Great Article! If we eliminate the caucus system, we will soon find out first
hand what California style politics is like. We will never again meet our
Senators, Congressman. The candidate with the biggest bank account will win
every time if the CMV proposal passes. The whole reason they want this to pass
is so Mike Leavitt can run against Mike Lee in 2016.
Thank you for this letter. While some people don't realize the county and
state delegates for the GOP are not "bound" to a candidate, Sen. Bennett
did know that and counted on it. His recent op-ed was surprising at best. The Delegates typically tell their neighbors that they will vet the
candidates and pick the best ones to be on the ballots and they typically
welcome any feedback and comments from their neighbors. While some
candidates have tried to get delegates to "commit" to them when running,
they know they aren't bound to a candidate. I haven't met a delegate
that wouldn't tell their neighbors who the voted for if asked. The new
precinct websites should help.
Krista you have nailed it! Our current convention/primary system forces
candidates to reach out and talk to delegates all across the state, giving
Utahns in both urban and rural areas a voice. Those behind Count My Vote want to
avoid that personal contact with regular folks and save their time and energy
with larger ticket donors and special interest groups. Rural Senate Districts
will no longer have personal visits by candidates or elected officials, instead
they will receive robo calls, mailers and TV ads.Perhaps they will be lucky
enough to have a staff person give them a visit. Don't sign THEIR petition;
Protect our Neighborhood Elections so that we can still see our elected
officials in our neighborhoods and not just on TV.
Krista;I don't trust you and your father with MY vote.
I'm perfectly capable of vetting the candidate myself, thank you very much.
" In a purely open primary, candidates will just tell the voters what they
want to hear."Ha! And you don't think they do the same thing to
you and other delegates? Candidates have to pander EVEN MORE to delegates
because they are more ideologically polarized than the general population, so
they have to tell YOU want you want to hear to get out of convention.I have been a state and county delegate multiple times IN BOTH PARTIES and I
oppose this caucus convention system.I am perfectly capable of
choosing the candidates in the dozens of races each year that best align with my
views. I do not need to have someone choose for me and cross my fingers that
they match my preferences on EVERY race at convention.
Krista,Let's be totally honest here.. Living in Utah with the caucus
system, delegates are not voted on because they are the best delegates, but
rather what their position in the local church is currently.I went
to the last GOP caucus for my area, what surprised me how many people voted for
the wife of our stake president because of his calling. "She would be great,
because her husband is worthy of being called as our stake president" This
was an actual quote I heard.People vote for delegates based on their
relationship to the people in church and assume because they hold leadership
positions, they therefore must be a good delegate.
That's a pretty broad brush, Confused. And an unfair one at that.
I'm thinking John Swallow. Thanks delegates.
It's eye-opening to me that the only people who support the Caucus system
seem to be the Tea Party and their low-information voters who fear that Utahns
might elect moderate leaders. I guess delegates are scared to death
of the prospect of losing out on their bribes with our politicians and being
erased completely from the equation. I guess extremist groups are
scared to death of the prospect of the voice of the people. Interesting.
SLcgal,The delegates didn't "pick" John Swallow. He was not
able to secure the nominee at convention. He won in a primary. FreedowmFighter41, Most of the supporters of neighborhood caucus elections are
not Tea Party. For example would you put James A. Gonzales, Ernie Gamonal who
are democratic party members Tea Party? Or would you put James Humphreys, or
Joni Crane Tea Party? Sen. Hatch spent millions in phone calls, etc.
trying to avoid a primary, but the delegates did what they are supposed to do
and went to the debates and met the candidates and decided we had at least
another candidate worth considering.
NedGrimley,Not a broad brush at all...Everything I
posted actually happened not only in my district but several other caucuses as
well. I did talk to several other people in different districts to verify what I
posted.You might not like it, but it is the truth.
Senator Bennett was wrong in his article. How can a delegate be bound to vote
for a candidate that no one has vetted? The role of the delegate is to get to
know the candidates and listen to input from party members in their precinct,
then vote at convention. If delegates are to be bound, why elect them at all?
We might as well just have an open primary. But delegates do a great job of
vetting. Many Hatch delegates changed their minds after the Juan Diego High
School debate showed him to be out of touch and forgetful and showed that the
other candidates had valid platforms. It was good for our republic to let the
voters go to a primary on that one. And Swallow, please. There was a primary
in that race two, between the ONLY 2 candidates running. He was NOT a product
of the convention system. All the registered voters got a say in that one.
There are some Republicans I could vote for, but they never make it out of the
caucases, so I'm left with the other side's team as the only viable
We elect the delegates in our precincts because we know them to be good honest
people who will do the work we send them to do. Often they are not familiar with
the candidates on caucus night and the candidates begin meeting with them after
that evening. Some may already be familiar with candidates but will still go do
what they were elected to do.Once they have vetted all of those running they
will make the best decision based on their contacts. That is what happens in a
republic. We can't all be there to watch every vote and many likely will
not even try as life is way to hectic for most of usand that is why voter
turnout drops without the caucus system.
If Leavitt wants to engineer that precinct meetings he can. Just like Hatch did.
Money runs politics. Having the neighborhood caucus meetings just levels that
playing field a little bit.
Confused - Your screen name says it all. You sound like someone who ran to be a
delegate and lost. I have been to many precinct meetings where no Bishops or
Stake Presidents were elected, so using your logic I would say it never
happens.....The current system in Utah is far superior to the open primary
system. Primaries are all about money and name recognition. Is that really what
Utah wants? Was Bob Bennett getting voted out really that bad of a thing?Scoundrel - How does the caucus system take away your right to vote? Have you
been locked out of your precinct meeting? Please explain.
"How does the caucus system take away your right to vote? "Uh. . . It takes away your ability to vote for the candidate in the primary
unless you are one of the few delegates. You can vote for a delegate, but not
the candidate. You understand that, right?