Posts Tagged ‘Utah caucus’

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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Utah’s Caucus Again Misrepresented in the News

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I’m feeling more like a broken record as time goes on.  I want to say, “Just read the previous posts,” but I’d like to comment directly to statements made in today’s Deseret News article titled “Gov. Herbert stepping up pressure on GOP to settle ‘civil war.'”

Civil war?  My great grandfather fought in the real Civil War.  Governor, I know what that war was.  This is no civil war.  That’s hyperbole at its finest and a misrepresentation at best.

The author, Lisa Roche, also editorializes in her first sentence, rather than doing her journalistic duty and simply stating the facts and limiting all opinions to quotations within the article.  She identifies Herbert’s “civil war” as the candidate nomination compliance process that “limits the power of party delegates.”

That was an explosive choice of words.  Actually, the party’s concern is a constitutional matter:  does a private corporation have the right to freely assemble, to set its rules and determine qualifications of members and to define its statement of belief – its mission statement, if you will.  This should be a concern to all business owners.  How far should government meddle?

(You might ask Chuck Barber who received a letter of franchise termination from President Obama in 2009, and who found that his family business he had invested in and spent his life building was unilaterally stolen from him and given to a competitor down the street.)

The article stated that the governor “is calling for a leader who can bring the fractured party together.”

Fractured party?  The governor may not be aware, but in the largest counties (including some of the most liberal counties), the “COUNT/BUY MY VOTE” proposal has been soundly defeated by the delegates who understand the constitutional question at stake.

Calling the Utah GOP a “fractured” party is more of a fractured fairytale.  But the Count/Buy My Vote crowd owns the media here, so it was no surprise.

Consider this:  If you belong to a church, do you believe the legislature should be allowed to step in and tell your church how it selects its leaders, what its membership qualifications must be and what its tenets must be?

(Actually, the Courts are attempting to force that on legislatures in one sticky area these days – the definition of marriage, and the steep fines levied against family owned businesses that believe their religious liberty is being infringed if they are forced to provide wedding services for those whose wedding vows violate their religious beliefs.  But let’s not go there for now.)

The governor continued to perpetuate – no, to create – his own civil war (he is the defendant in this legal case, what more could we expect?) with us when he said, “…the chairman needs to work very diligently to unite the party.”

Where has this governor been lately?

This chairman, James Evans, is communicating with members of the party as best he can, in spite of the false press this paper continues to perpetuate.   The dissenters are very few.  The State Central Committee meeting coming up this Saturday is anticipated to be very supportive of the lawsuit and the proposals on the agenda.

The governor has fabricated this “civil war.”  The unpopular challenge made by elitists that don’t even engage in the party, but have for a long time controlled from the shadows with their big bucks, is uniting this party more than ever.  This challenge is actually strengthening the party.

Then the governor commented that he has not decided whether to endorse a candidate for party chairman.  This governor apparently believes that his endorsement will have any impact.  Governors do not own political parties in caucus states.  The people who are engaged do.  In states with open primaries and dual tracks allowing unaffiliated and anyone to petition onto the ballot in a party’s name and that are elected by plurality instead of majority, yes, the elites DO own the party.  That’s what the delegates that support the caucus are trying to preserve – the people’s voice – those that choose to be engaged in the process by attending their neighborhood meetings and being elected by those neighbors.

The governor needs to know that we do not feel any discord.  We are more united than ever.  Who is he getting his information from?  We know that answer.  From the elites that are funding his campaign.  He has entered the ranks of the politically corrupted, good as he is in his personal family life.  It happens all the time.

And that’s at the crux of what we are hoping to preserve in the lawsuit – an ability to stop corrupted politicians – the incumbents who become so after each subsequent term in office.

The Deseret News then states that SB 54 was a “compromise.”  No, it was not a compromise.  We have proof in writing and audio that the Count/Buy My Vote leaders were satisfied that they got exactly what they wanted in the first place with SB 54.

Senator Bob Bennett’s opinion editorial reiterates this inevitable outcome.  He was the catalyst for the Count/Buy My Vote challenge.  Invariably, I have learned as I’ve mingled with them, that they have one thing in common:  They despise Senator Mike Lee and carry enormous resentment against anyone that ran against him and helped defeat him.  This challenge is really nothing more than “sour grapes” from some Bennett diehards that have never gotten over it, even though their candidate clearly has.

The paper also misstated the purpose of the State Central Committee’s meeting on May 30 and its upcoming convention.  We are not there to decide whether we will agree to SB 54 or not.  We are there to chart a legal course to make sure we have Republican candidates on the 2016 ballot and that we WIN the lawsuit (that the judge has told us we will most likely win on constitutional grounds), by so doing.  Let it understood:  The delegates and State Central Committee members have shown in their recent county conventions that they DO NOT support Count/Buy My Vote or SB 54 by virtue of who they elected.  The party survey to which 4,500 have responded so far also show strong support for winning the lawsuit.

A rare exception is Davis County where several of the Count/Buy My Vote leaders live and network.  However, the chairman lost his election only by only three votes, with five votes in his favor that were “misplaced.”  It is a messy day led by a few disgruntled delegates that have since been caught obfuscating the truth.  The body of delegates overwhelmingly passed the resolution to continue to win the lawsuit, while Senator Todd Weiler’s resolution thanking himself and his colleagues for their support of SB 54 barely squeaked by (more of an uncomfortable vote there – many delegates find it difficult to call out an individual Republican official publicly).  More on that county soon…

The Governor’s main concern is that the party maintain its Good Ol’ Boy system so that he can get re-elected by this elitist friends that have rallied to corrupt his views on so many very un-Republican positions such as his support of socialized medicine and putting in place the three policies that will allow the ACA to succeed (ObamaCare), rather than working to defeat it.  Also is his support of progressive education and the national takeover through common core standards and testing.  A third contention is his support of amnesty, which has made Utah the fourth largest sanctuary state in the nation and costing us millions annually (hence the need for “expansion”).

The article got one thing right:  Governor Herbert considers  himself to be the party leader, but he really has no authority.  (Look up the definition of “titular”).  He is technically, in fact, the individual the party is suing because he signed the law that created this disagreement.

The humor of the day was his spokesman Marty Carpenter’s statement, “We want to make sure we have good, conservative Republicans elected.”

The purpose of my blog site is to expose what is conservative and what is not.  Check out these legislative score cards.  You may be surprised how not conservative the state of Utah is.  Reality check.  It begins with the governor’s office.

Additionally, the Deseret News continues to make the injunction loss a big issue.  Attorneys know that injunctions are often lost (they are typically a preliminary step to get the sense of the judge on key points before proceeding) and then the cases move forward and win.  Such is the case.  But this is understandable.  The Deseret News stands to gain from the open primaries.  They will experience a windfall with dozens more media buys from primary candidates flocking to the ballot line.  The paper’s support of Count/Buy My Vote is purely self-interest and its long-standing collaboration with Dan Jones opinion shaping surveys and LaVarr Webb’s media firm Exoro Group.

