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GOP delegates reject changes to nominating system; petition drive coming next?

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  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2013 6:18 p.m.

    What was being proposed would be remove the meeting from the caucus meeting. Dropping off our votes but not discussing. That is what is wrong with Washington DC. They don't listen to each other in a meeting. They watch from their offices. We need to change that not follow it.

    I say go watch WALL-E from Pixar again, the people on the spaceship.

    I like the idea improving it so everyone those that were not at the meeting can find out who represents them and who to contact.

    We are talking neighborhood town halls. We aren't just meeting to elect delegates. I believe the Count My Vote / Buy My Vote group would ruin that.

    The current system does not protect the incumbent, wealthy or famous. I think that is a good thing. Keep Fair Elections in Utah.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2013 6:19 p.m.

    The 60% threshold to avoid a primary works, allowing a shot of a challenger to eliminate an incumbent and yet requires a challenger to be a strong candidate.

    Based on the state gop released stats since 2000 for state wide or congressional races, at 60%, threshold to avoid a primary, 1/2 of contested races went to primary. If at 2/3, 67% of contested races go to a primary and at 70%, 70% of the races go to primary.

    70% would not have helped Sen. Bennett in 2010. He was not in the top 2 coming out of convention. In fact the more moderate Tim Bridgewater was selected by 57% of the delegates in the last round. Mike Lee managed to get 43% and make it to a primary. Sen. Bennett endorsed Tim Bridgewater during the primary, but with voters ticked at TARP and ObamaCare, they went with Mike Lee.

    Sen. Hatch just barely missed eliminating Dan Liljenquist by hitting just under the 60%, and Jason Chaffetz just missed eliminating Chris Cannon by hitting just under 60%.

    The current system does not protect the incumbent, wealthy or famous. I think that is a good thing.

  • first2third Elmo, UT
    May 18, 2013 7:31 p.m.

    Ask any incumbent if they would prefer a 60% threshold or a 2/3 threshold and to a person the incumbent will tell you they want the 60%.

    As a delegate, I was not surprised at the vote. It is hard for those in power to vote to give up power. That's the problem with bureaucracies, long term candidates and long term delegates. Yet, at this same convention delegates were not about to give the central committee or county chairs more power. The Republican Party pushed for inclusion, signed amendments to the constitution giving both blacks and 18 year olds the right to vote. Yet, we have delegates saying, "We know the issues and the candidates better than republicans state wide. We don't trust them to make the best decisions. We have a representative government and I have the power as the representative and I refuse to give up any of that power."

    I will say that the delegates are right about one thing. If the grassroot Republicans want things changed, they can always elect new delegates. Change is driven by a feeling of exclusion from the political process. I remember a Revolutionary war being fought over that issue.

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    May 18, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    The fact that Mike Lee is now Utah's junior senator is ample proof that the Republican nominating process in Utah is broken.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    May 18, 2013 8:52 p.m.

    This looks a bit like what the Idaho GOP had to deal with. Groups like the Libertarians, Constitutionalists and fence sitters want to have more power in the party yet they won't always support its candidate. If their ideology is so impressive why don’t they have more influence in the party? I will tell you why. It is because their views are not as main stream as they claim and if Republicans can’t get elected we default to the leftists just like what happened the last two cycles. The Republican Party needs loyal membership which is something the Libertarians and others of that stripe just don’t bring to the dance.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2013 10:20 p.m.

    "If the grassroot Republicans want things changed, they can always elect new delegates. "

    Actually, it was the grassroot republican's that were fighting against the increase in threshold. The 60% threshold to avoid a primary works, allowing a shot of a challenger to eliminate an incumbent. You raise that and the incumbents will just spend a lot in the primary, and we get richer candidates, or consultants.

    "The fact that Mike Lee is now Utah's junior senator"

    In fact the more moderate Tim Bridgewater was selected by 57% of the delegates in the last round. Mike Lee managed to get 43% and make it to a primary. Sen. Bennett endorsed Tim Bridgewater during the primary, but with voters ticked at TARP and ObamaCare, they went with Mike Lee.

  • concerned conservative Cedar City, UT
    May 18, 2013 11:12 p.m.

    Proud of the delegates for not caving to the big money power brokers.
    It was evident that delegates cannot be purchased, the caucus system works!

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    May 19, 2013 3:27 a.m.

    IRONY OF THE DAY: After voting all day to EXCLUDE people from choosing their own representatives, from health care, from guest-working in America, from a decent education--then they pass a resolution calling themselves INCLUSIVE. George Orwell would be pleased.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    May 19, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    The misinformation and people against the State Board of Education's public process on the State of Utah's Common Core Standards and Assessment was very skillfully handled by those people against public education's ability to make a difference for children.

