Posts Tagged ‘CMV’

Summary of CMV – SB54

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On Saturday, September 27, 2016, the Utah State Central Committee is meeting.  A discussion regarding the ongoing legal challenge to defend a constitutional-representative form of elections versus the legislature’s unconstitutional interference with the First Amendment rights of a private corporation to assemble, establish its rules and set membership qualifications  is scheduled.  This summary is intended especially for its new members and those that have not been involved in the research and deliberations among Party leadership since 2013.

Original legal brief from DC Lobbyists Caplin and Drysdale, a DC firm that represented the Democratic National Committee and established Stephen Colbert’s SuperPAC for the purpose of mocking Republican candidates including Mitt Romney.   Caplin & Drysdale is part of a national movement called “Count My Vote” to eliminate caucuses in all 50 states and to move this nation further away from the framer’s original intent to keep the power separated and guarded against consolidation.

This document outlining the supposed unconstitutionality of a caucus was emailed to members of the SCC the afternoon before its quarterly meeting and only a handful of members had been able to review it before the meeting.  I was among them and I stood and spoke specifically to my findings.

I did some research on the authors of this document and learned their roles in the lobbyist firm found in this document.

This brief also clearly outlines what the legislature then put into a bill, SB 54 and, with the governor’s signature, was adopted into law.

It is a conflict of interest to give the decision-making power to the very people that will benefit from weakening and eventually destroying the caucus, the incumbent, the candidate with the name ID and access to lobbyist money.

I then researched the CMV donor records and took a screen shot of initial donors.  They represent Utah’s best and brightest and most successful (and respectable) “Establishment.” Typically they are doing a favor for a friend (e.g.  “I’ll give to your cause if you’ll give to mine.”) without really understanding what’s at stake.

One donor includes the husband of the newly elected national committeewoman.  Her brother was also elected.  Throughout his tenure, he presented the case urging the SCC to be conciliatory and to react to the demands of CMV.  The Party voted to support a lawsuit, and now we have elected by acclamation two people that have actively opposed this position.

Layne Beck, an SCC member from Cache County, secured an attorney, Christ Troupis (yes, that’s the correct spelling, pronounced Chris with a t.) and my PAC, American Leadership Fund, paid for his travel expenses to deliver a speech to the SCC about the constitutional case for keeping the caucus. He received a standing ovation to a cheering crowd.

A core group of SCC members, of which I have been a part, vigilantly researched and led the movement to stand for the constitutional principles that are being eroded on every front, every policy and every issue.  Fred Cox researched the statistics surrounding the threshold levels and discovered that the 60% threshold was the balance that sent equal candidates to a Primary and a nomination at the convention.

When Enid Mickelson made a push for a higher threshold, I created this flyer to make the point of “fairness.”

Slide1

After we won, the SB 54 challenge began and the law passed.  Funds were raised for its defense.  Many long and hard hours were devoted to the preservation of the constitutional caucus and hard-earned funds from each of the counties.  One of our recently deceased party workers, Rick Votaw, was extremely generous personally.

We served on committees to improve the caucus and we continued to combat the very media outlets that benefit from a Primary and the large media buys necessary to win those elections.

The legislative sponsors insisted that SB 54 was a “compromise” but we knew, and it can be verified by reviewing the original Caplin-Drysdale document, that SB 54 and CMV delivered the same outcome.  I produced this flyer that was distributed in several counties and to the delegate email list.  This flyer includes some of the subject headings of blog posts I researched and distributed to SCC members and delegates over the course of this long process:

SB54=CMV

 

The State Central Committee now faces some important decisions.

  1. Does the Utah Republican Party continue to preserve the constitutional process or does it relinquish its right to determine its membership as a private corporation?  Will Utah go the way of other states, such as Virginia, that have weakened the caucus to the degree that the political parties are mere “endorsement” bodies and lack any real strength?  As such, those states have lost the edge and the majorities have moved to the Democrats.
  2. Does the party demand that legal counsel’s E&O insurance cover the legal expenses that the party would have been awarded had the deadlines been met as restitution for what the judge determined was worth denying the legal fees?
  3. Where do each of the SCC members and the national committee man and woman and executive committee members stand on preserving the caucus?  We need to know.  It is appropriate that we ask some serious questions:  What happened with the national committeeman and woman elections?  I understand that the previous committee people told the state party chairman that they were running again.  Then within minutes of the filing deadline, he received a phone call from them saying they would not be running again, and then within minutes of that call, he received a call that two others had filed.  I supported both of these people when they ran for office.  But we need to know why this happened.  We also need to know whether they support CMV.  They are brother and sister and the record shows that the sister’s husband gave $25,000 in opposition to the Party.
  4. Finally, in this contentious election season, it is critically important for those who serve in elected Republican positions from Chairman, Executive Committee and State Central Committee, to publicly state whether they support the Republican nominee for President.  We need all hands on deck to prevent the alternative from being elected.

If you have any questions, I will be at the meeting Saturday, August 27, 2016 and will be happy to answer your questions.

Blessings,

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar

PS – In principle, this contentious election season and the warring factions of a two party system are the result of elected officials and citizens that held self-interest and special interest above the Constitution.  They abandoned the original document.  They went against George Washington’s warning and plea NOT to create two parties (as England had) and after the Adams administration, they began the process of creating a two party system.  To quote a Republican candidate:  “It IS rigged.”  It is rigged against the people in that the 17th, 16th and 12th Amendments have created a democracy in the election process rather than maintained the republic.

Where are all those candidates that professed to be “constitutionalists?”  Why are they not standing for the checks and balances and separation of powers both vertically and horizontally that the framers created?

I was elected Presidential Elector, one of six for Utah.  It is a farce.  The original electoral college was destroyed in the Aaron Burr-Thomas Jefferson election.  If the original electoral college were functioning today, we would not be sitting in this body spending money and grooming candidates in how to pay-to-play in this system.  We would not have candidates that can’t even pay their mortgages or sell their homes for what they paid for them that serve as Senators and then leave office as multi-millionaires.

Instead, if the original electoral college were in place today, there would be NO parties.  The people would not elect a president.

The states would elect Presidential Electors equal to the number of the state’s congressional delegation (Utah would have six).  There would be 535 electors that would gather to NOMINATE people that are principled and qualified to lead.  Each state’s delegation would vote for TWO names to send to the US Senate for tallying.

The US Senate would then send the TOP FIVE candidates to the U.S. House.  Each state would cast its vote by delegation and would get 1 vote.  The top vote-getter would be elected President and the second place candidate would be Vice President.

The US Senate would not be elected by popular vote.  It would be elected by the representatives the people in the state had elected – the state legislature.

The only body that would be elected by the people was the U.S. House of Representatives, the “people’s house.”

Among the most egregious perversions along with the 17th Amendment during the Democratic Wilson administration was the decision to give government the power and authority to steal personal property, rather than to ask other foreign interests to provide revenue.  With the 16th Amendment, the people gave Congress a blank check to dig its own grave in debt and bloated spending.  The solution is NOT to further amend and pervert the Constitution.  It is to seriously examine that original document and to find the wisdom already in it and to RESTORE it.

The founders feared and deplored democracy.  They recognized from history that it always had a contentious and volatile ending.  Do we not see that this is the path we are pursuing?