Kirk Jowers – the DC lobbyist that got the ball rolling through his firm that supports the Democratic National Committee and that created Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC to mock Republican candidates is not worth commenting on here.  You get the point with his mere credentials.

As for the GOP legislative members that voted for SB 54, the delegates have taken note and those that show mediocre to low score cards when held up to the party platform will be held accountable.  If anything good has come from this disagreement, it is that the delegates are now paying much more attention.

The constituents of Representative Dan McCay might want to especially consider a growing attitude problem with their representative.  At times he has been flippant (e.g. admitting the school system is a socialist system, and suggesting we make it more so with a bill that came under fire by conservatives). His most recent comment puts him in the “arrogant incumbent” category when he said that the delegates and party leaders were “engaged in childlike behavior.”

I replied, “You, Dan, are not my parent.”  I suggested that HE was the one that needed to be given a good spanking over his mother’s knee.

The rest of the news about who’s who to challenge Chairman James Evans is not worth discussing.  It’s simply a big YAWN on a slow news day.  The fodder the news tries to create by stirring up the pot that isn’t even boiling is bigger news.  Our concern is that in the middle of a lawsuit, we maintain consistently.  We don’t need to be debating on two fronts.  James Evans has done a good job of keeping us united.

Count/Buy My Vote’s Rich McKeown, made the comment of the century when he said they are “staying out of the race” (for party chairman) and that it will not be taking “any official position on the chairman’s race.”

It doesn’t need to, and that’s not how the elite establishment works.  As he said, they work behind the scenes.  Party leaders, delegates, coalitions and campaigns have never known any of them to show up, become involved and to engage with the unwashed masses.  They do their work by throwing their money around in the media to influence the readers with their distortions.

PS.  Here are some insightful comments posted on Facebook by Dana Dickson, an active supporter of the caucus:

The Deseret News stirs the pot a little with this article and here are my takeaways:

  • This is a notification to UTGOP State Central Committee members, ahead of this Saturday’s meeting, that they are to quit making a fuss and conform to CMV’s wishes.
  • Someone let Marty Carpenter know that “the party continue to produce strong results” and conforming to SB54 are mutually exclusive things since SB54 allows non-party voters to choose Republican candidates.
  • The Governor rightly acknowledges how difficult it has been for Chairman Evans to defend the Caucus/Convention system, as the delegates elected him to do, which is good. But he neglects to mention that Chairman Evans has had to do this while being undermined by the press, past party chairs, and legislators like Dan McCay.
  • The results of the recent UTGOP survey have provided critical guidance Governor Herbert, Chairman Evans, and the legislature all agree on.

 

 

 

 

I’m feeling more like a broken record as time goes on.  I want to say, “Just read the previous posts,” but I’d like to comment directly to statements made in today’s Deseret News article titled “Gov. Herbert stepping up pressure on GOP to settle ‘civil war.’” Civil war?  My great grandfather fought in the real […]

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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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Rebuttal to Holly on the Hill Blog Post: Purity Panels, Purging and Pay-to-Play

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In response to a blog post that has blown the controversy over CMV/SB54 out of proportion, I am compelled to ask for reasoned minds to continue to thoughtfully deliberate.  This is the kind of discourse that the Utah Republican Party’s current leaders have been able to achieve over the past two years. That is now being disrupted by some who have not been engaged in the process, or who are simply not in alignment with the Republican Party, or who may simply be ill-informed.

I’m reminded of a Persian Proverb:
He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not is a fool – shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not is a child – teach him.
He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep – wake him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows is wise – follow him.

I am the first to admit that I do not know everything about everything, an impossibility. But I do know much about a lot, and just enough to know that I need to keep seeking knowledge. When I blog, I realize the responsibility, and so it is my sincere desire to learn as much as I can and to avoid any misrepresentations. I always welcome your insights and when applicable, corrections.

These recent articles have taken hours, days, weeks to research. I hope they are useful. I am sometimes criticized for the length. Typically it’s necessary in order to go into the depth to make a case conclusively. At other times, it’s that I have only time for the rough draft which precludes making the entry shorter. I offer my apology in advance.

The Caucus Challenge: A National Progressive Assault on Conservative Ideals and Election Processes

First, the election challenge Utah faces is a national campaign to destroy the Republican Party and the conservative vote.  The label “purging” is routinely used by radical progressives conducting this shrewd campaign, deceiving even Republicans.  One of the foremost leftist organizations promoting this campaign to destroy the caucus election system is Project Vote.  Before we quickly jump on board with Holly’s parallel rhetoric, let’s check out who’s who on that board.  You can see for yourself.  Google the board member’s name and then “political contribution” or “democrat” or “republican donations.” You will find that this board is extremely progressive. It includes the famous Frances Fox Piven, married to now deceased Richard Cloward, both self-proclaimed Marxists and members of the Democratic Socialists of America party.

Holding Elected Officials Accountable and Maintaining a Conservative Republican Identity in a Progressive War
It was just a little over a year ago that the State Central Committee listened to attorney Christ Troupis (no, I did not misspell his first name) deliver a brilliant analysis of the CMV ultimatum constructed by the DC lobbyist firm that works for the Democratic National Committee. That 26-page legal brief was clear: either adopt a dual track election system or cease to exist.  It was presented as a legal threat, outlining how Utah’s caucus was “unconstitutional.” Troupis received a standing ovation.

Holly Richardson has not been involved in these discussions.  She is not a member of the State Central Committee.  She lost her legislative seat in the Utah State House of Representatives in part because of her overall lukewarm Republican positions (scorecard: 57%) and her progressive position supporting an amnesty bill that the Republican Party strongly opposed.  It had so many flaws, among them to allow illegal aliens to continue to commit social security and identity fraud unchecked.

Another faux pas was her (and Senator Hatch’s) attempt to block a State GOP resolution opposing the federal take-over of education, commonly called “common core state standards” and the invasive testing and tracking of personally identifiable information.  She and a handful of campaign staffers of Senator Hatch’s campaign united to give it an “unfavorable recommendation” to the convention floor. That was after the Republican National Committee had voted unanimously to oppose it. Fortunately, the delegates were wise and that resolution passed with the largest margin of support that day.

Another vociferous elected official vigorously supporting CMV/SB54, opposing the Party’s lawsuit and any membership requirements is State Senator Todd Weiler. His voting score cards are declining with every session he serves.  This year he ranked the second to lowest scoring Republican in the Senate at a dismal 35%.

