where FreedomWorks gloated
over their success and discussed tactics for repeating it at the next caucus.
Thankfully, they were thwarted by higher turnout. But caucus meetings scale
poorly. Our precinct meeting's planned room seated 25, but we had well over
100; we wasted five hours of people's time and ended after midnight.
Bleary-eyed parents, elderly people, and everyone else endured it because single
party dominance without primaries meant this was their only voice in
government.Does that sound like a working system?
Haven't read all the comments yet...but has anyone mentioned how it is even
Constitutional for the State to direct how a political party chooses to select
its representative to the general election? Seems to me there used to be
language in the State code trying to direct how parties pick their choices, but
it was stripped out as unconstitutional. I haven't heard any discussion
along those lines yet.
Prodicus,Have you attended caucus meetings? Have you talked with
the delegates? Just exactly why do you think that the caucus system is
broken?How would an uninformed electorate do a better job at
"vetting" canadates than a delegate who is duty bound to do the will of
those he represents in his precinct?Who would you have on the ballot
who would not be there if he was "vetted" by hundreds of delegates who
carefully looked at him? Would you want the person who had been bought by
special interest groups to be on the ballot? Would you want the person who had
been "approved" by the Republican Party to be on the ballot? OR, would
you want the person who best represented the voice of the people to be on the
ballot?Your plan would put the person who was obligated to do the
will of special interest groups on the ballot. Those who pay the piper get to
choose the tune. Your plan has nothing to do with a "democratic
republic". It reverses power from the people to the government.
Re: "Those who like the status quo, take heed. The majority of Utah is not
on your side, & you know it!"We know no such thing!What we know is "buy my vote" is an attempted coup by the moneyed
elite. They believe they should decide who we vote for, so they can control the
outcome.No real Utahn believes that's right.And you
Mike Richards, it's not Democrats saying we should do away with the caucus
system, and to say that the way you show you value the voice of the people in
politics is to exclude all but a handful of them from participating in actually
choosing their representatives is absurd.The people who want to
stick with the broken status quo keep repeating the idea that somehow regular
citizens are morons who are so suggestible that their opinions are just a
reflection of whatever advertisements pass their way, while convention delegates
are perfectly rational and magically immune to the influence of money. This is
tremendously laughable. What's easier to buy- the votes of a few dozen
delegates, whose identities and addresses are easily available to the
candidates, or the votes of a few hundred thousand citizens? When a member of my
family was a convention delegate, she was inundated with easily ten times the
political mail and phone calls she normally got.
Having lived most of my life in direct primary states I for one am all for
maintaining the Caucus system. Before I really had no say who became our
candidates. Now at least I have some say. I don't always get who I want
but at least I have had a say at the neighborhood level. I love the great
turnout we get at our meetings...always a packed rooms. Seems like most of our
neighbors are there. We get to have our say and to finally vote for who
represents us at the convention. We are just regular people selecting regular
people as delegates. I just don't understand it when people here post
about the elitist picking the candidates. The only time I have seen that is
when I lived in direct primary states.
When Democrats tell us that we should do away with the caucus system, then we
know that they fear the voice of the people in politics.When
well-moneyed former elected officials want to bypass the voice of the people in
the caucus, you know that they still have obligations to their
old-friend-funders.Lazy people want to do away with the caucus.
They can't be bothered to spend an evening to elect delegates, delegates
who will ignore the money thrown around by incumbants. They can't be
bothered to pick up the telephone to talk to a political "hopeful".
They can't be bothered to throw out the career politicians and elect people
who are not in the "pockets" of special interest groups.In
America we get what we deserve. How many people ever studied Obama before
voting for him? How many knew his political history? How many knew his
associates? How many just liked his "rock star" image?Take
the people out of the system and all we'll ever see in office will be
"rock stars" who promise everything and then do nothing. That's
what "count my vote" is all about - rock stars.
