Comments about ‘Robert Bennett: Caucus delegates do not always honor commitments to public’

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Published: Monday, Nov. 25 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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goatesnotes
Kamas, UT

I tell you about one caucus delegate who kept his word to his constituents - I promised them I would vote for Mike Lee and that's exactly what I did. Bennett is still replaying his embarrassing loss and hasn't figured it out yet.

Sal
Provo, UT

Where can I sign the petition to get rid of the caucus system? Excellent article and another nail in the caucus coffin. Only the delegates want to keep the antiquated system.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

If a "delegate" goes into a caucus meeting with his mind made up on the candidate whom he will support, that "delegate" is in violation of his duty. His job, after being elected as a delegate, is to vet all candidates as thoroughly as possible and then, and only then, to form an opinion on which candidate best represents the precinct.

At our last caucus, there were at least three times more people who attended. It was obvious that many were there to see that Orrin Hatch was elected. Most of them had no idea who the other candidates were in the Senate race. All they knew was that they wanted "Uncle Orrin" on the ballot. When delegates were elected, two were elected who stated that they would support Orrin Hatch. One delegate said that he would not vote for any other candidate unless Orrin Hatch were defeated in the nominating convention. The other delegate finally conceded that he would look at Hatch's record, that he would talk with the other candidates and that he would be open to suggestions from the precinct. He did his job and he did not vote for Orrin Hatch.

stuff
Provo, UT

Elected politicians don't always do what they promised during their campaign, either. So, should we abandon electing people?

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Caucus delegates do not always honor commitments to public"

That may be true, but big-money interests, making back-room deals with disingenuous politicians, don't even bother to make commitments to the public. Their commitments are strictly to their own interests.

The only reason big money is pushing "Buy My Vote" is to benefit big money. They may be venal, corrupt, and self-interested, but they're not stupid.

There is no good reason to abandon the caucus system, dozens of good reasons not to.

Gordon Jones
Draper, Utah

I guess any stick will do.

Bob Bennett is consulting tea leaves (but not, obviously, Tea Party leaves) in this latest screed against the caucus system. He makes statements which simply can't be verified to attack the caucus system that served him well in 1992.

The fact is that we cannot know how the delegates selected at the caucuses were going to vote. Possibly a majority were for Cannon at that point, but there is no way to know. And if they were, and subsequently changed their minds as they got to know Bennett and Stewart better, isn't that an argument IN FAVOR of the caucuses? The delegates did exactly what they were supposed to do, whatever their pre-convention leanings: they vetted the candidates and determined that Cannon was not worthy of a convention coronation.

And when is the last time a politician advocated elimination of the secret ballot? How out-of-touch is that? Once more Bob Bennett demonstrates the reasons we got rid of him at the convention.

JenicaJessen
Riverton, UT

Sal- Count My Vote's website has a list of places where you can sign.

The Hammer
lehi, utah

THis is the worst argument I have ever heard against the caucus system. We might as well scrap the whole republican system if this is your argument because Hatch and others have campaigned and promised many things only to not do them or to vote against them. Im sorry but i love you Bob and voted for you but the caucus system is what we need to allow citizens to be in charge of their government and bare the responsiblity of self government. Primaries turn our government into a government of techoncrats who are approved by the ruling class.

Thinkman
Provo, UT

Mothers and fathers don't always keep their promises to their children, so therefore, we should never trust a mother or a father.

Bob,

You are obviously still sour over the caucus/mass meetings system that is more democratic and reflects more closely the will of those that care about what type of government leadership we have than the elites picking other elites to represent the masses.

Get over it. I'm so glad we have Mike Lee representing limited government than a yes-man that you became.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

speaking of not honoring campaign promises to the public ...this is exactly why Bob Bennett was ousted and Mike Lee was elected and will be re-elected...and why Orin Hatch will be tossed out the door finally.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I believe the statement “The Constitution specifically requires that every state in the union have “a republican form of government” because the Founders were suspicious of pure democracy” is probably not true.

As I understand it, many of the colonies were governed by church controlled governments. The notion of democracy is never seen as a possibility for a church controlled government. I doubt that the thought of democracy never occurred in the minds of the founding fathers.

The only government that would be acceptable to the colonial governors and try to fulfill the promises of the Declaration of Independence would be a republic.

Winglish
Lehi, UT

Delegate votes SHOULD be public information. Period. We, the caucus, should know how our neighborhood delegate voted.

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

In 2012, I was unanimously chosen as a delegate to both the county and state conventions, and I voted exactly how I wanted, regardless of the majority opinion of the people in my precincts. Bob Bennett is right.

mohokat
Ogden, UT

@Steve Warren' Sounds as though you would make a good politician. I am in favor of the caucus system where small people have the same chance as the big money folks.

David
Centerville, UT

I've signed the "Count My Vote" petition.

Happy to have done so.

I recommend more study this issue and cast their vote.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Either Bob Bennett was totally "out of the loop" or he is being totally dishonest. Shortly before the caucus meetings, I received several emails from his staff instructing me how to be a Bob Bennett delegate without the precinct knowing that I had total allegiance to Bob Bennett. I'm sure that I still have those emails on one of my servers. I would be happy to forward them to whoever it is in government who is responsible for honesty in elections. Several other people in my precinct received the same emails.

No one is elected to be a "delegate" for any particular candidate. That totally violates the terms and conditions of their duty. They are charged to "vet" all candidates and then to represent the will of their precinct.

At least one poster reported that he did as he wished. That was a total violation of his duty. He was not elected to represent his own wishes, but to represent the will of those who elected him. Shame on him for his actions. Elected officials, on any level, are duty bound to represent those who elect them to office.

merich39
Salt Lake City, UT

Orrin Hatch did a wonderful job of using his money and influence to stack the caucuses this last election. To state that 'big money' has less control under a caucus system is not true. Big money just needed some time to wise up on where to invest that money. In a state like Utah, where 90% of our elected representatives are GOP, whoever wins the GOP primary is virtually assured of winning the general election. All the caucus system accomplishes in this regard is shifting the timeline of big money spending. It shifts the focus to using that money to stack the caucuses.

What a caucus really does is allow the elections to be decided by the loudest and most intimidating from each precinct. Those who speak the loudest and most forcefully end up, in most cases, having the most influence. The loudest are not necessarily the wisest nor the most honest. Ours is not intended to be a government of the loudest, by the loudest, for the loudest. Count My Vote, now!

BYUalum
South Jordan, UT

I cast my vote for the Caucus method. It gives us as citizens an opportunity to see and hear the candidates on the grassroots level before going to convention. Ex-senator Bennett, "Caucus delegates do not always honor commitments to public" turned out in your case that the good ole' boys politics of looking like a conservative then voting like a liberal is why, sir, you were defeated! I hope more of this happens in 2014. Clean house!

Please, let us hear now from the other side other than a defeated member of Congress.

Haiku
Pleasant Grove, UT

The caucus system
Which rid us of Bailout Bob
Cannot be all bad.

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

The idea to have everyone's vote count is a very popular idea. Term limits are also a very popular idea. We should be thankful for the caucus system that made it possible to limit Bennett's (and Chris Cannon's) term. A direct primary system greatly favors incumbents. Why do people want to give up the system that makes it easer to oust a politician? Sure, Bennett is a conservative, but why does he deserve the job to be a senator for as long as he sees fit? The people should be able to decide to elect someone new.

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