The caucus is dead and the delegates killed it

I’ve long been a very strong supporter of the caucus system for choosing party nominees and a vocal critic of the Count My Vote effort to circumvent it. But I’m also a political realist, someone who sees what the playing field is like and knows when you have to adjust your tactics. Sadly, the most ardent supporters of the caucus system seem to be pretty clueless in this regard. In fact, I’d argue that it’s already dead, they don’t know it, and they did most of the work to kill…

An open letter to Republican state delegates about misleading campaign messages

Dear Delegate, It has recently come to my attention that certain elements inside the Republican Party are working hard to make sure that you vote for their hand-picked candidate. The clues are very subtle, but if you know what to look for, you will soon discover the clues this cabal is using to manipulate you into doing exactly what they want. Here are the subtleties that they are hiding from you: Margaret Dayton’s recent mailer refers to her as “Utah’s Iron Lady.” This sounds like a good thing until you…

Meet the candidates for CD3: Stewart Peay

This is the fourth in a series of profiles on candidates for the 3rd Congressional District, which is expected to be vacant when Congressman Jason Chaffetz resigns his office at the end of June. Previous profiles include Brad Daw, Shayne Row, and Paul Fife. Stewart Peay served as a captain in the Army National Guard, including 15 months active duty with 10 months in Iraq. He said that it was sometimes difficult to do his job in Iraq and had to be very assertive to get security for his missions.…

Meet the candidates for CD3: Paul Fife

This is third in a series of profiles on candidates for the 3rd Congressional District, which is expected to be vacant when Congressman Jason Chaffetz resigns his office at the end of June. Previous profiles include Brad Daw and Shayne Row. Paul has a career fixing government projects. He is a US defense contractor and is currently the VP of programs for his company. He said that his company has a great reputation because they bring results and can turn around failing projects. A lot of projects are awarded based on…

Meet the candidates for CD3: Shayne Row

This is second in a series of profiles on candidates for the 3rd Congressional District, which is expected to be vacant when Congressman Jason Chaffetz resigns his office at the end of June. The first was of Brad Daw. As a person who is deaf, Shayne understands the some of the very real difficulties that those with disabilities face. Imagine being detained by a police officer and not being able to effectively communicate. He has worked with law enforcement and wants to continue to raise awareness of issues such as…

Meet the candidates for CD3: Brad Daw

This is one of a series of profiles on candidates for the 3rd Congressional District, which is expected to be vacant when Congressman Jason Chaffetz resigns his office at the end of June. Brad is a software engineer who has spent 10 years serving in the legislature. He has successfully worked on many tough issues including opioid abuse, health care reform, election transparency, payday lenders, and medical cannabis. While some groups have failed to make much progress pushing for much larger goals with cannabis, Brad successfully passed a bill which…

Republican leaders are the impoverished ones

Another interesting article about poverty from American Enterprise Institute scholar Arthur Brooks falls on the heels of Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz lecturing the poor about making choices between cell phones and health insurance. You might recall that Chaffetz said during a CNN interview, “rather than ‘getting that new iPhone that they just love,’ low-income Americans should take the money they would have spent on it and ‘invest it in their own health care.’” While our worse selves understand what Chaffetz was saying – in that ignorant, discriminatory kind of way…

What do town halls say about Utah politicians in the wake of Trump?

Utah’s federal delegation has taken different approaches to town halls — some holding them far from constituents, others not at all — following the Trump inauguration. Out-of-sync? When it comes to town halls, at least, that may be one way to describe the congruence of Utah’s federal delegation with its constituents. Ninety-two percent of registered Utah voters say congressional members should meet with constituents in open forums, according to a Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll. Yet no in-person town halls were held by Utah’s six federal politicians for…

Paid protestors? No. Professionally organized ones? Absolutely.

Jason Chaffetz had a pretty bad time at his last town hall in Cottonwood Heights. The raucous crowd barely let him respond to questions, constantly booed, and made national headlines for it. Chaffetz later claimed that the event was packed with paid protesters, something that provoked immediate ire because of the apparent ridiculousness of the statement. And yet, it seems there’s a kernel of truth behind the accusation. You see, these protesters weren’t paid, but they sure do seem to have a lot of paid organizers directing them. The lead…

Lots of booing at Chaffetz town hall

Jason Chaffetz held a town hall in Salt Lake County, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the results meant he never does so again. Democratic organizers did a better job of getting their people out than Chaffetz did. (If he’s still a Congressman in 2020, this might inspire him to try to gerrymander more of SLC out of his district.) I arrived around 5:50 for the planned 7:00 event. Several hundred people were already there at Brighton High School. The auditorium had a capacity between 1000-1100, which meant that people…