    The sponsor of the bill is almost as good as President Obama's administration on spreading ill throughout the process.

    The State GOP Resolutions Committee passed the resolution to the Convention with an unfavorable recommendation. They were so wishy washy in their statement that they said it is not a statement against, or in favor of Common Core.

    However, the unfavorable recommendation was based that the resolution contains some inaccurate or misleading data that is inflammatory in nature. This part was not mentioned in those for or against the resolution. No one from those that supported it defended their position on the inaccurate or misleading data.

    The State Board of Education put FACTUAL information packets on Common Core but the anti-Common Core misinformation was so effective so many delegates had their stick-on patches with a rotten apple CORE. This was last on the agenda and about half of the delegates were gone by then.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    May 19, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    To top this off, the sponsor of the resolution had Representative Rob Bishop get up and support the Resolution with his power and authority he has built up and wanting to get elected in a year, again with his influence. He was a former chairman of the Republican GOP. School teachers spoke about the real FACTS of Common Core through real experience and the benefits of Utah's Common Core. However, the people left were so filled with poison and misinformation and the inflammatory nature of those against Common Core, that they threw the teachers out.

    The process of how the sponsor of this resolution works her ability with emotions, she even had to get up and clarify that those against Common Core had to vote yes as the way they had crafted their misinformation made it appear that you would want to vote against the resolution.

    Utah GOP with the remaining delegates through everything the State Board of Education, Republicans supported by the Governor, was thrown out with the bathwater. The outgoing chairman chose when he didn't want to use electronic voting to validate the votes. It was arranged to have all the speakers, including Mia get preference.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    May 19, 2013 8:22 a.m.

    It was so evident that people have subverted the Republican Party in Utah, after the atmosphere and voting that took place. The terms reactionary comes to mind when the sponsor of the anti-federal government resolutions sponsored by the very right wing side of the Republican party that has gone so far to the right that she is on the left, using the President's tactics of misinformation, emotion, push and shove and her way.

    It is almost a crime to put this highly offensive and inflammatory action up to the convention and not have the Central Committee take action on it in that select few people of the Party.

    The Central Committee did not do their part, obligation and duty as the GOP party in Utah. This is not Chicago but it was run like Chicago politics. For a person who lived in Illinois for 9 years, I have seen what that did for that state and Nation.

    The outgoing Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasure and Secretary didn't do their part even though the gave each other accolades and pats on the back except for the Secretary.

    The Executive Director resigned. The UTAH GOP is in new hands. Good?

  • Ron Hilton Holladay, UT
    May 19, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    The survey mentioned in this article was not as conclusively in favor of increasing the nomination threshold as the party leadership implied. The survey summary report cherry-picked the question responses (Q9a, Q10a) that appear favor increasing the nomination threshold. But Q12e contradicts that conclusion, with 66% responding that the threshold should remain at 60%. Q10 is inconclusive because the current threshold (60%) is at the _bottom_ of its range (60-69%) making it unclear whether the respondent supported keeping it at 60 or increasing it. So I am not surprised that the resolution failed. A better solution for expanding voter involvement would be to establish a top-two run-off system. That would encourage greater independent and third-party candidate participation, broadening voter choice, while still preserving the constitutional right of political parties to nominate their own candidates.

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    May 19, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    Change the system! Get the Eagle Forum out of the election! I as a conservative and a Republican am tired of the right wing crazies running the State of Utah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Changing the system will give more people a voice.

  • jim l West Jordan, UT
    May 19, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    WE need the caucus system. It protects us from the good old boys, and the rich. If all we had was a primary, money would win every time. The caucus system gives all a chance to be heard. It is the grass roots pure and simple.

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    May 19, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    That would be fine if we had another way of getting the average middle class citizen a way to run for office. This is all we have. To get rid of delegates is making only the rich get on the ballet. What is our alternative. The elite in Utah are a dangerous bunch. Solutions are welcome.

  • Mamma C HEBER CITY, UT
    May 19, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    Why didn't the Deseret News publish the fact that the resolution to oppose Common Core passed by a 65% vote? Now, both the national Republican Committee and the Utah GOP oppose Common Core. Is this not newsworthy?

    It's very important to me, a Utah teacher, who sees that local control of education and locally amendable, high standards are important. It is important to send a message to our Governor and the USOE, that NO, we don't want classic literature reduced; we don't want to slow the age at which children learn basic algorithms in math; and most of all, we don't want to be controlled by the copyrighted, un-amendable, D.C.-based, Common Core.

  • 7UD4 KAYSVILLE, UT
    May 19, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    It doesn't matter what the threshold % required is when the group voting are delegates coming out of caucus meetings that by their very nature are exclusive and subject to manipulation by the overly ambitious and aggressive ultra-right. Look where it has taken us. It is embarrassing. These people want to maintain the system that allows them to wrest power from the people.

