Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Reflection and analysis of Utah's state conventions

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  • Madden Herriman, UT
    April 30, 2012 10:33 a.m.

    Funny to see Jason Chaffetz win easily and yet this shows how "moderate" the process became this year. Media folks sure change their tune in a hurry.

    Also funny how people complain that a small faction can control an election because of caucuses. What do you think happens in non-caucus systems? All of the early party results are negotiated behind closed doors from those on the inside, and the process is especially influenced by those with loads of money who can buy name recognition. You prefer that to a caucus system? At least with the caucuses regular folks have a shot at exerting some level of influence.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    April 29, 2012 1:05 p.m.

    We need some definitions: "rock-solid Republicans" come to mind first. I'm not even sure what a Republican is let alone a "rock-solid" one. The term itself seems a shifting, sandy one, or in fact baseless. Isn't a "Republican" just another Statist wearing a different badge than Democrat Statists, a red elephant (but red is the color of socialism isn't it?) rather than a blue donkey.

    Also "reign of terror" needs to be defined in its application here.
    I know about Robespierre and his group of terrorists in eighteenth century France, but they literally chopped off people's heads, many thousands of them, including some of their own number, and did so entirely illegally. It is surely extreme hyperbole to apply the term "reign of terror" to a movement generally thought to be about constitutional government, ending government waste and lowering taxes, and who operate with neither physical violence nor illegality. Maybe "tea party" needs to be defined too, but who will do it; the organization is rather amorphous and has no platform that I know of.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2012 11:02 a.m.

    No, we don't need to change the caucus/convention system. Webb's proposal for a "modest reform" to provide an alternate method is anything BUT modest. In reality it would undermine the very foundation of the caucus/convention system. It would override the voice of the grassroots-elected delegates, and replace it with the hand-picked choice of party leaders or candidates who have lots of money and influence. Sorry, but that's what the OTHER states have, to their detriment.

    Secondly, Utah Republicans should NOT open their caucus/convention/primary process. The Democrats could do it with little risk, because they are the minority party, so there is little incentive for outsiders to mess with their selection of Democrat candidates.

    For the Republicans, on the other hand, opening the process would present GREAT risk. Because Utah Republicans are the large majority party, if they open their candidate selection process to non-Republicans, they will invite serious mischief from outsiders attempting to undermine the majority party.

    Finally, if the Tea Party movement is considered "extreme," that's a sad commentary on our modern political complacency. The tea party views were NORMAL with earlier generations who respected Constitutional limits.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2012 12:59 a.m.

    The caucus system is the best way to make sure grass roots movements can work over large amounts of money. It is the only way someone with $100,000 can go against someone with $2,000,000 in election funds.

    There were about 60,000 republicans in Utah that went to the neighborhood caucus elections in 2010 to elect the 3500 delegates. Add to those numbers to democrats and the primary elections and certainly the municipal elections didn't do any better in voter representation. In 2012, the numbers doubled. Even with the problems with the 2nd congressional race, it is still better than some alternate route.

    Most people that want the caucus system changed, there are exceptions, are frustrated that they don't have as much power as people that show up to the neighborhood election caucus meetings. It doesn't take money, you just have to show up.

    What we need are more people getting involved earlier, not shutting down the system that protects us from power hungry people wanting to take over.