Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Weighing the effects of the Republican State Convention

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  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2013 7:57 a.m.

    bandersen: "The caucus system IS the elitist system. Many of the delegates are there year after year. Small turnouts in caucuses result in this."

    Actually, in a recent poll requested by those wanting changes, 40% of the GOP Caucus attendees were brand new this last year. Less that 1/4 regularly.

    120,000 voters came to just the republican neighbor hood caucus meetings. That doesn't include a record crowd for the democratic party.

    A large majority of the attendees, (not just the delegates) like the current system and want to keep it.

  • Government Man Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 27, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    What is so scary for the Republican Leadership to open up the process to the citizens? Are they opposed to Democracy, or do they not trust the Common Man? It makes you wonder.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    May 26, 2013 11:09 p.m.

    You can bet that those writing letters in support of the caucus system are the delegates themselves. We voters will have to change it with the citizen's initiative or by voting against delegates who refuse to change the system. That's what I'll be doing at the next caucus meetings.

  • sherlock holmes Eastern, UT
    May 26, 2013 9:53 p.m.

    The caucus system IS the elitist system. Many of the delegates are there year after year. Small turnouts in caucuses result in this. Party leaders get the seats as well. A small percentage of the voters in the state participate. How can one defend this system?

    Time to move to a closed primary election. Most states have with good success. The caucus served the state well when there was limited tranportation and electronic connections. Now there is no need for that. Let the voters learn, analyze, and vote on their own.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 26, 2013 7:10 p.m.

    When I vote for a candidate in a primary election I know that, win or lose, my vote counts and is counted. When I go to a caucus and vote for a delegate, I have no assurance that the delegate even knows for whom he or she will ultimately be voting, and I wll have no say at all concerning how my "vote" will ultimately be given. Since I want my vote to count, I want the caucus system to be terminated and one winner-take-all primary for each party be instituted.

    The caucus system favors the party extreme. I want the rational voters in the party to have a chance to select a good candidate, not what we have now. I find it very sad that the ONLY Representative from Utah in the US House of Representatives who really speaks for the vast majority of Utahns is a Democrat. I want that to change, but it won't change if we're stuck with the caucus system. The caucus system does not need to be reformed. The caucus system needs to be eliminated, and a primary election put in its place.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 26, 2013 7:10 p.m.

    The problem with the 'hyper-partisanship' and 'authoritarian' local politics comment, etc., is this: How come anyone that believes in the constitution and God is 'hyper-partisan' or 'authoritarian'? I don't want policies that favor me, you, or anybody else. How about having people that believe in their own abilities to solve their problems rather than government? How about a government that only does what it was intended to do, rather than inventing policies, which bring 'hyper-partisanship', in areas that government wasn't supposed to be involved in anyway. How about that for stopping the 'hyper-partisanship'? What is it about risk and people depending on themselves and God to find answers without corrupt, power hungry, inept, war-mongering, welfare dependent politicians that citizens like so much that they want to give them more power! The politician's low approval rating is the result of their own doing, something they could care less about anyway. Why would they; they've enriched themselves without solving any problems. Sounds like a pretty good gig.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 26, 2013 3:59 p.m.

    Mr Webb: I think I prefer the kids approach over this patronizing parent approach: "Now, let me tell you young lady that no matter what you do, I'll be there to love you. I know that being chaste is a good thing, but I'm going to let you stay out all night with that boy because you need to discover these things for yourself. After you've made a mistake, you'll admit the superiority of my warnings. Then, I'll let you come back home and live under my all powerful, patronizing roof and you'll never want to do anything on your own again without my approval." No, actually the Democrats and Republicans have all been acting this way for many years. Now the rent is due and both the Democrats and Republicans want to tell us that they are still in charge and there is nothing to worry about...blah, blah, blah. The Deseret News actually needs to have two writers with two different views, not the same ones passed off as different.

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    May 26, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    The right wing hyper-partisanship so popular in local politics handicaps our government and has brought the approval rating of Congress to an all-time low.

    Furthering the predicament is that far-right movements in practice are known to be highly authoritarian, hierarchical and focused on policies that favor themselves at the expense of others.

