Thursday, March 1, 2018

Statement from Utah Republican Party Constitutional Defense Committee

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Don Guymon
for Constitutional Defense Committee - Utah Republican Party

Statement from Utah Republican Party Constitutional Defense Committee

Republican leaders clarify intent of special meeting and new bylaw language

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - Salt Lake City, UT. Don Guymon, spokesperson for the Utah Republican Party Constitutional Defense Committee (“CDC”), released the following statement to correct false information, reported in the news, regarding the purpose and outcome of the Saturday, February 24, 2018 meeting of its governing body, the State Central Committee (SCC):

The SCC meets regularly, and sometimes monthly, as needed, to address Party business, including organizing for caucuses and elections. The 2018 Caucus takes place on Tuesday, March 20. For this reason, in accordance with our rules, the SCC members called a special meeting on Saturday, February 24, to address Caucus preparation, budget issues, and bylaw modifications, including modification of an existing bylaw that has been under discussion since 2013.

State statute authorizes political parties to challenge the candidacy of any candidate who violates party rules.

Additionally, Justice Scalia in the U.S. Supreme Court decision on California Democratic Party vs. Jones stated:

In no area is the political association's right to exclude more important than in its candidate-selection process. That process often determines the party's positions on significant public policy issues, and it is the nominee who is the party's ambassador charged with winning the general electorate over to its views. The First Amendment reserves a special place, and accords a special protection, for that process...because the moment of choosing the party's nominee is the crucial juncture at which the appeal to common principles may be translated into concerted action, and hence to political power…

Since 2015, candidates have been required to certify they will not violate the party rules, but the bylaw lacked enforcement language. Under the new bylaw language, a candidate who willingly files to run, using a method contrary to Republican Party rules, temporarily forfeits membership in the Party, for the duration of the election cycle.

 These changes were made in consultation with legal counsel and in compliance with U.S. Supreme Court precedent and Utah Code Section 20A-8-401-(2a) . This Court precedent was confirmed in the Party’s recent successful constitutional challenge to election law changes, which the Utah Legislature passed in 2014 (Senate Bill 54). It is SB54 that is unconstitutional and is the subject of the current lawsuit.

If the Republican Party Executive Committee chooses to enforce this bylaw change, it does not affect any candidate already filed to run, and during the 2018 election cycle, it only applies to U.S. House Districts 1 and 2, so that no already filed candidate will be impacted.

 For more information, Contact Don Guymon
 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Count My Vote taking away accountability of elected officials.

Updated based on current version.

Whether or not you agree that the caucus and convention system which did NOT favor the incumbent, wealthy or famous, as being a good thing, the New Count My Vote 2.1 is worse.

Currently you can at least watch what your legislator does during the session and if you don't like it, you can either run or help someone run against them by filing after the session ends.

CMV 2.1 changes the deadline to be selected by the party OR to submit signatures by the first business day after March 1st., lines 469, 476). (worse than CMV2.0)


They are saying we have to have the caucus and county and state party conventions during February, when the Utah Legislature is meeting!

This takes away part of the accountability of these elected officials.

Most of the bills will pass after the new proposed filing deadline and it will take time prior to qualify and so it would be two years until you have a chance to hold your State Representative accountable or perhaps four years for your State Senator or Governor depending on their end of term.

So much for accountability to the people. Is this initiative is written to protect incumbents?

Do we call this Count My Vote or Blank Check Vote?

https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Initiatives/Count%20My%20Vote%20Addendum.pdf

What is the major problem technically? 

The new CMV2 violates the Utah Constitution Art VI sec 1, (2) (a) (i) (B ) for lines 97 to 107.

IF they CAN constitutionally combine an initiative and a referendum of advance legislation, which the constitution has as separate powers and the state law has different requirements for, the state constitution is very clear a referendum can not repeal bills passed by a 2/3 vote of both legislative houses. This is written to include repeal of those, even before they exist, violating the part of the State Constitution they are using to create CMV2. 

Other major problems?

While it will cost less to get on the primary ballot under CMV2, it will cost a lot more to actually run and win elections making lobbyists and corporations, or the wealthy and famous even more powerful in elections.

There are no geographical requirements for signatures within a district or state so the potential of fly over counties and cities and area becomes much worse.

What should Count My Vote 2.1 actually change?

IF they really want to change elections, they should get rid of straight party voting as people can now get on the general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate with signatures bypassing the political parties, and have been able to for many years. They just have a harder time wining with straight party voting. CMV2 does nothing to help unaffiliated voters. That would.

