Brad, your case doesn't represent the vast majority of voters as the recent
mayoral elections yielded the LOWEST turn out of any election and even lower
than caucus turnout. Our system requires us to be involved. We
should be picking someone from our group of neighbors to represent us and make
wise choices that effect our area. If we don't get involved or stand up
for personal responsibility our government will be controlled by the loudest
voices which usually are those on the extremes or those who have money with an
agenda. And with this reality it won't matter what system we have as we
will have lost our status as a republic.The caucus system is the
most basic form of self government and all it takes is organizations and groups
bringing people together in the community and asking people to get involved and
serve. Too many people sit on the side line and try and avoid the tough choices
in our system because they would rather be watching football or bachlorette and
if that is the case we are setting ourselves up for a government run by
technocrats and monarchs. Executive order anyone?
Brad,Not being able to make it to the caucus meeting does NOT
disenfranchise you. You still get to vote in the primary. The only function
of the convention is to pick the field for the primary (which we already have,
and you DO get to vote in).I have never been a delegate, but
I'm thankful there are people interested enough to dedicate weeks of their
time to study the issues and candidates and pick the 2 that will best represent
our party (that's ALL the convention does).You still get to
vote in the primary (whether you kill the convention system or not). You are
not "disenfranchised" just because you didn't make it to your
caucus. You still got to vote in your primary (just like all of us). You
always could, you always will, whether the convention goes away or not.Don't let the party-boss convince you that you must do away with the
current system and let THEM pick who will be on the primary ballot. We
don't all need to go to the convention. But we DO all need to vote in the
primary (not just 6% of us).
2 bits,I have voted every primary election. Even when the primary
ballot had only one item, a slot for State Treasurer. I always vote.I cannot attend caucuses because I have a full time job where I work evenings.
This is a textbook definition of being disenfranchised. Primary
voting is easy, you can mail in a ballot early, or you have most of the day to
show up to a polling location. There's a reason why primary voting
percentages are higher than caucus attending percentages.Caucuses
are restrictive. One night only, they last a long time, and the only way to
really know the delegates or to be a delegate is to attend. Not everyone is
able to attend such meetings.
Brad Peterson,Re: "what of us who work evenings and can't attend
meetings? Or mothers who can't find babysitters?"...That's a red-herring. IF it's a priority for you to make it to your
caucus meeting you will find a way.If you have these excuses why you
can't attend your caucus meeting... you will use the same excuses why you
can't be bothered to go vote in the primary.Did you vote in the
most recent municipal primary election August 13th? Less than 6% in my city
did. Obviously a primary election isn't a panacea. A primary
does not insure everybody picks the party candidates (just the 6% who are
motivated enough to overcome your excuses and show up to the primary... which
are probably the same people who would show up at a caucus meetings anyway).I've yet to find a person who wants to replace caucuses with a
primary, who regularly votes in their current party primary.Why
would these people want a primary when they don't even bother to vote in
the ones we have already??
For all of you in favor of the caucus system, what of us who work evenings and
can't attend meetings? Or mothers who can't find babysitters? Or
those who are too sick to attend?We have no chance at being a
delegate. We have almost no insight as to who potential neighborhood delegates
will be. Our voice and vote is meaningless. Why is it that
delegates are overwhelmingly male? Is that representative? Dan Jones has
studied the priorities of primary voters and of delegates, and found the two
groups do NOT share the same priorities. Why are you so insistent
on not letting individuals like myself have the same opportunity as the rest of
you? I'm in favor of the Count My Vote initiative as it makes voting both
fair and open to all, something primaries should always be about.
Senator Bennett, I'm disappointed. You're articles are usually so
thoughtful. But this makes no sense! You argue that we should go to a direct
primary because there are concerns with having a secret ballot. That makes as
much sense as, "I'm late for work so I should wear purple
today."I am all for adding accountability to the delegates and
publishing their votes. I have been a delegate many times and would be fine
with that. But don't get rid of the caucus system for an obscure reason
like that! There are better solutions!!!!!Too many people only
focus on one race in the conventions. Senator and Governor are not the only
offices affected. The direct primary that is being purposed has so many
unintended consequences, it is truly scary. But it is shiny and new and people
are jumping on board like lemmings! Count My Vote is looking for people who
don't vet ideas or candidates! Are you one of those?
