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Leavitt: Romney backs Count My Vote initiative

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  • jean22 Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 10:17 p.m.

    Thank you, Mitt! A voice of reason!

  • Pappy Saint George, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:19 p.m.

    With all due respect Brother Romney, you were a loser in November, you are a loser in February. It is time to hang-it-up. I would love to see you and all the other "formers" go after the Party of Obama. Defeat them, not the Caucus system, if you want to regain the Senate and keep the House in 2014.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:51 p.m.

    Perhaps Mitt Romney should be blasting Count My Vote for having no run off.
    "I’m concerned that that kind of approach (some caucus/convention systems) could end up with a minority deciding who the nominee ought to be. And that I think would be a mistake," he told The Globe. "I think we should have the majority of the party’s voters decide who they want as their nominee."

    Utah's Count My Vote / Buy My Vote (CMV) doesn't get a majority of the parties voters to decide who they want. We do that now. CMV has no run off and almost eliminates the possibility of the party picking between 2 candidates, so virtually no majority candidate.

    Count My Vote is proposing a primary with no run off and unlimited candidates. If the poorly drafted proposed law passes, the nominee will be selected by a minority almost every time. Currently a nominee is selected by 60% of the delegates or the majority at a primary between 2 candidates.

  • American Patriot Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:51 p.m.

    This whole Count My Vote operation is nothing more than a process for the power brokers in politics to eliminate the real thinking and political savvy individuals that function in the caucus system. The caucus system is like a burr under their saddle and they want to eliminate it as fast as possible.

    Not having a caucus system will hurt those in rural voting precincts. In the end only those with the deep political pockets will win key offices in Utah and the people will end up being nothing more than fodder to the political elite. I was a state delegate and there's already enough corruption in the Utah GOP to last a lifetime so let's not make it worse by enacting the Count My Vote fiasco.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:52 p.m.

    in 2008, Jason Chaffetz beat 12 year incumbent Chris Cannon 60/40 in the prmary with Rep. Cannon endorsed by Pres. Bush and the 1st lady, Mitt Romney, Sen. Hatch and Bennett. When Jason Chaffetz won the nominee, the endorsers backed Jason.

    I am thinking about why Utah changed from the neighborhood caucus election system in 1937 (just so one democratic state senate president could get elected governor for 8 years) and Count My Vote / Buy My Vote is proposing to change the system again (just so one former republican governor can get elected to the US Senate)

    I really hope the public is smarter than that. In the 1937 case, it was the taxpayers that got stuck with the bill, and the current poorly drafted proposed law would do the same thing again. This time it will cost taxpayers, about 1/2 of it born by smaller counties, almost $1,000,000 and then about $900,000 every two years if Count My Vote / Buy My Vote were to pass.

    Someone has to have a pretty big ego to want to buy a state's entire election system (or get Mitt to jump in as well) just to get elected to a specific office.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 12:03 a.m.

    "Convention/caucus systems exclude so many people," the email reads.

    Wrong! The convention/caucus system excludes no one! When such falsehoods are told in support of a proposition, it feels so much like politics as usual lately.

    All interested citizens are invited to their local caucus. All are invited to come informed and prepared to share their views. Anyone who attends, especially those who have done due diligence to be up-to-date on the issues, is eligible to be chosen to represent their caucus at the state convention. This system puts career politicians at risk because their future is in the hands of those most informed. Massive media campaigns paid for by big spenders and special interests can't control this system so they hate it.

    Please, help Utah keep government in the hands of an informed public. Help defend the convention/caucus system from big money and life-time-tenured, divine-right politicians.

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 3:48 a.m.

    When a sitting politician tries to counter the will of the people, typically it is because he is either trying to protect his own ambitions / power, or he is very courageous in the face of a misled public.

    Where do you think Curt Brambles reasoning lies?

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Feb. 24, 2014 3:59 a.m.

    I would love to just go vote, be done, and have my vote count.

    I know some people favor the caucus system but there are just SO many reason why people can't or won't get involved.

    A simple vote gets rid of all those reasons and makes it so everyone can just have their say without all the rigamarole.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 5:28 a.m.

    Giving credit where it is due -- Romney got this one right.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 6:24 a.m.

    Are some people feeling that their little empires might be threatened?
    Really what is wrong in letting the people vote on this issue themselves?
    Let the people decide

  • Editorial Notes At Home In, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 6:51 a.m.

    "An interesting thing about this, if you look at people who support it, almost anyone who has ever been a governor or a member of Congress or senator or a state legislator, they want this change to be made," Leavitt said Sunday.

