Op-ed: The caucus and convention system had it right

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  • Ogrepete Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 10:16 p.m.

    I loved the caucus/convention system when I actually participated. When I knew nothing about it except what I heard from Doug Wright, I was upset I didn't have more choices.

    When I participated, I realized that the delegate positions were filled by my neighbors who invited my input, but also went and met personally with each candidate, spent hours and hours doing research, and would give feedback to the other caucus attendees after going to the convention and voting. Sure, they didn't vote exactly like I would have, but I didn't spend the time they did, so I might have voted/thought differently if I had spent the time they did.

    Now we get 30-second radio ads to vet the candidates. That and the zillion mailers that come to our doors.

    I like the caucus/convention system because regular people spent a LOT of time vetting the candidates and chose the one they liked the best. Money would only take a candidate so far if their message didn't resonate. Now it is impossible to win a race without a very large advertising budget.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 10:43 a.m.

    "Arturo Morales-LLan is a member of the Utah Republican State Central Committee, a state delegate"

    Really? This power holder wants to keep his power? I am not surprised.

    The caucus system nominates extremists. The party power brokers (that means they sell power) know it and they like it. Utahns as a whole arent nearly as extreme as our representation.

  • Drew Chamberlain Layton, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 10:35 a.m.

    Count My Vote IS Buy My Vote.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 9, 2017 10:16 p.m.

    The new CMV will require additional runoff primaries. Who does that help since candidates will need more campaign money? Lobbyists.

    You did notice the new CMV gives the #utleg a blank check vote as you will need to decide to run or help someone run against them prior to the end of the legislative session, before most votes are cast. If you don't like their votes you really want people to remember for an additional 2 years?

    Oct. 9, 2017 3:55 p.m.


    "The Buy My Ballot Spot with paid signature gatherers favors the rich and famous."

    You're right. It's not fair that Count My Vote requires candidates to spend money gathering signatures, when we could simply have primary elections directly. The Utah Republican party should wake up and realize that this is what the vast majority of their voters want.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 9, 2017 1:56 p.m.

    So one of the issues I have with the current caucus system is the meetings are held in peoples homes. On the surface that seems very homie and all that. But the reality is those are not open environments. These meetings need to be in a place that is open to all - libraries, schools, government offices.... but it should be in a venue where even "not friends" feels open to attend.

    One of my buds is a delegate for American Fork. He was invited to another friends house to participate. And he did. But he would have never considered going to a stranger's home. Maybe he should have. But you have to wonder how many actually even know when these meetings are going on.

    It's got to move beyond a friends of friends system.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 9, 2017 12:04 p.m.

    It is funny to see people defend the CMV initiative. The ironic thing is that it doesn't create a "new" path to getting on the ballot. That path has always existed, it is called the INDEPENDENT candidate. If those people have so much support, why can't they get on the ballot without forcing the party to back them.

    Now, I know that there are those of you who say that since the government pays for the election, they should control how candidates get on the ballot. Have you considered what the ballot would look like if the cost of the election was spread around to each political party? Would there be anything but a D or R to choose from? You would kill 3rd party or independent candidates. Government paying for the election is the only "fair" thing for all candidates.

    To "Impartial7" how is the deligate system out of touch with mainstream voters? The Republicans elected a candidate that reflects their values.

  • DumpTheDuopoly Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 9, 2017 10:04 a.m.

    There is a very simple solution. Parties should finance and administer the primary elections. Then they can set whatever rules they like. Taxpayer money should not be wasted on private entity candidate selection. State should not collect election funds on behalf of parties on income tax and would have no need to know a persons political affiliation.

  • LibertyLover Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 9, 2017 9:26 a.m.

    SB 54 has made big money a bigger influence on Utah elections.

    With SB 54 and it's high signature thresholds, only incumbents (who get large donations from lobbyists) and the rich have a chance to gather number of signatures needed. Entire companies have been created to support this new industry. County My Vote gave large donations to incumbents to gather signatures.

    Tanner Ainges spent a reported $80,000 on signature gathering.

    Our caucus/primary system has served us well. We have the best managed state in the nation. The little guy has a chance to make an input.

    Now the little guy, has little if any chance of being elected. Government will get bigger as candidates have to repay favors for the big donations they have received.

    Let's hope Utah will return to the idea of smaller government. Allowing private organizations to have a say in how they choose their candidates. Let us return to liberty.

  • Bubba Chub Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 9, 2017 7:53 a.m.

    Wow, the myopic rantings of a GOP insider. It’s scary to think someone like Chris Herrod could represent ME in Congress. Sorry Art, your message rings hollow. P.S. The entire GOP is a joke. Go Kathie Allen!

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    Oct. 9, 2017 12:12 a.m.

    We should always be suspicious when leaders try to tell us
    "Don't worry, we will just figure it out for you"

    Count My Vote is a way to keep the party elite responsive to the people.

  • TeachyMcTeacherPants Sandy, UT
    Oct. 9, 2017 12:09 a.m.

    John Curtis has done a great job in Provo. The fact that he is considered "too liberal" to some shows how far down the rabbit hole we have fallen.

    I am voting for the man, and John Curtis is the clear choice.

    Oct. 8, 2017 11:53 p.m.

