Understanding why Count My Vote divided the GOP

In late May, Lt Governor Spencer Cox announced that the petition submitted by Count my Vote did not qualify for the November ballot.  That means the issue remains politically contentious and expands the divide within the party beyond this election cycle. A recent Utah Policy poll[1] says that only 10% of Utah voters “strongly oppose” Count my Vote.  Why are 10% of voters so engaged and angry about this and why it caused such intense feelings and division in the Utah GOP? I strongly support the delegate system for nominating…

The caucus has an image problem. Can we fix it?

After the Republican state convention, it’s become fairly obvious why a lot of people think ill of the caucus system. It took five hours of arguing about rules and agendas before anyone could get to the primary purpose, nominating candidates. Not only does this alienate new participants (my father-in-law was a first time state delegate and less than impressed), it makes the caucus and convention process look like a complete clown show. On top of that, we’re doing little to build faith that the convention process actually sends the best…

Is it happening here?

Are we seeing the beginning of the collapse of American democratic institutions? David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, in his recent column Illiberal Arts, sounds the call for alarm: Donald Trump did not ignite but merely joined a miserable, destabilizing trend of illiberalism that has been under way for years in Russia, Turkey, China, India, Southeast Asia, and Western, Eastern, and Central Europe. . . . As President, Trump is the putative guardian of a set of political values, and, no matter how often those values have been undermined,…

Political loyalties give dogs a bad name

Do you want to know why so many Americans identify as independent or, here in Utah, unaffiliated voters? The reason is that partisanship never serves the common good. By its very nature, partisanship is insular, exclusionary and selfish. It encourages bad behavior in the name of a perverse sense of loyalty and it does not serve the public interest. Of course, the best current example of how partisanship turns otherwise intelligent people into flaming idiots is the Roy Moore candidacy in Alabama. The Republican Senate candidate is accused of gross…

The time John Curtis threw me under the bus

John Curtis has successfully made the jump from well-known and well-liked mayor to Utah’s latest Congresscritter. Once a firebrand (to use polite terms) like Chris Herrod passed through convention, it was a foregone conclusion in the primary. I don’t know what kind of Representative we should expect Curtis to be, but I do know that I don’t trust him based on my own experience. I’ve been blogging about broadband since August 2006. That includes closely following UTOPIA, SFCN, the now-mostly-defunct AFCNet, and iProvo. Of these, iProvo provided some of the…

When salt becomes unsavory

In a recent Salt Lake Tribune commentary, I wrote about the problems of extremism in Utah politics. As a conservative, I focused on how many members of the Utah Republican Party had become radicalized. By radicalized, I mean many Utah Republicans have separated their personal values from their political principles. Historically, we have witnessed the horrors perpetrated by a society in which personal values were abandoned when so-called principles were idolized. For instance, it is hard to imagine, still to this day, how a German husband and father in the…

If you want a better electoral system, ignore Count My Vote

I’ve long maintained that the Count My Vote proposal (and SB54 co-opting) are complete dumpster fires for the state’s electoral system. The entire fight is nothing more than using state law to try and determine who gets to be Utah’s kingmaker of the Republican Party label. CMV has done a pretty good marketing job to convince everyone that their king-making process, restricting ballot access to those with the deep pockets to collect signatures, is the superior way to do it. Unfortunately, the caucus system dropping their primary threshold down to…

Rob Anderson elected as new Utah GOP Chair

The Utah GOP Convention was held at the Southtown Expo Center last Saturday. It’s an exciting time, not only because the party officers are up for election, but there’s jockeying for position for hopefuls vying for the soon-to-be-vacant seat of Jason Chaffetz. The usual signs and T-shirts blanketing the place. I was able to listen to each candidate for Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary, not to mention the CD3 possibles in Deidre Henderson, Brad Daw, and Margaret Dayton. I know other people have joined, but these three feel like the real race.…