    One-person, one-vote, by secret ballot with all day voting hours and early/absentee voting would correct the imbalance in this state. It would not give the power to outside money. We're not that dumb, we are just too passive and busy with other things than politics. There should just be open primaries to anyone who can get enough signatures of support to get on a ballot. That goes for electing delegates too, it should be like getting on the ballot to run for the city council.

    Change will never come from within the s state party power structure. The people will have to take it back with them kicking, screaming and throwing a two year old tantrum about how they know best and that we're being bought off by big money.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    May 19, 2013 1:10 p.m.

    JWB from Kaysville touches on a subject that is off topic in this piece but is important nonetheless. Proposed legislation or national policy must be weighed against the real loss of state sovereignty. In this case, people are protected against Federal government over reach by making sure what we teach our kids is strictly controlled by the state and local boards. It does not matter that well-meaning people back east believe their views are better than any one else’s. Do not give up local control to Federal government appointees or national groups. You will not get it back and the next bright idea may not be quite so benign.

  • sherlock holmes Eastern, UT
    May 19, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    The delegates failed to open up the process. A mistake on their part. The issue will not go away - will be energized by the vote. The caucus system effectively closes the system to a large percentage of republicans in Utah. If they don't participate, they lose their voice. Now is the time to move towards a closed primary. There are good reasons why most states have moved to primaries. Utah and Iowa (those darn Iowa caucuses that noone understands) are two of a handful of states that use caucuses.

    If someone wants to run for an office, there is no reason to put the barriers of caucus meetings and conventions in his/her way. The caucus system could probably not withstand a constitutional challenge if a candidate sued for name placement on the ballot. Caucusers will tell you that poor people have a chance with the caucus system, but one must have time and money to win with the caucus system. Anyone who visits the county and state conventions can see a ton of $$$ being spent.

    Here's my recommendation: Let's try a closed primary for 2016, even 2014 if possible, and see how it works.

  • Kris Highland, Utah
    May 19, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    The delegates are the immediate representatives of the grassroots. They *are* the people and they are elected by *more* of the people. If you want to be involved, there is nothing stopping you. If you don't want to be involved, then quit whining. If we go to a direct primary, then we will be allowing a very elite, powerful, well-oiled machine to choose our nominees and we will truly have no voice in the process.

  • Paul H West Valley, UT
    May 19, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    Some days it's embarrassing to be a republican.

    We know that rats are the first to jump from a sinking ship. What usually goes unsaid is the fact that it is the same rats who caused it to sink in the first place. This arrogance represents further progress toward the sinking of the GOP.

  • tgadd435 Park City, UT
    May 19, 2013 6:56 p.m.

    I don't blame delegates for not getting the threshold change. There was so many loud, irrational voices on the side of "NO!" The CMV people are thrilled (on the inside) that it didn't happen. Now they can say they worked through the party and had no choice but to go forward. They took the argument that parties should be changed from the inside, not the outside away from the insiders of the GOP who are the real elitists. The delegates are power hungry and couldn't vote to give a slight fraction of it away. Now they will lose it all...it might not be soon, but it will happen in the not too distant future.

  • Vaughn J Kearns, UT
    May 19, 2013 7:41 p.m.

    Changing the percentage that is required would have only affected 5 out of 45 races in the past 12 years. Four of these involved candidates in the 2nd congressional district where Matheson defeated each one, so what is the point of forcing a primary, having candidates waste money on internal, very similar, if not identical positions rather than using these funds to defeat the liberals.The 5th was Orrin Hatch and Greg Hawkins (who?) in 2000.

    Selection of delegates at the Caucus meeting who will take the time to meet the candidate, become informed on their positions, backgrounds and personalities will provide better candidate for the general election than a primary where sound bite and outside money can influence people on emotion rather than from an intellectual, enlightened view. This is obvious when looking at Mike Lee race in 2010. He had 15% fewer delegates supporting in the convention than his opponent Tim Bridgewater. The primary was reversed at 51% to 49 %. This change I suspect was due to Freedom works and other Tea-party affiliates spending money and making negative comments about an individual rather than promoting the goals of the republicans. \

  • ARA5353 Idaho Falls, ID
    May 19, 2013 7:44 p.m.

    When you come right down to it, the caucus system disenfranchises more voters than it includes,especially when it is held on the Tuesday election day. Most of us are at work then and can't get to the meeting unless it is held in the evening. Here in Idaho the Republicans went to a caucus for the Presidential race and ended the meeting at 7:00 PM. A lot of us didn't even get home before then and were unable to participate. That, together with a lot of other factors, caused me to change my party affiliation to Libertarian.

  • Rod Mann Highland, UT
    May 19, 2013 9:45 p.m.