DN Subscriber 2 conveys the dismal reality of the caucus system when he says
"you MIGHT get elected to be a delegate." Because in the caucus system,
you have to convince your neighbors that you belong in the political elite
before you can really have a say. Of the 1.47 million registered voters in the
state of Utah, only a few thousand have any direct influence on the outcome of
the crucial first (and often only) round of the nominating process.When you vote in a primary, your vote may not count for much--but it
absolutely counts. When you show up at a neighborhood caucus and discover that a
handful of your neighbors have already rigged the whole affair, you effectively
have no voice.
"Now it is not common that the avoice of the people desireth anything
contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the
people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and
make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people."
So, that means that the Democrats can vote for who their Republican opponents
will be... and vice verse. I will not have a voice after all. It's not like
they listen to us in the first place. At least some up there are trying to stop
"The way we win this thing is rural Utah," said Billings, the former
Washington County Republican Party chairman. He said the party has the
infrastructure to stall signature-gathering in rural areas of the state.The party doesn't care about what the voters think. They are
beholden to themselves and the extreme elements of the party who want to control
everything at all cost.
DN subscriber 2 "chosen to make other things a priority" Not everyone is
able to attend the meetings. Some people work in the eveenings or family
obligation conflict. It ios difficult to believe proponents of the current
system who attempt to portray Mile leavitt, Gail Miller and Norma matheson among
others as bolshevils and anarchists intent on destroying freedom. To those who
call people 'low infoirmation voters or uninformed voters that generally is
the derisive term used to describe people who arrive at a different decision on
whom to support and vote for. The state GOP leaders seem intent od disrupting
the initiave process in rural communities instead of providing a good argument
for keeping the caucus system. Every tie an initiave petition reaches the
election bsllot the legislature makes the petition process more difficult.
Signatures have to be collected in 26 of the 29 counties. harly ignoring the
The caucuses assure the power of political parties. You have to register in
one, or at very least participate in one of their meetings, to be part of the
system. My participation over 30 years makes me very cynical about the value of
giving them all the power. Do away with the caucuses to assure that power stays
in the hands of the people. Congress is broken now because of parties that are
too extreme and too powerful.
@middlerightThe caucus system only supports the right wing zealots of the
party. This chases off those truly in the middle that want to participate in the
process. Hatch was successful in fighting off the right wing but he was the only
one in recent times. had we a primary system in place Utah would have true
representation and lee would never have been elected. It is time for change! It
is time to shut down the right wing zealots!
No system for selecting candidates is perfect. There is potential abuse of
power in both the caucus system and the direct primary system advocated by the
Count My Vote drive. The caucus meetings are only one step in the
process. Neighborhood "town hall" meetings select delegates that
represent the precinct at the state convention. If a person is unable to attend
the actual caucus meeting, he or she can still contact the delegate to discuss
issues. Delegates should reach out to citizens to get input. A direct primary
severs that connection to the grass roots citizenry in the candidate selection
process. The caucus system thus serves as a check on the primary system, if
citizens are directly involved.However, the caucus system itself
needs checks and balances. There is potential for a "runaway"
convention dominated by special interests or extreme elements that do not
adequately represent the "rank and file" party members and voters. A
check on this potential abuse is to increase the number of delegates needed to
avoid a primary. Citizens would then be able to select their nominee. This
balance is best for the parties, the state, and its citizens.
I can see why the Republicans want to keep the caucus, it take politics away
from the local folks. My question is where were they when they gerrymandered
Salt lake City to dilute its political base?
If the Republican party is encouraging Utah to keep its current system, then do
you think that the current system is really more representative of the people?