The only level of deliberation among citizens in which a democracy worked was at the very closest level to the people.  Democracy worked only among small numbers of people.  THAT was the neighborhood caucus.  That system itself has been perverted because those that elevated their own interests above Liberty, the Constitution and the Republic sought to overthrow it as soon as it was ratified.

Is a nation too big to fail?  I think it is just the opposite.  Its bigness, its consolidation of power, is its failure.

Did you know that the population of Utah now exceeds the population of all 13 states at the time the union was formed?  Utah now has over 3 million people residing within its state borders.  And Utah is one of the smaller states in the union.

In 1789 the population of the 13 states was estimated to be around 2.5 million.  The founders and framers believed THAT was too big for democracy.  What have we done?  Here we are fighting with each other and with other friends and neighbors in a two-party system that now has a populace so angry and frustrated, that if we aren’t careful, mass persuasion may assume mob rule and yield to anarchy for resolution.

If the members of this party, of any party – especially the Constitution Party – want to save this Republic, they need only look at the original document and its brilliant bicameral form of government and system of elections that separated out the special and self-interest to prevent consolidation of power, as the solution.  All else is a distraction.

Our goal over the next four years should be to educate the public on these principles and to dissolve the parties and to plug up the gaping holes in this broken and sinking ship before it’s too late.

 

On Saturday, September 27, 2016, the Utah State Central Committee is meeting.  A discussion regarding the ongoing legal challenge to defend a constitutional-representative form of elections versus the legislature’s unconstitutional interference with the First Amendment rights of a private corporation to assemble, establish its rules and set membership qualifications  is scheduled.  This summary is intended especially for […]

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Join the Radio Show Thursday – Friday May 28-29 – 3-6 PM Mountain time

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Radio Show Tuesday-Friday 3-6 PM Mountain time  AM 630 K-Talk Radio
This week Cherilyn Eagar is filling in.  Hollywood filmmaker Jeff Chamberlain, a member of the Hollywood conservative “underground,” and Tim Irwin, Highland City Councilman/Mayor Pro Tem will be co-hosting.

Thursday May 28th
John Dougall, Utah’s “frugal Dougall” State Auditor is taking a unique approach – He’s analyzing how every penny is spent. You won’t want to miss this shocker – and what EVERY state auditor ought to be doing.

GOP Chairman James Evans discusses the Old Guard v the People
How the progressives in the GOP are trying to take it over. In Utah it’s the challenge to the caucus system, “CMV – Count My Vote” and SB 54 – the supposed “compromise.”

Progressive/National Take over of Education: The New Science-Environmental PC Standards
Same Song. Second Verse. Oak Norton, Utahns Against Common Core, will update on the new “common core” science standards that have been railroaded into the states.

School-Parent Bribery? An Environmental PC Survey 
Did you know about the liberal environmental survey that pays a school $1 for every survey the parents fill out?  It’s a program called “Envision Utah” – there’s one in YOUR state too…

The latest from Hollywood and the Media’s handling of Hillary’s email scandal
Hollywood’s Why Guy filmmaker, Jeff Chamberlain, will add some humor and review how Hollywood media influences the message, and how it has treated Hillary Clinton’s record with kid gloves … and more mysteriously missing emails.

Who’s Who in the Presidential Line Up?
And who do you support in this current Republican presidential field?

Friday, May 29th
Free Enterprise. What are the challenges and the future?
George Morris, Century 21 Everest Realty Group, will be among our entrepreneur spotlights on air to discuss how they have survived and thrived in spite of government’s interference with free enterprise, their challenges and successes, and what we can do to promote these values in an increasingly socialist society.

An update on what activists are doing about this in Utah.

Should the BSA Admit Gay Scout leaders?
Rev. Bill Owens, President National Coalition of African American Pastors weighs in on BSA recommendation to include gay scout leaders

A Scout Council Executive will explain what’s happening, answer questions and take your comments. Should former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (who retired “don’t ask, don’t tell in the military) be asked to retire from the BSA board?

How Ex-Gays are being silenced and denied their constitutional rights
An interview with David Pickup, a ex-gay therapist whose case has been before the US Supreme court to defend the rights of ex-gays. And more…

I hope you’ll join us for these important discussions.
Call in number is: 801-254-5855


 

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Radio Show Tuesday-Friday 3-6 PM Mountain time  AM 630 K-Talk Radio This week Cherilyn Eagar is filling in.  Hollywood filmmaker Jeff Chamberlain, a member of the Hollywood conservative “underground,” and Tim Irwin, Highland City Councilman/Mayor Pro Tem will be co-hosting. Thursday May 28th John Dougall, Utah’s “frugal Dougall” State Auditor is taking a unique approach […]

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The Bottom Line: What You Need to Know about-CMV/SB54 in Less Than 300 Words

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Everything You Really Need to Know About the Caucus Challenge, But Were Afraid to Ask (because Cherilyn Eagar might write another 5,000 word article in response).  Here’s the CMV/SB54 Solution Made Simple

On Thursday, May 7, 2015, www.UtahPoliticoHub.com published an outrageously ridiculous rant refuting the Republican lawsuit defending the representative republican election system, written by a hyperventilating Holly on the Hill (Richardson) titled  “The James Evans SB 54 Survey: Purity Panels, Purging and Pay-to-Play.”  It raised a ruckus, but fortunately it’s much ado about nothing.

1. This legal challenge is about membership qualifications.  Does a private corporation have the right to define membership?

2. In the hearing I attended, Judge Nuffer said, “Yes.” That’s defined in the corporation’s constitution and bylaws.

3. The GOP constitution and bylaws have long established candidate rules for membership.  They must agree to support the platform.  Where they do not, they should disclose.

4.  The party can establish two kinds of memberships (as many corporations and private organizations do):  qualified voting members and affiliate members.  Affiliate members who run for office outside the caucus convention system would automatically be disqualified as Republican.  Unaffiliated candidates would not qualify for the Republican ballot in a primary.

5. A long-standing law is that anyone can petition onto the ballot in a general election.

6. There is no need for Holly’s hyperbolic “purity panels and purges.”  Any rational corporate leader would take these steps to qualify membership, unless the goal was to hand the corporation over to competitors.  Nuffer said we have that right.  Nuff said.    (Love that ‘literation…)

6.  The party must pursue the lawsuit to the finish line to clear up legally the discrepancy that SB54 put into state code.

That was, believe it or not, the less-than-300-word answer.  For those who would like more information on how to respond to the survey and the rebuttal to the Holly on the Hill post, go to this link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything You Really Need to Know About the Caucus Challenge, But Were Afraid to Ask (because Cherilyn Eagar might write another 5,000 word article in response).  Here’s the CMV/SB54 Solution Made Simple On Thursday, May 7, 2015, www.UtahPoliticoHub.com published an outrageously ridiculous rant refuting the Republican lawsuit defending the representative republican election system, written by a hyperventilating Holly on […]

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A Defining Moment for the GOP: The CMV Saga

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A Defining Moment for the Utah Republican Party
Will It Be Big Government, Big Business, Big Money or We the People?

What a Government-Sponsored Hostile Takeover and CMV/SB54 Share in Common

In 2009, President Obama sent a letter to auto dealer and franchise owner Chuck Barber. The letter informed him that he no longer owned that private, family-owned corporation – a franchise. With the stroke of the pen by executive order, the President unilaterally confiscated Chuck’s private property. It was more than a hostile takeover.

