Utah Republican Party Chairman Rob Bishop denies the far right is staging a takeover of the Utah GOP.
And if Republican moderates don't like they party's direction, they should stop complaining and do something about it, he said. "The world is run by people who show up," Bishop told a meeting of the Professional Republican Women.He then repeated the advice of the late Barry Goldwater to frustrated Republican conservatives in the 1960s. "Grow up and quit whining about it and do something," Bishop said.
He estimated that 20 percent to 30 percent of Utah Republicans fall into the "very, very conservative" category and only a small portion of those can be described as "political anarchists" who "believe anyone who is elected is bad."
Some party faithful have criticized the state GOP convention in May as a right-wing fling that cast Republicans in an extremist and embarrassing light.
State Rep. Afton Bradshaw, R-Salt Lake City, said: "I've had constituents call who were concerned about it. . . . But what Rob (Bishop) said is very true - business is done by those who show up. Many in the Republican mainstream don't show up, but the conservatives always do."
Many complaints about the convention stemmed from the advancement of convention resolutions, including one calling for the impeachment of President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.
Bishop said the resolution reflects most Utah Republicans' view of being "terribly dissatisfied" with the administration. Still, Bishop has created party committees to examine the impeachment resolution.