Utah Republican caucusgoers give a thumbs up to traditional process

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  • CrtclThnkr Mapleton, UT
    March 23, 2014 7:17 p.m.

    @On the other hand, I couldn't agree more! I think many of those at the caucuses would argue that they don't really care if it isn't representative. Because they happened to choose to be involved in the caucus, their representation is all that should count. If you want to be represented, then come to the caucus, is what they would say. This attitude of isolation and exclusion of opinions and views is damaging. I don't this level of representative voting is a good system. I think the compromise made by the legislature and CMV is a good one.

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    March 22, 2014 6:02 a.m.

    @Living Above the Lighthouse, @Shane333, let's distinguish between representative government and representative voting.

    In representative government, the people choose who represents them but not necessarily how they are represented. The idea here is that sovereignty rests with the people, but it would be cumbersome and impractical to have a system where the people directly vote on every legislative matter that might arise.

    In representative voting, that is, the caucus system, representatives are chosen to determine which candidates will represent a party. There's no way a delegate can represent the collective will of all the people who elected him. This means that in representative voting, the candidates that are chosen are actually less representative of the will of the electorate, which in turn leads to representative government where the people are actually less well represented than if they were directly involved at every stage in the voting process.

    The fact that we have a representative system of government is precisely the reason why voters should have a direct say in the nominating process.

  • LDS Aerospace Engineer Farmington, UT
    March 22, 2014 1:10 a.m.

    @Mike Richards --

    Speaking of GOP party platform :

    You supported ethics violator John Swallow to the bitter partisan end.

    The GOP seeks to trample the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

    Right to Life?
    Not when it comes to the "Health" of the woman or viability of the fetus.

    Some of us "Republicans" do not cow-tow the extreme ends of the Party Line.

  • CrtclThnkr Mapleton, UT
    March 21, 2014 6:44 p.m.

    I went to my caucus meeting and while I appreciate the value of a community meeting together to discuss important political topics, I don’t understand why I need someone to represent me to decide who I can vote for. I absolutely understand why I need a Representative to vote on bills and to draft legislation, but I don't know why I need a representative to tell me who I can choose to represent me. I really like the people in my precinct but I don't necessarily want them to represent me in this way. The compromise reached by CMV was a reasonable one but it will likely reduce the power of a small and vocal slice of the party and they don't like that. If a candidate can demonstrate he has enough popular support to run for an office, then I see no reason why I shouldn't have the choice to vote for him/her. I believe in representative government, I just don't feel I need a representative to tell me who I can choose to represent me.

  • LoveLife Riverton, UT
    March 21, 2014 6:40 p.m.

    Apparently several of the commentators here missed the changes to the caucus procedures to allow for "absentee" voting. I would recommend a search with "Utah gop caucus same day voting" or "same day ballots" to see the changes that you missed.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 21, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    One poster complained about an "LDS prayer" at the start of his caucus meeting. I've been a member of that church since I was eight, but I don't have a copy of a "LDS Prayer Book". Does an LDS prayer differ from prayers offered by other Christians? Hopefully, he listened to the Republican Platform: "We, the Republican Party of the Great State of Utah, affirm our belief in God and declare our support for government based upon a moral and spiritual foundation." If he missed the reading of the platform, maybe he should open his wallet and look at the phrase on his money, "In God We Trust". If that's not enough for him, maybe he's not familiar with the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." If all else fails, perhaps he should read George Washington's Prayer for America: "Almighty GOD; we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection . . ."

  • MGB Saint George, UT
    March 21, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    It would be interesting to know how many of the people who signed the CMV petition have ever attended a caucus meeting.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    March 21, 2014 2:34 p.m.

    airnaut - You have strikingly similar response to Open Minded Mormon(also from Everett, 00)


    I guess you two think alike.


    Its true the GOP is in trouble. With a population already being encouraged to blame the rich for their problems instead of taking responsibility - it just perpetuates the problem. The cycle repeats and compounds of more people blaming the rich instead of going out and getting a job

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    March 21, 2014 2:06 p.m.


    Seriously? "Hard working Utahns?" I think most of us are hard-working Utahns, and I don't believe I'm the only one who had to make work arrangements in order to be at the caucus meeting. We know well in advance when the caucus meetings are. If someone wants to attend they can trade shifts or get it off.

    So enough already with the "I had to work so I couldn't attend" schtick. It's once every two years, not every week, and it's the best opportunity we have to get involved in government at the grass roots level. If you don't want to attend, just say so, but don't make lame excuses.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 21, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    Conservatives will not be happy in their Utopian quest until America becomes the Western Hemisphere's Somalia.

    No Government,
    Everyone carrying guns for self preservation,
    No evironmental regulations,
    Tribal wafare vs Neighborhood Gangs,
    He who has the gold, makes the rules.