Barber and six of his auto biz colleagues that had met the same shocking fate stood at a press conference at the Utah State Capitol to tearfully declare that a nation that could steal private property is a “communist” country.

Few people even remember this happened. But I was there. And I do remember.

There was little press coverage. Not a single TV camera showed up. (They were outside covering a union story for the most powerful Democratic union machine in Utah – the Utah Education Association.)

After a lifetime of growing and investing in this family business, and even contributing to GM directly to help stabilize it, Chuck’s company was stolen and given to competitors down the street that had never been affiliated with that franchise or corporation.

This is the model we call “CMV/SB54.”  No, it’s not a new car model.  It’s a new model for electing our representatives. “Count My Vote,” or CMV.

Its companion legislation SB 54, was originally found in a 26-page legal brief to the members of the Utah State Central Committee in early 2013. I read it and have heavily annotated it.

DC attorney-lobbyists from Caplin and Drysdale drafted it.  If you search this site using the terms “caucus system” and “Utah Caucus” you will find over 20 articles and posts on this topic.  At this point, I feel like a broken record, but if you are among the first-time readers, I’m simply trying to summarize and update.

This legal brief was provided to the SCC members as a threat.  Then GOP Party Chairman Thomas Wright sang their tune, “This is serious.  If we don’t do this now – if we don’t compromise – we will lose the entire caucus!”

I and many others didn’t take the bait.  And thankfully so, in hindsight.

The Legal Threat:  A Compromise?

The brief laid out CMV’s legal premise for why the caucus system was unconstitutional, and it proposed a “dual track” as the remedy. (SB54 fans, sound familiar?)

A dual track means that a candidate can get on the ballot one of two ways: 1) by going through a caucus-convention process, sponsored by the party or 2) by petitioning to get on the ballot outside of that caucus system. Even an unaffiliated candidate could declare a Republican label in a dual track system.

In the states that have this system, the political party becomes irrelevant and, for purposes of this Republican discussion, the GOP loses its meaning, its platform and any authority to define and protect it.

Senator Curt Bramble collaborated with CMV and sponsored the dual track bill called “SB 54.” He and the supporters of CMV brilliantly dubbed it the “compromise.”  Everyone loves a “compromise” these days, and many in Utah believed it.

Compromise, baloney.

CMV proposed the very dual track system of that original brief, drafted by the same DC lobbyists that support the Democratic National Committee and that funded Stephen Colbert’s SuperPAC that mocked and ridiculed Republican candidates in 2012 – including Mitt Romney.

Money buys the media message, and that is what CMV does. If Utah wants lobbyists and the super rich and their cronies to control their lives, growing government to their own advantage, to YOUR disadvantage, then this is your Model T.

Just as with Chuck Barber’s private corporation – his franchise, CMV/SB 54 empowers government to confiscate and turn over another corporation – The Utah Republican Party – and hand it to competitors by dictating who owns it (the unaffiliated – Democrats in disguise), what its rules are, who can be members and how they are elected.

Plutocracy in Motion

Money has bought deception once again, and this is the way the “Establishment” controls. CMV represents an elitist group of the rich and famous, of big business and government interest. How is that any different from the way Washington works?

Deseret News columnists LaVarr Webb and Frank Pignanelli are excellent lobbyists, media buyers and political consultants. They support this confiscation of private ownership CMV/SB 54 because it favors them – incumbents, celebrity and money (their clients) – and more of them. It’s a big cash cow over which they are salivating.

The legislature supported CMV/SB54 to protect their re-election. It’s the Little Guy (you and me – the People) against the Big Guy. Wiht CMV/SB54, Webb, Pignanelli et al and the legislature control the outcome.

The Founders’ Response

This controversy is nothing new.  The Founders guarded against this priestcraft.  They knew that most people do not have time, or lack the interest, to get involved in political campaigns. For this reason, they guaranteed every state a representative republic – not a democracy – in Article IV of the U.S. Constitution.  The caucus is that representative republican election system where direct democracy shines where they knew it was best – in every neighborhood.  From there, representative government kicks in.  The only branch of government that was intended to be a popular (“democratic”) vote was for the U.S. House of Representatives!

We’ve come a long way, baby.  Does it surprise you that the same people that believe the U.S. Constitution was meant to be a “living, breathing document” and that it is out-dated, are the same that want to eliminate this representative, republican election system?   They knew all too well what it was like living under an elitist monarchy or plutocracy (government by the rich).

A Lobbyist Dream

CMV/SB54 is the elitist system that most states have adopted that fuel runaway budgets. It is the model that DC uses to keep those 30,000 bloodsuckers well-fed.  Is it any surprise that these DC lobbyists that back CMV/SB54 use California, Colorado and Connecticut as their models?  Lobbyists want the people least involved and informed and the unaffiliated to dictate the outcome to those that are most involved and informed – and affiliated.  This is a lobbyist dream come true!  (Disclaimer:  not all lobbyists are blood-suckers.  A few are actually trying to keep government out of their businesses, not seeking more subsidies and favors.)

The Republican Party is a private corporation. CMV/SB54 gave authority to lobbyists and the legislature to dictate how a private corporation elects its representatives.  It allows those who are not members of that private corporation to steal its trademark by petition.

Following the CMV/SB54 model, perhaps we can now use those same principles against other private corporations such as Webb’s PR-lobbyist firm Exoro Group and the other Utah lobbyist group Foxley & Pignanelli to tell them we don’t like how they do their business. The Republican platform disagrees with one of their clients – The Chamber of Commerce – because that organization supports amnesty and the federal takeover of education, commonly called…common core.

The Republican platform supports marriage between a man and a woman is at odds with Overstock, the corporation that funded $50,000 to legalize same sex marriage in Utah. Perhaps we should ask the legislature to apply SB54 to the take over of that corporation.  We want to tell them who their clients can or cannot be, and we want to use their name to do it.

Message to CMV/SB54:  You Have a Conflict of Interest During This Lawsuit

Out of self-interest, these lobbyists want the Republican Party to stop its defense and to declare defeat because it lost the injunction.  They fail to acknowledge that the Idaho Republican Party pressed forward to win for the voice of the people against the elite – after losing its injunction.

This legal challenge is a serious constitutional First Amendment and trademark question: Does a private corporation have the right to freely assemble and choose its principles, membership, leadership and voting process, all in alignment with Article 4, guaranteeing the states and its people a republican form of government?

Now…CMV/SB54 wants a new party chair.  It’s disturbing that the very media outlet that has self-interest in the outcome of this party matter is so vigorously continuing to interfere and disrupt. James Evans has been true to his promise to defend the caucus. We won’t always agree with everyone 100% of the time. But it’s clear that this lobbyist firm wants him gone. Of course. They want the caucus gone.  They want all of us who oppose their unprincipled tactics to be gone.

The SCC members would like to respectfully ask LaVarr Webb’s and Mike Leavitt’s media machine to allow our elected leaders and members to continue to find solutions that will be in the best interest of private enterprise and the platform of this corporation and its Constitutional right to determine who its members are, what they believe in and how it functions.

If anyone supporting CMV/SB54 wants to get involved in a respectable way, they can run for a party leadership position and get elected.  But they will need to recuse themselves from the lawsuit.