My interpretation of Holly’s diatribe is that she either has an ax to grind, or she is is concerned that Republican elected officials just might need to be held accountable to a Republican standard, or both.  According to several score cards monitoring the votes, many of the members of the state legislature vote with the democrats nearly 50% of the time on matters that the Republican Party opposes, such as socialized medicine and the growing of ObamaCare in Utah.  In fact, Utah’s governor stood alone as a Republican governor among the states that agreed to expand Medicaid during the beginning stages of its implementation, knowing that it is essential if ObamaCare is to succeed.

Senator Brian Shiozawa, who I know and appreciate on a personal level, managed to rank the lowest Senator of all, Democrats included, with a whopping 17%!  (This is a strongly Republican survey developed by the Reagan Wing of the Party).  Shiozawa is an emergency room doctor and former President of the Utah Medical Association (the trade association that endorsed ObamaCare) who sponsored the Medicaid Expansion bill.  (Cottonwood Heights, are you paying attention?)

For these reasons, as members of the Republican Party, it is critical that we hold our elected officials accountable to the standard they signed when they registered as a candidate. We must be able to vet them ongoing when they present themselves to run for re-election.  Delegates must keep a watchful eye on these scorecards.

Who are we? What do we believe? Do we believe in limited government – or big government?  How is your representative voting?

I can honestly say that the State Central Committee and Executive Committee have never been more united in presenting creative ideas for improvement and then vetting them in a rational way.  Of course there are differences, and especially regarding how to communicate the message and when.  In spite of human error, at the end of the day we have agreed that the CMV/SB54 model which was forced on the Utah Republican Party as a private corporation, has damaged and weakened its imprimatur, brand and platform and will continue to do so unless delegates stand up and with an informed vote, elect people of integrity.

CMV/SB54 puts the Republican Party at risk of being irrelevant in the nominating process and becoming a meaningless platform.   It removes the party from being the accountability to our elected officials.  It is being promoted by those that want it so. The democrats would like nothing more than to see that destructive outcome.

The Legitimacy of Defining Membership Qualifications and Holding Representatives Accountable
Judge Nuffer gave us the route to remedy these concerns, and it is embodied in what Chairman James Evans and our committee are working through right now.   Holly’s, and Senator Weiler’s representations are shamefully misleading.

Those that take this discussion to media and grossly distort it, as Holly has done here, do so because they intend to do damage.  They do not support the caucus system, and they prefer Count My Vote’s-SB 54’s  dual track.  

Either they feel they’ve been burned by it (there are winners and losers in any election system – I too lost in this system, but I support it) or they do not understand the nature of a representative republic and the U.S. Constitution’s protection of freedom of private and public assembly.

Those elected (or former) officials that favor CMV/SB54, or that mock the phrase “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) do so because they do not want to be held accountable.  Their scorecards as conservatives are proof that they themselves are Republicans in name only.  These scores typically range from 38% to 68%.  When I went to school, a 68% was a D, next to failing.  The standard in our home growing up was 80% or higher.  Anything below that was the danger zone.

Explosive phrases such as “Beehive McCarthyism,” “GOP Politburo” do not come from Republicans.  Holly’s labels “Purity Panels,” “Purging” and “Pay-to-Play” are not simply hyperbole, they are a gross distortion. Methinks she doth protest too much.

The roots of these labels come from the the ideology of the Cloward and Pivens’ activists, at the top of the totem pole in this national assault. They are experts in name-calling, routinely using “racist,” “bigot” etc. When we suggest something so logical as to ask a voter for an ID, these progressives will jump in and attack it as a “racist poll tax.”

Frankly, they insult the intelligence of those who understand this strategy. This national progressive trend seeks to eradicate any advantage – or equal access for that matter – to candidates who espouse the principles of the free market, limited government and principled leadership.

Now let’s examine Holly’s blog post.  Her text is in italics.

The survey – more than a day late and a dollar short …

The preliminary injunction was held April 10.  The Party works in an orderly fashion.  Executive Committee had to schedule its meeting.  We counsel with each other in as timely a fashion as possible.  A special session is set for May 30.

As one who has contributed a sizable amount of money to assist the legal case, how much have these critics contributed to our party’s lawsuit?  They would rather end the funding and quit now.   When you hear, “the Party should stop funding law suits and start funding candidates,” that should be a concern.  Many devoted people have stepped up to the plate to preserve our representative republic.  To stop now would be disrespectful of that sacrifice.

Outside counsel is advising us that in his state’s similar case, the injunction was also lost, but they stayed the course and they won.

Qualified Political Party or Registered Political Party?

The short answer is: Qualified, if you care about preserving the integrity of the Republican Party Platform and holding candidates accountable. The Party just needs to communicate better about which candidates are voting Republican and which are not.  

The first question asks if the party should chose QPP or RPP or not sure. The Chairman didn’t ask about the 3rd option: do nothing. It is a legitimate option and the longer the party delays in making a decision, the more likely that option becomes. You can read more about QPP and RPP here…

Holly then provides biased links of blog posts by those that support CMV-SB54 and by so doing, wish to weaken the platform and avoid accountability.

The Party isn’t delaying.  The lawsuit is in the Court system and is subject to its time line.

Should the Lawsuit Continue?

Short Answer: Absolutely.  We are on the winning side of this issue.  It’s the CMV/SB54 advocates that want an open primary that want us to stop.

The 2nd question is about the legal challenge. The party states that they were not party to the SB 54 compromise. They do neglect to mention that they were on the Hill during SB 54 negotiations and that the chair was asked to participate but he declined. They do note that the case is not scheduled to be heard until Jan 2016, but that the “prudent course” is to get legal clarification. Back to the question: should the lawsuit continue?

Again, Holly and other opponents of the constitutional caucus system would like the lawsuit to end before it has begun.

The lawsuit is not between the Party Chairman and the Governor.  It’s between the Republican Party and the Governor.  Her comment makes no sense.  Because the Party Chairman was on the Hill to observe and to decline participation in the negotiations does not mean the Party was “party to the compromise.”  Legal counsel advised the Chairman not to negotiate with SB54, because it would compromise the legal case.  That is an ethical attorney-client matter.  The Chairman did the right thing to leave SB54 as is.

As a member of elected representatives on the State Central Committee, we deliberated for over a year, working hard to make improvements and find solutions.  One of the greatest obstacles is ignorance about the role of government and what a constitutional republican form of government is, guaranteed in Article IV to every state.   As Judge Nuffer said, this is a constitutional issue, and so we are focused on preserving that constitutional right.  He charted the course for us to define membership qualifications.

Questions 3-5 are about party membership.

Question 3: Should candidates be prohibited from being officers in another party?

Short (and only) answer: YES! This is a no-brainer.  

