Last night’s CD4 loss means all Utah GOP leadership should resign

By all rights, Utah’s 4th Congressional District should have been an easy victory for any Republican candidate. The partisan lean ranges from R+13 to R+20 depending on who you talk to. Since its creation, however, Republicans have had a hard time showing numbers anywhere near that. Jim Matheson won by a few hundred votes based on his existing popularity in CD2, having switched to run in CD4 after redistricting. Mia Love won against Doug Owens, a rather weak and feckless Democrat who felt more like their typical sacrificial lamb, by…

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…

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…

Does the Utah Republican Party have a runaway central committee problem?

On February 24, a small group of members from the Utah Republican Party’s governing body, the State Central Committee (SCC), called an emergency meeting at a time when many members of the body were unable to attend. During the meeting, they made some drastic changes to the Utah GOP’s bylaws, including rules that would disqualify candidates who take the state-supplied signature path to the ballot instead of seeking the party’s nomination through the Republican Party’s state convention. What is the State Central Committee? The State Central Committee is the governing…

Problems with the caucus

If we are going to be able to keep the caucus system relevant then we need to have an honest discussion as to what needs to be modified. While there probably isn’t a perfect system, there are some definite improvements that can be made. It is really interesting to consider just how many of the problems listed here can also apply to actual elected officials, not just delegates. I see far fewer of these problems with actual elected officials though. I have seen too many caucus supporters claim that the…

Rob Anderson elected as new Utah GOP Chair

The Utah GOP Convention was held at the Southtown Expo Center last Saturday. It’s an exciting time, not only because the party officers are up for election, but there’s jockeying for position for hopefuls vying for the soon-to-be-vacant seat of Jason Chaffetz. The usual signs and T-shirts blanketing the place. I was able to listen to each candidate for Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary, not to mention the CD3 possibles in Deidre Henderson, Brad Daw, and Margaret Dayton. I know other people have joined, but these three feel like the real race.…

Who calls for James Evans to resign but not Justin Miller? Alliance for a Better Utah, that’s who.

You’d think that a bad time to engage in blatant hypocrisy would be right after you’ve been called out on it. Apparently, Alliance for a Better Utah just enjoys doing things differently. After the complete disaster that was Utah Republican Party State Chair James Evans embarrassing himself, the GOP, and the state of Utah on national TV with widely discredited tabloid conspiracy theories was enough for Better Utah to start demanding his resignation. To me, it’s just another cherry on top of the crap sundae of reasons why Evans has…

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…

Three ways to fix the Utah GOP’s online voting experiment

There are always some flaws to be found and lessons to be learned with any new experiment, and unfortunately there are times when you can’t fully test a system. Yesterday’s digital caucus was one of those times. While some voters had a good experience, others didn’t get a PIN or weren’t able to log in due to loads on the system. This was essentially a live beta, and it has shown some benefits. Unfortunately the processes and realities of voting left it showing some large and concerning issues as well. If…