In Defense of Mike Lee and Utah Caucus: Poll Skews Shut Down

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Quin MonsonQuin Monson, Brigham Young University political science associate professor and Director the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy, has launched another poll. This one attacks Senator Mike Lee, asking whether you support his tactics to shut down the government. We encourage you to read this article and then to take a moment to vote for him.

But there is more to this poll than a simple question.  It’s part of a greater strategy.

It is my opinion that the poll is part of a strategic maneuver to replace Senator Mike Lee with the “moderate” choice (there are no “liberals” in the GOP, have you noticed?), most likely former governor Mike Leavitt, or perhaps another anointed candidate of the Utah good old boys’ money matrix’s choosing. They intend to unseat Mike Lee by removing the neighborhood elections with an attempt to place a Count My Vote initiative on the ballot. 

Mike LeeMike Lee and I were opponents in the U.S. Senate in 2010, but I entered the race months before he did on the assumption that it was unlikely that he would enter and my personal confidence that I had a more seasoned understanding of the issues as a long-time researcher and activist. However, I supported him in the general election, and I support him more than ever today.

If the readers review the BYU poll question, they will notice that it is biased and skews the facts. Monson explained, “We asked respondents to choose between whether ‘Senator Mike Lee should stand by his principles, even when the result is a government shutdown’ or ‘Senator Mike Lee should be more willing to compromise, even if that means passing a budget with funding for the Affordable Care Act.’

This is a deplorable manipulation of the facts. It was not Mike Lee and his colleagues Ted Cruz and Rand Paul that shut down the government, it was the President’s refusal to compromise, along with some weak Republicans that ought to consider placing a “D” behind their names.

Moreover, the House of Representatives has the power to simply refuse to appropriate, which would make the entire “defund ObamaCare” campaign unnecessary. The GOP leadership should have acted accordingly.

John boehnerBut under the cowardly leadership of Representative John Boehner, that did not happen. He and his colleagues are part of the old guard mentality that the Tea Party rightfully ousted in 2010 – the go-along-to-get-along clique that lacks principle. Just how far Left into Marxist territory do we want to go?

The American people must understand that the President’s bureaucrats strategically selected which parts of the government to shut down, creating an emotional outcry. WIC? Military funeral expenses? National Parks? Military furloughs? FAA – delaying air traffic?  Really? No one has ever denied that the President and his colleagues now running the government are expert marxist community organizers.

Although this administration no doubt targeted the shutdown to hit where citizens would feel it most, it should also be a wake up call to know just exactly how much we are dependent on the federal government for our daily lives.

An Opportunity to Restore Local Control?

Here’s the opportunity: Utah has taken action, called a special session and is standing on its own two feet to take care of those that need it. “Who needs the federal government anyway? We can do it better.” They wasted no time and re-opened the parks and took care of essential needs for those that really need.  While those state-funded choices would need to be evaluated on a long-term basis, I like that attitude.

But it was done on Utah’s dime, not the federal government, and we had better be getting the revenue we funded.  This is the catch.  Do you see the opportunity?  A state-take over of federal parks.  I like it.  I’d like it more if Utah could open up the 70% of land the federal government has taken control of inch by inch over many years, but this is a step in the right direction.

If Congress can keep the federal government shut down long enough, perhaps the states will muster enough courage to continue to stand on their own, and to reject the federal funds altogether, which are merely binding us to a sinking economic ship anyway.

This is not insurrection.  This is logical.  It just makes sense that if the states can take charge of appropriating the funds to replace the federal funds, as they deem appropriate, to cut back on the fraud and waste that has become the standard in Washington DC, and keep our hard-earned dollars closest to the people, they will be in a position to manage it more efficiently and for much less.

It would be a huge step backwards for socialism – the redistribution of wealth among the states – centralization, and the national takeover of health care and education that has become the standard of both Republican and Democratic administrations since 1989 (oddly the same year the Wall supposedly fell).

Congressman Rob Bishop

Credit: Deseret News

Congressman Rob Bishop has repeatedly told his constituents in Utah that if they don’t like the control the federal government has over them, then they shouldn’t take the money.

As much as I like Bishop and his more conservative colleagues, why then do they continue to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with language to prop up the Marxist system of education – the charter school – that is forcing private and religous schools to either close or to become part of the public system by seeking a charter?