Question 4 states that for many years the GOP has required a disclosure document and now wants to know if the party should require a disclosure document and subsequently remove party membership from those who refuse to sign.

Short answer:  Use logic.  Businesses do this when an employee violates nondisclosure or noncompete.

Question 5 states that at least one county party has an interview process already, then asks if the GOP should require that process for all candidates. The county in question seems to be Utah county where a previous chair would ask candidates if they had what they needed and if they understood the process. Even that mild visit (not an “interview”) is no more and hasn’t been for a number of years.

Short answer:  Leave it blank.  This is probably a county decision anyway.  The quick and easy solution is simply to require that disclosure statement on the platform and then to monitor the candidate’s voting record.  In my view, if an elected representative is not voting at least 75-80% with the values of the party he or she represents, that should be made known and some sort of censure from the Party. Otherwise a platform is toothless.    

As a former candidate, Holly should know that the Republican Party has had a long-standing candidate disclosure policy.  In another context, a private corporation or organization has every right interview and to ask for disclosure to that corporation’s leadership.  Noncompete and non-disclosure clauses and even prohibitions on moonlighting are drafted and signed without batting an eyelash to protect the corporation from conflict of interest – the highest form of corporate membership qualification.  The baseline question being, “Do you pledge to be loyal to this corporation, its goals, interests and belief systems?”  If so, you are hired.  If not, you are fired.

The dominant religion in Utah – the LDS Church – has a set of 13 “Articles of Faith” and a brief line of questioning that must be answered in the affirmative before a prospective member is baptized.  This is such standard procedure, it’s troubling that a disclosure of some kind for a political platform would even be in question.

In context of the Party, the intent is to qualify candidates as REPUBLICANS who support the Republican Platform, especially in a dual track system that results in little accountability and the irrelevance of a platform.  If a Republican candidate does not agree with parts of the platform, then as a delegate I want to know that and I want to know which planks that candidate opposes.

It would be a reasonable standard if a candidate supports at least 80% of the platform.  But it is our right as delegates and voters to know.  This has become an issue because those of us that are at the legislature are astonished at how many Republicans vote for democratic ideals during the session.  If a candidate refuses to sign on to the party platform or to disclosure points of disagreement, is that not a private organization’s right to remove that person from running for office or to refuse membership?  Every legitimate corporate constitution routinely includes this sort of clause.  Roberts Rules of Order also recommends it.  If a candidate doesn’t agree with the party platform or the majority of it, should they not find another party with which they do agree?

Questions 6-11 ask which candidates are pure enough to receive party support: email lists, data and volunteers. Although most candidates and current elected officials have stopped relying on the party for support and know they have to get their own volunteers and hire their own data peeps (or do it themselves).  Also – should the party endorse candidates pre-primary and if so, who?

Short answer: Only those that are participating in the party caucus-convention should have access to party assets and its endorsement.

“Pure enough,” again, is a distortion of a legitimate principle.  Why should a candidate that chooses to go outside the caucus-convention to avoid the delegates’ scrutiny, instead opting to petition onto the ballot as a candidate not endorsed by the delegates receive their help?

In another context, some people criticize organized religion, ignoring the advantage of the networking and the value of a group of people that can, from time to time, come together to help each other, especially in crisis.

The party provides those essential events and networking opportunities from which candidates can readily pick up supporters and volunteers for their campaigns.  Party volunteers enlist their time to enter the data for the candidates.  This is a no-brainer:  the candidates that work through the party should have exclusive access to the resources the party provides.

Part of the problem the party currently has is that people have been more willing to give to an individual candidate than the party for precisely the reason it is seeking to define membership:  not all Republican candidates are created equal.  In states with an overwhelmingly dominant party, such as Utah, candidates from the minority party are known to run under the banner of the prevailing party.  This accounts for the more progressive legislature.  We need to find ways of going about better due diligence.

Most private associations have an annual dues requirement.  There are 5,000 state delegates.  In Salt Lake County a little over 2,300 county delegates.  What if … now don’t hyperventilate … what if each delegate, as a requirement to run for that office, pitched in $5 annually.  That would be $25,000 at the state level per year.  In Salt Lake County, that would be $11.500!  Carried further:  What if, in order to be a member of the Republican Party, there were an annual membership dues of $5.00 in order to stay on the rolls and to vote in a Republican Primary?

Question 12 and 13 ask if the threshold for getting on the ballot should be lowered for getting on the primary ballot, to as low as 20%, thus ensuring multiple primary candidates. This proposal is a new one and I suspect will generate a good amount of grumbling discussion.

Short answer:  If you think this nation was built on majority rule, then forget the 20% threshold.  If you want plurality elections, 20% will achieve that goal.

After we received the Caplin and Drysdale legal brief describing CMV’s goal – a dual track – LaVarr Webb explained that there were some CMV supporters that wanted the 20% for reasons Holly stated.  This is not a new proposal.  All options have been discussed thoroughly.  The question is: does our form of government support election by majority or by plurality?  Which approach results in the most civil, peaceful outcome?  Hands down, majority has always been the standard, and it is the correct constitutional principle.  Anything else eventually becomes anarchy, which we can see in so many other nations.

Question 14 asks whether the legislature should pass new legislation to address the plurality issue, where candidates could get on the ballot without a majority (not a Constitutional issue – multiple other states have people who have won via plurality).  Of course, the chair could have thought to ask that before the 2015 session, but that would have made sense….

First, simply because a Court has ruled that plurality is constitutional does not necessarily make it so.

Short Answer:  I’m not sure I trust the legislature to make a wise decision on this given its support of CMV/SB54 in the first place.  But plurality vote is a danger to the rule by majority.  Plus, it makes mending the fences difficult when the winner of the Primary got only 34% of the vote – how are you going to pull the majority together to support your candidate in the general election?  It does create havoc.

The author must be unaware that this very question has been at the core of our committee’s concern and it has been discussed thoroughly.  Many of us would have liked to  have address issues much sooner and to have filed the lawsuit sooner.  With CMV/SB54 in place, the lawsuit has a targeted “opponent” in writing – in the law  That concern is more one of communication, and as a member of the committee,  I have been discussing using technology to engage the delegates more.  Being the party chairman takes an enormous amount of time and it often a thankless position.  By working together we have been able to cross many roadblocks. Sideline quarterbacking does not help.  If you have a concern, get involved.  Be part of the solution.

Question 15 asks if the party should open its primaries to unaffiliated voters.

Short answer:  NO!!!  Not unless you want the Republican Party to be a conglomeration of political philosophy that renders a platform meaningless.  And not unless you want to allow an opposing party to strategically intervene to skew the results of your party’s election to their benefit, by calculating the demise of the candidate most likely to defeat their candidate.

The Truth About CMV as the Solution to the Unaffiliated

CMV/SB54 does allow the unaffiliated to vote in a Republican Primary, as well as same-day registrations.