    Total Anarchy.
    Dog eat Dog Law of the Jungle,
    Only the Strong survive.

    Lord of the Flies.

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    March 21, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    My precinct's caucus began with a prayer, LDS-style. I didn't mind that, but there seemed to be a theme that one needed to believe in God in order to effectively govern. I was nominated for the position of state delegate, and in my thirty seconds of allowed speech I made it clear that while I believe in God, and in fact think it's a good idea to believe in God, still I would work with people who don't believe in God. I don't think one has to believe in God in order to be a valid participator in the governing process. I don't know if it was that issue that did me in, but I was one of the five candidates that weren't selected. But I got nominated as a county delegate too, and there were seven of us nominated and only seven positions (the eight delegate was the precinct vice chair), so the precinct chair who was running things didn't even call a vote. It'll be interesting to see what the job of county delegate entails.

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    March 21, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    I didn't even try and go this year. I went two years ago and couldn't even get in the room. Plus, even though I am a registered Republican, they didn't have my name on the list. My daughter who had just turned 18 and had also registered, was not on the list and was not allowed to vote.

    For me, the caucus system is all about the radical wings of the party controlling the agenda, the candidates that are put forth and the party platform. If things don't change, I will withdraw from the party and find a group understands how to govern.

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    March 21, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    @cmsense: The photos tell the story, unintentionally perhaps. If angry, obdurate, xenophobic people, who think their ultra-conservative and exclusionary viewpoint is the only legitimate one, continue to run the Republican party, they will run it into the ground.

  • Claire B West Jordan, UT
    March 21, 2014 11:44 a.m.

    There can and SHOULD be legal challenge. When it comes to SB 54, *"This matter is out of their authority pursuant to the Constitution. SB 54 is a "compromise" between two sides. But the problem is the side truly at issue (the political parties) was NOT involved in this compromise. The compromise is between a group of citizens and some of the leadership in the legislature. They "compromised" on what process to require of PRIVATE political parties in selecting who will be endorsed as the party's candidate for local, state and national offices.*This compromise ignored the political parties themselves. Parties exist to gather supporters around certain principles, and to endorse a candidate who supports the party platform. This process involves their protected exercise of their freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of association. These rights are all deeply protected under the 1st and 14th Amendments. Supreme Court case law tells us that the State can ONLY interfere in the internal workings of a party if there's "a compelling state interest," such as a civil rights issue, *which is not in question in this case. Consequently, this is simply not the legislature's fight."-Ken Ivory

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 21, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    A picture says a thousand words.

    And by that front Deseret News pictre...
    The GOP caucus was 98% White, Older, and Males.

    America will be 53% Hispanic in less than 20 years.

    Good bye, GOP.
    btw -

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 21, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    Still though, my biggest problem with the caucus system is that any hard-working Utahns who have to work when the caucus is meeting are out of luck when it comes to being able to exercise their right to vote.

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    March 21, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    Bottom line: we live in a republic, not a democracy. A republic works better than a democracy because most of us are not able or willing to become thoroughly educated on the salient issues to the level required to make the best decisions. A republic works to the extent that we have volunteers willing to research the issues and educate themselves. It's my job to either ante up and become one of those people, or to find one of those people whom I trust to represent me. Even if we all had the time and willingness to meet all the candidates and interview them personally, it would be a physical impossibility for the candidates. Just as in a company a small number of people are delegated the responsibility to interview job candidates, the caucus/delegate/convention system allows for our delegates to meet each of the candidates personally and conduct those interviews.

    It is a layered, but more efficient system than a democracy. That said, each of our elected officials is accessible to us once on the job. I've found most (Senator Hatch excluded) are very responsive.

  • Kirk Strickland LAYTON, UT
    March 21, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    I was extremely disappointed that our caucus started 20 minutes late in order to accommodate anyone who might drift in late. I was also disappointed that time was used to present a program putting down Count My Vote and promoting the traditional caucus system while offering no chance for opposing response (and is anyone else weary of the animated hand making illustrative, say-and-see line drawings in video presentations?). If Republican insiders are so concerned about late comers, why are they not concerned about all those who, for perfectly acceptable reasons, were not able to attend at all? Also, in our precinct meeting there were reports of several people who could not hang around through all of the delays--as well as many who had to leave mid-meeting--before casting their votes and express their views. Is this the latest tactic by the ultra-conservative Republican establishment to weed out non-traditionalists to retain control? They still don't seem to get it. Congratulations, however, to those in the legislature who seem to at least to acknowledge CMV concerns and search for a balanced solution.