The next thing they should look at is Ranked Choice Voting and not the expensive run off primaries that are part of CMV2, that have poor voter turnout and cost millions each election.

Ranked Choice voting Video

Don't sign their initiative. It makes elections worse and not better. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Count My Vote or Blank Check Vote

So the Incumbent protection for the Utah Legislature and Governor is in the Count My Vote?

Currently you can at least watch what your legislator does during the session and if you don't like it, you can either run or help someone run against them by filing after the session ends. (March 1st, Line number 321).

This takes away part of the accountability of these elected officials.

Most of the bills will pass after the new proposed filing deadline and so it would be two years until you have a chance to hold your State Representative accountable or perhaps four years for your State Senator or Governor depending on their end of term.

So much for accountability to the people. Is this initiative is written to protect incumbents?

Do we call this Count My Vote or Blank Check Vote?

https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Initiatives/Count%20My%20Vote%20Application.pdf

Is this the only problems?

No, there is a typo on line 95, with a reference that isn't correct. How many other errors are there in this initiative? It clearly isn't ready.

What is the major problem technically? 

The new CMV2 violates the Utah Constitution Art VI sec 1, (2) (a) (i) (B ) for lines 88 to 95.

IF they CAN constitutionally combine an initiative and a referendum of advance legislation, which the constitution has as separate powers and the state law has different requirements for, the state constitution is very clear a referendum can not repeal bills passed by a 2/3 vote of both legislative houses. This is written to include repeal of those, even before they exist, violating the part of the State Constitution they are using to create CMV2. 

Other major problems?

While it will cost less to get on the primary ballot under CMV2, it will cost a lot more to actually run and win elections making lobbyists and corporations, or the wealthy and famous even more powerful in elections.

There are no geographical requirements for signatures within a district or state so the potential of fly over counties and cities and area becomes much worse.

What should Count My Vote 2 actually change?

IF they really want to change elections, they should get rid of straight party voting as people can now get on the general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate with signatures bypassing the political parties, and have been able to for many years. They just have a harder time wining with straight party voting. CMV2 does nothing to help unaffiliated voters. That would.

The next thing they should look at is Ranked Choice Voting and not the expensive run off primaries that are part of CMV2, that have poor voter turnout and cost millions each election.

Ranked Choice voting Video

Don't sign their initiative. It makes elections worse and not better.




Friday, May 26, 2017

We do Not need the Buy My Ballot Spot system

We never needed the Buy My Ballot Spot (2014 SB 54) for someone to get on the ballot if they didn't want to go though the parties. Just get 300 signatures from their friends or 1000 signatures for a state wide race and go directly to the General Election as an Unaffiliated Candidate.

The Buy My Ballot Spot with paid signature gatherers favors the rich and famous. Why do they need State Mandated help?



My Poll Results from respondents. Survey was sent to all active voters in House District 30 in West Valley City in January 2016 (not just one party)


A federal judge has ruled that a portion of the law that passed in 2014, SB 54 Elections Amendments, is not constitutional for two political parties, the Utah Republican and the Utah Constitution parties. This part of the law requires the political parties allow voters who were not members of their party to select their party’s nominee. Because of that ruling, candidates of the Utah Constitution Party cannot use the optional signature route to get on the party primary ballot. (They don’t have enough members). They are OK with the ruling because they didn’t want the State telling their Party how to select its nominees.

Voters can only sign one candidate petition per race but might be able to sign a form to remove their signature, if they act fast enough, and sign someone else’s petition.

In some areas of the State, there are not enough registered Republican Party voters to make the signature party nominee route fair. Candidates using the signature route likely will have to register to do so prior to the legislative session and then all candidates will register after the legislative session. If someone decides to run for Party Nominee after the legislative session, there is almost no time to gather signatures.


The Utah Republican Party, who wasn’t part of the “compromise” is still contesting the law in court. A special legislative session to fix the law based on the court ruling was not called by the Governor.

30% The legislature should provide minor fixes of the current election law and see what happens in 2016.

53% The legislature should repeal this petition law because the court’s ruling has caused the law to become unfair to some candidates in some political parties.

17% It is too late for the legislature to do anything this election year, but I will not be signing any signature party nominee petitions this year.