Let’s use the Connecticut example, since that is the example that Caplin and Drysdale used as its model in its original legal brief threatening the Party.  Right now, Utah has 588,063 active Republican voters, 112,414 Democrats, and 508,642 unaffiliated.  Connecticut has 430,564 active Republicans, 815,713 Democrats,  and a massive 872,839 unaffiliated!

Wait.  Connecticut is the model for Utah.  Given the CMV/SB54 rhetoric, you will find this article more than slightly humorous.  Former Governor Lowell Weicker, who bolted from the GOP and became governor is now suggesting that the growing unaffiliated must now be allowed to enter the Republican primary so that they can grow their numbers.  In Utah, the Democrats already do that.  The rhetoric is almost identical to what we are hearing from CMV/SB54 in Utah.

I also learned that after only three years of enactment, Connecticut (as well as other states) has had a spike in fraud for the same-day registration law it passed in 2012 that the Democratic Party championed and cheered.  What irony.  In Utah, it’s the Republican Party cheering this “innovative” change (while the Democrats sit back and chuckle with delight.)

Utah Data Points, run by a BYU political science professor, is simply on another planet suggesting that CMV/SB54 will remedy any of the “low voter turnout” concerns.  Rather than trying to change the system itself,Colorado increased its voter turnout in 2012 by advertising how to register and the election on radio, TV and in other news outlets.  What a concept.

Further examination and comparison of CMV/SB54 and Connecticut:  In Connecticut,  for those already registered in a political party, the state requires a 3-month (90-day) change of party affiliation prior to Primary Election Day.  In Utah, CMV/SB54 = 30 days.

Connecticut requires Republican candidates to gather signatures 5% of Republicans that voted in the last election to qualify for the Primary ballot.

The Connecticut Office of the Secretary of the State told me recently that in a given municipal election, 20 towns of 169, may yield approximately 40 candidates that PETITION onto the Primary ballot.  The number of signatures a candidate must gather to petition onto the ballot is 5% of 430,564 =  21,528.  A primary petition provides 20 signatures per page.  That means that each candidate will be delivering a minimum of 1,076 pages, but probably at least 30% more to cover any invalidated signatures. Each signature must be verified against the registration rolls.  I have watched this process.  It is time-consuming and costly.

In Utah, CMV/SB54 stipulates only 2% = 11,761 signatures, 589 petition pages per candidate.

Senator Bramble’s bill SB54 shows a fiscal note that says, “undetermined.”  Just how much will this undetermined amount cost each county?

Question 16 asks if the Republican party should “charge its candidate a fee” to “defray costs”. Sigh. And here I thought pay-to-play was illegal….

Short Response:  Leave it blank.  The state requires a filing fee and has for as long as I can remember.  Is that also “illegal?”  Again, do private organizations commit an illegal act by requiring membership dues and annual fees?  

This needs further review.  If CMV/SB54 is creating further financial burden on the party, then what are the options for meeting those obligations?

Question 17 asks about stripping party membership from impure Republicans who gather signatures through the petition route only.

Welkomen to the big tent. Don’t let the Politburo phase you. I hear the Gulag is nice this time of year.

Again. Take the survey. Just click here.

Short answer:  What irony that the very political operatives manning this campaign from the top are the very progressive minds that would have felt quite welcome in the Third Reich or the Soviet Union to which Holly insultingly compares this controversy.  Perhaps she really is one of them and she just doesn’t know it.

“He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not is a fool – shun him.”

Let us all work together to find the best solutions to make the caucus better than ever.  The solutions are simple.  Go here to get that check list.


 

In response to a blog post that has blown the controversy over CMV/SB54 out of proportion, I am compelled to ask for reasoned minds to continue to thoughtfully deliberate.  This is the kind of discourse that the Utah Republican Party’s current leaders have been able to achieve over the past two years. That is now being […]

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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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Who’s Who in the Legislature: Utah’s Constitutional Republic Election System

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American Leadership FundI’ve written several articles addressing the attack on Utah’s Constitutional Republic election system – called the “caucus convention.”

In 2014 the Utah Legislature voted to intervene in the affairs of a private corporation specifically to dictate to it how it will elect its corporate members and who they can be – similar to a corporate board.  Except, what the legislature said was that Macy’s no longer has the exclusive right to appoint or elect its leadership, its CEO and board and voting shareholders.  Instead Gimble’s now has the right to take over Macy’s and petition to manipulate a hostile takeover of Macy’s.

Put another way, should a state legislature have the right to intervene in the business affairs of another private corporation – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and tell it – by law – how it can appoint or elect its Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and who will be the next President of that church?

Outrageous you say?

Well, that is what the Count My Vote campaign is asking and that is what Senator Curt Bramble and others who are catering to the elite in Utah have done.

Corporate law prohibits such interference from competition in this manner.  (Unless you are General Motors and President Obama.  You may recall how the president stripped franchise owners of their own private contracts.  In Utah those car dealership owners stood at a press conference and, some very tearfully having lost their entire life’s investment in one letter, rightfully described it as communism.)

This matter of a political party’s right to a caucus convention was also challenged in Idaho and was found to be unconstitutional under the First Amendment protection to freely assemble.

Perhaps some of Utah’s legislators did not realize what they were doing at the time, but at this juncture they should be aware of the troubling circumstances they have complicated further.

In fact, it could be said that they acted in contempt of the very party that elected them.  And they continue to do so in this session.

Senator Curt Bramble is at the center of this conflict.  He was the sponsor of SB 54, promoted as the “fix.” He promised that it was “severable,” meaning a portion of the bill could be separated from the rest and dealt with.  However, members of the State Central Committee knew otherwise.  Read former legislator Chris Herrod’s expose here.

Now Senator Bramble tells the Republican Party it’s not severable.  In any other circumstance, this would either be incompetence or obfuscation.  In either case, Senator Bramble and those that followed him in support of SB 54 must be held accountable.

The elite of Utah are behind this attempt to destroy the Republican Party and to infringe on the rights of a private corporation so that they can not only elect their wealthy and famous friends, but also limit it to those that can afford the costly primaries that the media buyers otherwise miss out on with a caucus – convention.

The Republican Party has rightfully filed a lawsuit to defend its first amendment rights.  The Constitution Party has joined the lawsuit with identical concerns.  They should know.  Their party carries the namesake of the very law that is being torn to shreds by Utah Republicans the people elected to the state legislature.

They are also being lied to by local media, especially, but not limited to, Doug Wright.  He also should be held accountable.

Every business owner should be shuddering at the precedent the Utah legislature has created should SB 54 stand.  It means that independents (primarily progressives and Democrats that find it advantageous to run as “independent” or “non-partisan” so they can be elected in a predominantly Republican state) can enter a Republican primary and win it.