Re: "Only the delegates want to keep the antiquated system"...Sal... who do you think these "delegates" are?YOU could be
one if you had the guts to volunteer!They are just you and I...
normal every day citizens willing to get involved in picking the party
candidates.You make it sound like delegates political elites, or the
same people every year, or once you are selected to be a delegate you are always
a delegate. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've yet to see a
repeat delegate in our neighborhood. The people who hate the caucus
system seem to know almost NOTHING about it!If we replace the
neighborhood caucus meetings and party convention with a popularity contest (on
the pretense that more people would get involved IF we did that)... I'd be
OK IF it did that. But currently my district gets 6% turnout for primary
elections. Do you think more people will show up to the party primaries IF we
just did away with the neighborhood caucus meetings first??I
don't.So ~6% would be picking the party candidates and
you're OK with that?
Of course delegates may change their minds (as Bennett did many times),
especially after they have talked and listened to candidates for political
office. I was a state delegate in 2010 and I promised those attending my
precinct that I would not vote for Sen Bennett, and I kept my word. I was easily
elected by the precinct.Sen Bennett is still upset that the 2010
State delegates tossed him out in favor of a primary between Tim Bridgewater and
Mike Lee. Senator Lee won the nomination in the Republican Primary. One of the
reasons that Bennett lost was because, senators (like Bennett) also fail to keep
their commitments to voters. What a hypocrite. Bennett provided two
senators from Utah. While in D.C. he was the senator that represented the
lobbyists and wealthy elite, and while in Utah pretended to represent Utahns.
Ignoring Utah voters caused his loss.
I have never been able to make more intelligent and informed votes than when I
have served as a delegate. In caucus meetings I am happy to tell my neighbors
my thoughts on issues and candidates, but promise only to do my best to learn
more and make an informed choice. I then happily return and tell any of them
who want to know how I voted and why.I don't have any problem
at all making delegates votes public so they are accountable to their neighbors.
Far better to do this than to scrap the caucus system.
As a 2012 state delegate, I can say assuredly that I did not know which
candidates I would vote for ahead of time. I didn't even know most of them
and some of them I had never heard of (which is a good thing about the caucus
system because it allows unknown people to have a chance). Any preconceived
notions I had of the candidates, were often changed or corrected after meeting
them, hearing them speak, and asking them questions. During the caucus meeting,
I said I would use certain criteria and principles to judge the candidates and
that's what I did. I also sent out a letter to the caucus members so they
knew how I voted and why. I know other delegates that set up a website or blog
posts to inform their members. Bob Bennett, you dishonor the very delegates and
system that allowed you to enjoy 18 years in office.
I did exactly what my precinct asked me to do and that was to elect Mike Lee. We
were all tired of bail out Bob and wanted someone to represent us that would not
bankrupt our children and grand children's future.
Orrin Hatch used the caucus system to his advantage this last election. He used
his great war chest of campaign funds to stack the caucuses in his favor. The
argument that a caucus system favors the unknown little guy is wrong. All it
does, now that incumbents have wised up, is shift the timeline of incumbent
spending. In a state like Utah, where 90% of our elected officials are GOP, the
GOP candidate who wins the caucus is essentially guaranteed of winning the
primary. Additionally, caucuses allow for the loudest and most
forceful to have a disproportionate influence. Those who are loud and
intimidating can overpower those who are less loud and less intimidating. Loud
does not equate to wise or fair. We don't need a government of the loud,
by the loud, for the loud.Count My Vote, now!
It's to bad we couldn't have ousted Hatch. He never paid attention to
the delegates anyway. He bought his votes before the convention, and now ignores
the will of Utahans..
I wonder if Bob has ever actually been to a real caucus meeting. It's
different being the candidate, vs being someone at a caucus who volunteers to be
a State or National convention delegate.The delegates should NOT be
picked because they commit to vote for Bob Bennett, or Joe Canon. That would
leave the people at the caucus with the responsibility to find the one
individual who will vote for every candidate and every referendum item, the way
they would vote. That is literally an impossible expectation.At my
caucus meeting every person who volunteered to be a State or National delegate
said that their mind was not yet made up... and I think that's good.
Because I would NEVER vote for a person who said their mind was already made up
(BEFORE the Convention) and they are going to vote for A, B, C and D.At the caucus meeting I listen to the views the volunteer has, and if they fit
with my general views... I consider voting for them. But I would never vote
for someone just because they promised to vote for one person at convention.
Whether you like Sen. Mike Lee or not you should consider the following. The
delegates almost eliminated him at convention.re: Sen. Bennett in
2010. He was not in the top 2 coming out of convention. In fact the more
moderate of the two, Tim Bridgewater was selected by 57% of the delegates in the
last round of voting by the delegates. If he had received 60% Tim Bridgewater
would have been the party nominee and Mike Lee would have been eliminated.Sen. Bennett endorsed Tim Bridgewater during the primary, but with
voters ticked at TARP and ObamaCare, they went with Mike Lee.Sen.
