Letter: Buying politicians

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 1:57 p.m.


    I had to chuckle as you described how your caucus meeting was overrun with people who didn't represent the majority. But obviously they WERE the majority (that bothered to attend).

    You can pretend that what YOU want is what the majority wants. But it's easy to get that assumption wrong.

    It's like me insisting that the majority of Americans wanted Romney for President.... but the ballot boxes were overrun by people who didn't want what the majority wanted. (hint... if more of them voted then they ARE the majority).


    I really don't care if we switch to a pure popularity contest. But I think there are 2 very important things.

    #1. I would like so see a primary where we get more than 15% turnout first.

    #2. We must have some method to narrow each contest to 2 options BEFORE the Primary (convention or a pre-primary primary). Otherwise the vote gets split and diluted. We need to come out of the primary with the winner getting a "majority" vote (meaning more than 50%) to have any momentum leading into the General Election. With 10 candidates the winner may enter the general election with just 11% support from his own party.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 2, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    I think it is very fair to have a vote. I was excluded from my neighborhood caucus and it was over run with people who didn't represent the majority of the people who live here. It was shameless. I was my vote to count.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 2, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    Say we have 10 candidates. 9 agree on something that's very popular with most Utahns. One is in the minority. IF the unpopular guy can get just 10%... he wins! Even though 90% wanted the other position but had their votes split 9 ways.

    Does that make sense?

    In other words, the most popular candidates or positions don't win. In fact the least popular position (shared only by one or a few candidates) has the advantage.

    That happened in my caucus meeting. Most people in the room wanted Lillianquist (from their comments). So likewise most people who volunteered wanted Lillianquist . Only one volunteer and a small group of people favored Hatch (including me). So everybody who wanted Hatch voted for the one guy. The rest split their votes between 9 guys. So imagine the shock when the Hatch supporter won.

    They SHOULD have had an initial vote to get it to 2 and THEN have the final vote.

    You have to get it to 2 final options to have a fair election (which is what we have now).

    The only function of the convention is to get us to that 2 finalists for the primary. With a mass ballot... the vote gets split.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 2, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    If we do away with the caucus meetings and the party convention... what is the only facility left to get your campaign message out and our only source of information on the candidates? (hint... TV and News Papers).

    Let's see... does the DMN, KSL, etc, stand to gain from pushing this agenda? (hint... you bet, they get a LOT of money from campaigns to run their adds).

    When News papers and TV add brokers are the only source for candidates to get their message out there to win an all candidates are on the ballot primary... and they are now the ONLY source of information on the candidates, do they not have a monopoly on this huge source of income from the candidates? And can they control the election outcome by who they chose to cover (and not cover)?

    Do we want that?


    The biggest problem I see with the "everybody's on the primary ballot" approach instead of having 2 candidates to choose from is... the vote gets split so many different ways. I'll illustrate what I'm talking about but I'm out of words.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 2, 2013 6:46 a.m.

    The desperation of the far right is coming clear. They're terrified of losing their ability to select the candidates for the rest of us.


    I wouldn't trust you or the majority in this state to "vet the candidates" for me (just look at Mike Lee for example), I can do it pretty well myself, thank you very much.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    Re: "procura -- as usual, you have it all stuck in reverse."

    Well, forward, reverse, whatever you want to call it -- Big Money is not supporting Buy My Vote because they believe it'll dilute their political power.

    Mindless liberals are so used to opposing whatever real people want, they're hurting themselves, supporting Buy My Vote.

    There simply is no stretch of reason or logic that can support the disingenuous bilge being peddled by Big Money -- that removing the nominating process one step further away from real people, removing effective public scrutiny, and consigning candidate selection to smoke-filled back rooms -- will somehow benefit real Utahns.

    Regardless of how you feel about the caucus process, at least they're conducted in the open.

    Buy My Vote will assure we will never again know how Big Money selects our candidates for us.

  • liberty4me Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    The fairest thing is to have folks who are elected by their neighborhoods research the candidates as their neighbors would if they had been elected to do so. We trust them because we know them and their values. If CMV were in place very few would really dig in and find out who is the best candidate consequently those who vote would go down and those who did vote would in large part be voting what they heard on the last ad which is why the money is such a big player. Why do you think those who want this have a lot of money?