The Democrat Party should also be shaking in its boots.  In areas such as Salt Lake City, it would not take much for Republicans to run and take over precincts that the democrats hold by simply usurping the Democrat Party imprimatur.   It removes the same First Amendment rights from the Democrat Party as it does the Constitution, the Libertarian or the Republican Party.

The fundamental questions are:  does a private organization have a right to self-determination and definition?

Does a political party have the inherent and God-given right to declare its beliefs and who will represent them?

The answer is yes.

I am a member of the Utah Republican State Central Committee.  Senator Bramble and others who followed his lead were led down a dangerous path of brambles.  The following Republicans from the 2014 legislative session, knowingly – or otherwise deceived – have done serious harm to the Republican Party and to each of us who have been duly elected to represent its best interests.  We have spent countless hours and sacrifice from our families and work raising funds and defending the interests of the grassroots against an small elite group of people who wish to manipulate with their money or fame:

Utah Senators

Adams, J. S. Bramble, C. Christensen, A. Davis, G. Dayton, M.
Escamilla, L. Harper, W. Henderson, D. Hinkins, D. Jenkins, S.
Knudson, P. Mayne, K. Niederhauser, W. Okerlund, R. Osmond, A.
Stephenson, H. Thatcher, D. Urquhart, S. Valentine, J. Van Tassell, K.
Vickers, E. Weiler, T.

Utah House of Representatives

Anderson, Jerry Arent, P. Bird, J. Brown, M. Chavez-Houck, R.
Christensen, L. Cosgrove, T. Dee, B. Draxler, J. Duckworth, S.
Dunnigan, J. Edwards, R. Eliason, S. Fisher, Janice Froerer, G.
Greenwood, R. Hall, C. Handy, S. Hemingway, L. Hughes, G.
Ipson, D. King, B. S. Last, B. Layton, D. Lifferth, D.
Lockhart, R. McCay, D. McIff, K. McKell, M. Menlove, R.
Moss, C. Nelson, M. Nielson, J. Peterson, J. Peterson, V.
Poulson, M. Powell, K. Romero, A. Sagers, D. Sanpei, D.
Seelig, J. Snow, V. L. Spendlove, R. Stratton, K. Tanner, E.
Webb, R. C. Westwood, J. Wiley, L. Wilson, B

In the 2015 session, the following Republicans were true to the oath they swore to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of Utah.  Most of them became aware of the constitutional matter which had not been presented to them in 2014 and they voted for a bill that would have helped the Republican Party, SB 43 and they deserve our thanks.  This is actually representative of a core group of Utah Senators that primarily vote with a constitutional compass.

Christensen, A. Dayton, M. Henderson, D. Jackson, A. Jenkins, S.
Madsen, M. Millner, A. Stephenson, H. Thatcher, D.

The following Republicans, although they have voted constitutionally on other measures,  have acted in this instance to harm the Republican Party and the interests of the people against the elite.  Perhaps some of them simply trusted their leaders or were pressured to do so?

Adams, J. S. Bramble, C. Dabakis, J. Davis, G. Escamilla, L.
Harper, W. Hillyard, L. Iwamoto, J. Knudson, P. Mayne, K.
Niederhauser, W. Okerlund, R. Osmond, A. Shiozawa, B. Stevenson, J.
Urquhart, S. Van Tassell, K. Vickers, E. Weiler, T.

Congratulations to Chris Herrod and Craig Frank and their www.UnConventionConservative.com blog site, and others who have worked very hard to get the truth to Senator Bramble’s colleagues and for their integrity in stopping SB 254, the SB 54 highway that circled around CMV City in this 2015 session.  Here are the Senators that voted to HOLD the bill in committee.  We appreciate them for their diligence.

Dayton, M.
Hillyard, L.
Hinkins, D.
Jackson, A.
Thatcher, D.

Here are some talking points in favor of the caucus system and why so many of the grassroots that understand its benefits are concerned about:

Many have asked about the specific objections the Party has to SB 54 (the Utah Legislature/Count My Vote compromise). Please see eight major objections below – (for the sake of brevity, preserving our constitutional rights is a given):

1)     The SB 54 compromise allows candidates who are not Republicans to run on the ballot as Republicans.

2)     It allows a candidate to be on the Republican primary ballot without having to get one Republican signature.

3)     It allows someone to win a Republican primary with as little as 10 percent of the vote, because there is no majority vote requirement.

4)     It forces the Utah Republican Party to have all 29 county conventions in a two week period

5)     It does not allow the Republican Party to ensure that candidates running on the Republican primary ballot even acknowledge that they support the Republican Party’s platform.

6)     Count My Vote has never been about increasing voter participation. It has always been about finding another and easier way to gain access to the Republican Party brand, and they are using the appeal of increasing voter participation as the rallying cry to do it.

7)     We have one state convention in 2015 to make all the required changes to comply with the aggressive 2016 timeline.

8)     If we can’t comply with the SB 54 requirements in time, Republicans may not be on the ballot in 2016.

We need your support today to continue in this fight.  Please consider a donation of whatever amount you are able – $10. $25, $50, $100 or more – a monthly donation is also welcome.  Simply text “ALF” to 313131 or

Donate_Now

I’ve written several articles addressing the attack on Utah’s Constitutional Republic election system – called the “caucus convention.” In 2014 the Utah Legislature voted to intervene in the affairs of a private corporation specifically to dictate to it how it will elect its corporate members and who they can be – similar to a corporate […]

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Anti-Caucus DC Sharks Now Attack Senator Mike Lee

1 Comment

American Leadership Fund

Something is fishy here.  Senator Mike Lee is under attack.  He’s a conservative Senator who ousted a Republican incumbent in 2010.  He’s a strong voice for the Right, and refuses to be bought.  There are only a handful in the Senate, and that’s what’s wrong with Congress.

YMike Leeet on August 13, 2014, one of Utah’s top two papers – the Deseret News – ran a story about alleged illegal campaign funds for the popular Senator Mike Lee’s campaign that were somehow tied to the Attorney General scandal that has two former Utah AG’s facing criminal charges.

Yes, I do believe that scandal is somewhat hyped and politically motivated.  They typically are.  That’s the nature of politics today.  Republicans in the State legislature were quick to distance themselves from the scandal.  Democrats delighted in the opportunity (Alliance for a Better Utah is very involved) as well.

It gets worse.  The opportunity is also attracting others from the private sector as well now, including a man who has filed a $33 million civil law suit against former AG Swallow claiming that he was the cause of their losing their home in exchange for a campaign donation.

There’s blood in the water, and this is beginning to look more like a vicious shark attack.

What evidence do I have that the AG scandal now linking Mike Lee is at least in part politically motivated?

