Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Why Delay and US Presidential Nominees

The Utah Democratic Party has picked their US Presidential Nominee at the neighborhood caucus night in 2012.

I have for many years asked the Utah Republican State Central Committee as a member of that body to do the same.

Count My Vote demanded that we needed to deal with Fire Fighters and Doctors and Mom's with sick kids being able to vote at our GOP neighborhood caucus night. It took longer than they wanted us to but we did do that.

Now, SB54 passed less than one year ago demands we change the way delegates can vote at convention, or requires us to double the number of seats, with the backup delegate there just in case, and to have all 29 counties and state conventions in less than 2 weeks.[SB207 this year added some more time]

Not only that, but SB54 includes items Count My Vote didn't because of constitution questions.

The legislature has been for 5 or more years trying to fix the state school board voting and will likely do it this year. It took 4 or more sessions to fix the disorderly conduct gun bill.

Providing time for the court to find out "where is the line" and see if is even possible to deal with 2014 SB 54 at the county and state levels is smart.

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


Thursday, February 20, 2014

2014 SB 54 Elections Amendments

2014 SB 54 Elections Amendments 

[update this is for Sub. 1 SB 54. Sub 2 has different requirements]

2014 SB 54 Elections Amendments, A proposal for the Utah Legislature to adopt Count My Vote, prior to knowing if they get enough signatures, and prior to a vote in November if they do. It provides exceptions, one of which would ruin the Same Day Ballot that the GOP is adding to increase participation for Neighborhood Caucus Election night.

Many citizens who attend their neighborhood elections and caucus meeting become interested in politics and get involved in their communities, the state and the nation. They meet and help candidates become elected. Some then later become candidates. This should be encouraged through education. SB 54, lines 796 to 800 ruins that and should be amended.  

Again, we need to amend it to allow greater participation by those that are new to the process. Delete lines 796 to 800. This will allow someone new to run the night of the meeting. We have and should have incentives to file and run for delegate or precinct chair prior to the meeting, but as drafted, the bill reduces participation.  

My letter to the Utah Republican State Central Committee:

Dear SCC members,
It is my opinion that if the proposed bill should be amended, particularly lines 796 to 800.
If not, the bill should not pass.
794 (b) permits members of the registered political party to vote for neighborhood
795 delegates remotely or by absentee ballot;
796 (c) accepts a vote cast remotely or by absentee ballot, under Subsection (12)(b), for a
797 period of not less than two days after the day on which:
798 (i) all delegate nominees of the registered political party have been identified; and
799 (ii) the name of each delegate nominee described in Subsection (12)(c)(i) is made
800 available to members of the registered political party;
The 2 day system in the bill for the caucus will ruin it.
You either can't find out that night who won any race, or
you have to file before you know who won.
Someone running for State Delete that night and losing and running for Prec. Chair or County Delegate if they lose goes away.
I have talked to Sen. Bramble last night [Tues. Feb. 4] about these concerns to no avail.
We, the SCC, have spent months coming up with a Same Day Ballot to solve the concerns and not ruin the meeting.
If not amended or deleted, lines 796 to 800 ruins the meeting.
See:
as well as:
We have made huge improvements for the 2014 Neighborhood Elections.
For some of these, see:
For purposed of reviewing Sen. Brambles 2014 SB 54 bill, and to allow the Count My Vote language to be put directly in statute with an exception to parties that qualify for the 4 items covered in the bill, I am willing to temporarily look past many of the flaws from the initiative, since they may not apply. See:
http://www.neighborhoodelection.org/flaws_in_count_my_vote_proposed_legislation


I am opposed to changing the system we have to allow unaffiliated voters to affiliate the day of election. It has proven to decrease cross voting during a primary and still allow individuals to vote. I believe that requirement, "allow unaffiliated voters to affiliate the day of election" could be part of SB 54 on lines 792 to 793.
As you know, I am not in favor of changing the threshold percentage to avoid a primary.
See:
I have no problem with electing alternate delegates, and we currently allow counties to do so.
If Lines 796 to 800, were modified to allow our Same Day Ballot to meet the requirements of lines 794 and 795,
we might have a bill to work with.
To replace the the threshold percentage item, the following items could be discussed:
legal notice requirements for caucus and convention and 
require election day affiliation for UAF so that law Isn't removed later. 
We could add voter info protection and 
remove straight party voting in the general. 
We could also fix the check a buck program so it comes out of the taxes of the person that checked the box instead of everyone else.