Calling people "low information voters", which people have stolen from
Rush Limbaugh, is so condescending, it speaks to where these types of people are
coming from. They scream about not wanting to be controlled by elitists, yet
don't even realize their own actions make them the elitists. Telling people
they are "low information", is basically calling people stupid unless
they agree with you. Yeah, that's not elitist at all. Thinking you know
better than others so you should be able to make decisions for them is also
If you don't like the caucus system- then show up at the caucus after
getting a bunch of neighbors to agree with you, and YOU might get elected to be
a delegate. If you are too busy, that just indicates that you have chosen to
make other things a priority and helping select nominees is too much bother for
you.The people who want direct primaries are the powerful elites,
with the money and name recognition to fool enough low information voters to
win. The other supporters are the media, who stand to get rich selling
advertising for a primary, and political pundits who want to be able to fool
people into voting for their choice.No, the caucus system is the
best was to ensure grass roots participation, and thorough review of candidates
with ample opportunity for the most people to make their views heard.If only 5 out of 50 states use the caucus system, then the smart ones will
eventually switch to it. Most states are poorly run with lots of bad
politicians, and direct primaries seem to help them stay in power.Keep the caucus system. And everyone should show up!
Bob01, well put.Note the Republican leadership's strategy here-
treat rural voters as gullible, try to drive a divisive wedge between them and
the Wasatch Front, do whatever it takes to frustrate the will of the people. The
party insider network is running scared and they know the majority of citizens
want their state back.Fitness Freak, political parties are welcome
to make their own rules and act as entirely private entities- but really acting
as private entities requires that they they stop using public infrastructure for
their activities (e.g. caucus meetings), have party endorsement information and
straight-party options removed from ballots, etc. If you think the parties in
Utah should go for that, go right ahead! Otherwise, if they're taking
public benefits, the public can set conditions to promote the public interest.
"Count my Vote" SHOULD be called "Buy my Vote" Take a good
look at the people who are pushing the idea.Old time politicians who,
somehow, didn't seem to mind the caucus system that got THEM elected.All that changed the last few years when people began to notice more and
more how politics directly affects their lives. To our credit, we are holding
our politicians MUCH more accountable than ever. Incumbent politicians
don't always appreciate that.The caucus system makes
politicians MUCH more accountable than a direct primary.Some of the
"old guard" think THEY should mostly decide who represents Utah. THEY
think they know best.By the way; you can STILL write in any name you
wish on the ballot. Your own if you want. Why not let the political
parties pick who represents THEM?
Well "one old Man" sounds like you should go to the Caucus and have a
say. I do. Once there is only a primary system, only the rich and connected
will be able to get in.
As long as the Caucus system is in place, I DO NOT have a voice. Only a few
people attend our neighborhood caucus. Most of them are Tea Party right wing
extremists. They are able to completely commandeer and control a meeting,
shouting down any who try to speak in more moderate voices.The idea
that it will favor the wealthy can be taken care of by carefully planning the
process by which a person's name is placed on the ballot. Requiring a
certain number of signatures on a petition is a start with no filing fees and a
requirement that no one may be paid to collect those signatures or advertise on
TV or other media. If it is a good person seeking support from those who know
him or her, the playing field will be much more level.But finding a
good solution is probably beyond our Republican Party.
Dixie Dan,re: 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.I am
concerned direct primaries would result in a system where only wealthy,
well-funded candidates could get elected and there would be no incentive for
candidates to visit rural areas, whereas now a candidate can’t afford to
neglect anywhere delegates live.I’m nervous that we’re
going back to a system Utah tried for 10 years and didn’t like and
we’re going to create fly-over counties. Individuals who do not have the
name-recognition or the money will have a much harder time getting involved to
Those who like the status quo, take heed. The majority of Utah is not on your
side, & you know it! You don't like government making decisions for
you, yet you have no problem making decisions for others. I want to make my own
decisions. Don't tell me garbage like, "you can decide to go to the
neighborhood meetings". Blah, blah. I don't want my neighbors making
decisions for me, I don't care how much more time they have to spend
w/candidates. I'll spend my time doing my research & make my own
decision on who to vote for! If I don't do as much research as my neighbor,
oh well, at least the decision is mine & mine alone, as it should be. I
don't like the crowds that are turning up to these Republican neighborhood
caucuses. I don't want them making decisions for me. Yeah, they've
made great decisions-Mike Lee & a state auditor that isn't even a CPA
(who also is always posting on Facebook during times I'd think he'd be
working, & his posts rarely have to do with what he was elected for!)