According to the Deseret News article, now Bob Bennett’s “mainstream Republicans” and his ardent supporters are in the game.  Mike Lee unseated Bob Bennett in 2010.  This group includes the DC lobbyists that are attacking Utah’s grassroots caucus system, which has been for the unstated, but obvious, purpose of retaliation by unseating Senator Mike Lee in 2016.

stephen colbert

Stephen Colbert

Matt Sanderson, the lobbyist quoted in the Deseret News article, just happens to be the same lobbyist behind Stephen Colbert’s SuperPAC, created to mock Republican candidates in 2012.  These are the same lobbyists that raise money for the Democrat National Committee.  Now they are getting into the Utah AG shark tank.

So hungry are they, these “Buy My Vote” supporters have invested thousands of dollars into a campaign to destroy Utah’s grassroots caucus system.  They began a petition campaign, but were running short.  The Utah State Senate rescued them, under the sponsorship of Senator Curt Bramble, by passing a bill that would virtually destroy the grassroots caucus election, putting it into the hands of corporate cronies.  But then Senator Bramble is from Chicago, so that was not surprising.

Many lobbyists who play this power game typically view themselves as above the law.  It is also not surprising that Matt Sanderson from Caplin & Drysdale was criticizing Mike Lee.  That’s the very same lobbyist firm that created the 26-page legal brief presented to us in the State Republican Central Committee in 2013 to establish why Utah’s caucus system is supposedly “unconstitutional.”

They are wrong.

An attorney has stepped forward to bring a compelling case he has won in Idaho to the Utah Republican Party proving the unconstitutionality of the state legislature or any outside entity (“Count My Vote”) to force a private corporation (which political parties are) to change its rules on who its voting members can be.

Are you corporate board members listening up?  How would you like anyone outside your company to legally impose themselves on who YOUR voting members are?  This is a gross violation of the First Amendment right of assembly, and if it stands, other private corporations could be in jeopardy.

We need your help in this fight.  If you share our concern, please consider a generous donation of $35, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more to American Leadership Fund.

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These power-hungry lobbyists want to replace Utah’s grassroots system with a Connecticut-dual system type of elections.  That is a system which Connecticut Republican Party leaders themselves would like to end because it has put their Primary elections into the hands of the rich and famous that can petition successfully to get on a ballot because they’ve got all the money to pay petitioners.  It has also turned their elections by majority vote into plurality elections.  No one candidate wins the majority, causing excessive in-fighting within the Party between Primary and General elections.

Kirk Jowers

Kirk Jowers, Director Hinckley Institute

This is also the same lobbyist firm with which the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute Director Kirk Jowers is affiliated.  Jowers has been a major and vocal opponent of Utah’s caucus system and has for several years been speaking to local groups about how Utah must become an open Primary system, and assisting the “Buy My Vote” petition campaign.

Along with former Governor Mike Leavitt and Leavitt’s political campaign consultant LaVarr Webb, who also does political opinion-shaping for KSL, Jowers is part of this faction of rich and famous corporate cronies still retaliating against Mike Lee’s ouster of their friend Bob Bennett.

I personally like Bob, even though I ran against him in 2010. But the fact remains that his ardent supporters have been conspiring for ways to get one of their “own” back in power again.  They call themselves “mainstream” but they are more representative of the Old Guard politics, and that model does not fly anymore, especially with Millennials and Gen-Xers.

Add to this mix another factor:  Bob Bennett is now a DC lobbyist himself.  Emeritus Senators never retire, they just become lobbyists, and lobbyists make sure they have their bases covered.

The Temple Mailer Story

Take Congressman Chris Stewart, for example.  His brother Tim Stewart had to pay a very “steep” fine of $1,400 to clear his 2010 FEC violation for producing a “sting” postcard (the “temple mailer”) in an 11th hour attempt to incriminate Mike Lee to help his friend Bob Bennett, for whom many Stewart family members have worked over the years.  Tim Stewart is now the managing director of Bob Bennett’s lobbyist firm.

Their plan to defeat Mike Lee by portraying him as the bad guy a couple of days before the convention was foiled.  Through the caucus system, the grassroots were seated on the delegate floor, and they did the right thing:  they unseated an incumbent that was ranked the 9th most liberal Republican in the Senate and in the top 10 of the Senate and  the top 5 of those who sat on the Banking Committee that had received the highest campaign donations from Fannie Mae.  That was the catalyst of that 2008 TARP banking meltdown.

It was an emotional defeat for the incumbent at the Utah State convention and it was national news.  Afterward Senator Bennett (who the delegates treated very rudely when he went down that day, unfortunately I must say) was being encouraged to put his name on the Primary ballot as a write-in. It was even speculated whether he could run as an Independent.  In either case, his supporters were convinced he would win because in Primaries, name recognition typically does win among the low-information voters.

I will be criticized by the “Buy My Vote” (actually “Count My Vote” but I have to be truthful)  supporters for this comment, but it is a fact:  Primaries bring out the more “low-information” voter because those elections are driven by TV and radio sound bites, which give the voter little information, and the candidate with the money typically wins the day.  Enter “Count My Vote” leader LaVarr Webb and lobbyists, and the pollsters who make their consulting fees off of Primary and General elections  – and incumbents.

I became close to Bob Bennett’s son Jim, who was an extraordinary campaign manager and spokesman for his father.  He was of course very distraught when his father didn’t make it through the convention.  The Bennett team was a class act.  They always treated me with great respect.  The emotional response is understandable.  But what has happened since is of great concern.

Robert BennettBennett decided not to put his name on the ballot, and instead his loyal supporters gathered and promised they would retaliate and that “he” – or “they” would be back in 2012.  Senator Hatch saw the writing on the wall and his brilliant campaign manager Dave Hansen and political director Kitty Dunn worked the delegates and drilled down deep into the voter pool to get enough Hatch delegates seated – to the tune of several million dollars – that he at least limped through the convention and into a Primary.  It was an amazing feat the challengers put up, since this was a lifelong incumbent and career politician.  If Utah did not have a Caucus system, this would have been nearly impossible.

But enough more moderate-liberal delegates were seated to pull Senator Hatch through.  Frankly, these were the more “low information” delegates who were brought in with only one mission in mind: re-elect Senator Hatch because “We need his seniority and leadership to be on that all-important finance committee,” which he would chair.

But that doesn’t happen when you are in the minority in the Senate, and it was unlikely that Republicans would take the Senate that year anyway.  That’s why I call those delegates “low information voters” – they bought the story hook, line and sinker.   The rest of us who know how politics works were shaking our heads in disbelief.

Once into a Primary, it was a given that Senator Hatch’s incumbent status and name ID would pull him through by the additional low information voters who were swayed by expensive and lobbyist-bought radio and TV ads putting fear into every voters’ heart that without Senator Hatch’s leadership, the nation would crumble.

