Utah Republican Party C&B Proposals – April 13, 2013
Based on input from many State Central Committee members and delegates and my own research and experience, here are my choices for the proposals before the State Central Committee, at the outset of the meeting Saturday, April 13, 2013. It is sure to be a lively discussion and that’s what is so great about this country. Freedom of speech. Let’ be grateful we have the opportunity to disagree and debate. I will be listening to all the presentations and thank everyone for all their hard work.
Saturday is the Orthodox Jewish sabbath and they would not be able to attend until after sundown
Proxy voting is problematic and open for misuse and abuse. It removes the true democratic nature of the vote. e.g. if an elderly person cannot vote (dementia) is that person going be allowed to give power of attorney to a signatory? This gets into murky waters. It would be preferable to consider proposing a substitute that will allow a limited absentee ballot to include only those who provide documentation that they are or will be serving in the military or will be out of town (i.e. missionaries or rare occasions where a business meeting or death in the family has occurred beyond the control of the voter). If #6 passes – in which delegate candidates must be pre-filed, and #3 preferential voting passes, this streamlines the caucus. The advantage of a caucus meeting is to bring the neighborhood together to discuss the issues, review the platform, and not to just drop by and cast a vote. People can put this event on their calendar well in advance, and if they believe it’s important enough, they can attend and get a baby sitter for the night.
Pre-filing of candidates and having the county in charge of getting hundreds of candidates’ information on the website would be an enormous burden on volunteer officers. However, if every precinct has a blog page in which the candidates can insert their own information and photo by a certain filing time, that would solve the problem. If that is recognized as a necessary procedure, then this may be a good proposal.
A remedy for over-sized caucuses and lengthy meetings is to increase the numbers of the delegates and to make the precincts smaller. That has been done before. There were once 5,000 delegates years back. This would also include more people and make the caucus meetings more manageable. This is not a C&B proposal though. It’s procedural.
#8: Undecided, leaning NO as of April 12.
I will listen to the discussion. Unclear about the “certified” language. It’s the Precinct Chair/Host job to conduct and preside over the meeting. They should have the training and know the rules. A video/CD that the party can prepare for every precinct to show at the beginning of the caucus that walks through the rules, the party platform and the voting procedures will streamline the evening.
The party has settled on the 60% from years of experimentation with higher and lower thresholds,. This 60% is the threshold that is producing the right balance. The downside of the 70% threshold is that it took Republicans to Primaries that disparaged the party because of all the public fighting. Better to keep the contentious races in the convention. As a result, during the 70% years, Utah elected two democrats to the federal delegation. The Harmer-Snow race was an example. It did help to move the Primary run-off to June, rather than September.
#10: No See #9.
#11: No See #9
#12: N0. See #9
To allow the “unaffiliated” to vote in a Republican Primary negates the purpose of a party Primary – for the Party to select its nominee. In some areas of Utah, the unaffiliated in a precinct would include a majority of Democrats.
With this proposal in the C&B, the Party would be protected from outside threats to undermine it. This proposal will also encourage more frugal spending. A friendly amendment may be addressed to ensure that the Party will have neutral monitoring of the election process and results.
#15: Undecided. Sponsor will be substituting.
#16: No. Sponsor is dropping.
#17: Undecided, leaving favorable. Sponsor has good points on auto delegates and allowing elected officials to have some participation. May need an amendment to the language.
#19: Yes, but needs language clean up.
Fairer to smaller counties
Could be manipulated by the Precinct Chair. The solution is #23 to elect alternate delegates
Alternate delegate proposal. Suggest strengthening language, friendly amendment.
If a ballot initiative does go forward and passes, this adds protection to the Party and the candidates who will be on the ballot.
This provides a system of checks and balances.