  • One opinion west jordan, UT
    March 21, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    I attended our caucus meeting last night and was again delighted to see so many people who are interested in how we are governed. Everyone got an opportunity to volunteer to serve in various positions as well as express how they felt things were going. This is the one place that a common ordinary citizen has the opportunity to support people that they feel has their interests at heart. Changes come from persistent involvement in what we stand for as individuals. When enough people become involved, changes do happen. We see that happening all around us. Caucus meetings are certainly one avenue of knowing what is going on. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate.

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    March 21, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    @ flashback: You wouldn't vote for anyone who tries to bypass the caucus. . .even if they were a better candidate who represented your views. That shows how intelligent some voters are. I try to keep an open mind and look at everyone to see who represents me the best!

  • TallGuy1970 Syracuse, UT
    March 21, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    I am a life-long conservative, but I have grown to HATE the Republican caucuses. Because I don't think we need to privatize all public schools and I think that compromise is sometimes necessary, I have, at recent caucuses, become the target of scorn and criticism, and my voice has most definitely not been heard.

    I have been shouted down by the ultra-conservative folks who tend to dominate the whole evening. I am sick of their talk about "principled leadership," which basically means they are unwilling or mentally unable to even speak to people with whom they disagree.

    Give me a voice, MY OWN REPUBLICAN VOICE, in selecting my elected representatives! Bring back Count My Vote!!!

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 21, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    At our caucus, the Republican Platform was read. I agree with every plank on that platform. On the other hand, I read the Democrat Platform. How can anyone believe that the life of an innocent unborn baby could be destroyed because one person decides that the baby is not wanted? If someone went to court with that as a defense for destroying a life after birth, he would spend the rest of his life in prison.

    At out caucus, we talked with our neighbors whom we have known for oyears. We've worked with them on various projects. We know which ones are fair. We know which ones are diligent. We know which ones walk the walk and don't just talk the talk. We elected two State delegates and five county delegates. All were honorable men and women with complete integrity.

    Those who tell us that we can't vote for a candidate might ask themselves when the last time was that they voted for a Federal Judge or a member of the Supreme Court. 100 Senators out of 330,000,000 citizens makes that choice for us. 4,000 delegates will vett candidates for the Republican Party.

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    March 21, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    @On the other hand,

    It appears that you do not understand what representative government means. The caucus system is absolutely representative government, in that it elects delegates that represent the majority views of those who choose to participate in their civic duty. That is no different than how city, state, or federal representatives are chosen.

  • sherlock holmes Eastern, UT
    March 21, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    I don't understand how the caucus system increases public involvement. It is just the opposite, just like the BYU and U of U bball post season. One and done. There is no involvement after the caucus unless you are one of the very few delegates.

    A primary election system gives the voter a far bigger voice and more opportunity for involvement.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 21, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    @Living Above the Lighthouse
    "your vote for a candidate for Congress or the state legislature doesn't necessarily translate into support for the policies you care about, either."

    True, but at least there you only have one layer to go through and can directly vote against them next time if they fail to adequately satisfy.

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    March 21, 2014 8:46 a.m.


    It would appear that your views are simply not the majorities views of those who participate in their civic duties. Thus, if you were not elected as a delegate, the caucus system worked in representing the majority. Votes were indeed counted.

  • RSLfanalways West Valley, UT
    March 21, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    I like the comments that all you need to do is show up to the caucus and you will be heard. We live in a new era where people don't have a normal 9 to 5 job,we don't live in the 1950's anymore. If the party doesn't adapt it will fail quickly.

  • Mary E Petty Sandy, UT
    March 21, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    Thanks to the passing of SB54, I don’t wonder what the end of our traditional caucus system will portend for Utah politics. Just read the Breitbart article entitled: McClintock Race Could Give Democrats New Playbook To Take Out Conservatives - to see the end results of a COUNT MY VOTE open primary system. He who has the gold makes the winners! Utah Politics has gone Big TIME EXPENSIVE! And open to outside control....

    Or to put it in another way: Who ever heard of kindergarteners having a say in who was the Senior Class President? That’s what SB54 has done for Utah!

  • Living Above the Lighthouse Spanish Fork, UT
    March 21, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    For those who don't think the caucus system is representative because "how does your vote translate into support for the candidates you care about? Unless you got elected as a delegate, there's no guarantee that they do" - your vote for a candidate for Congress or the state legislature doesn't necessarily translate into support for the policies you care about, either. The parallel is there. You just have to vote for the people who you think will do the job you want - as a caucus delegate or as a candidate. And if you do not see people you agree with running - run yourself! The worst that can happen is that you get voted down. I wanted to see a different candidate than Hatch for the Senate in 2012, and ran to be a delegate - and got voted down, but at least I tried.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 21, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    Besides the "People over Fish" Anti-anything Enviromental at our caucus meeting,

    I listened as 2 of the nominees went on and on about paying Taxes and the Evil Government.

