Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Utah political parties struggle over ideology, leadership

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  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    June 27, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    If the Utah political parties struggle over ideology and leadership, then let's all participate in the Huntsman Seminar on Constitutional Government at the Hinckley Institute of Politics, and talk about their buddies, the Koch Brothers. There's a cacophony of misinformation from Fox News, right-wing think tanks and extreme conservative politicians about Social Security. "Privatize it," they yell. "It's going broke," they scream. "Raise the retirement age," they bellow. But who is conducting this dissonant symphony? The latest installment of Koch Brothers Exposed from the Brave New Foundation says the baton is being wielded by the David and Charles Koch, the right-wing extremist billionaire brothers who are out to dismantle Social Security, overturn financial regulations, corporate rules, environmental standards, workers rights and just about any evil on the radical right agenda. When it comes to the attacks on Social Security, The Koch Brothers Echo Chamber video shows how $28.4 million of Koch money to think tanks like the Cato Institute ($13.6 million), the Heritage Foundation ($3.4 million) and a host of others has helped produce more than 300 scholarly position papers on dismantling Social Security and a choir of economists and political scientists, same hymnal.

  • conservativeandproud Orem, UT
    June 27, 2011 10:27 a.m.

    It is about time those who are arrogant and who do not believe in anything, stand down. I supported one of the two "arch-conservatives" and am now happy they both won. We can get along and we can work together for a change, instead of the party in-crowd only enforcing party rules and the 11th commandment for those they want in office. Thomas Wright has done a good job, but for him to stand before the Convention and castigate those he now has to work with shows he is not gentleman. Too bad there was not a good candidate against him or he would also be gone, as we already saw several calling for a revote after his off-the-cuff comments. How can you, Lavar, defend what this man did to his own party?

  • PattyD Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2011 9:58 a.m.

    It never ceases to amaze me that people show up a caucus meetings, run for delegate positions, knowing that they are agreeing to SHOW up and STAY for the conventions and then they don't. The fact that only 25% of the delegates stayed to vote is an indictment against those who made promises to their neighbors to represent them and then FAILED! We need to make sure that delegates understand that this is the JOB they are running for and WE EXPECT them to follow through or get a replacement in time. I for one was disappointed that neither of my two showed up and I was more than happy to replace them but they didn't try. I contacted both and only found out after the convention that NO one showed to represent my neighborhood. Those that showed and STAYED to vote are the real heroes. They understand that they were representing their neighbors and they took it seriously. Mr. Webb, your argument is ridiculous and you should be ashamed of yourself.

  • geewiz Logan, UT
    June 27, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    As a state delegate I recieved several pieces of slick pro-hb116 material in the mail. (But nothing against hb116). Clearly there was some big money behind the movement for hb116. Despite that lobbying of delegates, they still voted for repealing hb116. It was a grass roots effort to support the party platform and the Constitution. Now, of course, the pro-116ers (Webb) are spinning numbers to negate the will of the delegates.

  • danaslc1 WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    June 27, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    I believe the Bill would have passed by more if the Delgates would have staid. Now what I just said is not factual, nor is your article. It is not based on anything concrete. Pure speculation. I would love to see this go for a vote just to prove that illegal immigration is bad for the state of Utah and its citizens.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2011 7:04 a.m.

    Some thoughts.
    1. For the last 10 years, the even years has brought over 90% attendance of delegates and just over 50% attendance for odd years.
    2. It has been common over the last 10 years to barely have a quorum if even that (50% of the starting number of delegates that showed up that day) to be around for the resolutions. Many times there wasn't even enough to even vote on resolutions, so most haven't cared about it.
    3. Over the last 10 years most delegates have shown up to vote for those elected officials that would show up on the ballot, fewer for party leaders, and fewer still for the resolutions that are non-binding messages.
    4. If you look at the last 10 years, more showed up this year than in the past.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    June 26, 2011 8:02 p.m.

    Webb speculates that if more delegates had stayed then the vote to repeal HB116 which passed by a margin of 94 votes would have failed. I was a delegate also, and I speculate that it would have passed by an even larger vote if they had stayed. On this issue I think my opinion(speculation) is just as valid as that of Mr. Webb. Many of those delegates left because they didn't understand the issue one way or another, or they were like the over a thousand that didn't show up, because they didn't care.

    Webb and Pignanelli are political lobbyists that care little about principle. They believe that the only important issue is winning elections. In my opinion it is this lack of principle and ideology that has caused many Utahns to not even bother to vote. When Principle and ideology come back to politics perhaps voters will also.

    Most of those that stayed understood issues from their own point of view and stayed to support them. Over a thousand didn't even show up generally due to a lack of understanding the importance of the convention and the elections. I think the delegates did very well overall.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 26, 2011 2:49 p.m.