We are the Party and our leaders have committed to us to see this lawsuit to its conclusion.  Those opposed have a conflict of interest and should not be privy to the plaintiff’s legal discussions and should kindly be excused from those deliberations.  This includes Governor Herbert and his legal counsel.  Attorney General Sean Reyes has already recused himself.  Anyone who voted for SB54 should likewise be considered removed from the client-attorney confidence.

A Solution for CMV-SB54
Those who want a platform of compromise on principles can, and should, create their own party.

I’m unclear as to why they continue to grouse.  If the caucus system breeds such extremists, one only needs to look as far as the legislature’s score cards.  It seems to me they already have what they want –  a very lukewarm, moderate to liberal group of legislators on Utah’s capitol hill.

Only a handful in the Senate and about 17 in the House vote according to the Utah Republican (or national Republican) platform 90-100 percent of the time. They are the A Team that CMV/SB54 wants to eliminate.  The “mainstream” moderates and liberals already control the legislature and have 50% of our federal delegation.

What ARE they complaining about anyway? It seems to me that the caucus system has served their purposes well.  We have one senator that is now serving his 7th term of office!  Were elected offices meant to be lifelong careers?

The campaign to kill the caucus is not limited to Utah.  It’s a nationwide effort.  The supporters of CMV/SB54-like pro-elitist/lobbyist systems have been destroying this nation by compromise moving it further toward more big government and centralization with each election cycle.

What they most fear is knowing that the caucus is especially advantageous when an elected official has overstayed the welcome and needs to be retired. The delegates are more likely to be following what’s actually going on, rather than simply relying on the media propaganda. They know that by virtue of having attended a caucus and being elected to the office of delegate, the delegates are too informed and paying too much attention as compared to the regular working man or woman.

If they can get rid of that roadblock to career incumbency, they will control us little guys forever – from the top down. They will continue to vote for federalized education, common core national standards, regardless the new labels placed on it. They will continue to grow a socialist model for medical care all the while claiming they are conservative.  They will continue to bind us to the dangerous deficits that are destroying this nation. They despise the handful of honest “Mike Lee’s” we have at the national and state level who have the courage to say “The emperor has no clothes.”

It appears that CMV/SB54 elites are too all-important to ever take the time to roll up their sleeves and do the grunt work and get involved in our coalitions at the capitol.  We’re the “unwashed masses” of volunteers who really don’t have the resources, but who sacrifice anyway. We never see the CMV/SB54 donors  involved in the Party or coalition committees in which they could volunteer to serve.  They would never condescend to call one of us on the phone and ask to meet with us.  I know.  I’ve tried to call nearly all of them at one time or another in my fundraising.  Perhaps that will change.  I know I’d pick up the phone and talk to them if they called.

This is the Republican Party’s defining moment.  Will it restore its roots in conservative philosophy or will it continue to be run by the Establishment?  Will it be the party of principle or will it be co-opted by those that compromise principle for their own gain?

A Defining Moment for the Utah Republican Party Will It Be Big Government, Big Business, Big Money or We the People? What a Government-Sponsored Hostile Takeover and CMV/SB54 Share in Common In 2009, President Obama sent a letter to auto dealer and franchise owner Chuck Barber. The letter informed him that he no longer owned […]

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The Utah Legislative Score Card and the Money Behind CMV/SB54

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Author’s Note: Beginning early in 2013, I began researching and posting as much information as possible about the caucus challenge, the legal threat from a network of party bosses and behind-the-scenes movers and shapers that most of us hard-working grassroots Republicans never see.  This report could result in personal and professional suicide, but it is truthful.  I know several of these people.  Some have helped with charitable causes for which I’ve raised money. Some are family friends and neighbors…and some, even clients.  

I must express my sincere appreciation to them for all the good they have done.  I believe that what happens is that this network comes together routinely for these charitable causes or they know each other through business dealings.  They may get a call from one of these trusted friends for an issue to support, such as this.  I truly believe that in most instances, they do it out of trust and respect for that friend, rather than investigating the issue itself and having the courage to tell their friend they disagree.  This is a tough one.  

What I do know is this:  I have never seen the following donors in our working coalitions at the capitol.  I have tried to contact several of them, as a candidate and as a fundraiser for some conservative causes in which I’ve been involved.  But their contributions have bought the polls and the publicity to brand this cause they support “mainstream,” when it is not.  For most of them, if they understood the constitutional issues at stake, I do not believe they would have supported CMV.  Either knowingly or unknowingly, they undermine the conservative – and constitutional – message by branding it “extremist.”

I also know that, no more than Ronald Reagan, I am not an extremist.  I am a Reagan conservative.  In context, the founders of this nation were the extremists of their day.  We are now working to conserve (restore) their ideal for this nation, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

This network of wealthy business leaders may not even realize that their money is being channeled by a like-minded network of political strategists – once called the “Rockefeller Wing” – which is the same mindset that also branded Reagan a “right-wing extremist” years ago.  Have you noticed that in Utah Republican politics there are only “right-wing extremists” and “mainstream?”  These shrewd strategists- along with their media mouthpiece, Doug Wright, have deceived many of these good donors.

I truly believe that if I could have a few minutes of these good business people, to explain the dilemma, they might have a different perspective.

The funding does impact the outcome.  The voting records of our state legislature, as rated by a Reagan conservative group, are revealing. Here is what you will see. Surprised?

You will find that several legislators that ranked very low, or as voting most of the time with Democrats, are among those squirming about the lawsuit and stumping for SB54, claiming it’s a “compromise.”  (The irony is that they were elected in a caucus system that CMV/SB54 claims produces “extremists.”)

NO! CMV/SB54 is not a compromise. The culprits simply do not want to be held accountable to a standard within the Republican party, its platform.

As I’ve written, SBB54 created a dual track, which is exactly what the CMV legal brief demands.

It’s important that the county delegates  statewide re-elect the State Central Committee members who are deeply involved in the caucus defense. We need institutional memory during this time.  They are the ones that understand the current lawsuit, and what we must do to defend the Republican Party’s First Amendment right to assemble, define its rules and qualifications of membership and who will be allowed to represent the party on the primary and general election ballots.

Take it from one who has lived in a dual track state, Connecticut – the very state that CMV cited it wants Utah to duplicate. Here is the current list of donors and relationships.

Disclaimer: Most of these business leaders are very good people. I have worked with some of them on worthy charitable causes. The problem is real: they are not involved in the political process within the party. Therefore, they understandably lean upon the opinions of those with whom they network who are sadly trying to create a power structure that undermines the little guys – you and me – and the constitutional republican system.

According to a recent disclosure statement, here’s the CMV/SB54 Donor List

Who’s Who Behind the Money:

CMV is actually a political issues committee called the “Alliance for Good Government.” Its financial disclosure shows over $1 million raised and spent for CMV/SB 54 from the political establishment, the rich and famous, big business and special interests – from both sides of the aisle.

CMV Directors: Maura Carabello, Rich McKeown, LaVarr Webb.
This is the Leavitt campaign team. Carabello was a Leavitt staffer and a pro-gun control activist. Webb was Leavitt’s campaign manager. Carabello is the managing partner in Webb’s media/PR firm Exoro, also Leavitt’s political consultants.

Political
Hatch Election Campaign: $ 50,000
An incumbent that knows the value of name ID in a Primary and how much easier it is for delegates to get rid of bad incumbents. Hatch had to work extra hard to raise millions after his establishment friend Bob Bennett got axed by Mike Lee, with a little help from Tim Bridgewater and yours truly, who “also ran.” His campaign manager, former party chairman Dave Hansen, was all pro-caucus when he was party chair. What happened? Money happened.

