Letter: Delegate accountability

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  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2013 4:02 a.m.

    "How does the caucus system take away your right to vote? "

    Uh. . . It takes away your ability to vote for the candidate in the primary unless you are one of the few delegates. You can vote for a delegate, but not the candidate.

    You understand that, right?

  • YourMom Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 9:18 p.m.

    Confused - Your screen name says it all. You sound like someone who ran to be a delegate and lost. I have been to many precinct meetings where no Bishops or Stake Presidents were elected, so using your logic I would say it never happens.....
    The current system in Utah is far superior to the open primary system. Primaries are all about money and name recognition. Is that really what Utah wants? Was Bob Bennett getting voted out really that bad of a thing?
    Scoundrel - How does the caucus system take away your right to vote? Have you been locked out of your precinct meeting? Please explain.

  • YourMom Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    If Leavitt wants to engineer that precinct meetings he can. Just like Hatch did. Money runs politics. Having the neighborhood caucus meetings just levels that playing field a little bit.

  • liberty4me Saratoga Springs, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 7:49 p.m.

    We elect the delegates in our precincts because we know them to be good honest people who will do the work we send them to do. Often they are not familiar with the candidates on caucus night and the candidates begin meeting with them after that evening. Some may already be familiar with candidates but will still go do what they were elected to do.Once they have vetted all of those running they will make the best decision based on their contacts. That is what happens in a republic. We can't all be there to watch every vote and many likely will not even try as life is way to hectic for most of usand that is why voter turnout drops without the caucus system.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:44 p.m.

    There are some Republicans I could vote for, but they never make it out of the caucases, so I'm left with the other side's team as the only viable alternative.

  • UTAttorney Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    Senator Bennett was wrong in his article. How can a delegate be bound to vote for a candidate that no one has vetted? The role of the delegate is to get to know the candidates and listen to input from party members in their precinct, then vote at convention. If delegates are to be bound, why elect them at all? We might as well just have an open primary. But delegates do a great job of vetting. Many Hatch delegates changed their minds after the Juan Diego High School debate showed him to be out of touch and forgetful and showed that the other candidates had valid platforms. It was good for our republic to let the voters go to a primary on that one. And Swallow, please. There was a primary in that race two, between the ONLY 2 candidates running. He was NOT a product of the convention system. All the registered voters got a say in that one.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 11:34 a.m.


    Not a broad brush at all...

    Everything I posted actually happened not only in my district but several other caucuses as well. I did talk to several other people in different districts to verify what I posted.

    You might not like it, but it is the truth.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    The delegates didn't "pick" John Swallow. He was not able to secure the nominee at convention. He won in a primary.

    FreedowmFighter41, Most of the supporters of neighborhood caucus elections are not Tea Party. For example would you put James A. Gonzales, Ernie Gamonal who are democratic party members Tea Party? Or would you put James Humphreys, or Joni Crane Tea Party?

    Sen. Hatch spent millions in phone calls, etc. trying to avoid a primary, but the delegates did what they are supposed to do and went to the debates and met the candidates and decided we had at least another candidate worth considering.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    It's eye-opening to me that the only people who support the Caucus system seem to be the Tea Party and their low-information voters who fear that Utahns might elect moderate leaders.

    I guess delegates are scared to death of the prospect of losing out on their bribes with our politicians and being erased completely from the equation.

    I guess extremist groups are scared to death of the prospect of the voice of the people.


  • slcgal Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    I'm thinking John Swallow. Thanks delegates.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    That's a pretty broad brush, Confused. And an unfair one at that.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    Let's be totally honest here.. Living in Utah with the caucus system, delegates are not voted on because they are the best delegates, but rather what their position in the local church is currently.

    I went to the last GOP caucus for my area, what surprised me how many people voted for the wife of our stake president because of his calling. "She would be great, because her husband is worthy of being called as our stake president" This was an actual quote I heard.

    People vote for delegates based on their relationship to the people in church and assume because they hold leadership positions, they therefore must be a good delegate.

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    " In a purely open primary, candidates will just tell the voters what they want to hear."
    Ha! And you don't think they do the same thing to you and other delegates? Candidates have to pander EVEN MORE to delegates because they are more ideologically polarized than the general population, so they have to tell YOU want you want to hear to get out of convention.

    I have been a state and county delegate multiple times IN BOTH PARTIES and I oppose this caucus convention system.

    I am perfectly capable of choosing the candidates in the dozens of races each year that best align with my views. I do not need to have someone choose for me and cross my fingers that they match my preferences on EVERY race at convention.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 6:42 a.m.


    I don't trust you and your father with MY vote. I'm perfectly capable of vetting the candidate myself, thank you very much.

  • victoryordeath Davis, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:44 a.m.

    Krista you have nailed it! Our current convention/primary system forces candidates to reach out and talk to delegates all across the state, giving Utahns in both urban and rural areas a voice. Those behind Count My Vote want to avoid that personal contact with regular folks and save their time and energy with larger ticket donors and special interest groups. Rural Senate Districts will no longer have personal visits by candidates or elected officials, instead they will receive robo calls, mailers and TV ads.Perhaps they will be lucky enough to have a staff person give them a visit. Don't sign THEIR petition; Protect our Neighborhood Elections so that we can still see our elected officials in our neighborhoods and not just on TV.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:35 a.m.

    Thank you for this letter. While some people don't realize the county and state delegates for the GOP are not "bound" to a candidate, Sen. Bennett did know that and counted on it. His recent op-ed was surprising at best.

    The Delegates typically tell their neighbors that they will vet the candidates and pick the best ones to be on the ballots and they typically welcome any feedback and comments from their neighbors.

    While some candidates have tried to get delegates to "commit" to them when running, they know they aren't bound to a candidate. I haven't met a delegate that wouldn't tell their neighbors who the voted for if asked. The new precinct websites should help.

  • Constitutional_Conservative CEDAR CITY, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:27 a.m.

    Great Article! If we eliminate the caucus system, we will soon find out first hand what California style politics is like. We will never again meet our Senators, Congressman. The candidate with the biggest bank account will win every time if the CMV proposal passes. The whole reason they want this to pass is so Mike Leavitt can run against Mike Lee in 2016.