    Yes, it makes sense that those with established connections and power bases would indeed be in favor of this.

    As governor, Mr. Leavitt lobbied for a western states primary, but would now disenfranchise most Utah counties-relegating them to "fly-overs".

    There was no movement for this when the caucus system was serving the power players. The good 'ole boy Republicans are just sore in behalf of Bob Bennett. I believe Mike Leavitt would love to unseat Mike Lee and this is his way to do it. Remove the process from it's roots and put the power back in the brokers' hands, now that caucuses may no longer serve the good 'ole boys.

  • jim l West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    Don't agree with Mitt on this one.

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:04 a.m.

    Increased voter participation is a laudable objective, but I see no certainty from the "Count My Vote" initiative that this result will be obtained if direct primaries are implemented.

    There are any number of recent schemes that have apparently been quite effective in turning out the popular vote. Third-hand accounts of supporting comments would appear to be of this genre. Letters from the Church urging people to participate in the local grass-roots political process would seem a more legitimate effort.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    All you need to understand about Count My Vote is that money drives the primaries and grit drives the caucuses. That's how we got Mike Lee and Jason Chaffetz.
    If you take a look at those who are the driving force behind CMV they have one thing in common; MONEY.
    It's sort of like the Utah Compact. It's driven by the Chamber.
    These elite interests are not the interests of the people.

  • evansrichdm west jordan , UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    Yes we should have each voted counted. I feel that in a caucus system even if you show up and make a point that the people that does get to vote can totally put aside you positions and vote the way they want. If we all get to vote that that opinion is not bush asided.

    Sure you can say that only those that are up to date of issues should be allowed to voted, but how do you determine who is up to date on the issues. The cascus systems sounds to much like a elistist club that thinks they know better then the rest of us and we should just follow their ever so great wisdom. Let the people vote that is the Ameican way, at least the America I was taught to love and respect in the classroom.

  • NubliusPublius SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:38 a.m.

    Yorkshire expresses exactly what is wrong with the direct primary system. It sounds so simple . . . Just go vote, be done, and have my vote count. Your duty as voter is so much more than that. It takes time and effort to become sufficiently informed to cast a responsible vote. CMV is supported by the big money big names that will run politics (even more than they already do) is the caucus system is eliminated. Your voted does count in the caucus. Under a direct primary, who really benefits? Radio and television stations, newspapers, billboard companies, and the few with money to buy access to their advertising.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    Mitt's opposed to the caucus system because it's given the party a long string of ineffective, partisan politicans.

  • Doug S Lindon, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    I remember hearing Doug Wright describe how he and his staff wouldn't even publicly interview Jason Chaffetz in the run-up to the convention because Chaffetz was polling so low (KSL likes obscure candidates to remain obscure, apparently). When Wright talks about it, you can still hear in his voice a tone of outrage that this upstart--UPSTART!!!--got the Republican nomination by making an end run around Utah's major press outlets who, if they'd had their druthers, would have made darned sure that Chaffetz' candidacy never saw the light of day.

    Chaffetz' successful dark-horse run--which was accomplished by making his case directly to locally elected delegates, rather than toadying to the state's current power structure for endorsements and funding--really tells me all I need to know about the virtues of the current system and the motives of the "[dis]Count My Vote" initiative. The people who think they can control the money and the narrative will tend to support the initiative; those who feel their only option is a bona fide grass-roots effort will tend to oppose it.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    It's interesting to try and consider something like this. On the one hand, I understand the cons of "Count My Vote" a lot more than the pros. On the other, Br. Romney is possibly the most sound and well-reasoning of any politician I've ever known, continuing to be vindicated in his concerns and claims to-date, particularly regarding the White House. I put a lot of trust in what he says, assuming such communications attributed to him in this matter are so.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    What a surprise!

    Two powerful elite career politician "moderates" who have alienated their party's base are in favor of a scheme that ensures they, and their pals, with big bucks for advertising, and lots of name recognition can continue in office.

    They want "increased voter participation" but only if the "voters" are basically ignorant except for a few snippets of propaganda fed to them by slick and expensive advertising. It worked to get Obama elected, so Republicans should select our candidates that way too?

    Many people are (easily) confused into thinking that somehow voters will not be able to vote if caucuses continue. They are wrong! Caucuses help narrow the field, and if no clear consensus nominee emerges, there are still primary elections. And, of course, at the general election EVERYONE gets a chance to vote to pick from among the candidates of ALL the parties.

