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…

Lieutenant Gov’s office responds to SB 54 questions from Sen. Todd Weiler

It’s been a busy week for the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office. On Friday, Mark Thomas, the LG’s Chief Deputy, responded to a series of SB 54 related questions from Utah State Senator Todd Weiler. Thomas’ letter spells out a legal line of reasoning at odds with the Utah Republican Party’s arguments that Judge David Nuffer’s decision guts SB 54. Find the letter below. Thomas’ letter Friday comes on the heels of LG Spencer Cox’s letter to Evans laying out similar arguments, as well as Cox’s personal apology for some of tense words exchanged during the dispute.…

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…

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,…

Eight Stories Getting More News Coverage Than Justin Miller

You’d think that the story of a sitting member of the Utah House of Representatives embezzling a good $34K from one of the state’s brightest political stars would end up creating an endless stream of front page news. Instead, the Utah media got in their initial stories and have been almost entirely silent. Even folks like Paul Rolly and Pat Bagley who delight in poking powerful people in the eye have been keeping their mouths shut (because I suppose it’s only interesting if a Republican does it). But, apparently, other…

Stan Lockhart: Utah politics: Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

In one of my favorite rock classics is “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who. It ends with the lyrics, “meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.” I can’t help but think that refrain is the crux of the SB 54 conundrum of the Republican Party. We are replacing the Republican State Central Committee, delegates and voters as the boss with more retail campaigning, money and voters. In the end, the voters are still boss. The Party insiders are incensed. They don’t like having to share their power. They…

A Terrible Negotiating Strategy: the Utah Republican Party goes all or nothing on SB 54

I love the Caucus/Convention system. I began at the grassroots level 25 years ago. I have served in virtually every grassroots position in the Republican Party. I’ve been Chair of the Utah Republican Party and Chair of the Utah County Republican Party. I continue to serve today as a Legislative District Chair. I’ll put my grassroots credentials up against anyone’s. I want our Caucus/Convention system to survive. Just three years ago, Count My Vote (CMV) was formed by Utah political power brokers demanding changes to Utah’s Caucus/Convention system. Direct primaries…