(Disclaimer, I have personally fought the signature party nominee route because I believe it favors the incumbents, the rich and the famous. While I [was] an incumbent and plan on running for [election] after the legislative session though the neighborhood caucus and convention system, I am NOT also using the signature route because I do not believe that route is fair).

Saturday, January 17, 2015

How did we get to the point where the Utah GOP is suing the State of Utah


How did we get to the point where the Utah GOP is suing the State of Utah when most of those that supported 2014 SB 54 were Republicans? 

Pretty simple. The future Count My Vote backers showed up to conventions and picnics in 2009 (Jowers and Doug Wright for example). People at the time were tired of being over taxed and the Feds trampling our rights, (same as today). The delegates didn't fawn over them at the time and then Tim Bridgewater beat Sen. Bennett at convention in May of 2010 (yes Mike Lee squeaked out as well) and the backers met at the Alta Club and decided they wanted to get rid of the current system. Sen. Bennett backed Tim Bridgewater for the 2010 Primary, but Mike Lee won. Professors at both BYU and UofU plus Doug Wright have been blasting the caucus/convention system ever since. Some had been blasting it already when Gov. Walker got in the 2004 race too late and lost.

When polls and stats (Y2/BYU) showed Sen. Bennett would have lost even with the 2012 "Hatch" delegates they (the CMV backers) decided to work on changing the delegate voting threshold and "other" changes by threatening demands from the outside the Party.

When those changes failed (other changes later passed, such as helping fire fighters, etc. vote), they launched Count My Vote. They used a deceptive and poorly written "bill" and legal analysis from a DC lobbyist expert and had trouble getting the signatures in several parts of the state as required. They hired a group to help who violated the laws and official complaints were filed against them. So they compromised with the Utah Legislature directly, bypassing the Parties, and got things they didn't even try to get with CMV because they thought they would lose in court.

Members of the Utah Legislature believed CMV would still get the signatures and already had the media and so agreed with the compromise. When the party announced just before the grand Compromise in March 2014 that they would protect their rights and that at least CMV violated their rights - people ignored them. When almost 4000 state delegate said we should protect our rights against SB 54 in April of 2014 people ignored that as well. So when the Party did sue in Dec of 2014 people wondered why.


Notes:
Jowers 2009 GOP State Convention ice cream social, Wright, Salt Lake County GOP 2009 Constitution Day Picnic.

Alta Club Meeting

Bennett/Bridgewater
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700030688/Utah-GOP-delegates-dump-Sen-Bob-Bennett-at-state-convention-Bridgewater-Lee-to-battle-in-primary.html?pg=all


http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/11/bennett-endorses-former-rival/


Poll and Stats released publicly by Quinn Monson at the State Young Republican meeting Nov. 9,  2013.

Threatening demands
http://www.publiusonline.com/lavarr-webbs-insiders-weigh-in-on-utahs-nomination-system-poll/

Writers of CMV
Matthew T. Sanderson
Stephen W. Owens.
Source: Nov. 9, 2013, CMV, Taylor Morgan

Poorly written, CMV
http://fairelectionsutah.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-resolution-declaring-count-my-vote.html
http://fairelectionsutah.blogspot.com/2013/11/5-reason-not-to-sign-their-petion.html

Volations:

http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/legislature/group-questioning-count-my-votes-petitions/article_d7e74a33-e847-58cb-9d7e-0b9c8a7a0a70.html

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865597116/Count-My-Vote-ballot-initiative-attacked-on-two-fronts.html?pg=all

Lose in Court, Unaffiliated Voters
http://www.countmyvoteutah.org/s/Constitutional-Memorandum-and-Letter-wso2.pdf
(notice it specifically says CMV doesn't open the primary to unaffiliated)

Poorly written legal analysis
http://www.scribd.com/doc/211089967/Memorandum-rebuttal-of-initiative-constitutionality-2-25-14-3-pdf

Prior to the Grand Compromise, Party to protect it's rights

Delegates back Fight.
2014 Utah GOP Nominating Convention vote, estimates of over 95%

Conclusions are those of Fred C. Cox, and may not represent others or parties.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Resolution Declaring the Count My Vote Initiative A Violation of First Amendment Freedoms


A Resolution Declaring the "Count My Vote" Initiative
A Violation of First Amendment Freedoms


WHEREAS, The Count My Vote initiative seeks to eliminate the process that was chosen by the political parties in Utah to select the candidates that best represent them; and,

