UTGOP Statement on the passing of Speaker Becky Lockhart [UPH Wire]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Saturday, January 17, 2015 Contact: Julian Babbitt Phone: 435.574.1560 UTGOP Statement on the passing of Speaker Becky Lockhart SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans released the following message on the passing of Former Speaker Becky Lockhart: “I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Speaker Becky Lockhart. Both Stan and Becky are my friends and I’m truly brokenhearted,” said Chairman Evans. “As the first woman Speaker of the Utah House, Becky made history and made Utah a better place. She…

Former Speaker Rebecca Lockhart Passes Away [Hub Wire]

For immediate release January 17, 2015 Former Speaker Rebecca Lockhart Passes Away   Former Speaker Rebecca Lockhart passed away in her home shortly after noon today from an unrecoverable and extremely rare neurodegenerative brain disease. She was 46. “She was at peace and surrounded by her family,” said family spokesman Curt Bramble. “It’s a credit to world-class doctors and Becky’s indomitable spirit that they were able to have these past days together with her.” “The outpouring of prayers and positive thoughts continue to help sustain the family, and they thank…

Sen. Bramble gets year-end recognition for role in Count My Vote compromise [UPH Wire]

Contact: Isaac Holyoak Communications Director, Alliance for a Better UTAH 801.664.9751 | isaac@betterutah.org – – – – – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, December 15, 2014 Sen. Bramble gets year-end recognition for role in Count My Vote compromise – – – – – Salt Lake City — In what some will certainly call a case of strange bedfellows, good government group Alliance for a Better UTAH awarded its first 2014 Better Beehive Award to Sen. Curt Bramble for his efforts in engineering the Count My Vote compromise, or SB54. That bill,…

Senate Bill 54 Explained

SB54 is a compromise between Sen. Bramble and the Count My Vote initiative. It requires a party to choose between two paths for narrowing down candidates to one party nominee for the general election ballot. All Political Parties Choose Between Option A or B Option A – Count My Vote: 2% of party member signatures required for each candidate to be placed on a direct primary ballot, choice of open or closed primary. This option is the default option for political parties.  It requires all candidates for office to get signatures…

The Folly of Senate Bill 54

Utah Senate Bill 54 has led quite a life over its short life. Initially introduced as Senator Curt Bramble‘s alternative to Count My Vote (hereafter referred to as CMV), it was initially denounced by CMV supporters and actively campaigned against. It even led to an open statement of support for CMV and denouncement of SB54 by none other than Mitt Romney. Last Thursday CMV announced that they had over 100,000 of the 102,000 required signatures to put it on the ballot, and within 24 hours rumors were flying that some of the top CMV backers were…

BUZZ: CMV and SB54 supporters close to compromise

The word on the street, and on KSL News Radio, is that County My Vote and the legislators behind SB54 are close to a compromise that would allow an alternative path to the ballot and remove the petition requirement in CMV’s initiative language. According to reports on KSL, the compromise would retain the caucus/convention system, but also allow an alternative path to the primary ballot that requires 28,000 signatures for statewide positions and 7,000 for Congressional elections. The report said discussions are ongoing and the number are still in flux,…

Look! Shiny things! The Mitt Romney Factor and CMV

“Look! Shiny things!” In their quest to demonstrate the “will of the people,”  Count My Vote’s  Mike Leavitt, former Utah Governor and former US Secretary of Health and Human Services, sent an email announcing Mitt Romney’s support. Waiving the spectre of a scripted interaction by sending a screen shot rather than a press release, (and likely violating Federal “CAN-SPAM” laws), one has to ask: What is the political strategy behind a screen shot email? Why would Count My Vote not just send a press release? Does Count My Vote really…

Caucuses, primaries, turnout and Count My Vote

Personally, I remain ambivalent toward the status quo vs. Count My Vote. Call me a cynic; you’d be right.  On one hand I am realistic that any nominating system can be gamed and the choice is really between one form of gaming and another. On the other hand, I am intrigued by the big kick in the pants Count My Vote would be for both parties, and the absolute deserved kick in the pants both major parties have solidly earned for a plethora of reasons.  That said, the discussion of…

Count My Vote: follow the money

Count My Vote

In 2010, establishment beltway Republican Bob Bennett was seeking his fourth term as U.S. Senator, even though he’d initially campaigned on a two-term pledge. His re-election would have been in the bag in the general election, but first he had to go through the Republican Party convention to earn the party nomination. A groundswell of  Republican delegates, however,  were ready to move on, and they narrowed the field down to Tim Bridgewater (58%) and Mike Lee (42%), denying Bennett the nomination and ending his Senate career. Lee went on to…

Curt Bramble, SB54 and CMV

Friday morning, Senator Curt Bramble presented SB54, officially titled “Elections Amendments” in the Senate Business and Labor committee. This bill, which I support, has been in the news lately as a legislative fix to concerns with the caucus/convention system and as an alternative to Count My Vote, a proposal that many say is sloppy and flawed. Senator Bramble said that according to CMV promoters, their goal is to increase voter participation.  Bramble took them at their word and drafted a bill that is designed to increase voter participation in several…