The Utah Republican Party is unhappy over some parts of a letter a special interest group has mailed to Republican voting district chairmen responsible for caucuses.
Although both the GOP and the Democrats agreed that Taxpayers for Utah could make literature available at mass meetings for both parties, Republicans object to instructions to voting district chairmen contained in the letter.The letter asks chairmen to read the group's position aloud at the caucuses Monday night.
"We approved having the literature mailed out, but the instructions on there were never approved," said Craig Moody, state Republican Party chairman.
The letter urges those attending the mass meetings to vote against three initiative petitions being circulated by tax protesters. It goes on to outline what Taxpayers for Utah believes are the serious consequences of the initiatives should they become law.
If the group's position is read aloud at the mass meetings, as the letter requests, people could mistakenly assume that the Republican Party supports the organization's position, Moody said.
"`We want to make it very clear that the party does not take a position either for or against the tax initiatives," Moody said.
Sen. Warren Pugh, R-Salt Lake, said the group did not mean to create the impression that the Republican Party opposes the initiative petitions.
"The intention of the letter was merely to let the people who go to the grass-roots mass meeting know what the consequences of the initiatives would be," he said.
The letter was mailed to meeting chairmen of both parties, he said. "It isn't a partisan issue." Pugh pointed out that the sponsors of Taxpayers of Utah are prominent politicians from both parties, including former Gov. Scott M. Matheson, former Gov. Calvin L. Rampton and former U.S. Sen. Wallace F. Bennett.
"If they want to place the material on the table for people to read, that's fine. But we are not going to take the time to read the material out loud or go through it. We have a full agenda," Moody said.