    You have to wonder why the rank-and-file of the archly conservative are so dedicated to furthering our current highly disruptive decline in rational and responsible government, especially when it is so clearly contrary to theirs and our best interests.

  • Government Man Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 26, 2013 1:27 p.m.

    The problem is that the moderate elements (Most Utahans) have been driven from the process. Utah has the lowest voting rates in the country. Moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats have been shut out of the process. The fringe elements have led to a select group of ultra-right or ultra-left wing people making the decisions. The folks behind Count My Vote are by no means radicals. They are the type of politicians this state needs. I still have fond memories of Governor Leavitt and Governor Walker. They were reasonable Conservatives, who worked for the benefit of all the people in the State. The ultra conservatives in this state have given us the likes of Swallow,Shurtliff,Kilpack, Garn, Curtis and Mike Lee. These guys do not represent the vast majority of the people in this State. I believe in Democracy and the idea of one man one vote. I have never got used to the fact that my neighbor who is a Caucus Junkie knows more than I do about politics.

  • truth to be Told Orem, UT
    May 26, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    Could it be that the Count My Vote group has plenty to gain from getting the initiative going? Isn’t one of its members a political consultant, lobbyist and has financially benefited from running initiatives?

    Who is the elitist here? The average delegate will serve for 2 years free of charge. Contrast that with every single member from the Count My Vote Group who has benefited multiple times from their political elections. By the way, to this ELITE group of moderate republicans being involved in politics is not a service, it’s a business! They are compensated extremely well.

    So why don’t they do us all a favor and admit that they have tasted power and are addicted to it.

    This group of Moderates could not possibly get elected in a Conservative Republican environment.

    They want to change the rules through an initiative and put it in the ballot to create a Dual Primary Track system so they can fool the many. They do not want to be accountable to 4000 delegates.
    One more solution, why don’t they create their very own MODERATE PARTY? Then they run against our Conservative Republican candidate.

  • Government Man Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 26, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    It is time to bring Democracy to Utah. The extremist elements in both parties, need to have their power put into check. The power brokers in the Utah Republican Party don't want the little people to have a say in how they are governed. This unchecked power is why this State has one of the most corrupt State Legislatures, and State Governments in the United States!! It's time for a change.

  • truth to be Told Orem, UT
    May 26, 2013 2:23 a.m.

    Wow! Let’s see, where do we start? Delegates corrupted by power? How about politicians drunken in their own power?

    Delegates do not have or receive any monetary compensation for VOLUNTEERING THEIR TIME to serve their community. Politicians not only get paid when they get elected to public office but they also receive very healthy retirement benefits at the cost of taxpayers.

    Could it be that delegates are truly doing their jobs vetting candidates, spending time studying the Republican platform and holding elected officials accountable not only to their campaign promises but also for the way they cast their votes?

    For the first time in US history the current generation does not believe the future generation will be better that their own. The US debt has climbed to 17 trillion dollars, unemployment levels remain extremely high, over 45 million US citizens are recipient of some form of entitlements, illegal immigration is out of control, the Federal Government continues to usurp powers reserved to the States, our US Congress remains in gridlock and when delegates hold elected officials accountable they are branded Ultra-Right Wing Extreme Conservatives? You got to get real!

    The Count My Vote group likes zero accountability.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2013 12:32 a.m.

    We want neighbors discussing the best candidates and finding ways to improve this state and the nation. What is being proposed would remove us meeting together from the caucus meeting. We would be dropping off votes, but not meeting and discussing candidates and issues. That is what is wrong with Washington, D.C. They don’t listen to each other in a meeting. They watch from their offices. We need to change that, not perpetuate it.

    Perhaps the Count My Vote group should go watch WALL-E from Pixar again, the people on the spaceship.

    We are talking neighborhood town halls. We aren't just meeting to elect delegates. We believe the Count My Vote / Buy My Vote group would ruin that.

    Bypassing the Caucus / Convention System will NOT create more participation. Approx. one out of every 4 or 5 republicans attended their neighborhood election caucus meeting this last year. One in every three told a KSL poll they were involved or attending.

    When people realize this "Count My Vote initiative will give them less of a chance to participate but give media and power brokers more power, they will not sign any initiative. This is a power grab.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2013 12:28 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.