Mike Lee was the party nominee after the primaryThe 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
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 most REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT is the caucus system. We "hire"
someone to vet the candidates. They should spend hours meeting with and asking
questions of the candidates and then deciding who best serves the ideals of the
neighborhood. Most delegates do this rather than decide beforehand who they will
pick.If we eliminate the caucus system, we will have SOUNDBITES AND
SLOGANS as our method to vet the candidates. Big Money, and incumbents will
RULE the day. We would never have had Jason Chaffetz or Mike Lee without the
caucus system. Who is against the Caucus? Mostly, the elite. BTW,
Bennett lost because he championed the Bailouts. How did that work out for us
18 Trillion later? He said it would never happen again!The vast
majority of delegates spend COUNTLESS HOURS and MANY MEETINGS with the
candidates. You already have significant influence with your
delegate. Contact them each week to find out who they met with, what they
learned, and then discuss who they are leaning toward and why. Or,
just give in to big money, slogans, and soundbites. Because without the caucus
system, that's all you'll get.
One, the delegates do vet the candidates and they are not "bound" to a
candidate. Most delegates don't say they well do any more than say they
will vet the candidates and do not commit to vote for a specific one, despite
the fact that Sen. Hatch tried to get them to do so. Most of the
money spent during the convention in 2012 was for Sen Hatch to avoid a primary.
The delegates did what they were supposed to do and vetted the candidates and we
had a primary because enough of them felt, after watching debates and talking to
the candidates, that Dan Liljenquiest was ready and would do a great job and we
didn't need a US Senator in office for 42 years. in 2012, the
filing deadline was at 5pm and the neighborhood caucus meeting was at 7pm the
same day, for the GOP. The democratic meeting was 2 days earlier. Former Sen. Bennett should get his facts correct.
The caucus system is THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL FORM OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT. You
essentially "hire" someone to vet the candidates for you. How many
people will really go and spend countless hours vetting the candidates? NOT
MANY! It is a fallacy to believe that the representatives ALL decide beforehand
who they will vote for. I say most do NOT. Mr. Bennett wants those
with name recognition and money to win the rest of the state wide elections. We
will only see sound bites and slogans from here on out if the caucus system is
replaced. He is really frustrated that he lost BECAUSE OF THE
CAUCUS SYSTEM. He lost because he was the champion of the Bailouts. Look where
that got us, 18 Trillion Dollars later. He said IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. Hire someone to vet the candidates! If you believe in a republic, keep
the caucus system. If you want big money and sound bites, vote to change it.
Sour grapes make bad whine.Remove the caucus system and give big money the
ability to buy the candidate.The reason Bennett got tossed was he spent as
big as the Democrats.Keep the caucus system to do otherwise shuts the door
on as Hillary calls us the little people.
I am very much in favor of the Count My Vote petition. I think that it will get
more people to vote. At my last caucus meeting there was a lot more attendance
than past years, because of the LDS Church's request for members to be
involved. However, most of these people still seemed to be sideline attendees,
not willing to speak up, or more likely they were still trying to learn the
caucus system. But one of the best things we could do to improve our system of
government is to add term-limits to our congressional representatives. We have
term-limits for the President, because we don't someone to be a power
monger, why can't we do it for congress? Besides isn't there enough
good people in this country that can serve? Term-limits would probably do more
than anything else to get people involved with learning about their
representatives if we can get a new batch of people involved every few years.
Our current system just seems to perpetuate complacency when we continue to have
the same people on the ballot for multiple elections.
Do you mean that the delegates actually meet the candidates and learn about them
and change their mind?Is this about the caucus system or Bob being
upset he lost?(Side note, Bob's son was caught on video telling
caucus attendees to lie about who they supported.)
Sour grapes, Senator Bennett, are very unbecoming.
The system that brought in Senator Lee and tea party needs to leve.
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.
The caucus systemWhich rid us of Bailout BobCannot be all bad.
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.
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!
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.
I've signed the "Count My Vote" petition. Happy to
have done so. I recommend more study this issue and cast their vote.
@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
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.
Delegate votes SHOULD be public information. Period. We, the caucus, should
know how our neighborhood delegate voted.
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.
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.
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.
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
Sal- Count My Vote's website has a list of places where you can sign.
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.
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.
Elected politicians don't always do what they promised during their
campaign, either. So, should we abandon electing people?
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.
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.
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