Monday, July 29, 2013

Fair Elections in Utah vs Count My Vote

The caucus & convention system in Utah is the best way to make sure a grassroots process can win over large amounts of money. It is the only way someone with $100,000 can go against someone with $2 million in election funds.

We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, wealthy or famous. This is a good thing.

Our problem with voter turnout is it has not kept up with the population increase. The voter turnout keeps going up but not as fast as the population. Some of that is the younger voters, where Utah has a larger percentage of them and they aren't, as a group, as involved. Also those moving in and not understanding our system.

We already have a "bypass" system, filing as an unaffiliated candidate. You go straight to the general. Someone doesn't think they can win if vetted by average citizens asking one on one questions, can run and spend the money. Why should they be a party nominee if they are going to bypass the party?

If you change the way our Utah primary's work, you could have two republicans in the general election ballot (or two democrats).

Bypassing the caucus/convention system will not create more participation. There are 4,000 state delegates and many more county delegates that spend countless hours vetting candidates to be on the ballot. They are selected by those that attend the neighborhood election caucus meeting. The current one-on-one candidate vetting by delegates cannot be done well any other way.

When people realize this Count My Vote initiative will give them less of a chance to participate but give media and power brokers more power, they will not sign any initiative. This is a power grab and it isn't by the neighbors you elect as delegates.

If you are going to run as a Democratic candidate, you have to comply with their rules. If you are going to run as a Republican, you have to comply with their rules. If you don't like those rules, you can run as unaffiliated, independent or as a third-party candidate. Count My Vote is attempting to change all party rules by changing state laws by initiative, thus bypassing the political parties and the Legislature.

Who gets to pick the people that show up on the ballot? It is the voters through the caucus system. The candidates get to decide if they are going to run and each of us vote to have them vetted. We put the best ones we have that volunteered to run on the ballot. One of the reasons we get involved in the caucus system is to have a say as to who is on the ballot.

If we didn't have the system we have, it would be the power brokers that would get to decide. They are the ones trying to get rid of the caucus.

Keep Fair Elections in Utah, keep the caucus and convention system

For more information, see:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Random thoughts on the last 3 letters to the House from Swallow attorney

Is John Swallow's attorneys flipping off the House a good idea?

 I think you would have a difficult time finding very many in the #utleg that would believe that the court gets to determine the definition of "high crimes, misdemeanors, or malfeasance in office;" for the Utah State Legislature in cases of impeachment. That is the garbage the letters from Swallows attorneys have tried to make and that is the reaction, in my opinion of some in the Utah Leg.

It is like kicking a hornets nest. The Supreme Court gets to toss out laws that they determine are not constitutional, but they do not get to define what the legislature interprets the constitution to mean that they swear to uphold. No where in their oath of office do they swear to defend the law or defend case law. They write the law and they get to interpret the constitution for their oath of office and defined powers themselves.

John Fellows's job includes putting constitutional notes to let them know about possible case laws and whether or not it could effect the law in the future. John Fellows advices the #utleg. They get to make up their own mind.

"As required by legislative rule and practice, the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel provides the following legislative review note to assist the Legislature in making its own determination as to the constitutionality of the bill. The note is based on an analysis of relevant state and federal constitutional law as applied to the bill. The note is not written for the purpose of influencing whether the bill should become law, but is written to provide information relevant to legislators' consideration of this bill. The note is not a substitute for the judgment of the judiciary, which has authority to determine the constitutionality of a law in the context of a specific case."

If the legislature doesn't agree with the opinion of either the US or State Supreme Court as to how far the 4th amendment can be amended, the legislature can and has held it to a higher standard and the court has agreed the #utleg has that authority and the state AG (Shurtleff at the time) can toss a fit but it doesn't matter.

Again, the Utah Supreme Court doesn't get to determine the definition of "high crimes, misdemeanors, or malfeasance in office;" for the Utah State Legislature in cases of impeachment", in my opinion and I am not alone in that opinion. It would be a conflict of interest as the legislature has the duty to impeach the justices if there was reason to do so.

The last case of an impeachment process by the #utleg was a judge.

re: the balance of power between 3 branches of government and 2 levels of government. You forget that the Utah House has seated Reps when the courts wouldn't have and yet it did and the courts wouldn't interfere.

#utleg "do solemnly swear that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity."

There is nothing that says they would swear to support, obey and defend Case Law, or any existing laws.

You tell a member of the house they aren't following their oath of office and I can think a few that would just a soon punch you in the mouth. "Thems fighting words". Gov. Herbert has made that mistake a few times and saw his veto overridden.