Letter: Buy my vote?

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  • cmbennett1 OGDEN, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 2:40 a.m.

    I have personally seen candidates meet with delegates at lunches that the candidates paid for.But since politicians often get their meals paid for by lobbyists some may not see this as a problem. Another issue I have with the caucus system is that it sometimes is not possible for everyone to attend the caucus. Some people have to work in the evening, some people are away serving their country in the military(they can vote in primaries and general elections by absentee ballot), some people are away serving their Church on Missions, and some may either be sick themselves or have sick children. In addition there is a group of people who may attend but cannot legally participate, these people are Federal Employees(such as those who work at Hill AFB) and Active Duty Military personnel who are registered to vote in Utah.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:18 p.m.

    I have attended caucus meetings. It didn't represent the majority neighborhood. And to Mike Richards comments ....who are these "party elites"? The party I once called my own isso fractured. The party elites are now the people or groups (such as the Eagle Forum) who marshal the most troops to the caucus meetings. It does not represent the peoples views.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    To "Furry1993" you do realize that people like Ronald Reagan would be called "far right extremists" by today's Republicans. Even JFK would be called a "far right extremist" by today's standards.

    So, which is it. Do you want to return to Reagan values of small government and tax rates that encourage growth and hiring? Or do you want to go with the mainstream GOP and just be a slow moving Progressive?

    If Bush and McCain are examples of the party mainstream, take a close look at their policies. They are exactly the same in nature as the extreme left in the Democrat party. The only difference is magnitude.

    So the question becomes are you going with the mainstream Progressives in the GOP or are you going with the Tea Party and that group that wants to return to the Reagan idea of limited government.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 1:11 p.m.


    What's holding me in the Republican Party? The desire to recover it from the far right fringes and return it to what it should be (and what it was prior to the early 1990s when it was hijacked far right). When the policies of people like Barry Goldwater (Mr. Conservative, who defined conservatism in the 1960s) and Ronald Reagan would cause people to call them RINOs and when they couldn't win a place on a general ballot because they're not far right wing enough, you KNOW that there is something drastically wrong with the Republican Party. As Sen. Carl Schurz (R-Missouri, 1869-75), said (as I quoted above): "My country, right or wrong. When right, keep it right; when wrong, put it right." My party is going WAY wrong, and I am trying to put it right.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    To "Furry1993" unfortunately you are wrong. The Republican party has been hijacked by Progressives, just like the Democrat party. The only difference between them is how fast they are marching towards socialism. The Tea Party and other similar groups are trying to get the Republican Party to return to its conservative roots.

    You may want to caucus for the Democrats because they could be more aligned with your values. The point I was making is that if you don't feel that your voice is being heard by the Republican party, maybe there is another political party that does match your values. Just because you were a Republican in 1969 does not mean you have to remain a Republican today.

    To quote Ronald Reagan (and others) "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me". If the party is no longer what you believe in, what is holding you there?

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    @RedShirt 12:56 p.m. Feb. 11, 2014

    You realize, don't you (since I've said it often enough) that I'm a mainstream Republican and have been a Republican since 1969 when I turned 21 years of age and became eligible to vote. why do you think I would have any interest in what is going on in a caucus or primary for the Democrat party? As to why I stick with the Republicans when they have been hijacked to the far right fringes and only the far right fringe-dwellers have any say in what happens -- I am echoing the thoughts of Sen. Carl Schurz (R-Missouri, 1869-75), who said: "My country, right or wrong. When right, keep it right; when wrong, put it right." My party is going WAY wrong, and I am trying to put it right.

  • Candidate Jackson Sandy, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 11:19 p.m.

    Witness Chris Stewart sending books to the delegates. Witness the chances of a restaurant meal for delegates in the caucus-convention system versus a restaurant meal for voters once the race is past convention.
    Candidates might offer donuts and hot chocolate while campaigning after convention, but there are not too many sit-down meals after convention. It could be argued that rather than reducing the influence of money, the caucus-convention system actually is the right-sized playground for it, at least the right-sized playground for gift-giving.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 10:41 p.m.

