Comments about ‘Letter: Private political parties’

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Published: Tuesday, March 11 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

The caucus system has given us candidates of different views?

How many "different views" of tea party mormon republican are there?

We are the least politically diverse state in the nation. Is there really any difference between Lee, Chaffetz, or Bishop? Even our lone democrat is a republican.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Private political parties that effectively control access to the ballot. Successful independent or third party candidates are precious few.

Also, parties that (in some states with strong leanings one way or the other) effectively hold the general election (if a candidate wins the primary/caucus, they win the general election).

And, parties that require public accommodation to hold their primary or caucus.

South Jordan, UT

Yes parties are private institutions. However, their candidates are placed on the PUBLIC ballot. If they want to have automatic access to have their candidates on the ballot, they need to follow the rules set up by the government. There are some parties that do NOT have automatic ballot access for their candidates because they have not met certain criteria put in place by the government. This count my vote compromise is no different--it is just another set of criteria that parties must follow if they want to have their candidates be guaranteed access on the ballot.

Eagle Mountain, UT

The problem I see is that these "private parties" have no qualms about accepting public money to fund their "private elections". I do not feel any one party represents me fully, so I do not feel a desire to register with any; which precludes me from voting in a primary, but I am still forced to pay for it with my tax dollars.

If a party wants to be able to discriminate who it allows to participate in its vetting process, that is fine, just don't ask me to pay for it.

Sandy, UT

If I had my choice, I would vote for eliminating the parties altogether and have every person run for office as themselves, instead of representing a party. I think politicians get stuck in a hard spot between their own beliefs and those of a party. I would like politicians to act based on their own morals and ethics, rather than having to behave a certain way for a certain political party.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Private political parties are the backbone of a free society."

If that's the case, why doesn't the Constitution even mention them?

Brigham City, UT

"Should power in the state be based solely on a candidate’s name recognition and money?"

NO. However, it's already that way with the caucus system.

Not saying the system should be scrapped. In theory, it is a great idea. But, even the caucus system can be, and is, hijacked by those with money and influence.

If you don't believe it, you're not paying ANY attention...

Kearns, UT

Open Minded Mormon, when was the last time you went to a caucus in your ward building? The answer is never. If you'd have been to church on Sunday and listened to the letter about the caucuses by the First Presidency, you'd have learned that church buildings are not allowed for such things.

It's not the Church's fault that Mormons have turned largely conservative. I would say that it's the Democrats fault for taking the far left turn. I know a lot of Mormons who at one time were Democrats until the Democrat party became the party of the left.

I also agree with Maverick. Matheson would be a Republican back east.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Eagle Mountain, UT

What public money do political parties have access too?

I assume you're talking about $$ collected in the form of taxes. Fact is.. no political party has access to State tax funds. They are funded by private donations (not your taxes).

The Caucus and Convention are also not funded by the State (or your taxes). They are funded by the party (with the party's money, not tax $$).

ELECTIONS are conducted, overseen, and paid for by the Government... and that's the Government's job (conducting elections). But it's not the government's job to select the candidates the parties decide to support. Government makes sure ELECTIONS are conducted fairly (according to State laws). But they don't run the candidate selection process as well (in America).

Who the party decides to support is not up to the Government. And none of your tax dollars go into that process.


Hmmm. I always thought the right to trial by jury was the backbone of a free society. Silly me.

Eagle Mountain, UT


I am right with you until the elections portion. Yes, the Government's job is to run them, but then why does each party get to choose who can vote in them? Without registering as a Republican, I cannot vote in their State funded primary; but they can sure make me pay them.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Oh please. If the Republicans want to have a primary election for their private club, let them run it, staff it, and pay for it themselves. Nobody's stopping them. But I object to my taxes being used to fund their private club elections.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT


#1. No tax money goes to either party (not a dime).

#2. The State is responsible for overseeing the elections and conducting them in a way that is transparent and honest (left to the parties I guarantee you it would not be either).

#3. The government has in interest in the integrity of the elections, so they conduct them (and fund them). But they don't mandate each party's process.

Primaries are funded by the State for the above reasons. But that doesn't mean the Government takes over all control of the process. Just the election oversight part. That's the reason we have TWO party-primaries (not one). So each party can focus on figuring out who the best candidate is to advance to the general election (in the opinion of the people in their party, not in the opinion of outsiders).

