Utah Democrats Continue Battling Utah Conservatives

After a sound defeat of the Direct Primary Elections Act by grassroots Republicans, Utah Liberals are furiously seeking alternatives to force the petition to be on the ballot. 

“We’ll point out there were a number of signatures that should have been validated, that were invalidated,” said Rich McKeown, a Count My Vote organizer. “We’re optimistic we’ll be on it (the ballot) at the end of the day.”

Count My Vote (CMV) supporters claim to have majority support in the state. KUTV reported:

“A recent poll reportedly showed the initiative, which would make it easier for people to run under political party banners and get on “direct primary” ballots while bypassing party conventions, had roughly two-thirds support.”

But where was the poll taken? How many people were polled, and how well to they reflect Utah Voters? Were they well informed on what the bill would do, who is behind it, and its effect in other states on empowering corrupt politicians?

Featured Article

'Count My Vote' to take case to Utah Supreme Court

"CMV says its lawyers are working on a filing now, and the court should have it in a couple of weeks."

It seems Utah Democrats (often found in Republican groups referring to themselves “moderates”) are determined to turn Utah into California. Utah and California could not be more different, each have been dominated by opposing principles. While Utah is finding incredible success, prosperity, and growth in small, limited government principles, California is experiencing its citizens are leaving more than they have moving in. Perhaps Utah Democrats would feel more comfortable in the Liberal Utopia of high taxes and few freedoms. 

We’ve already reported on how 4/5 of the sponsors of CMV are registered and lifelong Democrats, the dishonesty that drove the “success” in CMV’s signature gathering, and how effective telling the truth was in getting those signatures removed with 75% of CMV signers approached by pro-caucus Republicans.

“If it was done in an underhanded way, illegally, then it shouldn’t be on the ballot,” said Mary Loraine Roberson, a Provo resident and long time Republican voter.

Mary Roberson continued to say that she was approached by CMV signature gatherers, and did not sign. Yet her signature, and her husband’s, was still found on the ballot. She would not have discovered it except that a Conservative Republican volunteer came to her door to see if she wanted her signature removed. 

“I didn’t sign,” she said in a 2News interview, adding she thinks her signature was “forged.”

Do Conservatives Need to Worry?

Yes. And no.

Let’s assume CMV’s appeal is heard by the Utah Supreme Court, and that it does make it to the ballot in November.

One the one hand, 75% of signers of CMV do not support it.

On the other hand, with a misnomer like, “Count My Vote,” most people will vote for it thinking they are voting for a triumph over the Establishment, not realizing they are turning elections into a money game.

Most people hear the word “democracy” and equate it to freedom. They do not realize that pure democracy is essentially mob rule, where voting is done by the masses who do not read bills before voting for them. They were never taught in our school system, or they have forgotten, the brilliance of a republic.

What Can Be Done?

Improve the Caucus

Either way we need to be constantly improving the neighborhood caucus system.

Increase attendance, improve education. The neighborhood caucus system has the organizational structure to inform voters in ways direct primaries could never do (and were never intended to do).

Tell the Truth

While improving the neighborhood caucus system, we can also inform our neighbors of the efforts of Utah Democrats to subvert our voice through direct primary elections.

The truth is on our side, direct primaries run most of the country, and they are doing a terrible job at keeping government officials accountable. Sharing these things with our neighbors and networking with our neighbors is the best way to get our nation back. 

By simply informing our neighbors we can preserve our grassroot Conservative voices, and defeat corrupt politicians and Utah Democrats.

Hidden Signatures May Be Turned In A Month Late

An Expected Surprise

Utah politics seems to reflect the shenanigans of the national Democratic Party. 

Two days after the successful (and punctual) submission of roughly 2,600 signature removal forms, a stack of signature packets has mysteriously been discovered. How more than 100 packets went missing only to be discovered a month after their due date, and 2 days after the Direct Primary Election Act was likely disqualified, has many in a state of utter dismay. 

This kind of behavior becomes suspicious, especially after signature gatherers for direct primaries were caught and admitted to forging signatures, a 70% turnover rate by those informed on what was in the petition, and what appears to be Lt. Governor Spencer Cox’s previous attempt to try to suppress the voice of the people in removing their signatures from a petition they do not support. Soon a pattern of dishonesty begins to form, which has many questioning how well the voice of the people is truly being represented by certain elected officials.

“I am sending these petition packets back to your office for immediate processing, and request you provide a written explanation as to why they were not processed by the close of business today.” – Lt. Governor Spencer Cox

Featured Article

Utah County forgot to process a box of Count My Vote petitions

“We found one box that contained 105 petition packets that do not appear to have been reviewed by your office,” Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, the state’s top election official.

Who is Responsible?

Generally, the answer is “cui bono?” Who stands to benefit for the packets being unprocessed until after the deadline for signature removals has passed?

It appears the clerk’s office intentionally did not process 105 signature packets, but then decided to enclose the unprocessed packets upon submitting them to the Lt. Governor’s office. The unprocessed packets being discovered by the Lt. Governor’s office has led to rumors that the Utah County Clerk’s Office was intentionally withholding packets to help the pro-caucus movement, and harm the progressive’s direct primary movement. 

