Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Will Utah parties change how they pick candidates?

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  • Trust Logic Brigham City, UT, 00
    April 24, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    According to the utah government website and news reports, last year about 240,000 republicans (~20% of voters) voted in the Primary and about 125,00 went to the caucuses (~10%). See the problem?! Both systems can be easily swayed by an influx of active participants or money. The reason why I like the caucus system is that it involves neighbors talking and people dedicating time to become informed. But, both reflect a sad state of apathy!
    I think reporting who each delegate voted for would do more than increasing the threshold or opening up other signature avenues.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 22, 2013 4:15 a.m.

    As the article states, those in power want to retain power.

    Those in power are not looking for a viable 2 party system or to put Utah "in-play".
    Good luck getting the "party in power" to make a change that makes the other party more viable.

    Our politicians put themselves first, their party second and the American People somewhere after that.

    To be fair, state and local politicians are more responsive to the electorate than the feds.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2013 1:11 a.m.

    " The Central Committee voted to open caucus meetings so that citizens can participate without having to attend at a specific time at a specific place. "

    Actually, that isn't true. You must have missed that there was a long list on a resolution of possible future items.

  • Lead Farmer OREM, UT
    April 21, 2013 4:57 p.m.

    The only change to the caucus system that I support is allowing candidates who lose at the caucus or primary stages to then run as a third party candidate in the general election. (Currently, such candidates can only run as unelectable write-in candidates.) That way the caucus system is 100% preserved while the people are still given the option of voting for rich and powerful incumbents like Bob Bennett.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    If you really want more voter turnout, There is only way to put Utah "in play" for the democratic presidential elections, and that is to give up the "clout" we have under a winner take all electoral college and have 2 of the 6 votes match the overall state vote for president and the other 4 votes match the overall vote for each of the 4 congressional districts. There are 2 congressional districts that could go democratic if they field a good candidate.

    That could dilute the clout of our 6 votes, but might increase voter turnout. It would certainly put Utah more in play for the 2nd and 4th districts. Would it put Utah more of a focus? By diluting our votes, maybe less.

    Gutting our caucus system only favors the incumbent, wealthy or famous. Bad thing to do.

  • The Reader Layton, UT
    April 21, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    There is one thing politically and one thing politically that the State of Utah needs: A two party system! That will NOT happen unless the caucus system is changed in such a manner that will allow anyone to run who wants to. That is not the case now and never will be the case unless the state of Utah opens up the selection of candidates by allowing an open process. The present caucus system is very closed and very narrow minded. It needs to be opened up. A person should be able to run by getting a representative number of signature and paying a fee.

    Without a two party system bills are passed that are not well thought out and discussed except by a very narrow few who all thing alike. A bill proposed by a republican is assured of passing before it is even submitted. Token discussion is allowed to make it look like the political process is working.

  • cns St George, Utah
    April 21, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    What nominating system that could possibly be constructed in Utah or the nation WOULD NOT favor the incumbent the wealthy or the famous ??

  • woolybruce Idaho Falls, ID
    April 21, 2013 8:23 a.m.

    Through the development of civilization some cultures readily adapted to change, other cultures would walk away dis-interested. The most successful cultures understood reality and adapted to it. Less successful cultures ignored the realities and focused on the past. The Republican Party Nationally and even more so statewide are more interested in the what ifs, and what could have beens rather than looking at the current political reality. This driving by looking in the rear view mirror is what cost Mitt Romney the election.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2013 12:19 a.m.

    One of the principles of those wanting to gut the neighborhood election caucus meeting and convention system we have in Utah, was this: " A system that provides inherent advantages to those who are incumbent, wealthy or famous is not acceptable."

    The problem is their proposals would do exactly that.

    The Caucus System in Utah 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 120,000 republicans in Utah that went to the neighborhood caucus elections in 2012 to elect the 4000 State Delegates. Add to those numbers the democrats and the primary elections. Certainly the municipal elections didn't do any better in voter representation.

    Bypassing the Caucus / Convention System will NOT create more participation. There are 4000 state delegates that spend countless hours vetting candidates to be on the ballot. They are selected by those that attend the neighborhood election caucus meeting. You just have to attend.

    The current system does not protect the incumbent, wealthy or famous. I think that is a good thing.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2013 12:18 a.m.

    The 60% threshold to avoid a primary works, allowing a shot of a challenger to eliminate an incumbent and yet requires a challenger to be a strong candidate.

    Based on the state gop released stats since 2000 for state wide or congressional races, at 60%, threshold to avoid a primary, 47% of contested races went to primary. If at 2/3, 67% of contested races go to a primary and at 70%, 70% of the races go to primary.

    70% would not have helped Sen. Bennett in 2010. He was not in the top 2 coming out of convention. In fact the more moderate Tim Bridgewater was selected by 57% of the delegates in the last round. Mike Lee managed to get 43% and make it to a primary. Sen. Bennett endorsed Tim Bridgewater during the primary, but with voters ticked at TARP and ObamaCare, they went with Mike Lee.

    Sen. Hatch just barely missed eliminating Dan Liljenquist by hitting just under the 60%, and Jason Chaffetz just missed eliminating Chris Cannon by hitting just under 60%.

    The current system does not protect the incumbent, wealthy or famous. I think that is a good thing.