You would naturally expect only people who affiliate with that party wanting to vote to select their candidates... but Utah Democrats seem to have VERY keen interest in being able to select Republican candidates... I don't get that.

Independents too...

It's not independent's job to pick the REPUBLICAN candidate.

Demo Dave
Holladay, UT

"The caucus system has brought us elected officials of different political views who have served us well." Like John Swallow.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Demo Dave,
The caucus system did not give us John Swallow.

The caucus system gave us John Swallow AND Sean Reyes. These two faced off in the party primary (June 2012). So every registered republican who bothered to vote gave us John Swallow. So don't pretend some small minority gave us John Swallow... the whole party selected him (2-to-1 over Reyes).


Convention doesn't pick the final nominee... (unless it isn't even close). They pick the top-2. It's up to us to decide between the top-2.


You can't blame it all on the caucus system. We DID get to vote... and we DID pick Swallow over Reyes (not just the special interest people at convention).


Then Swallow faced Dee Smith in the General Election (November). And EVERY UTAHN got to vote... EVERY vote counted... 64% Swallow, 30% Smith. So actually THEY gave us John Swallow (not the caucus). Not just Republicans, not just Tea Party people... that was the result when EVERY Utahn voted...

So don't blame it on the Caucus system.... Blame it on the 64% who voted for him (because he had an R by his name).

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

BTW --

Anyone can attend ANY other political party's caucus we want to.
Because ALL other politicals parties are "open" to the public, for public input and public debate.

The Megalithic, Monopoly holding, One-Party Beast who control ALL facets of politics in this State is the ONLY one that is so shallow, paranoid, and threatened that it feels a vital need to be Closed -- for MEMBERS only.

If you don't like those of us "joining" the Republicans long enough to attend your caucus -- open it up to the public.
What on earth do you have to fear or be afraid of from the tiny little pinions in the minority?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

I'm glad you realize you can go to any caucus meeting you want. But don't be too surprised if they don't let you dominate the meeting with your LDS grand-standing and Marxist ideology. Fly in from Oregon and join us.

Democrats always seem so shocked when they go to a Republican caucus meeting and nobody's interested in hearing what they have to say. Doesn't seem like a shocker to me.

I wouldn't expect to go to a Democrat caucus meeting and try to make them listen to a bunch of tea party stuff... so you should not expect a Republican caucus to want to hear much of your Marxist stuff.

Just makes sense that most people would be there to discuss the Republican platform and Republican concerns (not yours).

So if you come... just don't try to dominate the meeting. They are mostly there to talk about Republican party issues.

ray vaughn
Ogden, UT

If the letter writer believes the compromise is a bad idea there are several options. He can ask legislative leaders to repeal the bill. He can select candidates pledged to repealing the bill. Or he can gather others who fell the same way and begin a petition drive to get the question of repeal on the ballot.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I wouldn't expect to go to a Democrat caucus meeting and try to make them listen to a bunch of tea party stuff... so you should not expect a Republican caucus to want to hear much of your Marxist stuff.


I wouldn't spout a bunch of Marxist stuff.
It would be Christian stuff.
Christ lean far left on Social issues.

If Marx copied Christ's teachings, more power to him.

clearfield, UT

The first Amendment which grants freedom of association is the basis of a political party, club, interest group, (NAACP, CPAC, NRA, NARAL, , or the Republican, Democrat, Green party, ect.

LDS Liberal

So do you think Jesus would be OK with abortion? How about pornography? How about todays pop culture with the likes of Jay Z and Beyonce and all the c--- they spout in music. How about drug use? How about the huge welfare system of this country that gives all without asking anything in return? How about same sex marriage? How about, well, I could go on, but if you are trying to claim Jesus would be a liberal more than a conservative by todays standards, I'd beg to differ. The teachings of the LDS Church are still, and always will be, very conservative compared to modern day society. And with the liberal changes happening as fast as they are, the LDS Church is looking more and more "out of touch" with the modern world, and that is EXACTLY the way it should be and remain. The world may change, but true principles from GOD stay the same. That is why I stay LDS.

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