What a great opportunity this shut down has given the states to begin to sever the umbilical cord of federal control and dependency.

Senator Mike Lee and his colleagues did the right, principled thing, and I’m proud of them.

As for Quin Monson, I’m disappointed in his manipulation of students – and voters – using the Dan Jones school of public persuasion, by teaching his students how to shape opinion rather than how to legitimately survey it.

Why is a school, which I support with funds I give to the Mormon Church, supporting “The Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy” a system of government that the Founders despised because they knew it historically leads to tyranny and loss of religious liberty?

And why would that same school also shut down The Family Policy Center, supporting strengthening the family and fighting against the United Nations’ goal to destroy the family and religious liberty?

It makes no sense, except that we do know that religious schools that take federal funds are then forced to play the accreditation game and subsequently are under attack for not complying with standards that private accreditation entities have arbitrarily imposed through insidious public-private partnerships (P3s). This is always the danger of taking government subsidies.

This current poll is just one of several polls Monson has taught his students to construct, using selective information within a biased framework.

Destroy the Neighborhood Election:  Too Close for a Non-Profit?

Monson is also part of the movement to eliminate Utah’s neighborhood elections, an initiative campaign called “Count My Vote,” an ingeniously mis-leading title. Utah is the last state to have maintained the form of government that the Founders created – a representative republican government, closest to the people that allowed all to participate. It was not pure democracy, one man-one vote. It was a system to elect representatives through one man-one vote.

By so doing, Monson has attempted to shape the opinion of the neighborhood election negatively. He also attended the GOP Convention last Spring to advocate for eliminating the caucus in favor of a Primary election.

Oddly, Connecticut Republicans, whose system the Count My Vote initiative would prefer, have told me they would love to restore their system to the one Utah has.

Those who are backing the destruction of a republican, representative form of election, spoke to a special session of the State Central Committee, of which I’m a member. Monson was directly campaigning on that issue that is now attempting to get on the ballot.

I’m concerned that Monson is in a position of influence among so many young and impressionable minds at BYU, a Mormon-owned university. His last name being the same as the current Mormon President Thomas Monson carries some additional influence, to be sure.

Mike Leavitt

Former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt

Here’s Quin Monson’s conflict of interest: We know the group that wants to eliminate the neighborhood elections is backing someone, most likely former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, to run against Senator Mike Lee in 2016. The best way to do that is to eliminate the neighborhood elections (the caucus) and to place the former governor in a poster child position to gain favor of Utah voters. Utah Data Points’ deceptive polling so far is attempting to shape public opinion against that representative system of elections.

What many may not understand about Mike Leavitt is that when he was Governor, knowingly or unknowingly, he was a strong supporter of a marxist system of education. He cited in a letter, of which I have a copy, the need for “cradle to grave” schools, connecting supporting government agencies to track students through a school-to-workforce system. It was identical to a letter his predecessor signed, leading one to believe that perhaps these letters are merely signed and not read. While that’s disconcerting, one would hope they did not sign knowingly.

Ask anyone that left the Soviet Union disillusioned with marxism what they think about this kind of education, merging the private with the public sector and all for the purpose of workforce training and tracking, centrally controlled. They will most likely tell you that Americans are stupid.

Leavitt was also a strong supporter of the key to implementing ObamaCare in the states – the health insurance exchange (HIX). Without this “Avenue H” online portal, ObamaCare, and without its chief service it will be promoting – Medicaid – it could not get a foothold in the states. What are these people thinking? That they want to be sitting around the table to make a profit off the 138,000 new Utahns that will be funded?

Colbert and Sanderson

Stephen Colbert confers with lobbyists from Caplin & Drysdale, leads on the Utah CMV initiative to eliminate the neighborhood elections (caucus)

Even though Quin Monson has created a very cool teaching tool, it’s a shame that BYU’s Utah Data Points is so directly involved in elections and electioneering now and supporting the very election system that will also destroy religious liberty in the end. It is a system that will allow the rich and famous to be bought by DC and local lobbyists, the very system that has corrupted government. The trend is secularism, aggressively cornering the religious-minded into a Catch 22.

