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Comments about ‘My view: As conservative and a Republican, I support the Count My Vote effort’

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Published: Wednesday, May 14 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Furry1993
Ogden, UT

Insight from someone who has "been there and done that." Thanks for the description of what actually happens in the caucus system. COUNT MY VOTE was badly needed; the currently-imposed system needs to be followed if we all are to have our votes count, and be counted.

trgrant
Riverton, UT

If you had to run in a primary, then you would have had to spend $500,000 in order to compete. Eighty dollars, would have barely gotten your name on the ballot. When it come to money $70,000 is very low for a House of Representative seat. Look at what other state's candidates are spending.

ronk-sandy
SANDY, UT

I've been a supporter of Count My Vote from the beginning. There is too much "good ol boy" network in the party. With the current system we don't get very good debates and learn where candidates stand on the issues. Thank you for sharing the insiders perspective about running elections in this State.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Is this supposed to mean that if you're a "conservative and a Republican"... you are supposed to support the CMV people?

Because I'm both... and I don't.

====

I agree every vote should count (and it already does). We don't need to ban neighborhood caucus meetings to do that.

We already have party primaries... and General Elections... that's where every vote counts.

And IF the person you want to vote for wasn't selected by one of the major parties... just write them in!

If they get enough votes... they will win! Your vote counts!

====

You don't have to do away with the opportunities we have to meet with our neighbors to discuss community issues, candidates, and party issues. You don't have to do away with the opportunity for our delegates to learn more about the candidates at Convention... for your vote to count.

The Convention doesn't prevent your vote from counting... you vote later... And you can vote for absolutely any person you want to.

That doesn't mean any party has to support your person...

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

2bits
I am and I DO

We already have party primaries? Nope – not if a candidate garners the necessary support at the convention.

Why do you keep repeating this untruth?

regis
Salt Lake City, UT

This candidate was simply lazy. He had easy access to delegates if he had just been willing to get off his duff and go meet them and talk to them - one-to-one - at their homes. It takes time. But it can be done. And it pays big benefits. And it doesn't cost much more than a few tanks of gas.

Constitutionalist
South Jordan, UT

I have attended, as a delegate, many, many "Meet the Candidate" events. I have NEVER seen a party official fire off a bunch of awkward questions. Most meet the candidate events I have attended, are attended by anywhere from 2 to 30 delegates, and the questions are usually sincere attempts to probe the candidate's position on various important issues.

Mr Hendengren's description of his experience is 180 degrees different than anything I have ever experienced. I have met with both well-funded candidates who are well-connected in political circles, and with poorly funded candidates who have spent very little in the way of efforts to attract delegates to their events. In the case of the latter, they usually are lucky to have 2-3 delegates attend their events. I presume that this is because the delegates perceive that they are not willing to campaign to win an election, and are therefore unelectable.

Whether we retain the Caucus system, or jettison it for a pure primary as the CMV folks want, a candidate will have to spend significant amounts of time, energy and money to attract votes. $80 and good intentions will never win an election of any consequence.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

lost in DC,
I said we already have party primaries... and we do. It's a fact. I can give you the dates. It's not an untruth.

Candidates can run unopposed (we aren't going to put a gun to anybody's head and force them to run so he has an opponent in the primary)... and a candidate can have such overwhelming party support at Convention that they are basically unopposed (by anybody with a viable chance). But I have said I agree that should be a higher threshold.

But that doesn't prevent you from voting for ANYBODY you want!

You can write-in ANY name you want (in either election).

Even when a candidate runs unopposed, their name appears on the ballot (with "unopposed" by the name). Which allows you to write in somebody else if you want...

In either case you can vote for your write-in candidate.... and you vote will be counted...

Utefan60
Salt Lake City, UT

His experience mimics my own. I was very off out by the caucus meeting that I attended. Any ideas that didn't meet the groups were shut down immediately. It was a farce. I think this letter writer expressed what over 100,000 Utah Citizens expressed by signing the petition to do away with the tainted caucus system. He had it right.

There were two "plants" at our caucus meeting that did fire off questions meant to intimidate. It was exactly like he mentioned. Thanks for publishing a very honest letter about this difficult and unrepresentative system.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Something to think about... IF you can't handle tough questions, in rapid succession, from your own party... you probably aren't ready to face the other party in the vicious debates and very hostile confrontations that would face you down the road... had you succeeded in getting the party nomination.

They did you, AND the party, a favor.

====

If you can't handle that... you aren't ready for politics and a tough general election campaign. So the other party would have won.

It's kinda the party's business to put forth a candidate that can win.

So you have to prove you can handle pressure if they are going to bet on you to win...

Remember... when it's all said and done... to the party, it's about their person winning.

Party's don't want to put candidates out there (and fund their campaigns) if they know they are probably going to loose.

Remember.. even if you don't get the party nomination... if you're really that great a candidate... you can still run your campaign. And you may still win! It's been done before (Joe Lieberman is a good example).

Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah

2 bits,

Bob Bennett had he run as an independent would have been another example of what you speak of, which is if you are an establishment candidate you can win with or without your party. It still doesn't address the fact that conventions in one party states are king makers. I tend to agree with you that parties should be able to nominate whomever they choose, but in Utah and other one party states the problem is that to many people simply push R or D. I would like a ballot that has no party affiliation and forces the people to learn about their candidates.