    The freedom of association argument falls apart at the point where the group's endorsement is placed on the public election ballot. Remove the straight ticket voting option, and listing of candidates' party affiliation on ballots, and then the freedom of association argument starts to have merit. The Republican party can't have it both ways. If they choose to have their party endorsement listed next to a candidate on the ballot, they are then subject to state election laws.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 10:35 p.m.

    Governor Herbert and most in office currently would never have been elected if it were not for the Neighborhood Caucus Election / Convention system. Now, because they have money, they don't want it anymore?

    We never needed the Buy My Ballot Spot (2014 SB 54) for someone to get on the ballot if they didn't want to go though the parties. Just get 300 signatures from their friends or 1000 signatures for a state wide race and go directly to the General Election as an Unaffiliated Candidate.

    The Buy My Ballot Spot with paid signature gatherers favors the rich and famous. Why do they need State Mandated help?

    Remember that hundreds of thousands of voters came out to the 2016 caucus meetings including democrats. They elected the tens of thousands of delegates. Democrats picked their nominee using the delegate system. They had no primary. We get a couple of Buy My Ballot Spot candidates that could have just as easily gone straight to the general election if they didn't want to go though the caucus/convention system. That is costing us 3 months more not having 4 representatives in Congress. We could have been voting among all candidates in August.

  • saveourfreedom Providence, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 8:35 p.m.

    Sadly, when many candidates end up on the ballot, no one wins! Creating more than one path to the ballot splits the votes, and as was the case with the CD3 Special Election, we ended up with two Conservatives splitting the conservative vote, opening the path for the most liberal, progressive candidate to take the race. Utah will not be served well with John Curtis! Watch his votes! He will side with the RINOS at best and may even swing to the Democrats if he stays there very long! We all lost when SB54 was passed and we're now reaping the rewards of that effort!!

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 5:12 p.m.

    69% of Republicans voted against the caucus candidate in the recent Primary.
    The people who want it to stay are the party elite.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 4:33 p.m.

    "For the first time in Utah, a candidate selected by the minority is representing the majority of Republican voters. "

    No, this has been happening for years. This is a pot calling the kettle black situation. People are sick of their candidates being vetted by delegates that far too often don't represent their views.

  • lws Orem, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 4:09 p.m.

    I don't know how Arturo Morales-LLan can point to convention votes that were significantly different than real votes from the general populace and claim that the convention got it right. I attended both conventions, and in my opinion too many at the conventions were out of touch with the majority of Republicans. Count My Vote was a neccessary way to avoid the control exercised by the ultra conservative minority currently in the Republican party leadership.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 3:52 p.m.

    "Second, on a special election, Herrod won with 55 percent of the vote where John Curtis failed to make it to the final round; delegates voted for a conservative candidate. Obviously, John Curtis message did not resonate with delegates."

    Remember earlier on when it was noted that the 55% thing was an example of it working with Johnson vs Herbert since neither got to 60% so the two went to a primary. How come second place didn't get to go to the primary in the special election? Henderson got roughly the same portion of delegates as Herbert did.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 3:49 p.m.

    "It is remarkable to see establishment politicians and Count My Vote (CMV) supporters rushing to criticize caucus and convention delegates"

    The caucus/convention system is establishment politics. Put the power in the hands of a few people. Don't worry everyone else, they'll make the decisions for you.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 2:47 p.m.

    The author of this opinion piece is really grasping at straws. I support count my vote and encourage others to listen to more sound reasoning as to why count my vote is good for our state. Soon the caucus system will be totally done away with in Utah, for the betterment of both parties and of the population of our state . It will upset the status quo of the oligarchy that is the GOP governing committee, but that will be a good thing.

  • dustin_27 Logan, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 2:42 p.m.

    Your opinion is clever, but not smart. The problem is that you want to keep the power in the hads of the delegates, not in the hands of the people. If the delegates actually represented the people who identify as republicans, you wouldn't be in this mess. The central committee, if it wants the caucus system to survive, needs to focus on getting delegates together that actually represent the values of Utah, and not the power of the people running the party.

    You are trying to cast this as the rich and powerful vs the ordinary Utah citizen. Your problem is that it's the rich and powerful vs the politically connected, when most of us are not interested in power. We want to be left alone and have our votes count.

  • misanthrope sl, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 2:11 p.m.

    Curtis is a progressive, progressives =big govt., small citizen. I will not be voting for Curtis.

  • Sproles Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 1:37 p.m.

    Oh boy - Sour grapes here, Arturo. John Curtis won and will be getting 100% of my support. He's the Republican nominee and needs yours also. Are you voting for Kathie Allen, Arturo? Is she your candidate now? What about Jason Christensen? Has he earned your vote?

    This is a silly discussion. Curtis did very well in the primary for a candidate who had almost $1 million spent against him and it still didn't move the numbers to Herrod.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 12:56 p.m.

    "The CMV dual path was crafted to give a huge advantage to establishment politicians — the political elite, the good ole boys club and wealthy individuals. The caucus system is designed to level the playing field; it also gives an opportunity to conservatives who can connect with voters.
    One thing is for certain, the Republican 3rd Congressional District primary results prove that convention delegates are in touch with the majority of Republican voters in Utah."

    This makes zero sense. The delegates picked Herrod, the voters wanted Curtis. The delegate system IS the good ole boys club. The delegate system is so out of touch of mainstream voters. The Republican 3rd District is exhibit A.