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Dec. 1, 2013 3:21 p.m.

    Step 1: get unfettered campaign finance to be recognized as "free speech" so that plutocrats can speak with a megaphone while the rest of us have to use whispers.

    Step 2: tell us that to protect us from the very plutocrats to whom we've just given so much power, insist on using a closed nomination process rather than opening it up to a direct vote via the ballot box, where every voter has a voice.


  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 2:31 p.m.

    procura -- as usual, you have it all stuck in reverse.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    Re: " . . . curb the effects of the Citizens United decision rather than limit the number of people who select candidates."

    The best action to "curb" Citizens United would be to preserve our caucus system, denying big money interests influence out of proportion to their numbers.

    That action also has the benefit of being constitutional.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    I could not find the path to follow the money on this one.

    But since it doesn’t really matter I don’t care.

    To actually bring voters out to vote needs for them to actually have some effect on their government. Primaries will not do much if anything to give power to the vote.

    Only when we do away with political parties power to select candidates for us will our vote actually mean anything.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    Another gullible soul has swallowed the anti big money argument put forth by the very people who were elected by big money.

    Strangely curious how they are able to twist and twiggle the facts to make it seem that what they used to place them into office is bad, bad, bad.

    We simply NEED Count My Vote. It's one step toward fair elections.

    Oh, did I say a bad word? My Tea Party friends don't like that word -- fair.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    Does anyone see the relationship between snow coming next week and Governor Herbert eating at Crown Burger on Friday?

    Wait... No one does?


    So I can't put 2 completely unrelated items together and declare a relationship? How odd.

    Count My Vote and Swallow have nothing in common. If you think buying off politicians is happening ONLY WITH Count My Vote then you haven't been paying attention to the Caucus system... Or John Swallow (which was happening despite being in a Caucus system).

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    The tea party fiasco ended the caucus system and the conservative political movement. No more small core of spinners trying to bring down government.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 7:19 a.m.

    I cannot see any relationship between Mr. Swallow's resignation and the Count My Vote initiative. Am I missing something?

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    I kinda thought that votes wasn't counted. I guess now it's obvious.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Dec. 1, 2013 5:57 a.m.

    If big money is the concern, then perhaps the solution is to curb the effects of the Citizens United decision rather than limit the number of people who select candidates.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 12:26 a.m.

    Count My Vote law will cost taxpayers millions, $1 Million the first year and almost that every 2 years, with about 1/2 of the unfunded mandate being picked up by the less populous counties, the ones that the same proposed law will cause to be flyover places where the candidates and elected officials won't come anymore.

    The sponsors of Count My Vote loved the current system when the turnout to the neighborhood caucus elections meetings (GOP) was about 25,000, but when it exceeded 50,000 and 100,000, they no longer want that system because they no longer have the power. They don't tell you that the same delegates, proposed to be elected by closer to 10,000 attendees will still pick nominees such as the replacement for Spencer Cox.

    They claim more people will be able to vote. A large percentage of voters will not affiliate to vote in the GOP primary election and those same people will not be able to vote in a "GOP" direct primary under Count My Vote. They will get to pay more as Count My Vote makes sure the parties will not be picking up the tab they currently do, it will be the taxpayers, unaffiliated or not

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 12:23 a.m.

    John Swallow was not able to secure the GOP nominee at convention, he won in a primary

    We already have a large percentage of contested races go to primary. If we have more primaries, we are apt to have more last minute attack pieces and more ethics problems. There will also be a need for more political donations raised for more expensive races. We don't need to provide more power to the lobbyists.

    The lobbyists don't have the money, they provide donations from companies and Pacs. Those groups typically do not donate to anyone that isn't an incumbent or at least a nominee for a party. The only people that can afford to run in a primary and compete in that market are rich or famous, unless someone hires some questionable political consultants. We are seeing what happens to those people in the news currently. We do not need more scandals.

    The exception is created by our caucus and convention system. I know elected officials that turn down donations. Many don't get them because their votes don't match the groups goals. We have many good and honest elected officials. The system we have helps