    Some have spoken of bribes. I don't know whether it classes as bribery, but it is the giving of gifts in the hopes of receiving votes. It seems to happen more before convention than after, for the candidate often doesn't have enough money to buy something for all the voters, but does have enough to buy something when the number of electors is reduced to just the delegates. Breakfast is served in the name of meeting the candidate. Is that akin to a bribe? If the candidate didn't think it would do some good, he or she wouldn't be buying those breakfasts. And, the delegate does have a tendency to consider the breakfast a nice gesture and to accept the goodwill as reason to vote for the candidate. It's hardly an outright bribe, but it is the influence of money.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Feb. 11, 2014 5:52 p.m.

    I don't live in Utah, so I've no skin in the debate...but if Big Money is the major concern in a conventional primary system, why not limit Big Money itself? Curbing the effects of Big Money is healthier for democracy all around, and not just in Utah.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 5:03 p.m.

    VST... to answer your question, with a question "why don't you go ask the democrats?, they allow ANYONE to vote in their primaries".

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    2 bits...

    I do have proof, I have actually seen the number of "invites" delegates get by the candidates to "her" their views while eating at a restaurant or some shindig.

    I have seen the items sent to delegates to persuade them that they are the "right" choice...

    So yes, Delegates are "bribed" before the convention is held.

    Not saying "Count my Vote" is the best way, but from my understanding the current caucus system Utah employs is the only one of it's kind in the 50 states... If not Count my Vote, maybe changes to the current system is in order.

    The major problem right now is that independents is the largest group of voters. Most lean right, but they are fed up with the State GOP and how they run things, but can not get the current "tea party" mojo off the table.

    So if you are independent and want to vote for a person that does not get one of the position for the party, then they "Can't vote".

    Why is Utah GOP so afraid of open primaries? why do they limit their caucus meetings to "members" only? hmmm..

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 11, 2014 1:35 p.m.

    2 bits,

    I did vote in the last primary and I would like to to choose from the 5-6-7 or however many choose to run. The outcome may not change, but in 2014 this is the way we should be electing our representatives.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    To "Furry1993" if you are so concerned about your voice being heard and represented by the vote of the caucus representative at the convention, then why don't you either run for caucus representative or else get to know the people that you caucus with? Another option is to go to the caucus event for another political party. If you don't like the Democrat canidate, maybe you can go to the Republican caucus meeting, or the Libertarian, or the Communist. That is the great thing about this country. You have your choice of political parties, and you probably can find one more to your liking.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 12:52 p.m.


    RE: "They decide who to vote for based on the bribes they receive from special interest groups"...

    Do you have any actual evidence or proof that is true?

    Or do you think just because you say it... or heard it somewhere... it's true?


    I think this bribing convention delegates is conspiracy theory hooowie...

    I've never been a delegate, but I know several people who have, and I have two brothers who have and a nephew who has... and none of them have received any bribes.

    Is there even proof of ONE delegate getting bribed???

    And yet people like Maverick spout it like it's actual fact (just because they say it).


    Who out there actually KNOWS of a bribe being given to a delegate?? Not your friend. Or a friend of someone who told you he heard it happened (classic urban legend spreading format). But it was actually YOU (not a hearsay person) who got bribed with money at the convention or the caucus meeting.

    If that person is out there... maybe I'll listen to Maverick's rantings a little more credibility. But if not....


    Last post BTW... have a great day.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    Buy my vote?

    Sounds like the motto our delegates live by.

    They decide who to vote for based on the bribes they receive from special interest groups. My voice/vote doesn't matter. I want my voice to matter. Get rid of the ridiculous caucus.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    I am being completely honest about the caucus and convention system.

    I don't know how much "Gaming" goes on there.

    I've never personally witnessed a caucus meeting that was organized enough to be "Gamed" by any person, or any ward, or any other boogeyman.


    Re "those accustomed to this power and privilege"...

    You seem to think this is a coronation of some powerful group of people who represent your neighborhood every year at convention. I have never seen anyone elected (or even volunteer) who was a delegate the last time. So this conspiracy of a group of high-influence people going to convention every year... is just bogus whooey (at least in my neighborhood).


    I'm starting to wonder if you have ever actually been to a caucus meeting... have you??

    Because they are NOTHING like you describe in your conspiracy theory.


    About the Ward-conspiracy-theory...

    So what if people from the same ward attend the caucus meeting... they are from the same neighborhood... naturally they would be there.

    Most of the people who volunteered and were elected to be delegates from my neighborhood were non-lds or inactive (if that matters).