Mike Leavitt: $ 25,000
The CMV/SB54 poster boy, former governor and Secretary of Health and Human Services. What was it that he did to prevent the HHS from growing when he was in Washington D.C?

Can anyone spell Medicare Part D? Wait! There’s more: Not only did he oversee the roll out of another socialist medical program from Washington DC, he “opposed” the ACA, and now runs Leavitt Partners, a consulting firm that benefits from implementing that law! These insurance companies saw the windfall of the ACA. They have been complicit in its implementation and in the destruction of the medical delivery system in the U.S.

Leavitt Partners $ 60,000; Leavitt Group Enterprises $25,000
(Ditto the above.)

Romney’s Friends of CMV: $ 99,900*; Restore our Future (Romney Super PAC) $ 25,000
Leavitt was Romney’s campaign chairman, fundraiser.  He owes Leavitt.

*Amended January 2016 “Huntsman Corporation.”

Big Business
Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce: $ 49,000
President of the Sandy Chamber is Stan Parrish, Orrin Hatch’s finance chairman (fundraiser); most powerful GOP fundraiser in the US, really. He once showed me several book shelves of thick three-ring binders and commented, “Do you see those notebooks?  Those are the donors we control.”  I asked for a small donation when I was running for U.S. Congress.  He said, “That would be a conflict of interest.”  It would be fair to say that Hatch “owns” D.C.

Merit Medical (Fred Lampropoulos) $ 25,000
Fred Lampropoulos, gubernatorial candidate.  I respect him for his philanthropic contributions.  He has been so generous on so many levels and good causes I also support.  He is, however, among the rich that show up to run for office and then disappear, but continue to feed the beast in the Elephant Club, which controls behind the scenes.

Garff Auto sales $ 25,000
An example of the Great Salt Lake Business Network. I can imagine that the Miller’s crossed the street to pay a visit with the Garff’s and, voila, “I’m in, if you’re in. Can you match my $25k?” Done. No matter that we’ve never seen the Garff’s anywhere NEAR a Republican working meeting. Do they even know what we believe and why, or do they get a skewed interpretation?

It must not matter, because money can buy anything, and this CMV/SB54 network will gladly sell our party’s values for money – and the control it buys.

Prime Holding (insurance) $ 25,000
Rick Lindsey, Sandy – a big Republican donor supporting incumbents and Romney – I’ve never seen him before. Another absentee donor.

Thackeray Garn Corp (real estate) $ 25,000
Commercial real estate-shopping malls John Thackeray and Kevin Garn, who resigned from the Utah House after an embarrassing encounter in a hot tub.

Huntsman Corporation: $ 100,000
Son Jon was the first Republican, pro-gay marriage governor (but didn’t disclose it until he ran for president.) Not exactly a Republican that supports the platform. Dad Jon Sr. thinks Mike Lee is “an embarrassment.” Enough said.

Mark Miller (Son of Larry, auto dealer/owner of the Jazz): $ 25,000
Gail Miller (Mark’s mom): $125,000
Nice people. Good humanitarians. Awesome movie complexes, but a not-so-great basketball team. Definitely not as educated in political philosophy. They most likely get their perspective from their wealthy peers, Mike Leavitt and Webb & Co.

Spence Eccles: $ 30,000; Lisa and Katherine Eccles:  $5,000 each
Spence also gave $25,000 to Romney’s PAC. A good philanthropist family, he gave $84,000 to Romney and Hatch, but again, we have never seen him in our Republican/coalition meetings.

Dell Loy Hansen: $ 35,000
Wasatch Commercial real estate – built the Wells Fargo building and the Garff auto offices and multiple shopping malls.  He is another one of the good guys that never shows up to work with us.

Rich McKeown: $ 25,000
(CEO, Leavitt Group. Need I say more?)

Kem and Carolyn Barnes Gardner $ 25,000
Chairman of the Board, IHC.  The hospitals and the insurance companies have joined together in the great ObamaCare windfall.  It’s cash-in time, now that everyone is required to have health insurance.

Roger Boyer $ 25,000
Chairman, The Boyer Company – commercial real estate. Another Chamber of Commerce connection. Another absentee.

John Price $ 25,000
Real Estate Developer-another Leavitt Friend. Former U.S. Ambassador.  Ditto, absentee.

Bruce Bastian $ 10,000
Typical of the lobbyist culture, it really doesn’t matter to CMV/SB54 whether the money is democrat or republican, gay or straight, they’ll take it. Utah’s premier homosexual, and co-founder of Word Perfect, left his wife and children for the lifestyle and then donated $1 million to defeat Prop 8 and had donated millions more to bring down Utah’s marriage law…Apparently, it’s all the same to CMV/SB54.

Labore et Honore, LLC $ 25,000
A mystery company. But it owns a house just down the street from some of this author’s family members.

Maccall Management (hotel management) $ 25,000
Founder, Crystal Inn, and CEO – President, Flying J – Crystal Call Maggalet and husband Chuck, also contributor to Jon Huntsman School of Business, advisory board. Hatch supporters.

Thomas Arts Holding $ 10,000
Dave Thomas owns a national insurance company, is a Democrat and has contributed to several Democratic candidates.  Why should these Democrats be involved in telling the Republican Party what to do?

Management & Training Corp. $ 10,000
Bob and Jane Marquardt, brother and sister: Brother Bob covers the GOP contributions. Sister Jane, takes care of the Democrats. (So principled, just like Washington DC.) Their company is a government procurement company that operates for-profit prisons. Bob and Jane are heavily invested in the campaign to move the prison from the Bluffdale site and sure to profit from it.  Jane is a contributor to Planned Parenthood and a champion of LGBT rights. I wonder what their motivation might be to destroy the caucus?

Alan Ashton $10,000
Developer, philanthropist; co-founder of Word Perfect; donated $1 million to support Prop 8

David Lisonbee $10,000
Serving LDS mission in Brazil; CEO-Owner of a wellness MLM.

Khosrow Semnani $15,000
Dependable philanthropist – worked with him on charitable fundraiser

Ezekiel Dumke $5,000
Great philanthropist; good people

Joe Sorenson $30,000
(Ditto Dumke.)

Omar Kader $10,000
Paltec, government contractor, procurement, services to Dept of State, Defense and Health and Human Services

Dinesh Patel $25,000
Founder Signal Peak Ventures; biotech investments; angel investor for Neutraceutical.

Gary Crocker $25,000
Crocker Ventures, Life science, pharmaceutical research funding

Brent Beesley $25,000
Good people.  Chairman and CEO, Heritage Bank, St. George; Vice Chairman, National Center for Policy Analysis (A free market think tank, tied to Koch Brothers, and funders of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council) ALEC has supported some causes that have raised the eyebrows of many conservatives, such as its strong support of a constitutional convention.  I have attempted to contact Brent on several occasions and he has never returned my call.  It does not make sense that a conservative who understands the Constitution would oppose the representative republican system of elections – the caucus system.

Don and Susan Lewon $25,000
Don-CEO Utah Metal Works

Lunt Capital Management $10,000
John Lunt, CEO – public pension fund; former staff member Senator Bob Bennett

William Nelson Shiebler $10,000
Deutche Asset Management

Harris Simmons $10,000
CEO Zions Bank, former Chair American Bankers Association

In all, this represents a strong group of business leaders that have given to many worthy charities.  Politics, however, is not a feel-good charity.  Donors might do fine  to throw their money at a good cause, but they had better understand political philosophy before they throw their money at policy decisions that will negatively alter the liberty of future generations.