The best reason for Count My Vote to succeed is Mike Lee. How anyone could
possibly think he would be better than Bob Bennett is a mystery. To save the
economy, Bennett voted for TARP which caused him to lose in the caucus. Now we
have Lee whose vote my well cause a severe economic collapse of our economy.
Brutal is the only word I can think of that describes Senator Lee.
About time Utah started believing in its citizens. But power will never be given
up without a fight. Explain to us why the initiative is unconstitutional Utah
sherlock holmesWe tried the Primary system without the caucus. It lasted
for 10 years and voting went down.Our current problem with voter
turnout is it has not kept up with the population increases. The voter turnout
keeps going up but not as fast as the population. Some of that is the younger
voters, where Utah has a larger percentage of them and they aren't, as a
group, as involved. We need to educate those moving in and not understanding our
system.Many citizens who attend their neighborhood elections and
caucus meeting become interested in politics and get involved in their
communities, the state and the nation. They meet and help candidates become
elected. Some then later become candidates. This should be encouraged through
education.The system and the experience attending the meetings can
always be improved, but the “Count My Vote” initiative isn't
the way to do it. Any changes to the system the political parties use to
determine their nominees should be determined by the political parties.
We already have a "bypass" system, filing as an unaffiliated candidate.
A candidate can go straight to the general election ballot. Someone who
doesn't think they can win if vetted by average citizens asking one on one
questions can still run and spend their money. Why should they be a political
party nominee if they are going to bypass their political party?At
only one time for 10 years in Utah’s history did the state depart from the
Neighborhood Election, Caucus and Convention System. In 1937, a powerful
democratic state senator convinced enough of the legislature to switch to an
open primary. He had had two losses, a US Senate race and also for governor,
because the majority of the convention delegates disagreed with his legislative
voting record. But he was well known and had money.Many at the time
felt like an open primary was his ticket to the governorship, and he did win.
But the change in the system only lasted for a decade. After public and media
disillusionment, and even worse voter turnout, Utah restored the Caucus and
Convention System. Why go back?
We call upon Citizens of Utah , the Utah Legislature, and Political Parties in
Utah to protect the Utah Neighborhood Election, Caucus and Convention Candidate
Nomination Process.We have a system that that does NOT favor the
incumbent, the wealthy or the famous. This is a good thing, and should be
preserved.The Neighborhood Election and Convention system in Utah is
the best way to make sure a grassroots process can win over large amounts of
money. It is the only way someone with $100,000 can go against someone with $2
million in election funds.We want neighbors discussing the best
candidates and finding ways to improve this state and the nation. If the system
is changed, we would be dropping off votes, but not meeting and discussing
candidates and issues. That is what is wrong with Washington, D.C. They
don’t listen to each other in a meeting. They watch from their offices. We
need to change that, not perpetuate it.
As long as the Caucus system is in place, I have a voice. If we can just get it
so we have a primary only, then the richest politicians can buy their way in.I have ABSOLUTELY NO input in a primary. This is why the Democrats
want the Caucus to go away. To suppress the input of citizens who make an
effort to get involved, but can't afford the big billboards.When was the last time you could actually get a real answer from a politician?
I asked my local representative to get answers, and he did. That was why
Bennett isn't there anymore.
Hurray for the concept of having a primary election. It's time has come
and then some. Candidates have many ways to get their message out these days,
and every citizen deserves the opportunity to choose for whom he/she will vote.
There is no need for a caucus system to select an elite few who then have all
the fun. Let's try a primary election. The Party would still
be the Party. There would be no power shift to the dems. Many states are
doing it this way. And doing it successfully. More involvement -- more energy.