    Don't fall for the "Buy my vote" propaganda and hype. The caucuses are much better for our state.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    @American Patriot - I believe the funding fathers were in favor of giving the masses a vote. The caucus system explicitly removes the majority of people from the entire processes. It's time to allow more people to take an active role in the entire process.

  • Snack Pack Lehi, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    The standard primary system only allows the super wealthy to run for office. For the super wealthy, they have the millions necessary from the get-go to fund their message and create their brand. Branding only sticks with constant heavy marketing of a specific message.

    The remainder of the 98% of citizens, that lack the immense amount of wealth, have little to no chance of competing as they are suffocated by the messages paid for by their super wealthy competitors (don't believe me, look at the careers and wealth of all of today's Congressmen/women prior to being elected into office). Both this system mentioned and the competing caucus system ultimately are decided in the general election by popular vote. Therefore, the name "Count My Vote" is misleading in of itself as it infers voter suppression.

    In fact, the phrase "Count My Vote" should be used by the caucus system as a tag line. Simply said, the only votes not being counted are those who would like to run for office, but can't, simply because they don't have the deep pockets to compete with the super wealthy.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    Linus: "The convention/caucus system excludes no one!"

    Actually it does exclude many because jobs, illness, emergency, family needs, or military service keep them from coming. If you can not make it at the scheduled time you are shut out of the process. I am a precinct chair and as such am one of those who have a voice in what is decided, but I know many are unfairly excluded by the current system. It is arrogant to think that that primary voters (which would surely include current caucus attenders) will be swayed by big spenders, while caucus attenders and convention delegates are above being influenced by big spenders. At every convention I have attended (and I have been to MANY of them) candidates are giving away flags, food, and other freebies to win delegates' votes.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    The caucus system has contributed mightily to the current infestation of government-hating Tea Partiers in positions of authority. Romney demonstrates that the Republican Party is salvageable. The GOP may be a huge mahine filled with defective parts, but it can be rebuilt and put back on the right track to actually help America and NOT incessantly hinder progress and harm the citizens it is supposed to help.

    As it stands, the Republican Party is literally America's Enemy Number One. And that must change.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    @ Say No to BO, you say the current system gave us Mike Lee and Jason Chaffetz. Sounds like an excellent reason to support Gov. Leavitt.

    That being said, is Romney a Utahn? If not, why should his opinion matter any more than Chris Christie or Jerry Brown?

  • D4inSLC SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    Well of course he endorsed Count my Vote. Its the right thing to do! The State's political system, particularly the Republican party, is being held hostage by a minority fringe group.

    @Mark in Montana - Well said!

  • Rustymommy Clovis, NM
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    I have always lived in a state with primary elections. I want my vote to count. Heaven knows, I don't always get my way. But at least my vote was considered important. I hope Utah will count the votes on this issue and find out what the rank and file citizens think.If a politician is doing a good job for the people who elected him, he should never have to worry about reelection. In fact, it is a privilege to represent the constituents and reelection should never be the focus of a politician's labors. He should do the right and moral thing in each situation, then let the election chips fall where they may.

  • RicardoMontalban Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    If our government is really to be "of the people, by the people and for the people" then the selection process for candidates and the location for political discourse MUST be in the homes and neighborhoods of the people. This is a thinly-disguised power grab by big-money special interests. Nothing More. Nothing Less.

  • seesalou Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    We have a beautiful gift in the caucus system. It is politics on an extreme grass roots level. Anyone, rich or poor can run for office in Utah because of the caucus system. WE choose our neighborhood delegates, whom we know and can talk to. We can unseat an untrustworthy elected official. If we go to standard Primary system, then only people with wealth and position will be able to run for office. It is like the 17th Amendment, where we changed to having Senators elected by popular vote instead of being elected by State Legislators. We undid a wonderful protection that the wise founders had placed in our Constitution. It made it so that the Senators don't have to have the State's best interests at heart. It was to be a check and balance that would protect State's rights. We undid it and lost that protection. Count My Vote will do the same thing. Please be fully informed before signing away freedoms that we may not even be aware that we have.

  • freedom in 2017 SLC, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    Glad to see those that want to stifle thoughts and opinions because someone lost an election. Help me here, what does that have to do with anything. pappy, just exactly what have you done in the political process to give you the right to tell someone that has to shut up? I think the real losers are those that couldn't carry Mitt's water and yet have the audacity to tell him to be silent.....only in America

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    Of course he backs the "buy my vote" initiative. He's as much of a party insider as Leavitt and the others who don't think they should have to answer to the people.