Unfortunately Mike Leavitt appears to be leading the charge of the money matrix of Utah. Utah eliminated the neighborhood elections in the 1930s for similar manipulative reasons as well. A state Senator had unsuccessfully run for governor twice, and he and his colleagues knew that getting rid of the neighborhood elections would be his ticket. So they convinced Utahns that moving to a Primary was the way to include more people. And they were successful, long enough to elect that Senator.

That Primary system only lasted for a decade. After disastrous results, including low voter turn out, the state returned to the best system of all fifty states – the neighborhood caucus.

LaVarr Webb

Lobbyist LaVarr Webb, Exoro Group; Publisher Utah Policy Daily, Utah Pulse

Lobbyists, big money from DC and primarily from Salt Lake City are backing a repeat of history if Utah does not wake up.  Mike Leavitt, his consultant LaVarr Webb, who runs a media consulting firm, and others who are still bitter about how Tim Bridgewater, Mike Lee and I worked together to remove a bad incumbent from office, who they supported, are showing just how far they would go to destroy our grassroots voices for their own power and gain.

They will attempt to use their big money and media to convince you – the voter – that a Primary is the most inclusive system of all, when it is really the opposite. It will restrict who is nominated to the rich and famous and it will replace elections by majority to elections by plurality, meaning no majority has backed the nominee. They are deliberately deceiving you, and they will attempt to buy your vote in this initiative.

A neighborhood election is actually the most inclusive system of all, allowing neighbors to gather and to discuss the issues and elect their direct representatives. It prevents the rich and famous from becoming the exclusive club allowed to qualify to run for public office. They want to remove the voices of the smaller, rural areas of Utah. That’s what they and the DC lobbyists connected to this charade want.

Similar to the purpose of the Electoral College, which protects the smaller states from being flyover, the current neighborhood election is also the system that assures that our rural counties will not be ignored.

BYU is a non-profit, church-owned institution. This entire media and PR campaign, is spearheaded by Mike Leavitt’s political consultant LaVarr Webb, and backed by the University of Utah’s Hinckley Policy Center director Kirk Jowers. They only stand to make a fortune on the media buys that Primary elections demand. Webb, Monson and Jowers are pushing BYU and the U just a bit too close for comfort to electioneering.

In 2005, I was on the BYU campus in the Wilkinson Center talking to students at a booth sponsored by the BYU College Republicans. They were running a petition to put the protection of marriage, a principle supported by the Church that sponsors the school, on the California ballot because the California students would not be back home in time to sign it. When the VP of Student Life came roaring down the stairs, red-faced, demanding that they stop the petition signing, citing the school’s political neutrality policy, they had to shut it down.

Perhaps BYU’s Board of Trustees ought to investigate the Utah Data Points polling project and its sponsor, the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy as well. It appears to be a front for electioneering purposes. Although I was instrumental in the firing of some BYU professors in the early 1990s, the school now appears to be over-run with a progressive bias, and it is impacting the children of many LDS parents funding their education who do not share that view when theirs is being shut down.

As always I appreciate your generous contributions to the American Leadership Fund, whatever amount you can donate – $20, $35, $50, $100 or more. Just click on the donate button above.

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P.S.  For those moderates or mainstreamers who want us to compromise with the Left, and not the other way around, please step aside.  How much further to the Left do you intend for us to go?  You are destroying this country.

A friend sent this powerful rhetorical piece that tells it like it should be told.  It is the truth, and this is what Senator Mike Lee also understands and why he was elected. This piece was written by Alfred W. Evans, a 56-year-old resident of Gatesville, Texas and published in the Waco Texas Tribune Herald November 18, 2010.  It came after he witnessed an incident in a grocery store in which a woman emptied out the meat counter and paid with her food stamp card.

He gets to the point with common sense about what a mess government welfare has become in the United States.  If you agree, please donate now and sign the petition to get the federal government out of health care and education.  The states can do this better and they would incorporate some of these common sense principles:

“PUT ME IN CHARGE . . .
Put me in charge of food stamps. I’d get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for Ding Dongs or Ho Ho’s, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.

Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I’d do is to get women Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations. Then, we’ll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, or smoke, then get a job.

Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks? You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your home will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.

In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or you will report to a “government” job. It may be cleaning the roadways of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo and speakers and put that money toward the “common good..”