    I would like to hear from someone who says we should follow the LDS church on gay marriage, but not on immigration. Please tell me why its different. I'm not trying to be confrontational, I really want to know.

  • CJ Murray, UT
    June 26, 2011 1:09 p.m.


    Can we please stop the "it wouldn't have passed with more delegates there" baloney you and others are trying to spread? The church came out against the repeal and it still passed. Face it, WE DON'T WANT AMNESTY. You and the other apologists need to wake up. The fact that it passed against overwhelming church opposition should send you and others like you a message. Are you listening this time? No deals for illegals.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    June 26, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    There is nothing like a good political opponent to help maintain focus and rise above party in-fighting. Obama lost the white working class vote in 2008 by a margin of 18 percentage points. But in 2010, Congressional Democrats lost by 30 points in this demographic. Significant numbers of white working class voters are expected to show up at the polls in 2012, and their level of support for President Obama will very likely determine if he is re-elected. The 30-point deficit would also sink Obama in Florida, whose 29 electoral votes would assure Obama's re-election, assuming he manages to carry the 18 states that Democrats have carried in every presidential election since 1992. States with high percentages of white working class voters that Republicans could strongly contest include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. As to whether a surge toward the Republican candidate among white working class voters is likely, the bleak economic situation confronting most members of this voting bloc, "Scarily so."

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    June 26, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    YAWNS LOUDLY here. Utah Republican Chairman Thomas Wright deserves the respect he is receiving from most corners of Utah politics, especially for his use of technology to promote party development. Sen. Harry Reid says if he had to choose between two Mormon candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, he would choose Huntsman. The Democratic leader, himself a Mormon, believes Americans would turn away from former Massachusetts Gov. Romney because of his reputation as a flip-flopper on such issues as gay marriage and abortion, CBS News reports. Reid said: "Here's a man who doesn't know who he is."

    End of report.

  • evensteven Sandy, UT
    June 26, 2011 8:26 a.m.

    To quote a great Republican - "There you go again", Lavar.

    HB116 was THE reason to be at convention. There is no way to predict how the 600 would have voted. Did they leave because they didn't care about the outcome or because the pre-vote sentiment indicated a much larger margin of victory, thereby reducing the need for their vote?

    While I have my own reservations about officer elections, the losing slate offered not much more. Thomas Wright talks a good talk but is largely irrelevant when it comes to candidates, which reflects the impact of the party in general. Others on his ticket have, over the years, been dangerous and detrimental to the party and its principles.

    Having worked on a number of campaigns over the years, the party organization exists largely to promote its self perpetuation by professing relevance and picking the candidates' pockets. Under Wright's leadership, neither the SLCOGOP nor the UTGOP offer much in the way of a grassroots machine. That is largely left to the candidates. And the question of fealty to Republican principles and platform can be discovered simply by reading Lavar's column - scant. A "lost" party will always struggle.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2011 7:45 a.m.

    Article translation: "delegates didn't vote the way the RINO leadership wanted so the sky is falling".

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2011 7:00 a.m.

    Sorry guys there's no "struggle" going on in the Republican party.

    The only "struggle" is convincing the RINO Republican leaders that we won't continue to go along with everything they say just because "they said so."

    I have my own theory as to the convention vote; MANY delegates didn't show up, or left early because they could see which way the vote was going to go. The whole talk for the last month has been REPEALING HB116. Why stay or even show up if the illegal advocacy legislation is going to be repealed anyway?

    The only ones who DIDN'T expect HB116 to be repealed were the "leadership" (I use the term loosely)because they always expect the delegates to DO AS THEY'RE TOLD!

  • T-Jeff Uinta Basin, Utah
    June 26, 2011 5:57 a.m.

    "The great problems this country and state face won't be solved by extremists. They will be solved by leaders of goodwill who come together to make the necessary tough decisions."

    I assume that the "leaders of goodwill" Webb is looking for means moderates that will compromise with the other side. Great sound bite, but we've tried that already and it doesn't seem to work. I offer the 14 trillion dollar debt as proof of what working together to solve problems creates. I could be wrong but I can't think of a single "great problem" compromising moderates have solved. I think we should be grateful that there were no compromising moderates that founded this country. Extremists, every one.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2011 2:07 a.m.

    "However, had more delegates stuck around for the HB116 vote ...the resolution would have been defeated....Thus, no politician need feel a mandate exists to repeal the immigration law."

    And why wouldn't it be at least as likely that those 600 would have voted for the resolution, thus increasing the margin of affirmation?

    Sounds like you're the "extremist," Webb.