Sources:

Alliance for Good Government

Friends of Count My Vote

Author’s Note: Beginning early in 2013, I began researching and posting as much information as possible about the caucus challenge, the legal threat from a network of party bosses and behind-the-scenes movers and shapers that most of us hard-working grassroots Republicans never see.  This report could result in personal and professional suicide, but it is truthful.  I know […]

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Count My Vote-SB 54 Lies and Legends

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So much misinformation is floating around the topic of Count My Vote and SB 54. Unfortunately the lies and legends are being promoted recently by the Deseret News. It’s beginning to look a lot like an editorial endorsement to destroy the Republican Party.

That’s not surprising. The editorial board is liberal-leaning, and newspapers make more money when there are more primaries and more candidates.

Which all makes sense, because that’s exactly what CMV/SB54 accomplishes.

The opinion editorial written by Dan Liljenquist, former state Senator, who I personally like (and whose wife has a beautiful singing voice, by the way) and the column that Utah’s high profile lobbyists, LaVarr Webb and Frank Pignanelli wrote recently, merely complicate, confuse and rehash old misinformation.

Sadly, none of these authors have been involved in the discussions between delegate-elected party leaders, delegate-elected State Central Committee members, of which I’m a member, and delegates themselves who are actively engaged in finding solutions. The sideline quarterbacking, the misrepresentations, and the belittling of the hard work of Republican Party Chairman James Evans, the Executive Committee and the State Central Committee in defending its constitutional rights is disheartening, to say the least.

One such legend was attached to the Liljenquist article and bears some review: that SB54 was a compromise. No. CMV threatened the State Central Committee (of which I’m a member) in 2013 with a 26-page legal brief that demanded Utah move to a dual track. SB54 has mandated a dual track.

The commenter wrote:

If the Republican Party wants to pay all the costs for having their own primary, then they have the right to keep it closed and use only the caucus system. If it wants the government to pay for the primary, then the government has the right to set some rules, which they did.

The legislature rescued, rather than sold out, the caucus system with SB54. Without it, the caucus system would be history by now – thanks to the Count My Vote petition. No thinking delegates should be bad-mouthing the legislature, unless they are just keeping a closed mind and refusing to see the facts.

(It’s kind of ironic. This is the same inconsistency delegates had with the push for vouchers. The supporters wanted to get government money for private schools, but thought they could get it without government control. It’s just not possible. Freedom isn’t free. It costs time, money, and/or blood. You want freedom? Then pay for it!)

Let’s examine these points.

The Public-Private Partnership
Who should pay for a primary? Great question. The legislature decided that many sessions ago with the “check a buck” program. That could be changed. The Republican Party could pay for its own primary, but the Democrat Party would not be able to sustain itself.

The “ironic” comment in the last paragraph makes an interesting point using the voucher bill as an example: what about the public-private partnership anyway?

The school voucher law failed, but look what happened: Even though the voucher law was repealed by referendum, the legislature doesn’t need vouchers for private schools anymore. Instead, a private school can now apply for a public charter, and they get the vouchers! The commenter is correct: By so doing, they must comply with all the federal and state laws.

The troubling fact is that, in some communities, private schools can’t compete with FREE charter schools. The result is that they are either being forced to go out of business, apply for a charter and secularize. Quite a dilemma for a Catholic or religious private school. And for the Republican principle of free enterprise and “choice.” But everyone LOVES charter schools. So three cheers for charters!

(BYU also takes government funds for research grants and student loans. By so doing, it must comply with government regulations.)

Corporate America is also in bed with the public-private partnership. How many corporations now ask for subsidies or are given tax incentives to relocate to a state or community? Instead of private corporations training their own employees, as they once did, these corporations now rely almost entirely on colleges and universities and trade schools to do it for them – at taxpayer expense.

So, yes. It’s true. There are problems with this arrangement. My point is that it is not just the Republican Party, it’s across the board in nearly every facet of our lives. Government gets to pick and choose who gets to play in a public-private partnership. That is certainly not a Republican ideal.

Defining Membership
CMV/SB54 would allow anyone – the unaffiliated – to petition on to the Republican Primary. Judge Nuffer opened the door for the Republican Party, as a private corporation, to define membership. That’s the purpose of this on-going discussion. Republican leaders are now entertaining all possible solutions that would solve the problem of government telling it what to do. We are now compelled to do whatever we can to prevent a run-away primary under CMV/SB54. Some ideas are better than others. But we have a process and elected leaders who are taking this seriously. We have spent countless hours over the past two years to make improvements where possible.

We now that we know the party can define membership, he question is, what are the qualifications and what is the process for party membership? Is this such an outrageous question? Is membership not the right of any private organization to determine?

A far-fetched, but analogous example is the LDS Church (or any church for that matter). Perhaps the legislature should also tell the LDS church that it must the allow the unaffiliated to be baptized. Wait. Why should there be any qualifications – baptism, commandments, basic tenets of belief. Anything goes.

This is not so far-fetched, when you consider the religious liberty challenges of this recent legislative session, and the extent to which the LDS church went to protect not only its employees, but its church leaders, affiliates, the Boy Scouts of America and its for-profit, commercial enterprises. It went so far as to define “employer” and believe it or not, none of those for-profit businesses are employers, not even the BSA. So, membership definitions are critical.

Do you see the ridiculousness of what CMV/SB54 is imposing on a private organization?

The second point in this confused comment is that with SB54, the legislature rescued the party from losing the caucus to CMV. This is nonsense. CMV was nearing a deadline and did not have nearly enough signatures to get on the ballot. They knew it and so it is precisely the opposite: SB54 rescued CMV.

(As an aside, as with any election process that involves petitioning, there were improprieties involved in the CMV petitions. That should be a forewarning of what we can expect if unaffiliated candidates are allowed to petition on to a ballot. Just ask states that use this dual process.)

SB54 is CMV Tweedle dumWhat the sponsor of SB54 (Senator Curt Bramble) did was to ensure that the dual track, described in the original 2013 CMV legal brief, was enshrined in law through the legislative process. If not, why then are the CMV proponents working so hard against the lawsuit? It’s just tragic that most legislators probably had not seen that original CMV legal brief. I have a copy if anyone is interested.

Lobbyists Love CMV
So Webb and Pignanelli say we should stop this discussion before we embarrass ourselves further.

Webb and Pignanelli are no doubt excellent lobbyists, media buyers and political consultants. They support CMV/SB54 because it favors incumbents, celebrity and money (their clients) – and more of them. The majority of the legislature supported CMV/SB54 to protect their own re-election.

It’s the Little Guy (you and me – the People) against the Big Guy. Webb, Pignanelli and the legislature can control the outcome with CMV/SB54.

Most people do not have time, or lack the interest, to get involved in political campaigns. For this reason, the U.S. Constitution guarantees every state a representative republic – not a democracy in Article IV.

The caucus is just that – a constitutional system that is defined by a representative republican form of government election system.

On the other hand, CMV/SB54 is the elitist-lobbyist system that most states have adopted that favor and fuel runaway socialist budgets. The liberal DC lobbyists that have been backing Utah’s CMV/SB54 use California, Colorado and Connecticut as their models.

