The no-win scenario for the caucus

Photo by Keith Bacongco

In the Star Trek universe, there’s a famous training exercise required of all starship captains called the Kobayashi Maru. It’s designed to be a no-win scenario to test the character of leadership, but never to be won. Captain James T. Kirk famously cheated to create a way to win, stating flatly that he didn’t believe in no-win scenarios. Right now, opponents of the signature path to the ballot find themselves in a no-win scenario. Unlike Captain Kirk, they can’t cheat their way to victory. The landscape for changing the status…

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…

Neil Walter: Why we need party conventions

The State of Utah and more particularly the Republican Party have been in the throws of a knock-down, drag-out fight over the nomination process for candidates. Count My Vote initiated a movement to replace party conventions with primaries. The movement spawned Senate Bill 54 which allowed candidates to choose between collecting signatures with the option to bypass the party conventions and still appear on the primary ballot or securing enough votes at the party convention as a requirement to appear on the primary ballot. Count My Vote proponents want to…

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’s Nuremburg laws

Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans sent a letter to State Central Committee members today (reproduced below) saying that they have to review 600,000 voter records to see who is in compliance with the party’s Constitution and Bylaws. This sounds relatively innocuous until you understand what this actually means. If you are one of the a registered Republican, you now have to abide by the Constitution and Bylaws of the party. The vast majority (over 500,000) of registered Republicans haven’t ever attended a caucus or other party meeting, so you probably don’t…

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…

Is the Utah Republican Party determined to kill itself?

James Evans

Even though I’ve long maintained that Utah Republican Party Chair James Evans is kind of a dumpster fire of a state party chair, I still continue to be surprised at some of his awful decisions. While I’m no fan of CMV and the capitulation compromise that is SB54, he seems to be doing his darndest to play into every single stereotype and trope rolled out by supporters. At the same time, whatever monkey is in charge of the official Utah GOP Twitter account thought it would be an awesome idea…

UTGOP Applauds Favorable Recommendation of Legislative Fix to Plurality Issue [UPH Wire]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, March 2, 2015Contact: Julian Babbitt Phone: 435.574.1560 UTGOP Applauds Favorable Recommendation of Legislative Fix to Plurality Issue SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans released the following statement after House Government Operations Committee’s favorable recommendation on HB313 (1st Sub), which addresses the plurality issue in the primary resulting from the enactment of SB54 (the Utah Legislature/Count My Vote compromise):”As Speaker Hughes has stated, ‘plurality was always going to be an issue that the legislature would come back and address. We need to get this…

BUZZ: Utah GOP Chair Spells Out Opposition to SB54/Count My Vote

Utah Republican Party logo

In an email, Utah Republican Party Chair James Even’s spelled out reasons the GOP opposes allowing last year’s SB54 to go into effect without modification. In the email, Evans says that the legislation is problematic for eight reasons. Included among these reasons are that the legislation does not require that Republican candidates be Republicans, that Republican candidates obtain signatures from Republicans to get on the ballot, or to even win the nomination with a majority of the primary vote. 1)      The SB 54 compromise allows candidates who are not Republicans to run…