By Phill Wright
Davis County Republican Party Chairman
We have all heard much about the cleverly named “Count My Vote” initiative. Just the name alone has attracted thousands of signatures from people who want their vote to count. Of course, virtually none of those who signed the petition actually read it, and it’s not like they were encouraged to, prior to signing it. After all, everyone wants their vote to count. What CMV doesn’t tell you is that the backers of their initiative don’t represent the average Utah voter. In fact, less than 35 of them raised $1 million for their cause. That’s about $30,000 per person. They also neglect to tell you that in Utah’s last Caucus of 2012 more than 125,000 Utahans voted, when they elected their friends and neighbors as delegates to represent them in choosing the candidates of their political party.
So, I ask you, 125,000 votes or 35 votes, whose votes are not being counted here? If you’ve heard the term “Follow the Money,” you can see how it applies here. With our caucus system we’ve vetted good candidates from both Republican and Democrat parties that have led Utah to receive national accolades and The Wall Street Journal said Utah is the brightest star on the American flag.
Our success is not by accident, it is attributed to ordinary citizens like you and me who get involved in our caucus system, a system that holds candidates accountable via face-to-face meetings.
We don’t let them buy our vote by deceptive and expensive direct primary campaigns. Utah tried a direct primary from 1937-1947. CMV says not enough people participate in the caucus, yet with the direct primary voter participation dropped below 10 percent! Low voter turnout and massive big money special interest corruption caused Utah to go back to caucuses.
If CMV got what they wanted political parties could not place their convention nominee on the ballot with any reference to their political party. A person could win an election with as little as 10 percent of the vote and the winner could register as a Republican but actually be a Democrat or vice versa! By the way, the Utah Democrat Party also supports the caucus System.
We associate with the political party we believe best represents our ideas and beliefs. We want our candidates to represent us accordingly. We don’t want any outside group to dictating how we choose candidates.
CMV has assumed the right to tell political parties how to nominate their candidates. The legislature in trying to deal with the issue, passed “compromised” legislation that would keep the caucus but add an alternate path of a direct primary.
If the governor signs HB54 into law it will effectively overwrite our party bylaws without our consent. This is illegal. Imagine the state mandating your church to add an alternate path to the clergy, or forcing it to perform weddings on demand.
“A political party has a First Amendment right...to choose a candidate selection process that will in its view produce the nominee who best represents its political platform.” - Justice Scalia in Democratic Party v. Wisconsin
So who is behind CMV? They’re those whose ideas and beliefs run contrary to the Republican Party Platform, they’d never be chosen by elected delegates who represent the party. They are unelectable and know the only way to get elected is to outspend the Republican Party nominee with millions of dollars in a direct primary, hence CMV really means Buy My Vote. Your vote is counted with our caucus system. It is the Real Grass Roots. Hands Raised, Voices Heard and Votes that Count! Go to your caucus night March 18 for Democrats and March 20 for Republicans. For more information and to take your name off of the CMV Petition go to www.davisgop.com.