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00

He needs to refer to himself as a Neoconservative.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

2bits

so when is the primary between Mia Love and the other guy who opposed her at the convention? Not gonna happen.

where was Bob Bennett on the primary ballot between Lee and Bridgewater?
wasn't on it.

how many of the general election races are on the GOP primary ballot?
very few.

If you win a large enough margin at the convention, where ONLY delegates vote, there is no primary for the rest of the party. There is none. If you run unopposed, that race is NOT represented in any primary. To repeatedly say there is repeats an untruth.

to say we have a primary is like saying people are eating when there is only enough for 4 and there are 2000000 to feed. yeah, a select few eat, but the rest are shut out.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

lost,
The primary where you got to vote for Bob Bennett happened November 2, 2010.

Didn't say everybody would be on the ballot. But you COULD have written him in then...

It's not my fault you didn't know this!

But it doesn't make what I said an "untruth". We already have primary elections. The one were you should have voted for Bennett was November 2010.

====

If you're really mad at candidates not facing a Primary (even though they do, just unopposed)... you need to be WAY more mad at Democrats. 10 times more Democrats run unopposed (in Utah).

Jim Matheson (Democrat) ran unopposed every time except the last election (look at his wikipedia page).

In the past 2 Senate Races... EVERY REPUBLICAN Faced a Primary Race (Hatch/Liljenquist) and (Lee/Bridgewater). But not their Democrat challengers... Scott Howell emerged from convention as the Democrat Nominee (no Primary). Sam Granato had to run a primary campaign... but that is rare for a Democrat in Utah.

So if you're really mad at somebody... it must be Democrats!

And I didn't say every candidate would be printed on the ballot... just that we already have primary elections.

Jon W.
Murray, UT

I was at the convention as a delegate. Mark Hedengren and some other guy spoke as candidates, running for Congress from the 2nd district against the imcumbent Jason Chaffetz. Even though I am in the 4th district, I tried to pay attention to their speeches. It was very clear to me and almost everyone else present that neither one was in any way, shape, or form ready for "prime time". As others have said, the job of the Republican Party is to get candidates on the ballot that are capable of winning their race (i.e. beating their opponents from other parties). Maybe the little guys out there should get some experience in politics before filing for a congressional or senatorial or gubernatorial race. For instance, they could serve as a city councilor or mayor - sorta like Mia Love did. Now there's a "little gal" that the caucus/convention system helped. She ran against more established politicians (two State representatives) but got the nomination at the convention.

Taylor
Orem, UT

I think the letter presented the situation accurately, but didn't mention the farce every caucus meeting is. Caucuses, although nice in theory, disenfranchise Utah voters. Now party bosses want to invalidate their agreement to allow primaries. I'm weary of a few party bosses & cronies running everything, not allowing most Utah citizens any voice or vote.

Mike Leavett supports Count My Vote. He was one of the most popular & influential governors we've had. He was only 1 of 2 Utah governors elected for 3 terms. Though popular with the electorate, Gov. Leavitt had fewer delegates at 1992 caucuses than his republican competitor, but the people chose him. Party bosses tried to push him out again at his last election, but his popularity with the people triumphed. Gov. Leavitt was elected in 1996 with the largest vote total in state history. Since the governorship, he served as EPA Secretary and Health & Human Services Secretary. Though reputedly an advisor to the Romney campaign, Gov. Leavitt doesn't now have a political agenda that I know of. I respect his support of Count My Vote to allow Utahns to participate in candidate selection, while those supporting caucuses and eliminating primaries clearly have political ambitions.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Thank you Mr Hedengren. That was revealing.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

2bits,
“The primary where you got to vote for Bob Bennett happened November 2, 2010.”

Sorry the process has you so confused. 11/2/10 was the GENERAL election, where the official is actually elected. The PRIMARY election is where parties usually select their candidates, but often our primaries have very few races represented because the caucus system allows only delegates to select the party’s candidate. Only if a candidate fails to garner enough support at the convention is there a primary.

Not my fault you did not know this

Why do you keep saying unopposed candidates face a primary? They do not. Sorry you are so confused. Unopposed candidates emerge from the convention as the party’s nominee and have a place on the GENERAL election ballot. There is NO PRIMARY for unopposed candidates.

Not my fault you did not know this

Please, inform yourself better concerning the process. Continued misstatements diminish your credibility.

When is Mia’s primary?

There is none as she garnered nearly 80% at the convention.

There is a primary 6/24, but MOST of the candidates for the general election have already been selected, effectively disenfranchising republican voters where those races are concerned.

NedGrimley
Brigham City, UT

Anyone who claims that the caucus system can't be bought and paid for is sorely mistaken. Truth be told, it is no different than the CMV proposal from the standpoint of the power of money...

Flashback
Kearns, UT

Total sour grapes. Orrin Hatch won with very little money in 1976 because he went out and worked his butt off. He way outworked Carlsen. It didn't hurt to get Wilkinsen and Ronald Reagan to support him. But he just plain went and met with almost every delegate.

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