The Mero Moment: In Defense of Signature Gathering – January 28, 2016

As candidates for Utah public office begin to position themselves for this election year, nearly all of them face the dilemma of the fallout from a new state campaign law, most commonly referred to as SB 54 or the “Count My Vote” compromise. The new law allows a candidate access to a primary ballot, circumventing Utah’s traditional caucus/convention system, through a reasonably easy signature gathering process. This new process was primarily designed by its authors to allow more seemingly moderate candidates to get around more ideological voices inside the Republican…

The Utah Republican Party has a communication problem

While I may agree with Sir Winston Churchill when he said that “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter,” in my experience this is not the public perception a candidate or party should strive for. Many books, articles and papers have been written about the “art of politics.”  In any of these you will frequently find two items mentioned:  1. Don’t tell the voter you are smarter or better informed than they are; and 2. (very closely associated with the first point) Have a clear,…

Utah GOP Chair James Evans letter spells out legal basis for SB 54 dispute: Certification to Utah Supreme Court next?

In a letter Friday (embedded below), Utah GOP Chair James Evans responded to two previous letters from Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox relating to issues of disagreement between the Utah Republican Party and the Utah Elections Office over SB 54. In the letter, Evans highlights areas of disagreement with the LG and spells out the Republican Party’s analysis of the dispute, request possible certification to the Utah Supreme Court for final resolution of the issue. With filing period opening in early January for candidates to begin collecting signatures, all parties to…

Survey | Make your voice heard on SB 54/Count My Vote

Could I ask for just a couple minutes of your time to get your help on a project that will add to our understanding of an important political issue? Click on the survey below (and here).  Over the last couple of years, due to Count My Vote and the subsequent legislation SB 54, there have been some significant and important changes to Utah’s candidate nomination rules to get access to a ballot. We have seen efforts like “Count my Vote” morph into what is now known as SB 54. These…

Utah LG Spencer Cox extends olive branch to GOP Chair James Evans, explains state’s SB 54 legal position

Can a soft answer turn away wrath? In a letter yesterday, Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox responded to a letter from Utah Republican Party Chair James Evans with an apology and an explanation of the state’s legal position on SB 54 issues. In the letter to Cox, sent earlier this month, Evans requested that the LG’s office identify differences of opinion regarding the application of SB 54. The exchange of letters comes in the wake of a court decision allowing the Republican Party to close the Primary to unaffiliated voters.…

Honest Press Releases| Count My Vote Statement on SB 54 Ruling

What if press releases were completely honest? The following is satire.  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 Count My Vote Statement on SB54 Ruling Judge upholds and affirms constitutionality of Count My Vote’s election reforms. SALT LAKE CITY -Count My Vote today expressed its appreciation to US District Judge David Nuffer for his hard work and timely decision in the SB54 case. “Judge Nuffer’s ruling provides sorely needed clarity for Utah’s candidates and political parties. We also express our heartiest guffaws to the Utah Republican Party and Chairman James…

Honest Press Releases | Utah GOP Statement on Judge Nuffer’s SB 54 Ruling

What if press releases were completely honest? The following is satire.  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 Contact: Utah Politico Hub URL: www.utahpoliticohub.com Utah GOP Statement on Judge Nuffer’s SB 54 Ruling SALT LAKE CITY – In his ruling today, US District Court Judge David Nuffer gave a very narrow ruling in our favor, holding that SB 54 violated a very small Utah Republican Party constitutional right where we had to hold an open primary. Most of the rest of the ruling went against us, as Judge Nuffer said…

Choosing Greg Bell to mediate the Count My Vote dispute is a good thing

In an effort to get to a resolution of the dispute between the Utah and the Utah Republican Party over last year’s SB 54, the judge on the case has asked the parties to get a mediator. According to the Salt Lake Tribune’s Robert Gehrke: The competing sides in the Utah Republican Party’s court battle over changes to Utah’s nominating process have chosen former Lt. Gov. Greg Bell to try to mediate a resolution to the lawsuit. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge David Nuffer urged attorneys for the GOP,…

Jeremy Peterson: The Plurality Problem: Finding a Majority Winner in the Wake of SB54

With the passage of SB54, Utah’s caucus/convention method of determining how candidates get placed on ballot was paired with a parallel method where candidates can be placed on the ballot through a petition effort.  The changes are scheduled to take affect in 2016. The old caucus/convention system provided one candidate per party by the time the general election came around.  In the event there was a contest at convention, a primary election would typically be held to select between the top two candidates vetted at convention. However, with the new…

SB 54: Win friends and influence people…and win elections

The other day I was re-reading the timeless classic How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and was reminded of some time-tested principles and advice that apply well to the situation facing the Republican party in Utah and more specifically how we seek to influence one another as Republicans. As the SB 54 drama has ensued, there have been many articles written where the author’s purpose has been to criticize. Criticize leadership of the party, members of the party that wouldn’t raise the threshold at convention, legislators for passage…