    "Politicians SHOULD be able to serve as long as they want to" is the mantra of the "buy my vote" initiative. Its' more than a little inconvenient to have to come back and explain your position to your constituents at the end of your term.

    Who wants that?

    I respect (and voted) for Romney, but he's wrong on this issue!

  • K.Call Moab, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    'Count My Vote' is, in reality, 'Buy My Vote'. Utahns, Beware! Just because it might have celebrity endorsement doesn't make it right for us.

  • One opinion west jordan, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    I've participated in caucus meetings for many years. The thing I like about them is it is such a grassroots opportunity. At the meetings that are open to all in the district, people are chosen to represent our district that we know and have confidence in. They speak for us. It is one place that I truly feel we can know what we are standing for. Each person nominated tells us their take on the current affairs and we can choose someone who has our ideals. When I say "our" I mean the majority vote in the caucus. The caucus gives us the opportunity to feel like we can really participate.

  • Libby Layton, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    The caucus system does NOT exclude anybody - everybody is invited and should attend the caucus meetings. It is the best system by far. I agree with DNSubscriber that the other side is the "Buy my vote" group. Those with money want to get rid of the caucus system because that is the only way that those without a lot of money can be heard.

  • Dr. G Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    During the last presidential election cycle liberal media pundits suggested that Mitt was far too liberal to govern conservatively. Now, his support for COUNT MY VOTE will essentially allow made-for-television progressive liberal Republican candidates cover by hiding their progressive agenda behind glossy million dollar TV campaigns.

    Conservatism is not a fundamental part of Governor Romney's core belief system. Intellectualism is. He's a pragmatist. And pragmatism, in the political world is anything that will lead to more votes.

    Count My Vote is a terrible idea for Utah. It will result in a general election choice between a progressive liberal democrat and a progressive liberal republican. Count My Vote is sheer political folly.

    Why can't we let a progressive liberal democrat candidate face off against a conservative republican and may the best governing philosophy win? Count My Vote will turn Utah into another state where only progressive ideas are found at the ballot box while conservative ideas didn't get enough TV time or big out of state money.

    Say No to Count My Vote!

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    I agree with Mitt Romney. I believe that the caucus system in Utah should go to the rubbish heap. In the caucuses, only the extreme votes count. They are in no way representative of the general public. In my own district, extreme libertarians have taken over the vote and as such, our delegates don't represent my views. Someone who is conservative is not represented unless he holds extreme views. I support the "count my vote" initiative and the direct primary system in Utah.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    I have to give credit where credit is due -- Romney got something right for once.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    It comes as no surprise. Mitt, bless his heart, is still an elitist through and through. I'm not quite wealthy enough, Republican enough, and prejudiced enough to be a Mitt-admirer;

    I'm just solvent, conservative and patriotic.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    It used to be that citizens of this country voted according to their own informed decision of who would be best for President of the United States or any other government office. One does not need, nor should need, a 'caucus' with its own political agenda and persuasion to decide for one.
    We are either individuals with self directed functioning brains, or we are sheep led to and fro by the interests of others.

  • Pablo Sanchez De La Cruz Ramos woods cross, utah
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    It is simple. Without the Caucus system, those with the most cash win.

    If this is what you want, then pass the initiative.

    Then, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors:
    Politicians without substance, with a whole lot of favors owed.

  • BB Santaquin, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    I love Mitt, but he is wrong here...

    Everyone can (and should) get involved...

    If this is taken away, only those with Mitt's money will be sent to Washington...

    Bad news for the rest of us...

  • Don of the Wasatch Alpine, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    The caucus system has failed the majority of Republican voters in this state. The majority of Republicans are not Tea Party extremists, but Reagan-type Republicans. In the past caucus elections, Reagan Republicans have been basically pushed out of participation because they were they were labeled as “RINO’s” – people who were not worthy to be called Republicans – they were not Tea Partiers. A real primary election where everybody’s voice counts is the only fair direction to go – and no compromised bill that would still prevent every Republican’s vote from counting. Politics is politics, and those who want to keep the caucus system and prevent the primary voting system know they would be losing huge political power if they can’t maintain their control through intimidation with the caucus system. But it’s time to let the true Republican majority dictate the course of Utah Republican policies.

  • NubliusPublius SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    @mcdugall -- "funding fathers", a Freudian slip? The caucus system gives ordinary people a much more active role in the political process than would ever be possible under direct primary. Be sure to plan so that you can attend your caucus this year and see what it's all about! Democrats meet on March 18; Republicans on March 20.

