UTGOP Press Release Regarding SB 54 [UPH Wire]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, November 10th, 2015
Contact: Bryan Smith
Phone: (801) 533-9777

*Utah Republican Party seeks to have Court decide next SB 54 issue
because LG’s office is no longer seen as Honest Broker*

Today James M. Evans, Chairman of the Utah Republican Party, sent a letter
asking Lt. Governor Spencer Cox to respect the Party’s position regarding
SB 54 and either acknowledge the Party’s rights in deciding how it intends
to proceed or frame the issue so that the Party can take it back to court
to resolve their disagreement. Government counsel raised an issue at the
court hearing held October 27, 2015, which he described for Judge Nuffer as
“the next lawsuit” between the Party and the State. The issue raised
concerned specifically whether there was a conflict in how Utah Code Ann.
§§ 20A-9-101(12)(d) and 20A-9-406(3) should be interpreted. The Party
interprets 101(12)(d) as allowing a political party the option of providing
for only one nominating option. The government attorney conceded that
point, but argued that a different provision, 406(3) conflicted with that
provision in granting a member the right to pursue the Party’s nomination
through a different option.

*20A-9-101(12) – “Qualified political party” means a registered political
party that:…(d) – permits a member of the registered political party to
seek the registered political party’s nomination for any elective office by
the member choosing to seek the nomination by either or both of the
following methods:(i) seeking the nomination through the
registered political party’s convention process, in accordance with the
provisions of Section 20A-9-407; or(ii) seeking the nomination by
collecting signatures, in accordance with the provisions of Section
20A-9-408; and*

*(The Utah Republican Party has chosen to permit the convention process and
its candidates membership in the Party is based, in part, on them adhering
to the convention process.)*

*20A-9-406: The following provisions apply to a qualified political
party:…(3) an individual may only seek the nomination of the qualified
political party by using a method described in Section 20A-9-407, Section
20A-9-408, or both;*

“Given existing concerns, and the recent unprofessional comments in the
Salt Lake Tribune by the LG’s Chief Deputy/Chief Elections Officer (
www.sltrib.com/home/3139170-155/utah-election-dispute-likely-headed-back
),
in particular, “Notwithstanding all the crazy stuff, with James [Evans]
saying it was gutted, to us, we are moving forward as we always have.”, we
have decided it is in the best interests of the party to not seek the LG’s
interpretation of the law. Instead we want to proceed to court for a
determination since we have lost confidence that we would get a fair
hearing and that the LG’s office would be an honest broker.

Click here

for
the link to the complete trial transcript. Pages 34-36 address the exchange
between Judge Nuffer and government’s counsel on this issue. Also, please
find attached the letter submitted to the LG’s office today.

###


pdf icon UTGOP-October-27-Hearing-Transcript-2.pdf
pdf icon UTGOP-Lt-Gov-Position-Letter-Preliminary-1.pdf

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