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Published: Saturday, Feb. 22 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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one old man
Ogden, UT

Excellent letter.

But remember, this is not a democracy. The upper echelon cannot trust those of us who actually work for a living to make wise decisions and must try, by hook or by crook, to prevent any attempts by those of us in the lowly 47% to thwart their schemes.

Utefan60
Salt Lake City, UT

Well said. It is a shame on all the people of Utah. But what do we do? If he was a Democrat he'd be voted out in a second. But with that big R by his name he can get away with anything. Voters need to think before voting for this man again.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The irony of it all. Where's O. Henry when you need him?

This letter complains because Bramble is acting as an elected legislator to introduce the legislation that his constituents want him to introduce. In other words, he doing his job as an elected official in a Democratic Republic. The Count My Vote crowd are upset because they want a pure Democracy, something we don't have in America. They want a pure Democracy so that "rock star" appeal becomes more important than representation. Just look at how many people, who have never participated in a caucus, who have never voted for delegates, who have never vetted candidates think that something magical will happen if Count My Vote becomes law. They actually think that those who could care less about voting will suddenly become active participants, that they will call each candidate and personally interview each candidate, that they will evaluate each candidate based on constitutional principles and not on "rock star" images, that they will responsibly vote for the best person and not for the person recommended by party officials.

Fat chance.

Impartial7
DRAPER, UT

Yes- Bramble is a disgrace. But, guaranteed, Utah County voters will re-elect him in a landslide.

FT
salt lake city, UT

Utah's conservative legislators tried a similar strategy with educational vouchers. Citizens were not fooled then and they won't be this time either.

Sal
Provo, UT

We will remember at the ballot box those legislators who voted in favor of Senator Bramble's effort to deny the citizens their initiative.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

Kudos to those who strive for more participation but until we have viable choices expect more of the same. A one party and backroom political theocracy is the single biggest factor why a few can overlook the will of the general populace. Is an election to illegally override the rights of others really a vote to sustain your leaders or is it just better to let your neighbor make that decision for you so you're not accountable?

SLars
Provo, UT

How about it East Provo? Should the people of Utah decide, or should Bramble?

Grover
Salt Lake City, UT

The caucus system gave us John Swallow...case closed. Where do I sign?

Utefan60
Salt Lake City, UT

Almost 100,000 signatures including Mike Levitt, Norma Matheson and many others and Mike Richards has the nerve to say that Bramble is representing his constituents? Hardly! He has lost touch the voters in Utah. I still don't want the systems that is packed with Eagle Forum people and people that do not represent the true voters in Utah. There is a reason here are so many people signing this petition!

The Hammer
lehi, utah

@Grover

I sat in the convention and watched as Sean Reyes garnered 45% of the delegate votes to John Swallows 55%. When Mr. Reyes started no one knew him including me. I was in Swallows camp until I met Sean. I interviewed him and found him to be a far better and more qualified candidate than John.

When the primaries rolled around I was telling everyone I knew to vote for Sean but the primary produced a sad result as John Swallow won with 70% of the vote.

If ever there was an argument to be made against "count my vote" this is it. Primaries will always favor the incumbent. Primaries will always favor the one with more money. Primaries will almost always defeat the common man.

Count my vote averages a donation of $21,000 per donor. with only a few donations less than $250 dollars. The truth is "Count my vote" would largely bring us more of the John Swallow type not the Sean Reyes'.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

Just because an elected official introduces a bill does not mean his constituents agree. Just look at how D.C. has performed since 2010. Your TeaP's were able to gain their foothold because the previous 2 years they ignored the jobs crisis and the list goes on and on and on. I saw nothing that indicated Americans supported shutting down the government and protesting with a confederate flag.

Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah

Hammer,

The caucus brought us John Swallow but Count My Vote will more likely bring us John Swallow than the caucus? How can you say that with a straight face? We have proof that the caucus brought us John Swallow we don't have proof that the Count My Vote would bring us John Swallow, so your best argument would be that the results would be the same. T

The caucus system brought us Mike Lee, which I would say is another strike against the caucus system.

cmsense
Kaysville, UT

People want to vote for candidates not delagates. Who has time to spend hours at a caucus to elect a delagate who may or may not vote for the candidate you want. That's very discouraging to participation for those of us with busy less flexible jobs and family responibilities.. Let me spend three hours learning about candidates positions and arguments at the place of my convienience (at home if I like) and one minute voting. The masses don't vote in primaries. It will be those that care enough to vote and the politicians should trust them. People are very busy with jobs and families and it shouldn't be just those with a lot of time on their hands that think they should vote for the rest of us. SB 54 is offensive. If politicians want to help the electorate, set up a central website where potential candidates can put forth their veiws and arguments but absolutely change to a direct primary system. Why is Utah in the stone age?

"When government suppresses the people it is not in the people's interest but for their own want for power"

JenicaJessen
Riverton, UT

The Hammer: Under the caucus system, Rebecca Lockhart has served no fewer than eight terms in the Legislature. Curt Bramble, the bill's sponsor, has been sitting in the Senate for nearly fourteen years. Orrin Hatch spent 5 million on the caucuses and conventions in 2012, more than he did on any other part of the election (the primaries and generals). Miraculously enough, despite the claims that the caucus system is hostile to "incumbents" and "the rich", they keep getting reelected.



It's an unfortunate fact that no electoral system on earth can eliminate the effects of money and name recognition. To claim that the caucus system is perfectly unbiased and immune to manipulation is ignorant at best and deceitful at worst. If anything, the small size of the group of delegates exacerbates the effects of manipulation-- remember FreedomWorks?



Also, another 200 votes and Swallow would not have had to face a primary at all. THAT scares me.

The Hammer
lehi, utah

@Fred44

Don't you see that when the AG race heated up most of the delegates switched from John Swallow to Sean Reyes in the convention? John had to pull some dirty tactics out of his hat and get Mark Shurtliff to go on a sean-bashing tour to stop delegates from leaving his camp. It was a direct primary race (just like the one count my vote wants) that gave John a landslide win and the amount him and his PACs spent to win was ridiculous but it worked and that is why "count my votes" efforts would bring more landslide wins to incumbents, rockstars and the wealthy.

@Jenicajessen

Are you serious? Your saying that the caucus convention keeps people in office? What about Bob Bennett or Chris Cannon? Orrin actually had to campaign to win and he visited parts of the state he hadn't seen in years.

And for the record I never claimed that the caucus system is perfect or immune from manipulation but "count my vote" was started and pushed by wealthy donors who have a history of not wanting to see their investment in a politician go to waste.

JenicaJessen
Riverton, UT

The Hammer: "Your (sic) saying that the caucus convention keeps people in office?"

Well, the legislature seems to be fighting awfully hard for a system that isn't at all favorable to them. They are directly meddling in the system that affects their time in office. Do you honestly think that they'd be battling so hard to keep the caucus if they thought that any election now the completely unbiased and altruistic delegates would remove them from their seats?

Exceptions can be found for any system. Yeah, Bennett and Cannon were kicked out, but incumbents can and do lose their seats in direct primaries. Bramble knows this, and he knows that if he has to face the judgment of the general public instead of a handful of delegates, he's in deep trouble. If CMV really would lead to all incumbents everywhere gaining a seat for as long as they want it, why on EARTH would those incumbents be opposing it? If CMV is really about the establishment and career politicians instead of about the "common man", WHY are the career politicians fighting so hard against it?

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