'Count My Vote' Republicans weigh next move on caucus changes

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  • MikeRidgway Tooele, UT
    May 21, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    People who brag that a popular candidate for US Senate was defeated before ever having a chance to have his name appear on a public ballot, and who hold this up as proof of the virtue of Utah's current iteration of the caucus convention system of choosing party nominees amuse me.

    Perhaps a paraphrase of what they are really saying would be instructive:

    >> Utah's Caucus/Convention is great because, on occasion, it produces dramatically undemocratic results – results accomplished by the exclusion of 99.9 percent of eligible voters from the election that chooses the Republican nominees for public office. For example, in 2010, 0.1 percent of the voters of Utah held a private election which decided that 18-year incumbent, Bob Bennett, would be completely eliminated from contention, along with Cherilyn Eagar, Marrill Cook, Leonard Fabiano, Jeremy Friedbaum, and David Chiu.

    And this is exactly what our founders wanted. Elections where the people are excluded from having any say. Democratic elections bad. Undemocratic elections good.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 21, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    Mia Love wouldn't have been the Republican nominee for 4th district if not for the caucus system. She was and still is the best candidate. Orrin Hatch wouldn't have ever been Senator if not for the caucus system. Jason Chaffetz wouldn't have been in Congress without the caucus system, Chris Stewart, Jim Hansen, Norm Bangerter, Enid Greene, the list goes on and on.

    The bottom line is, the caucus system works. The elected delegates get to meet candidates up close and personal. Sometimes many times. That helps to make informed decisions in the convention. In 2006 I had a delegate meeting in my home. About 40 showed up, to listen to Senator Hatch, up close and personal. That wouldn't have happened without the caucus system. Do you seriously think Hatch would have come to Kearns without the caucus system?

    Delegates are motivated and serious voters. They care about what their neighbors think.

    When I was elected state delegate, I asked my caucus who they wanted me to vote for. The concensus was Mia Love and Orrin Hatch.

    The cry by "moderates" is just that crying. Bennett got bounced because of the caucus. Not a bad thing.

  • all hands on deck Sandy, UT
    May 21, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    The neighborhoods come together to vote for delegates whom they trust who are ACTIVELY engaged in the political process. These delegates then go and VET the candidates. They then vote for the best candidate.

    Primaries use sound bites, and favor the war chest wealthy, while delegates at the convention use sound judgement and face to face meetings.

    Primaries favor the WEALTHY, or the incumbent with a war chest, who got the war chest from special interests, and corporations.

    Caucuses level the playing field immensely holding candidates accountable to those who pay attention.

    Some suggest that the caucus system does not involve many and does not allow voices to be heard. The only voice that is not heard is the voice of those who are disinterested.

    We are a republic!

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 20, 2013 7:03 p.m.

    It makes you wonder if the Count My Vote people understand what it means to be a Republic versus a Democracy. Our Founding Fathers wanted a system of Representatives that the people could vote into office that would represent them, not a mob rule democracy that could deny rights to a minority on whim. The Caucus sytem allowed Mike Lee to get into office, something the Republican establishment doesn't know what to do with! Bob Bennett would still be our U.S. Senator without the Caucus system. The establishment Republicans have been offended ever since, looking for a way to keep incumbents in power no matter how corrupt they become.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2013 3:36 p.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
    May 20, 2013 3:36 p.m.

    The Caucus System in Utah is the best way to make sure a grass roots process 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. We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, wealthy or famous. This is a good thing.

    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.