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    If you really want our vote to count? Ask most people what they think of the "Electoral College".
    That system was created to insure the "right people" get elected. A popular vote is required for a constitutional-democracy to elect public officials by the will of the people.
    Then and only then will each and every vote truly have the power it deserves.

    And of course an end to legalized bribery which violates the very principles we hold most dear. Equality, fairness, impartiality, which is protected by law by the vote.
    Bribery cannot be made lawful. Our current reality is flawed and without use of the facts available to all of its US citizen members. Political contributions, by corporations under corporate mission laws, can only be committing bribery by intent. Otherwise shareholder's money could be used for fraud/embezzlement and be justified under law, which it cannot. Ask any Utah State Bar member if this logic is correct?
    BRIBERY: The offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of something of value for the purpose of influencing the action of an official in the discharge of his or her public or legal duties...unlawful by constitutional Equality Under All Laws..

  • AndrewJackson New Harmony, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    Mitt, I thought you better than this. I guess the others were right, and you are part of the the Old Dog Rino group. A sad day for republicans. Count My Vote is just a cover for "Let's get rid of the hick vote", they don't know who to vote for anyway. I guess you believe only the rich and famous should be elected then. Talk to some real voters in the State before you make such a commitment.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    "don of the wasatch" I'm not the least intimidated by my caucus. My caucus contains a couple of big names in the Republican party that I'm sure you'd recognize. I say what I want to say, (yes, ALL Republicans believe in free speech), at the end of the night I know for a fact that there are no hard feelings. Sometimes people don't agree with me, but thats' o.k. AT LEAST I got to say it.
    That doesn't happen in a direct primary. The winner of a direct primary will be the candidate with the most money and who has the backing of just a few party insiders.

    People on these comment boards are always "railing" about BIG MONEY in politics. The caucus system, while it doesn't solve all of that problem, at least helps.

  • lehiaggie Lehi, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    Count My Vote is exactly that, a change so that MY vote gets counted. I don't understand the need to stick with the caucus system. I have participated in this system for years. Family members have been delegates. It is flawed. My vote never counts. I don't get to vote for who represents my party. All I get to vote for is a delegate. Who knows what that delegate will do once they get to the convention.

    Remove the middle man and let me vote. I'm smart enough I don't need a delegate doing that for me. I know who I want to vote for.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    Few DN readers are as suspicious as I am about Mitt Romney... the politician.

    I don't see him reaching for some type of political advantage with this opinion...if in fact this is his opinion.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    ksampow responding to Linus
    Linus: "The convention/caucus system excludes no one!"

    Actually it does exclude many because jobs, illness, emergency, family needs, or military service keep them from coming. If you can not make it at the scheduled time you are shut out of the process. I am a precinct chair and as such am one of those who have a voice in what is decided, but I know many are unfairly excluded by the current system. It is arrogant to think that that primary voters (which would surely include current caucus attenders) will be swayed by big spenders, while caucus attenders and convention delegates are above being influenced by big spenders. At every convention I have attended (and I have been to MANY of them) candidates are giving away flags, food, and other freebies to win delegates' votes.

    Identifies part of what is wrong with caucuses.

    There is no less finagling there than any other part of politics.

    People who would be GREAT at being endorsed, nominated & elected often have no stomach for all the drama & futility. They have seen what a hammering good people take at the hands of those with a lust for power.

  • Pablo Sanchez De La Cruz Ramos woods cross, utah
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    Your vote does count, it always has.

    The biggest lie I have seen perpetuated is that the caucus system does not count their vote.

    For those of you who are buying into this lie, allow me to share the process of the Caucus System:

    - The Caucus is not the actual election. It is merely the staging ground to select a candidate to run.

    - All of us have the opportunity to elect a neighborhood representative. This individual could be you if you would like.

    - That individual spends hours and hours learning of the candidates for your specific party.

    - The delegates vote on for the candidate they believe will best represent the people.

    - Then, that candidate runs in the actual election and everyone votes and every vote is counted. The Caucus is not the election.

    - So, anyone can run for office, regardless of money and backing. If they have great ideas, they have a chance to be the party representative to run in the actual election, which is not the Caucus convention.

    - Without the Caucus Convention, it will be those with the most money and runs the most ads and buys the most votes.

  • windsor City, Ut
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    coleman51 said: ...In the caucuses, only the extreme votes count. They are in no way representative of the general public. In my own district, extreme libertarians have taken over the vote and as such, our delegates don't represent my views. Someone who is conservative is not represented unless he holds extreme views.