It’s to a lobbyist or political consultant’s advantage to keep the election among the people least involved and informed so that the unaffiliated can dictate to those that are most involved and informed and affiliated. Why? Because in a primary, name ID will win nearly every time. That means an incumbent advantage. Lobbyists love incumbents. They keep the money rolling in.

The Republican Party is a private corporation that is guaranteed the unalienable right to assemble freely and unfettered. Yet the Utah legislature gave CMV/SB54 authority to lobbyists and themselves to dictate how a private corporation elects its representatives and allows those who are not members of that private corporation to steal its trademark by petition.

Fair Is Fair, Right?
Perhaps the legislature can now use those same principles against other private corporations such as Webb’s Exoro Group and Foxley & Pignanelli to tell them we don’t like how they do their business. We don’t like their clients, one of which is the Chamber of Commerce, because they support amnesty and common core which violate the platform. And we don’t like Overstock, the corporation that funded $50,000 to legalize same sex marriage in Utah. We want to tell them who their clients can or cannot be, and we want to use their name to do it.

These lobbyists want the Republican Party to stop its defense of out of self-interest. They fail to acknowledge that the Idaho Republican Party pressed forward to win for the voice of the people against the elite after losing its injunction.

The First Amendment and What Accountability Has to Do With It
This legal challenge is a serious constitutional First Amendment and trademark question: Does a private corporation have the right to freely assemble and choose its principles, membership, leadership and voting process, all in alignment with Article 4, guaranting the states and its people a republican form of government?

If so, then how does the party maintain its platform (its “articles of faith”) and what is the process of membership qualification, and once a member, what is the process of holding their feet to the fire, especially the candidates we vetted and elected.

Senator Todd Weiler and a few others are squirming right now because they know they are among the Republicans that vote with the Democrats half the time. And so, lies and legends are covering up the real issue: those that favor CMV/SB54 do so because they do not want to be held accountable.

And that’s the truth.

For more truth, go to Fair Elections Utah, compiled by one of our colleagues, Representative Fred Cox, with whom I serve on the State Central Committee.

So much misinformation is floating around the topic of Count My Vote and SB 54. Unfortunately the lies and legends are being promoted recently by the Deseret News. It’s beginning to look a lot like an editorial endorsement to destroy the Republican Party. That’s not surprising. The editorial board is liberal-leaning, and newspapers make more […]

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Utah’s Incumbent Protection Twins: SB54 and CMV Initiative

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A national campaign to destroy any remaining grassroots neighborhood, caucus-convention election systems. Utah is a #1 target. Immediate action in Utah is needed now.

UPDATED March 19, 2014
Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert signed into law SB 54, which unconstitutionally alters the caucus system. Action now entails the following:

1. Sign the petition to preserve the caucus.

2. Donate to American Leadership Fund. It will now take a legal challenge to protect the First Amendment right to assemble.


Summary

This bill that passed the legislature and that the Governor signed is the “Count My Vote-Buy My Vote” equivalent. As members of the Republican State Central Committee, it was a complete over-reach by the legislature to dictate to a private entity what its voting members can or cannot do. Our legislature was guilty of doing what it complains Congress does: trampling on the 10th Amendment.

They have indeed trampled on the First Amendment – our right to freely assemble.

The CMV campaign was behind SB 54, and they completely ignored the elected body of the party. That is equivalent to the state legislature telling your company and its board what its voting rules must be.

The bill was backed and promoted by elitists and DC lobbyists who are unscrupulous and who have promoted the Democratic National Convention and even who created Stephen Colbert’s SuperPAC specifically to mock Republican candidates – including Mitt Romney.

It adopts a “dual” election system similar to Connecticut’s. I used to live in Connecticut. Anyone can petition to get on the primary ballot in this system, yielding strange – and often disturbing – results.

When so many are running on the ballot, typically a plurality prevails, in which the winner does not get the majority and leaves the party – those who are working hard and are most involved – in disarray.

It also allows people of the opposing party to intervene and manipulate the election of good, conservative candidates.

It also allows anyone to vote – regardless of political affiliation – in a political party’s primary. This is unconstitutional and violated First Amendment rights of freedom of association.

The Utah bill, 2SB54, passed both the State House and Senate and then headed to the Governor’s office. He reported to the Republican State Central Committee that he supports the caucus-convention. Then why did he sign this bill into law? It will destroy the caucus-convention.

It is unconstitutional and sets a dangerous precedent for a legislative body to dictate to a private for-profit or non-profit corporation what its internal voting members can do and who they can be. (Translated: Do you want a legislature to have this authority over a religious institution?)

Here is the report on what has happened in Utah in hearings, and what has been happening all across the nation.

On Monday, March 3, 2014 testimonies from several Utah Republican State Central Committee members who have been working to preserve the neighborhood caucus election system were heard in the state legislative hearing on Senator Curt Bramble’s bill 2SB54.

First, Iron County Republican Chairman Blake Cozzens delivered an effective message about about how he, as a 23 year old, was able to run and be elected a county vice chair, and then shortly after as county chairman in a rural county. He also expressed his concern about the damage this proposal would do to the rural areas of the state, concerns also expressed by several committee members including Mike Noel and John Mathis, both representatives from rural counties.

Next, former State Representative Chris Herrod spoke passionately about the unconstitutionality of a legislative body intervening into private corporate affairs to dictate who the voting members can be and how its brand is used – a clear violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Committee member Ken Ivory concurred and also spoke strongly about this concern.

Following these testimonies, I spoke to my experience with the proposed “dual” election system in Connecticut. The chairman interrupted me and asked me to speak to the issue at hand, claiming my comments were not germane to the topic.

This was an indication of lack of information that some of our state legislators have about what they are reviewing and on which they are voting. I explained that last year the state central committee had been given a 26-page legal brief prepared by DC lobbyists Caplin and Drysdale and that the bill on the table was similar to that proposal.

I called it an incumbent-career politician-lobbyist protection bill. I showed how this so-called “compromise” is tied to and is nearly identical to that original DC lobbyist legal brief advocating for how and why Utah should be more like Connecticut by adopting its dual election system.

SB54S2 and CMV Initiative

Having lived in Connecticut, I know of the corruption and fraud that petitioning encourages. The current Count My Vote petition process should be an example and foreshadowing of things to come. It unconstitutionally meddles in the privacy of a corporation by allowing a legislature to dictate to that private corporation who its voting members are and how its brand may be used and by whom.

It creates a plurality election system where only rich and famous can petition and win – typically garnering less than a majority, and leaving candidate workers who supported the winner at odds with the majority of the other workers in the party.

After speaking with a Republican leader and friends in Connecticut, they are asking an important question: Why would Utah want to be like Connecticut when Connecticut would like to be more like Utah?

That’s a good question. And here’s the answer:

It’s really not about voters. It’s about incumbent and lobbyist protection. Lobbyists love career politicians. They and their consultants make huge sums of money with media buys in sound-bite, drive-by elections that remove the voting rights of the rural counties as well as those that are most committed to helping candidates get elected.

These lobbyists want uninformed voters because they’re easier to deceive.

It makes sense that elected officials who may support such measures have figured it out. They all have one thing in common regardless of party affiliation: They are all incumbents. This is their re-election protection policy!