  • Homer1 MIDVALE, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    Supporters of the present caucus system need to be honest in this debate and acknowledge the political gaming and silly neighborhood and ward stuff that goes on, allowing very interested people to exert a very disproportionate influence on the early candidate selection in our state politics.

    You might think it's just allowing local grassroots politics to play a role, but in reality, you have to see that it is a role way out of proportion in the entire political system. Count Your Vote will reduce the power that I believe is out of balance and maybe that seems worth fighting about for those accustomed to this power and privilege. But, I support this realignment of political influence in the state.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    Before you comment, ask yourself... "Did I vote in the 2013 primary"? Did I vote in my 2012 Primary?

    If you are in the 94% who didn't... just how important do you REALLY think your individual vote is?


    The only function of the Convention is to narrow the field to the top-2 most viable candidates (to face-off in the party primary). Period.

    The function of the Caucus meeting is to get people involved and informed, at a grass-roots level, not by national advertisers or party officials, but by your neighbors, who are the only people who have a right to speak at your caucus meeting.

    The caucus allows you and your neighbors to pick delegates to Conventions. Where they will help narrow the field to the top-2 who will face-off in the party primary (WHERE YOU INDIVIDUALLY VOTE AGAIN).


    You individually vote 3 times:
    -Your caucus meeting
    -Your party primary
    -The general election.

    How many of these are you actually taking advantage of now???

    If you actually vote in none of them.... How sincere are you REALLY about having your individual vote count?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    People like Furry, who say that their vote doesn't count are just funny, or uninformed.

    We already have a party primary. It just happens after convention.

    I don't know if they are aware of this (less than 10% of Utahns seem to be aware of this)... but we already have a party-primary (in which every individual vote counts). It happens after Convention.

    IF you want your individual vote to count... VOTE IN YOUR PRIMARY (only 6% of registered voters turned out to the municipal primary election in 2013). So obviously this isn't a big deal to 94% of Utahns.... just doing away with the convention seems to be all they care about. I don't get it!


    The ONLY difference (IF we do away with the Convention and caucus meetings) is... everybody will be on the party-primary ballot (instead of the top-2). That's the ONLY difference.

    Your individual vote IS counted in the party-primary (but it already is... that is the point I'm trying to get across). You will just be able to vote for people not in the top-2. But I seriously doubt that will change the final outcome.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    With "Count My Vote", who chooses which candidates appear on the ballot? You don't. I don't. The citizens of Utah have no input. The "party elite" chooses who will appear on the ballot. The "party elite" decides who is good enough to ride along with the other "good old boys". The "party elite" decide who they have enough hooks in to make those candidates jump when they say jump.

    If that's what you want, then, by all means, support "Count My Vote". On the other hand, if you want to elect a delegate from your precinct who actually talks to all of the candidates and verifies that the candidate that he votes for meets the qualifications of the precinct, then reject "Count My Vote".

    We live in a Democratic Republic. The caucus is part of that system. "Count My Vote" has nothing to do with a Democratic Republic. Party "Bigwigs" do the choosing. How is that part of a Democratic Republic? When did a Party get power over the people? But, if that's what you want, support "Count My Vote".

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    I do not understand the notion that the caucus system allows a poor person to run for office any easier than a primary system. The way I see it, money is the only way to be elected to public office.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    This writer must not have attended any of the caucuses I attended. They were nonsensical farces run by extremists who shouted anyone more moderate into silence.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 7:20 a.m.

    Oh please, these arguments have been debunked time after time after time.

    Why should my vote go to some delegate? Let my voice be my own and not some delegate who is being bribed.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    You may not need a big bankroll to run in the caucas system, but you need to say the right things to the extremists who run the caucuses or your campaign is toast.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 5:29 a.m.

    When I go to the polls and cast a vote I know, whether or not my candidate wins, that my vote counts and will be counted. When I go to a caucus, I have no idea for whom the delegate selected by the caucus will vote, and have no way to know whether my concerns will be raised and discussed, and/or whether my position will be supported. Most likely, my vote in the caucus will not support my position and concerns -- it will not in fact count. I want my vote to COUNT. That is why I am supporting "Count My Vote", why I will sign the petition to get it on the ballot, and why I will vote for its passage. I want my vote, and the votes of all people in Utah, to count. They don't with the caucus system.