    Amen.

    Caucuses would seem a great idea and should be, but there is still a power structure and a 'hierarchy' that means some people get THEIR way at the expense of others with just as much right.

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    Feb. 24, 2014 12:12 p.m.

    Mitt you might want to read it before you agree with your buddy Mike. Its a bad proposal and I like the concept of branding it "buy my vote" which is the truer moniker for the idea.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    He rules Utah.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Feb. 24, 2014 12:18 p.m.

    I find it funny that the people who are for the Count My Vote idea keep saying that their votes don't count in the caucus meetings. The fact is that they do. What they are really saying is that the results of the caucus meeting are not what they like.

    Since they don't like the outcome, they are going to change the system to something that is easier to manipulate to their favor.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 24, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    "the real thinking and political savvy individuals that function in the caucus system."

    It is really hard to believe you really said this. I suggest you change the mirrors on your walls.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    Can someone explain to me why the far right does not want a system where the voters can choose, but instead want a system that is controlled by insiders? I would really like to know. Is it they hate any sort of change no matter what, or is it because they are afraid the general population is more moderate than they are. It has to be one or the other.

  • doylespar WARETOWN, NJ
    Feb. 24, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    From the posts here Looks like a bunch of people are confused about impact of primaries and the purchase of a place on the ballot by caucuses.Working people have to as implied,"work" and caucuses take time out of that essential activity leaving most folks out of the political process because they are somewhere else and cannot afford the time,effort and expense to ".politic".
    In Utah where there is really only one party what difference does it make? Plenty because if the Teaparty infests and uses their typical insiduous ways say goodbye to sensible candidates,discourse and Republicans who are becoming as scarce as Ardvarks.Rinos are far more American that Cruz and others who seek the Presidency but would starve women and children,force women to bear the children of rapists or seprated husbands while subsidizing billion dollar corporations and plunging us into deficit with tax cuts for only the wealthy one percent and churches that politic incessantly.

  • sherlock holmes Eastern, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    The caucus supporters cannot frame an answer to a simple question:

    Why not vote on the candidates instead of the delegates? It is time to remove the middlemen/women

  • TandJ LaVerkin, Utah
    Feb. 24, 2014 2:26 p.m.

    Joan Watson, you are correct in the last statement you made. You said, "We are either individuals with self directed functioning brains, or we are sheep led to and fro by the interests of others."
    Unfortunately you think that the sheep go to the caucuses. They do not, they wait for the thirty-second television ad and then make a very big decision that is representative of those expensive thirty-second television ads that are indeed made by the interest of others. The individuals with self directed functioning brains take it upon themselves to study in depth the issues. And, those issues are unfortunately not discussed very well in those ads. Money produces those ads, and those who listen to and look at such ads are the sheep. Those with self directed functioning brains will indeed attend a local meeting (a caucus)as part of using their self directed functioning brain. Joan, it is those sheep that are led to and fro by the interest of others and do not have the time or desire to use their self directed functioning brain that accept the propaganda given out by those having money for expensive television ads.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Feb. 24, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    Hey Pablo Sanchez . . . I can't understand how you proponents of the caucus system can claim that pressure groups have less influence there than they would in a conventional primary election.

    Pressure groups with money and influence have even more influence in a caucus system.

    It's easier and cheaper to pressure and bribe individual delegates rather than the whole population of Republican voters. And the means used to sway those delegates' opinions are much less transparent to the voter.

  • lehiaggie Lehi, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 2:57 p.m.

    "Be sure to plan so that you can attend your caucus this year and see what it's all about! "

    This is another problem with the caucus system. Some people are just not able to attend (work, young children, sick kids). In a primary election you would have a day to figure out when you could go cast a vote instead of being required to attend at a specific time for 2 or more hours. The caucus system is not practical for everyone.

  • TandJ LaVerkin, Utah
    Feb. 24, 2014 3:13 p.m.

    Sherlock Holmes makes the unsupported statement:
    "The caucus supporters cannot frame an answer to a simple question:

    Why not vote on the candidates instead of the delegates? It is time to remove the middlemen/women"

    Well Sherlock, here is a very good answer. The caucus system is indeed voting for a candidate. But, it is not based upon big money television ads to base that choice. The caucus goer has studied the merits not based on thirty second television ads but upon his or her reasoned and studied out ideas about the merits of the candidates. The caucus goer then discusses this reasoned opinion with others at the caucus, and in some instances is influenced by his or her neighbors of a better candidate. Now, they choose a representative to pursue the best interests of that chosen candidate. That representative is obligated to vote for the chosen candidate at least on the first round of voting at the party convention. (to be continued)

  • TandJ LaVerkin, Utah
    Feb. 24, 2014 3:20 p.m.