    "'We just think we can do better,' the spokesman, Rich McKeown, said." So let me think, a few people believe their ideas on how to improve the process private organizations use to select their representatives. And now they are willing to spend a lot of money ($1M if previous articles are to be believed) in a campaign to have the state impose their beliefs on these private organizations. Does this mean if I and a few of my friends don't like the process our church uses to select their leaders I should organize and get the state to dictate to my church how they select their leaders? What if the ideas don't work or have unintended consequences, who easy will it be to adjust the laws. Right now different parties can have their own rules and thus multiple experiments can be run. The Democrats changed their threshold to 60% from 70% in the 90's and the Republicans followed suit when it looked to be a good idea. Why not spend money on research and education to help parties justify changes rather than threaten and bully?

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    May 19, 2013 10:03 p.m.

    It is amazing how there are rules and procedures and a charter and constitution and the chairman can manage to skirt around those with his decrees for the past 4 years while the Tea-Partiers were able to make their headway along with the Eagle Forum that has locked it's horns and body into the Republican body at all levels from the Governor, Legislature, Frugal McDougal, and the potentate of the Attorney General that didn't make a show at the Convention. The Lieutenant Governor appeared to be on a short leash at the convention, also.

    FreedomWorks and their influence was evidenced from the fliers on slicked expensive pamphlets, posters with their outside influence. Some of the information didn't have who was putting out the information or who was the sponsor. It was as if the Federal government has taken over the party and the information isn't flowing to the party members but is close hold in the central committee

  • Sal Provo, UT
    May 19, 2013 10:33 p.m.

    I'm glad the delegates voted against any change in the system. Now we can get an initiative going to get rid of the caucus system and allow a direct vote that truly represents every Utah voter. The caucus is exclusive. Too many Utahans cannot participate during that small window of time. Candidates only have to answer to a few delegates instead of to all voters.

    Where do I sign? Can't happen soon enough.

  • Lentzeh South Salt Lake, UT
    May 20, 2013 1:09 a.m.

    1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil;

    This is especially true in politics as obscene amounts of money are thrown away with ever-increasing dirtiness. This causes the mistrust of politicians and the media to grow and apathy of American voters to increase. More primaries only increases this unwanted consequence.

    I have been an active voter in elections in three different states. We discoved the caucus system and were amazed at how much more empowered we felt to make wise choices as we voted. We could meet and communicate directly with them, and watch how they made decisions and handled problems. We could size up their character first hand and had direct access to their records of service. We were not beholden to corrupt and biased media to give me canned speeches or special interest groups to give us lists of ways we should think.

    Every registered voter has that same opportunity if they choose to take advantage of it. As a direct result of the Utah caucus system and becoming well-informed voters, we can choose good leadership and character rather than the money crisis and fraud plaguing most elections in other states.

  • lehiaggie Lehi, UT
    May 20, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    I have participated in the caucus system for many years, and for many years I have been frustrated with it. It does not truly represent the majority of Republicans. The GOP seems to want to consolidate power around the most conservative base of the party which doesn't represent most Utahns. That fact that so many Republicans voted for Matheson should send a message that the conservative wing of the party doesn't represent the majority of Republicans in Utah.

    We want someone that holds to conservative ideals but is still willing to compromise and work with others in DC.

  • Rod Mann Highland, UT
    May 20, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    JWB to set the record straight the AG, John Swallow, was at the convention.

  • IFish4Fun Clearfield, UT
    May 20, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    I am a State Delegate. I have heard the reasons for removing the cuacus sytem or making changes to the thresholds, and those reasons were couched in the rhetoric for more inclusion of the average GOP voter. In other words, I heard the promises that more GOP voters would participate if teh above changes weere made. Yet, I do not believe that will happen. The reality in my view is that we are facing an increasingly disengaged electorate, and in that vacuum there will step forward those who will see an opportunity to further their best interests. The priniples behind the caucus sytem are sound, and those who want to engage are welcome. Those who do not want to engage will continue to look for a scapegoat to justify their non participation. In my view, try the primary system for 2-3 election cycles, and I am confident that the change in political engagement by the GOP electorate will be statistically insignificant. In fact, I will predict that new watch cry and wringing of hands will be that we the Utah GOP are under siege from the huge money/special interest groups from outside the state.

  • Justmythoughts Provo, UT
    May 23, 2013 6:31 a.m.

    It baffles me that there is so much fear in the common core...I am not a teacher but have children in the public schools and have talked to those who oppose the common core. I don't understand their fear... I think the common core makes sense and the Republican Party looks silly with their opposition to it.

  • terranceholcomb United States, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 9:57 p.m.

    I will not vote for a moderate anymore, I want my candidates to be conservative, or I do'n't vote, or might vote Libertarian..