Before you write that I’ve violated someone’s rights, realize that all of the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules. Before you say that this would be “demeaning” and ruin their “self-esteem,” consider that it wasn’t that long ago that taking someone else’s money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self-esteem.

If we are expected to pay for other people’s mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.

AND While you are on Gov’t assistance, you no longer can VOTE! Yes, that is correct. For you to vote would be a conflict of interest. You will voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Gov’t welfare check. If you want to vote, then get a job.

Now, if you have the guts – PASS IT ON…”

And then go cast your vote for Mike Lee here.


  1. Thanks for this article Cherilyn. I have been looking for just this information. 

  2. Ray Lechtenberg - October 21, 2013

    Great Article!!! Anyone that supports BYU or the LDS inc. and the political games they play has been lied to because they do not realize Joseph Lied —— the facts are extensive and on mormonthink, utlm and many other locations.

    • Carolin - October 21, 2013

      Joseph told the truth. He taught us to study for ourselves and that by the power of the Holy Ghost we may know the truth of ALL things. I’ve read those things you’ve referenced, I’ve questioned, but by going to the source of all truth, I’ve received the answers from God and I can say without hesitation that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. And that Joseph Smith was a prophet.

    • Marjohna - October 21, 2013

      This is not the place for irrelevant and inappropriate anti-Mormon stuff. You undermine your point with comments such as this. Joseph Smith does not get to comment on what is being done at BYU and you don’t get to blame him for it. That said – Dear BYU – you are misusing your funding and your mission statement – and some of us are not going to take it lightly.

    • Cherilyn Eagar - October 22, 2013

      Ray, I am LDS and I do not support those who have left the LDS Church and who bitterly spend their lives viciously attacking it. That was not my intent.

  3. fuddy duddy - October 21, 2013

    This is silly. Just because a poll produces inconvenient results doesn’t mean the pollster is a marxist. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, but the poll results don’t prove it.

    I happen to agree that the question about Lee could have been better written. But there were other questions in the poll, too, that I can’t quibble with so easily. You linked in your post to the blog post where Monson laid out the results. At the end of his post, he links to a PDF where you can read the complete poll results. I just looked at it. You can’t blame question wording for the dive in Lee’s approval rating since the last BYU poll (in June). In the recent poll, there were more voters with a “very unfavorable” view of Mike Lee than of anybody else the poll asked about, including Herbert, Hatch, Matheson, and even Swallow.

    Of course, it’s easier to make an ad hominem attack on the messenger than to consider that maybe Lee’s stock really did fall among Utah voters in the past few months. Besides, ad hominen attacks are awfully effective at preparing people for a fundraising pitch…

    • A poll? Really? Were the respondents answering the questions or influenced by the main stream media?

      • roamin - October 22, 2013

        How exactly is the poll controlled?  The sample involved in recruiting panel members of whom the poll’s respondents come from is exceedingly complex.  It involves extraordinarily robust complex statistical sampling methods developed over several decades (well before Monson’s coming to BYU by the way) producing the most representative panel of Utah voters in the state.

        The question asks the respondent to choose between two possible opinions.  Which one “best represents” your view.   It asks the respondent to compare the two extreme statements.  Similar methods are used in semantic differential questions.  Neither statement perfectly reflects the respondents view.  But the results accurately reflect the leanings (one extreme or the other) amongst respondents.

    • george - October 21, 2013

      Quinn (Y2) was paid about $11,000 by Count My Vote to do polling under the company Y2.analytics

      http://www.y2analytics.com/#about

      See Aug. 31 filing
      http://disclosures.utah.gov/Search/PublicSearch/FolderDetails/1411317

    • Cherilyn Eagar - October 22, 2013

      I did not call Monson a marxist. I wrote that Leavitt had supported a marxist education policy. I would wager that few Americans today would recognize marxism if they saw it.

      The poll is more a reflection of the media driving the opinion. Readers need to understand how controlled it really is. Money buys the ink and paper. Follow the money.

      • I agree that few Americans today even understand what marxism truly is and how its negative effects affect our great nation. Many leaders have been sucked in to embracing the marxist, communistic or socialistic (all very closely related!) beliefs in which we have been warned to watch. If we had been taught true principles, many more would be able to recognize truth. Big thanks to Cherilyn Eagar!

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