The final point is the bills timing. It is a big risk. See the critical dates from March 1st to May 15th.


Notice the bill would have to pass the legislature, both houses by March 13.
The Governor has until April 2 to sign or veto it.
The legislature has until May 12, to override a veto.

Count My Vote has until April 15 to get the signatures they need.
The county clerks have until May 1st to the 15th to verify the signatures and turn them in to the Lt. Gov. those that have requested to be removed.
The Lt. Gov. has until June 1st to decide if the number of signatures meets the law.

We do not know if between March 13th and April 15th if the number of signatures coming in will increase or decrease if the bill passes. It could either add fire to their initiative or crush it. It is a risky move. 

In a nutshell, 2014 SB 54 lines 796 to 800 must be amended or deleted before we even have something to discuss. (The 2 day requirement) it isn't the 48 hours it is the other requirements.

Fred C. Cox
Salt Lake County representative to the State Central Committee

Saturday, January 18, 2014

What is the Truth About Neighborhood Caucus Elections in Utah

All Utahns deserve the opportunity to understand the drastic changes that are being proposed to our election system and how these changes will impact YOU.  Count My Vote (CMV) is an initiative to change from our current Neighborhood Caucus Election system to a Direct Primary. One consequence of this would be to give big money and lobbyists a much more dominant role in Utah’s elections.

A diverse group of concerned volunteers from throughout the state has produced a presentation about the proposed changes.  Please take a minute to view the presentation  to better inform yourself about this issue and the consequences of enacting the proposed legislation.

Please share this information with those you know.  It is critical that people understand the ramifications of signing the Count My Vote petition, and that they know how to remove their signature if they have already signed it.

If you are interested in supporting this effort, please see the website below to volunteer your time or to make a donation.

Protect Our Neighborhood Elections 
http://www.neighborhoodelection.org/


Count My Vote and the Emperor's New Clothes

We have all heard the story of " The Emperor's New Clothes"


I have not spoken to anyone that has experience reading bills that have read the proposed "Count My Vote"  law that doesn't agree that the Legislature would have to fix it. They even admitted that.

It contradicts itself. I would have thought since they are spending over $3/4 Million on this they would have got a real "bill". 

http://fairelectionsutah.blogspot.com/2013/11/below-is-my-non-legal-analysis-of.html

 

The bunch of people that they had say the "bill" was constitutional, only said that based on one primary argument: Could the state force the parties to change their system based on the proposed "bill"?

They (Count My Vote) don't seem to want people to read it. Just sign it and vote on it later. The purpose of getting that many people to sign it is to make sure, since they are bypassing the legislature, that the "bill" gets vetted. We get ticked at congress if they don't read what they are voting on.

CMV intentionally made it hard for anyone to come to the public hearings, and almost no one would have come if we didn't invite them. They then had a chance to amend their proposed law and they didn't.

Now they hope some legislator can bail them out and change the law, but they can't back off because, I believe, they have told the education community that if CMV passes, they will use it to change the legislature so taxes are raised and education gets more money.

They have told others, I have heard, that CMV will allow certain candidates that "can't" win under the current system, to win, and those are helping to pull in the big bucks for them so their candidates get elected in 2016.

98% of all the money raised, $851,201.50 this year and before comes in contributions of $2,500 or more, much of it $25,000. 92% of all money raised came from 34 donors. 7 of 8 corporations donating to Count My Vote's PIC have not filed with the state as required by state law.

And Count My Vote is worried about 20,000 state and county delegates from the different parties that are elected by 150,000 voters? Perhaps we should worry about the 34 that are doing most of the funding of Count My Vote?