Another Perspective on the Utah Republican Party Preliminary Injunction Hearing on SB 54

I had the opportunity of attending the preliminary injunction hearing on April 10th in Salt Lake. The Utah Republican Party’s attorneys Marcus Mumford, Christ Troupis and Michelle Mumford were in court on behalf of the Utah GOP.  Utah State Assistant Attorney General General David Wolf argued on behalf of the state. AG Sean Reyes recused himself from the case previously. In order to be granted, a preliminary injunction (a delay of implementation of the law), the party seeking the preliminary injunction must demonstrate all four things together: That there is a substantial likelihood…

Ten Things You Need to Know About the Utah Republican Party’s SB 54 Lawsuit

I am a life-long Republican who, as a state senator, voted for SB 54 last year.  I did so because I believed that the Count My Vote initiative would be successful by a wide margin, and SB 54 was the only option of preserving some elements of the caucus/convention system. Having spent more than a decade as a member of the Utah Republican Party’s governing body, I have a pretty good understanding of its inner workings.  For that reason, I could not resist attending the preliminary injunction hearing in federal…

How to Send a Mixed Message with Your LDS Outreach

Given the very large majorities in Utah, it’s not terribly surprising that state political parties would invest a lot of time and energy into doing outreach to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). What is surprising is how badly they can sometimes do it. Remember when James Evans, chair of the Utah Republican Party, decided to hold a press conference on Sunday afternoon, smack dab in the middle of church services for many LDS faithful? Well, that boner seems pretty mild compared to what the Salt…

How the Caucus Impacts Party Leadership and Governance

There are many great things about caucus system, such as creating an environment where money has much less of an influence and the average citizen can run for elected office without breaking the bank. But a flaw of the caucus system can be found in the reason why people are willing to give up time to interview the candidates and to go to convention meetings. This is even more interesting when you consider the central committee, which is made of precinct chairs, vice-chairs, legislative district officers, and county party leadership. They…

UTGOP Filed Preliminary Injunction Against SB54 [UPH Wire]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, January 5, 2015 Contact: Julian Babbitt Phone: 435.574.1560 MEDIA ADVISORY – UTGOP Filed Preliminary Injunction Against SB54 Salt Lake City – The Utah Republican Party filed a preliminary injunction against SB54 in the United States District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division. Filing the injunction is a key step in the Party’s legal challenge to SB54, as the law officially went into effect on Thursday, January 1st. “While I recognize that it is difficult to have this sort of relief granted, we have been able to demonstrate the…

The Inexplicable Case of the Utah Republican Party’s Sunday Press Conference

One of the strangest events of the political year has already happened, and it’s only January 5. Yesterday the Utah Republican Party held a press conference announcing the results of a poll they took and some updates on the status of their opposition to Senate Bill 54. For those who don’t remember, SB 54 created a dual-track path to become a nominee to any political office in Utah. You can either go through caucus and convention or you can now gather signatures to go on a primary ballot. While SB…

Where Credit is Due: Republican Gains in the Utah Legislature

On election night, I went to bed sure that Democrats had gained one seat in the State House of Representatives. I woke up the next morning positive this had happened and the same every day for two weeks. Then Tuesday November 18th, two weeks after the 2014 general election I see a Facebook post from Dana Dickson telling me that three Republicans who lost on election night actually won. What? What happened? For starters, Republicans picked up one Congressional seat and now hold every statewide office and Congressional office in…

Doug Owens Accused of FEC Violation by Utah GOP

The HubCap Spin | Love or Owens: Who Wins the Race for Congressional District 4?

With his campaign ads just barely hitting the airwaves, Utah Democrat Doug Owens has already solicited controversy. A complaint filed with the FEC by Utah Republican Party Executive Director Julian Babbitt accuses Doug Owens and the Owens for Congress campaign of violating Federal Elections Commission regulations. According to the complaint, those regulations require that the candidate’s approval of the campaign advertisement for at least four seconds, but the advertising only shows his approval for two seconds. The complaint is embedded below. You can find the recently released ads on UtahPolicy.com. Fec Complaint against Doug Owens

Automatic Endorsement: A “Professional Courtesy” That Needs to End

As former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff headed off to jail Tuesday, I couldn’t help but think of the long list of elected officials that have endorsed their campaigns. In fact, Swallow’s list of endorsements reads like a who’s who of GOP elected officials in Utah. I’m sure a lot of them are left with a very strong sense of buyer’s remorse (some more than others). I think this also underscores a very distasteful cultural practice in party politics: the expectation that elected officials will automatically provide their…

GOP Chair Evans: Will Refer Fraudulent Robodial To AG for Possible Prosecution

Shenanigans in Davis County? With Davis County’s Republican Party in tumult, a robodial made alleging to be from the Utah Republican Party will be referred to the Utah Attorney General’s Office for possible prosecution. On Thursday afternoon, Utah State Republican Party Chair James Evans sent out an email to Davis County Republicans asserting that the Republican Party has not conducted a robodial polling party members about Wright. You may have received a robocall on July 8, 2014, at approximately 10:30 am “conducting” a poll about your county party chair Phill Wright. Your…