I’ve just returned from a speaking trip on the East Coast. Utah is not alone. This is an all-out national attack on those states that use this grassroots system. The lobbyists behind this campaign to destroy Utah’s constitutional system, closest to the people and to replace it with the system that will further suit their purposes – keeping them in power and YOU and I at a distance, are with Caplin and Drysdale in DC.

These lobbyists represent the Democratic National Committee, they created McCain-Feingold – another election regulation that protects wealthy, self-funding candidates such as John McCain, while forcing the rest of us to raise the money $2,600 check by $2,600 check at a time.

Colbert and Sanderson

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

And if that isn’t enough, they also created Stephen Colbert’s SuperPAC to mock Republican candidates in 2012, including Mitt Romney.

So if our legislators want this kind of sleazy protection, by all means, vote FOR SB 54S2. But if they want to do the principled thing, vote AGAINST SB 54S2.

Capping the testimonies, former State Representative Fred Cox effectively spoke to his specific concerns about convention deadlines. He pointed out that he had fought the CMV proposals in their time frame and method last spring, but had worked on improvements. He said the Same Day Ballot was being tried out for 2014 for which solves several concerns and would not be ruined by the new Sub SB 54 where the previous version did. He believes SB 54 was over reaching and that they needed for fix the April 1st requirement. (As written, if we don’t follow the April 1st requirement we would be subject to CMV).

At the end of my testimony, Representative Kraig Powell questioned whether I had done anything to support any changes or improvements in 2013. I responded that, yes I had, and that many have spent hours reviewing changes that would streamline the caucus, and yes, I was involved in that process and yes, I did support those improvements.

I supported improvements, Mr. Powell, not those changes that would harm or replace it.

Representative Powell moved to lift the bill out of committee. He was particularly condescending to you and me – the voters, suggesting we needed to take a “Political Science 101 course.”

Then Senator Todd Weiler tweeted that it was ironic that I was “taking credit” for the improvements. I tweeted: #lie. (I took no such credit.)

Actually, Senator Weiler IS the irony.

Why would a Senator – an attorney – who places an “R” behind his name, and who professes to stand for that party’s platform of limited government and more state sovereignty, prop up the very lobbyist system that binds Utah to federal over-reach? Why would he want to grow the corrupting influence of big money over the people’s voices?

And why would ANY Utah elected official that has taken an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution vote for a bill that violates our First Amendment right to freely associate?

Because too many fear the loss of their re-election over doing what is right.

I’ve been following the tweets that have continued since the hearing. It is disheartening to read that Senator Weiler and perhaps others of his colleagues believe that the extensive process the state central committee went through with complete transparency and input from a wide range of people to vet the best ideas was inferior to the 12 hours the legislature gave the committee to vet their proposal, which was negotiated entirely behind closed doors to include backroom deals with lobbyists and consultants.

But then this is the way government is run. I’m reminded of the warning of the arrogance of officialdom attributed to Cicero.

I want to personally thank all those who spent so much more time than I was able to give for what they have done to protect our voices and our neighborhood elections.

Although the committee voted unanimously in favor of moving the bill onto the House floor, several did express their dislike for the bill and indicated that they may vote against it on the floor. Those were: Reps. Grover, Noel, Mathis, Ivory.

Once again, Rep. Powell voted with the Democrats Fisher and Chavez-Houck, not to give it a robust debate on the House floor, but because all support allowing lobbyists and consultants to buy your vote.

I agree with our young Republican leader, the 25 year old Iron County Republican County chairman Blake Cozzens that this is no compromise. It’s a surrender.

1. Sign the petition to preserve the caucus.

2. Donate to American Leadership Fund.

A national campaign to destroy any remaining grassroots neighborhood, caucus-convention election systems. Utah is a #1 target. Immediate action in Utah is needed now. UPDATED March 19, 2014 Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert signed into law SB 54, which unconstitutionally alters the caucus system. Action now entails the following: 1. Sign the petition to preserve the […]

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When Compromise Becomes A Deal Breaker

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On November 30, 2013 the Salt Lake Tribune satirist Paul Rolly commented on Utah State Senator Curt Bramble’s “compromise” bill on how to “Fix” the caucus system. Former Representative Fred Cox wrote a swift rebuttal which has merit and I encourage you to read it here.

Senator Bramble is complicating a situation that was already yielding a solution that the majority agreed upon in a bi-partisan way. His proposal, if Rolly explained it correctly, is putting a wrench in the works and we hope he will drop the bill.

The four changes Senator Bramble advocates are:
1. Allow absentee and remote voting in the neighborhood caucuses and allow more time for people to vote on line or by mail for their delegates.

Cherilyn Eagar’s Comment: This single recommendation will kill the purpose and the very existence of the neighborhood caucus. Does Senator Bramble believe in a neighborhood election or “caucus,” which means people from your street and neighborhood gather together face to face once every two years to discuss important issues together and to elect a neighborhood representative, rather than to substitute it with sitting at home and watching American Idol while casting a vote?

Human nature typically takes the path of least resistance and if this provision ever passes, it won’t be long before people figure out that it’s much easier to sit at home and cast a vote online than to get dressed and show up at a public meeting.

Perhaps ecclesiastical leaders should adopt a similar procedure and allow adherents to sit at home and take a virtual sacrament or participate online from within the four walls of their homes. There are times when face to face human interaction is imperative, and this is one of those times.

2. Allow absentee and remote voting by delegates in the convention.

Cherilyn Eagar’s Comment: Ditto #1

3. Allow unaffiliated voters to vote in party primaries.

The current system guards against cross-over voting, but this would not. Welcome to Chicago politics. Senator Bramble was born and raised there. We don’t need Chicago in Utah.

4. Change the threshold for a candidate to win the party’s nomination outright at the convention, from 60 percent of the delegate vote to 65 percent.

The Count My Vote Bob Bennett supporters are still licking their wounds from their 2010 loss. 65% is an incumbent protection plan. Placing the bar that much higher only helps incumbents. Once an incumbent gets into a primary, it’s likely that incumbent will win by name recognition plus the war chest built by D.C. lobbyists who have rallied to protect their advantage of the career politician.

Each of these proposals was deliberated by the SCC members. Six resolutions passed that take care of the concerns. Why then would Senator Bramble leap forward with this bill without first consulting us? The Senator doesn’t typically show his face at a State Central Committee meeting. However, it was unusual when he was credentialed last May to vote proxy for the Senate President who was unable to attend. That has never happened before, and it is not provided for in the rules. Nevertheless, there he was casting strategic votes on these thresholds.

Furthermore, Senator Bramble did not approach any of us who have been working hard outside of committee meetings to find compromises and improvements. We think that was the wrong way to approach this matter.

Senator Bramble never runs a bill he doesn’t intend to pass, typically at all costs. He is a behind-closed-doors deal maker. So we take this compromise seriously, though unwanted. But this unwanted compromise may be just the compromise that breaks the deal for him and for both parties. After all the hard work, the hours and many meetings of dedicated SCC members and bi-partisan gatherings and coalition building, that’s what Fred Cox means when he says, “The last thing we need is to go backwards.”

On November 30, 2013 the Salt Lake Tribune satirist Paul Rolly commented on Utah State Senator Curt Bramble’s “compromise” bill on how to “Fix” the caucus system. Former Representative Fred Cox wrote a swift rebuttal which has merit and I encourage you to read it here. Senator Bramble is complicating a situation that was already […]

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