    (continuation) But, at the actual convention, the chosen representative, after casting his or her first vote for the chosen candidate, sees that the chosen candidate simply does not have sufficient support to at least come in with sufficient votes to force a primary election in which the chosen candidate will be on the primary ballot. In that case, the chosen representative has the benefit of the knowledge that he or she obtained at the caucus to chose the best candidate remaining, thus giving his neighbors back home a second chance to vote for a candidate. If fortunately, the chosen candidate is voted at the party convention to be the actual candidate or forced into a primary election, those caucus goes who voted to chose to support that candidate at the caucus did indeed vote for a candidate.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Feb. 24, 2014 3:44 p.m.

    To "Esquire" you are wrong. Even with the caucus system votors still choose their representatives. The caucus system is more in line with the US Constitution than the Count My Vote plan is. Under the Constitution each state is to have a Republican form of government. A Republic is NOT a Democracy. A republic has its citizens electing officials to represent them. The caucus system has people electing neighborhood representatives, who then go to the larger meetings to elect the next layer of representatives.

    You vote for your representative, no different than voting for a city council member or local government official.

  • Dr. Coach Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    Well said TandJ! You're spot on about big money buying our votes in order to get a liberal progressive candidate on the republican ballot.

    Mitt Romney sees a direct primary as an efficient way to poll the people. Sadly, all that education and business acumen lost on the simple fact that BUY MY VOTE will give us less good candidates not more. We'll have one choice between a liberal progressive democrat and a liberal progressive republican. And we'll have big money buying all our votes. The people will be set out to pasture. And the only candidate contact with the public will be on TV or fund raising dinners.

    Say no to Buy MY VOTE. Its bad, bad, bad for Utah.

  • wjalden Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 5:09 p.m.

    So you know where I'm coming from, I am routinely unable to attend my caucus meeting.

    That said, anyone who wants to kill the caucus system and go to a straight primary is a fool. There is a reason the rich people in this state are trying to change to a primary: because it would increase the importance of money on the system. Bob Bennett had $4 million in his campaign account from special interests - money he'd spent six years raising - which did him no good after he lost at the convention. Why would you want to get rid of a system that downplays the value of money?

    Finally, there is no reason to think a straight primary will give us better candidates. For those of you who hate Mike Lee, remember: Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Todd Akin were all chosen via primaries, not caucuses. Pick a non-Utah politician you hate, left or right, and the odds are that he or she was chosen by a primary, not a caucus.

  • wjalden Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 5:17 p.m.

    Reasons to support a caucus-convention-primary system over a staright primary:

    1) Field of candidates is narrowed down to two. Under Count My Vote, you could have, in theory, hundreds of candidates running for an office. There would be no runoff. A candidate would win with far less than 50% of the vote.

    2) Money from special interests is less important. Delegates - respected members of the community - get to meet with candidates and ask them questions directly. It is not about silly commercials, like the stupid Bennett commericials from 2004 where he made fun of his looks. It's about real issues.

    3) It gives you two shots at holding an incumbent accountable. Incumbents always have the advantage, especially in terms of money. They need to be held to a higher standard to get re-elected.

    4) Because the rich people oppose it. There's a reason the rich people in this state want to to get rid of the caucus-convention system, and it has NOTHING to do with your best interests. They are not doing this out of charity - they are doing it for greed.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 5:16 p.m.

    Re: "A republic has its citizens electing officials to represent them. The caucus system has people electing neighborhood representatives, who then go to the larger meetings to elect the next layer of representatives."

    And if the candidates are chosen by primaries instead of caucuses we will still be a republic, we will still have a representative form of government.

    The fact that we elect people to represent us in the government in no way implies or requires that we must choose representatives to choose the representatives to choose the representatives to choose the candidates for public office, instead of simply choosing the candidates ourselves in a primary election. It is not one of the requirements of a republic that there be layer after layer after layer of representatives until you finally get down to the actual voters. There is nothing anti-republican in eliminating the caucus-middlemen and having the voters select the candidates for public office themselves in primary elections, just as they elect their representatives in Congress themselves in congressional elections.

  • barndog48 AMERICAN FORK, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 6:17 p.m.