    1 raised 9 children (hasn't paid taxes in over 25 years due to the $25,000 annual Standard deduction he's been taking, let alone the rest of us paying for their educations, etc...),

    The other one complaining about Taxes and Evil Government -- has been unemployed 4 of the last 6 years -- still has his house, drives a car 15 yeaers newer and nicer than mine, Big New Flat Screen HDTV, and all new leather furniture, and his family is very well fed... all coutesty of the very Tax dollars they were compaling about.

    I registured as a Rebublican becasue I wanted to have a voice,
    and I only mentioned wanting cleaner Air ---

    I got shouted down,
    and by the very people who HATE the system they have been taking advantage of.

    I will be renouncing my GOP membership [again] 1st thing this morning.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    March 21, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    The title of this piece is based on the evidence of going to a few caucus sites and asking the choir if they like singing in the choir- I would expect more from a paper that says it is for rigor and critical thinking

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 21, 2014 7:15 a.m.

    It just dawned on me. Didn't the Democrats caucus as well? I guess this paper is only going to promote the Republican Party....

  • cityslickergrandma Salt Lake City, UT
    March 21, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    I've been to lots of caucus meetings and I went last night, but I am still glad that there is an alternative method. The people that were more conservative were the ones elected to be delegates. I don't feel moderates have a voice in either party (and I've been to both party's caucuses because I don't feel I really belong to either party).

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 21, 2014 7:05 a.m.

    We had over 60 people in our caucus last night. Heaven help the Republican that tries to bypass the caucus. Me and a whole lot of people will not be voting for them. None of them would vote for a candidate that bypasses the caucus.

    The Bennett crybabies that support CMV are duly warned.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 21, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    So the "insiders" like the insider process. Hardly surprising. Just because people don't take the time to sit through a meeting doesn't mean they don't have an interest in the outcome. Why do you need a meeting to choose your leaders?

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    March 21, 2014 6:20 a.m.

    If you're concerned about your voice being heard, all you have to do is show up.

    I really think it should be up to the parties to decide how they choose their nominees and not up to the legislature to tell them how they choose them.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 21, 2014 6:06 a.m.

    I was sad...
    Why does the GOP just have to be blindly be against anything the Democrats are for?

    Clean Air is for ALL of us.

    The Delegate in our precinct ran on a personal platform of
    "I'm against anything the EPA is for."

    And won.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 21, 2014 5:54 a.m.

    "the traditional caucus system will remain in place."

    Um, no it isn't...

    Creating a means of bypassing a system designed to not be bypassed destroys any integrity the system could have. But I suppose as long as a few prominent guys support it we all should?

    1) Money shouldn't buy elections
    2) People should only get one say, not the ability to influence both their own primary candidates and another party's.

    Our democracy has been weakened not only by the federal government, but what we see happening in our own state. There is nothing democratic about giving more power to elect and get elected than one should have. If people can't see the problems with this, then so be it.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    March 21, 2014 5:34 a.m.

    The caucus system is fine for determining party policies and programs, and electing party officials. Candidates for office should be determined, at all levels of the election process, by the direct vote of the public. Keep the caucus for the things it properly determines, and let the people vote to decide who is going to be on the final ballot.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    March 21, 2014 4:27 a.m.

    I went to my caucus yesterday as well (my 1st). I spent close to 2 hours there. My wife had to stay home and watch our 5 kids (her vote was not counted). I did not know any of the people who volunteered to be delegates before hand. After hearing them they all sounded the same, all against CMV, all for a no mercy, send them and their kids who grew up here back immigration policy, all against common core and the ACA etc. I am for fiscal conservatism (but don't shut down the government) and socially conservative (but domestic partnerships are ok with me). I was expecting at least 1 moderate candidate who I thought would choose a Sen. Bennet over a Mike Lee for example. I could not support any of the delegates. They were all too far right. I left. My vote was not counted. Sorry, I don't need a representative to choose my representative!

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    March 21, 2014 1:42 a.m.

    @Shane333, glad to hear that all votes were counted. Pray tell, how does your vote translate into support for the candidates you care about? Unless you got elected as a delegate, there's no guarantee that they do. Therein lies the fundamental flaw with the caucus system: it's not representative.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    March 20, 2014 11:42 p.m.

    After looking at the photos of the gop caucus I wondered if I was looking at diversity panel.

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    March 20, 2014 10:20 p.m.

    I got back from my precinct caucus meeting about half an hour ago. It was wonderful. Everyone who bothered to show up was welcomed. All votes were counted (they've always been counted). People were encouraged to share their views.

    The only way a vote wasn't counted was if someone refused to go and cast it, the same as with primary or general elections.