Utah GOP making progress in quest for open caucus meetings

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  • ray vaughn Ogden, UT
    April 15, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    Since the reform effort failed it will be interesting to see the next step. Many republicans will be angered by how diffricult the legislature has made the iniative process the last few years. Every tine a iniative somehow makes it on the general election ballot the republican dominated legislature makes the iniative process even more difficult. if the GOP iniative somehow makes it onto the election ballot expect changes to createte even more iniative hurdles to overcome.

  • Republitarian SAINT GEORGE, UT
    April 15, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    Let's cut through the fog. On one hand the advocates for a new system say they want "more" people involved in the process. Yet, are content to have a couple dozen in the State Central Committee impose changes on the entire party. Their effort is totally transparent. Mikey leavitt and his comrades want a system where their friends in the "Elitist Party" to be able to buy elections. That is why they are threatening a ballot initiative. They can buy popularity. The current delegate system is the most noble form of representative government possible. It really serious does come down to this; Do you want your elected officials elected or bought?

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 15, 2013 12:01 a.m.

    Do you want fair elections in Utah or do you want more power going to the lobbyists? Even LaVarr Webb (lobbyist) states that the current system is fair and doesn't favor the incumbent, wealthy or famous. That seems to be the problem they are trying to "fix".

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 14, 2013 11:28 p.m.

    You can't force people to participate in the process. My caucus last year had over 80 people attend. That is over 10 times the number that came in 2010.

    The caucus system works just fine. It's because of Bob Bennetts whining that it wants to be changed. After all, my caucus supported Orrin Hatch and Mia Love. One won and one lost, but not by much.

  • Paul H West Valley, UT
    April 14, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    The "low information" types don't care but are easily swayed by populism. They should not be allowed to vote.

    Obviously written by an elitist in group 1 above.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    April 14, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    There are three groups in this fight, although only two are heard from.

    The active people who pay attention ans show up and deeply love our country and its core principles and the Constitution are the ones defending the Caucus system.

    The other vocal group is the party elites who are eager to manipulate the process so that hereditary seats are perpetuated, or career politicians remain invincible, or the approved inside the beltway "moderate" ideas are touted. Their natural allies are the liberal media outlets who profit handsomely from the advertising revenues from the well funded party elites.

    The "low information voters" are the large number of people who CHOOSE not to participate in caucuses, often don't show up at election time, and know or care little about candidates or their positions. They are easily swayed by "celebrity" name recognition, or maybe media endorsements or advertising. These are the folks that the elite party insiders claim to be speaking for.

    Chicago and Illinois are the model desired by the party elites.

    Grassroots patriots fight for the current caucus system.

    The "low information" types don't care but are easily swayed by populism. They should not be allowed to vote.

  • Paul H West Valley, UT
    April 14, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    "But our ultimate goal is to have everyone participate," Wright said.

    This statement cannot be true, considering that there isn't enough room at caucus locations to handle the load if attendance were increased by even 5% from where it currently stands.

    My caucus was held in a Jr. High school auditorium. There are not enough Jr. High Schools in the state for each precinct to meet in one. And still, everyone will not go, due to competing obligations (church, school, work, family, military...)

    And what good would it do if everyone could attend anyway? They would all show up and walk away empty handed as the same good-old-boys win the one or two delegate positions. Then a convention of a few hundred in the county or a few thousand in the state will pick all of our candidates with ZERO input from VOTERS.

    Early voting, absentee voting, day long elections gives EVERYONE excluded by the Caucus / Convention system a chance to vote. It may sound silly to party elitists, but VOTERS are the ones who should be voting for our candidates.

    Supporters of this system are lying to themselves and to everyone in the state.

  • Moabmom Moab, UT
    April 14, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    The title of the article tells you everything you need to know about this inter-party fight to "change" and eventually eliminate the grassroots input out of the caucus system. Changing the caucus system is being led by the progressives in the party and is designed to benefit progressives in the party. Period. This is not about "reform". It is about revenge for ousting Bennett and making Hatch actually work for the nomination last election. Progressives don't want real conservatives who believe in the principals of freedom, individual freedom and small government getting the party nomination. It is about eliminating grassroots input in the system so that those who have "put in their time" with the party, and have the biggest war chests move up the ladder and stay there. Shame on them!! If they get their way, it will only take a few election cycles for Utah to go the say of Colorado.

  • tabuno Clearfield, UT
    April 13, 2013 9:27 p.m.

    The current caucus system is unrepresentative of the public and allows for fringe, special interest groups to control who the Republican nominee will be in Utah elections. The result has been the election of elected officials that are right of the majority of the Republican Party that already controls most of the State. Such extreme non-representation has created an embarrassment to Utah in the current U.S. Senate where the majority will of the people are being thwarted by an purely ideological, right-wing philosophy that isn't even reflective of the majority of Utahns. A more open, fair, and consensus driven electoral system that nominates people who are willing to reflect the more moderate views of even a conservative Utah is the best way to ensure that laws will be fair and just for everyone, not just those who demand that only their more narrow beliefs must be adopted by everyone.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2013 8:46 p.m.

    "The current caucus/convention nominating process has many excellent qualities that we wish to retain. The system allows candidates who lack fame, wealth, and incumbency to compete for a party’s nomination. We also appreciate the valuable grassroots nature of the process, with
    neighbors gathering to discuss political issues and candidates."

    LaVarr Webb, in a letter to Utah GOP SCC.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2013 8:44 p.m.

    Actually, the current system doesn't favor the incumbents, the famous or wealthy, and that keeps elections more fair. The caucus system delegates, selected by their neighbors, picked the more moderate Tim Bridgewater in 2010, it was at the Primary that Mike Lee was selected as the party nominee. The voters were mad enough about TARP and ObamaCare that Sen. Bennett, who had endorsed Tim Bridgewater for the Primary, would not have likely done much better.

    Jim Dabakis has described the attack on the neighborhood election caucus system as: "The initiative is a pure power play .. Democrats, do not be manipulated into into helping the GOP insiders in their internal war. DO NOT help the initiative–DO get involved in helping Utah Democrats decide own own future by getting involved in our review of our party’s process."