    Well, if the caucus system is what brought us Jason and Mike, I gotta go with anything different

  • wjalden Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 6:38 p.m.

    "Well, if the caucus system is what brought us Jason and Mike, I gotta go with anything different."

    Like the primaries that gave us Nancy Pelosi, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Sharron Angle, Barbara Boxer, etc?

    Someone you don't like got elected - we gotta change the system!

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 6:45 p.m.

    People want to vote for candidates not delagates. Who has time to spend hours at a caucus to elect a delagate who may or may not vote for the candidate you want. That's very discouraging to participation for those of us with busy less flexible jobs and family responibilities.. Let me spend three hours learning about candidates positions and arguments at the place of my convienience (at home if I like) and one minute voting. The masses don't vote in primaries. It will be those that care enough to vote and the politicians should trust them. People are very busy with jobs and families and it shouldn't be just those with a lot of time on their hands that think they should vote for the rest of us. SB 54 is offensive. If politicians want to help the electorate, set up a central website, perhaps "UTAHVOTES.com" where potential candidates can put forth their veiws and arguments but absolutely change to a direct primary system. Why is Utah in the stone age?

    "When government suppresses the people it is not in the people's interest but for their own want for power"

  • EarlyBird70 Draper, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:17 p.m.

    Although I have supported both Mike Leavitt and Mitt Romney in the past, I must respectfully disagree with them on this issue. The "count my vote" initiative does not allow more people to choose who the candidates will be, it reduces the number who will be involved in that process. By the time a primary is held, the decision will have already been made about who will be allowed by the powers that be to run for office, and the campaign will have been run by those with the most money to put into it. This is a case of those who consider themselves to be the leaders of the parties against the rank and file of the parties making decisions in the caucuses. I have participated in caucuses in Utah and in Washington state, and have voted in primaries in California, and find the Utah caucus system to be the most responsive to those who show up at the caucuses. And the people who show up at the caucuses are generally more knowledgeable about the issues than are those who just show up to vote in the primaries.

  • dLange Los Gatos, CA
    Feb. 25, 2014 12:06 a.m.

    I am not from Utah or Massachussets, but I wish that Mr. Romney would just fade into obscurity with the rest of those who have lost presidential elections. The less he keeps foisting himself on the American people, the less misconceptions about Mormonism I have to clear up with my neighbors. People often think that Romney's positions are the Mormon positions, and I find most of his positions objectionable.

  • G L W8 SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 25, 2014 4:03 p.m.

    Coming after a series of arguments for and against CMV, I suspect this comment won't get much attention. But the truth of the matter is: neither retention of the current system or adoption of CMV will retain or give the power back to the people. The problem is in the parties. They have manipulated the primary election/caucus/convention system to the point where the parties have all the power. Supreme court cases notwithstanding, the only system that works is a blanket primary system where voters can vote for the candidate--ANY candidate--without regard to party affiliation. I say that if either of the political parties want the control to select their own slate of candidates for the general election, let them use whatever system they want--at PARTY expense, not use of PUBLIC FUNDS or government employees. Their candidates could then run against candidates of the PEOPLE'S choice, with concomitant risks.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:55 a.m.

    IMO we have a group of politicians (Mitt and Mike) who are currently on the outside, looking in. Mitt can't seem to retire from the public stage. He doesn't live here, except for a vacation now and then. Why is he butting in? Hasn't he a company to rescue to occupy his time?

    Mike appears to be longing for the hallowed halls of the Senate. I perceive he awaits a change in the caucus system to accept a "draft" to replace that renegade Senator Lee. He well knows the caucus system would expose him and his record to close scrutiny and the mild mannered ex-governor/secretary facade could be marred. Maybe he could write a book or lecture at a University.

    Political parties are private entities whose members choose their candidates for the general public election, in November as they see fit. No outside help is needed.

    The Republican Party leadership is progressive - mild and the base is conservative - a lot. The capos in charge are frustrated that the rank and file aren't "showing respect".

  • G L W8 SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    Strider 303: "Political parties are private entities whose members choose their candidates for the general public election, in November as they see fit. No outside help is needed."

    Which only goes to prove my point. Political parties are extra-constitutional at best. Why do we permit them so much power?

  • Gregorio Norco, CA
    Feb. 28, 2014 9:52 a.m.

    Mitt has a voice of reason. That is why 55% of people who voted for President Obama this past election would not have voted for him now. They regret their vote. Mitt please run in 2016 we need your experience to get America moving again in the right direction.