The more moderate delegates also gave us Congressman Chris Stewart, another low-information candidate who couldn’t even identify what form of government we have when we were in debates, nor did he know what the Federal Reserve was.  He was the Bennett payback candidate.

The DC lobbyists and Bennett, who was given a standing ovation by the new Hatch delegates, had won the day – keeping it all in the family.  The Stewart brothers, nephew and brother-in-law now had bases covered on several levels of government:

  • A Congressman (Chris Stewart)
  • A Clinton-appointed Chief Judge of Utah’s District Court (Ted Stewart)
  • A Director of the Utah National Guard, and later a Deputy Attorney General (Brian Tarbet)
  • A Director of Utah’s Environmental Quality (Cody Stewart – protecting Congressman Chris Stewart’s company’s federal procurement contracts) and,
  • A lobbyist managing Bob Bennett’s lobbyist firm (Tim Stewart- the man responsible for the Mike Lee “temple” mailer).

Oh, the web of nepotistic connections.

I was one of Mike Lee’s opponents, but I am among the first to support Mike, and I believe his strong voice is needed in the Senate now more than ever.  If you agree, please help with a generous donation as we prepare for the showdown in 2016.

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I also know who Caplin & Drysdale’s Sanderson is and why he could possibly be motivated to get in the middle of the alleged illegal campaign contributions and the Utah AG scandal.  Here’s an infamous photo of him with Stephen Colbert assisting with the establishment of that satirical SuperPAC to undermine Republican candidates.

Colbert and Sanderson

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

This allegation against Mike Lee is more than opportunistic. It’s what smells so rotten in D.C. It is so entrenched in payback and retaliation and the utter lust for power and control from DC.  This more than smells like Caplin & Drysdale is in cahoots with whatever it takes to get Senator Mike Lee out of office and rto eplace him with their crony.  It stinks.

When I ran for U.S. Senate, I learned a lot about how little control the voters in Utah have in electing their Senators.  Mike’s election was a fluke and very unusual – driven by the general outrage of Congressional overreach and massive debt.  When the 17th Amendment made the election of Senators a popular vote instead of the decision of the state legislature, the states lost local control – of everything. It is now in the hands of those Washington lobbyists who give the profession such a bad name – those who care little about which side of the aisle they support.  Their main goal is more power and control.  For that, incumbents are the life blood for these sharks.  We see this playing out with Sanderson protesting too much with his rant against Mike Lee in this article.

Candidate Accountability in a Morass of Laws and Regulations

I don’t profess to have any inside information one way or the other that an FEC rule was broken in this case.  If people understood how many rules and regulations they themselves are probably breaking on a daily basis (just read the 74,000+ pages of the IRS code alone), they would not be so quick to bite.

Practically speaking, how in the world would a candidate have known the source of these funds – or even the campaign’s treasurer –  if indeed these allegations are true? From my experience as a federal candidate in a statewide race, it would be nearly impossible to know whether a check that came to my campaign was actually a check written from a third party that was then written directly to the campaign by another individual.

How would YOU know? Seriously.  You could ask, and you would have to take that donor’s word.

Politics has become a nasty business. A very successful and respected businessman who was recruited to run for political office once told me, “You can live a good life.  Be a good family man.  Build a successful business.  Be honorable in your community service and religious charity.  But run for public office, and within 24 hours, your entire life’s reputation can be destroyed.”

Another thing I learned about running for public office is that because of this shark tank, good, honorable people are less likely to run.  It is the way business is conducted that makes them shy away. Lobbyists play the power game and are the sharks waiting to eat you alive and spit out your carcass, unless they can control your vote.  And make no mistake, they will do anything they can to destroy you on Election Day if you aren’t in their pockets.

That would describe Senator Mike Lee’s plight.  He is not in any of these lobbyists’ pockets – yet.  That is the political motivation behind the criticism from RINOs and lobbyists.  Lobbyists love incumbents.  The grassroots do not.  We’ll check that one out when Senator Lee’s third term rolls around, because that is typically the turning point.

Meanwhile, 2014 is an opportunity to grow the ranks in the Senate with more Mike Lee’s, Ted Cruz’s and Rand Paul’s.  It is their new and fresh energy, and their strong, courageous and unafraid voices for states rights and restoring local control who are not yet bought by the sea of some 39,000 swarming self-interested sharks in the Washington DC cesspool that will turn this nation around.

If you agree, we need your support today as we build for 2016.  Your generous contribution of $35, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more is needed so that we can continue to get truthful messages to broader audiences all across the nation.  

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American Leadership Fund
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Sandy, UT 84090

PS.  No, not all lobbyists are sharks.  Just the bad ones that care more about their own pocketbooks than your liberty.

Something is fishy here.  Senator Mike Lee is under attack.  He’s a conservative Senator who ousted a Republican incumbent in 2010.  He’s a strong voice for the Right, and refuses to be bought.  There are only a handful in the Senate, and that’s what’s wrong with Congress. Yet on August 13, 2014, one of Utah’s […]

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Utah Neighborhood Elections – Caucus Instructions

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This post will tell you when the Republican Neighborhood Election (Caucus) is, how to find where it’s held, how to pre-register, what a caucus neighborhood election is, how it works, how the voting is to be conducted.

On Thursday evening, March 20, 2014 at 7 PM Utah will hold its Republican Caucus.  This is your opportunity to attend and to let your voice be heard in your neighborhood. Many of the delegates you elected in 2012 have worked very hard to make improvements so that the evening will go more smoothly and quickly and so that more can be involved.  I’m one of those delegates.  We want to preserve this system because it is truly grassroots.  

Where Is My Caucus Meeting?

You can go to the Lieutenant Governor’s website to find out where your caucus is.

How to Pre-Register and Run for Precinct and Delegate Office

You can go to the Utah GOP website to pre-register. Click on the “pre-register online here” text.

Neighborhood Election Commercial

 

All About the Utah Caucus System in 5 minutes If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of Utah’s caucus, here’s a short video that will help you know why this is one of the best ways to elect the best candidates.

Caucus Training Video

Here is a training video to orient caucus leaders. It also describes preferential voting. The various counties have latitude on the voting procedures and can select multiple round or the one shown here, IRV – preferential voting. IRV goes much faster. The ballot counters need to know how this works, so be sure to study this. It’s about 1/2 the way through the video:

 

For the background on why Utah’s neighborhood voices are being silenced, read more here.

This post will tell you when the Republican Neighborhood Election (Caucus) is, how to find where it’s held, how to pre-register, what a caucus neighborhood election is, how it works, how the voting is to be conducted. On Thursday evening, March 20, 2014 at 7 PM Utah will hold its Republican Caucus.  This is your […]

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