WHEREAS, The Utah Republican Party has free association rights guaranteed under the Constitution; which entitles political parties to determine how they select their nominees for office; and,

WHEREAS, The state of Utah can regulate the free exercise of political rights only if it satisfies a compelling state interest that is narrowly defined; and,

WHEREAS, The burden will be on the state of Utah to prove they have a compelling interest that mandates significant interference with the autonomy and choice of all political parties in Utah; and,

WHEREAS, The Supreme Court has shown great deference in respecting how political parties exercise their First Amendment rights in the candidate selection process; and,

WHEREAS, The citizen initiative process does not allow for the trampling of Constitutional freedoms, regardless of how many signatures are obtained;

BE IT RESOLVED, That the Central Committee of the Utah Republican Party believes the Count My Vote initiative violates the right of free association guaranteed in the First Amendment.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That regardless of how well intentioned, we stand against all government overreach and control that violates our shared Constitutional freedoms.

Submitted by Aaron Gabrielson
March 1, 2014

This Resolution Passed the Utah Republican State Central Committee with no votes against on March 1, 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

The count my vote bluff do not negotiate with pirates

Word is reaching that Count My Vote is willing to stop their petition. A negotiation with the Utah Legislature.

Count My Vote = Pirates?
From a year ago:

http://fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2013/03/fair-elections-in-utah.html

Why would Count My Vote now "cave" ? Several good reasons, they wanted the Utah Legislature to bail them out.

1. They never had a well written proposed law.
http://www.neighborhoodelection.org/flaws_in_count_my_vote_proposed_legislation

2. Their Legal brief was finally discovered to be a con.
http://www.countmyvoteutah.org/s/Constitutional-Memorandum-and-Letter-wso2.pdf

In a soon to be released counter brief it was discovered that Count My Vote / Buy My Vote based part of their argument on a minority opinion form the SCOTUS and not the majority opinion.  It shows that the Legal Brief put out by Count My Vote to be as flawed as the proposed law. Not only is the conflicting sections in Count My Vote going to give a judge pause and kick it back to the Utah Legislature to fix, and the 2% system obviously not treating candidates from different parties equally, but the whole premise of Count My Vote being able to stand up to the courts is flawed.

See:
http://fairelectionsutah.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-resolution-declaring-count-my-vote.html



3. 2014 SB 54 passed the Senate.

4. Protect Our Neighborhood Elections files a complaint with the Lt. Governor's office re: Count My Vote asking for signatures, perhaps even all to be thrown out.


from
http://fox13now.com/2014/02/21/complaint-claims-count-my-vote-collected-signatures-in-violation-of-the-law/


The complaint outlines four accusations, which include the following:
1 – Only one of eight corporate donors for Count My Vote has filed the required financial disclosures with the Lt. Governor’s Office.
2 – Washington County School District member emailed Count My Vote materials from a school email account during school hours.
3 – Count My Vote signature collectors have, on documented occasions, verbally misrepresented the nature of initiative, going so far as to completely lie about it.
4 – Count My Vote petitions were allegedly left unattended in public places, which could have allowed anyone to sign without first having their identity verified.
What did

Count My Vote do? They pulled in more money, this time from Sen. Orin Hatch, and they called in Mitt Romney, who likely was just acting at the request of Mike Leavitt.

It is in doubt that Mitt Romney is up to speed on the flaws of Count My Vote:

http://www.redstate.com/diary/fredccox/2013/11/07/perhaps-mitt-romney-should-be-blasting-count-my-vote-having-no-run-off/

Passed problems with 2014 SB 54
http://www.fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2014/02/2014-sb-54-elections-amendments.html

Pirates or Just Cowards?
Count My Vote had their public hearings when the least number could come and even scheduled them during UEA and a Legislative Session.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/56992046-90/count-vote-group-public.html.csp


"They have scheduled four of their seven public statewide meetings at noon during the week with two of those during a special session of the Legislature," said Fred Cox, a former state representative and opponent of the Count My Vote movement. "They also scheduled two of the required regional public meetings during UEA (Utah Education Association), so they don't seem to want the UEA teachers or their invited parents to attend."


Their Press Conference tomorrow is during the State GOP Central Committee meeting so that none of the GOP Party Leaders could be there.

Count My Vote: a Lexus lane to the ballot for the rich and famous. Always has been. With the proposed compromise it is just more obvious.

Fair Elections in Utah. It matters. You can remove your signature using this process:

http://www.neighborhoodelection.org/faq