If that were the case, the plan would be as immoral as it was poorly implemented.

Whether you agree with the pro-caucus Keep My Voice movement or not, one thing cannot be denied. They are not idiots. 

Strategically speaking, if Keep My Voice were to collude with the Utah County Clerk to leave over 105 packets unprocessed, the next logical step would be to destroy them before they could be sent to the Lt. Governor’s office, and the collusion discovered. This begs the question: who is responsible for the packets not being process?

Keep My Voice volunteers were regularly told, “We believe there are signature packets that have not been processed in a few counties, so we have to go above and beyond the threshold we were told to be effective,” Utah County being one of those mentioned. More information on their report, including digital evidence of certain individual(s) at the clerk’s office knowing about the unprocessed packets and intentionally ignoring them, is expected to be released shortly.

What's Fair is Fair

We will let the courts make the determination of responsibility, as a serious election law was broken.

Everyone’s voice deserves to be heard. No one should be penalized  for the ineptitude of a clerk, or the corruption of an elected official, and each of the people who signed deserves to be counted if their signature was submitted properly and on time. 

Similarly, each of those people deserves to not be misled by Count My Vote signature gatherers, especially in the cause of forgery. If the Lt. Governor is going to count those signatures (as he likely will) he also must give those same people an equal opportunity to have their names removed from a petition do not support (as they likely don’t).

As a reminder, 70%+ of those who signed Count My Vote, when told what is in it, readily requested their signatures be removed. Will the voice of those in the missing signature packets be honored, and time be given to properly inform them of what they signed their name and support to?

Brandon Beckham, founder at KMV, with a stack of signature removal forms

If you haven’t watched this one, do it. It’s 2 minutes, and well worth your time.

Does it matter?

Of course it matters, either through Clinton level corruption or supreme ineptitude, election law was violated, and someone needs to be held accountable. 

The question many are wondering is, will this get Count My Vote back on the ballot, effectively making each election a money game?

We will not know for sure until June 1st, when the Lt. Governor will have a final tally of what is on the ballot and what is not. Of course, once any petition is on the ballot it must still be voted on in the general election. 

We do know there is talk  of pro-caucus supporters ready to pursue legal action against those responsible, if necessary.

It seems unlikely CMV will be on the ballot, as KMV and many other small government lovers worked their tails off in a variety of counties, to inform their neighbors and get signatures off the ballot in multiple counties. KMV anticipated this kind of tomfoolery, even in Utah County. Multiple reports from their staff indicate they saw the unprocessed packets, inquired about them multiple times, and were told, “not to worry about those.” 

Well, worry they did, and they proceeded under the assumption that each of those packets was uncounted and full. Even though Utah County reported only being 38 signatures over the minimum threshold, Brandon Beckham reported turning in 845 signature removals, not including mail in removals, all collected within a 3 week timespan. This was roughly 810 more than they were told they needed to remove, if nothing else you can’t help but admire their work ethic.

The concern is that the wealthiest and most powerful people in Utah tend to be opposed to the vetting process unique to the caucus system. They realize the best way to buy elections is through direct primaries, and so they are running as much propaganda in the large cities as they can, trying to make caucus a “dirty word.”

The Good News

Regardless of what happens, we know God is in control. 

On the one hand, the people get the government and society we deserve. If we end up with a direct democracy, we will have to pay the consequences and join the rest of America living with, essentially, mob rule. For a while, we will wonder why things are so bad, with everyone voting on everything and every politician whether they have studied the issues and people or not. But eventually we will learn the wisdom of the Founding Fathers when they set up a democratic republic. 

On the other hand, a small, dedicated, educated, and faithful group of patriots has saved this country multiple times before, and with our continued prayers and hard work, we will qualify for heaven’s intervention once again.

Last Effort By Utah’s “Political Elite”

In what seems to be a last ditch effort to silence the grassroots of Utah, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox’s office has determined to… look, I have no other way to phrase this, they decided to play games. 

For weeks the Lt. Governor the signature removal forms needed to be turned in, “by May 15th.” 

Some time today (May 14th), however, some of the pro-caucus leaders at Keep My Voice were informed the signature removal forms needed to be turned in “before May 15th.” 

After a great deal of frantic scrambling, and no short amount of 3+ hour drives to get forms turned in to the appropriate county clerk’s offices last minute, reports indicate that all signature removal forms have been successfully turned in.

A note of appreciation ought to go out to the county clerks, who have been diligent in ensuring the voice of the people is properly represented.

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox

This photo is a screenshot from the Utah State Code, amended back in 2011.

Notice it clearly says, “before May 15th.”

Source: Utah.gov

This photo is a screenshot from the signature removal forms.

Notice it clearly says, “by May 15th.”

Source: Official Signature Removal Form

Of course mistakes can happen. No one is perfect, and we realize that. 

At the same time, we can’t help but think that if the Lt. Governor’s office were accepting anti-caucus petitions, they might have been a little more flexible, giving the benefit of the doubt and accepting the date displayed on the official Utah signature removal forms.

Of course, we would never assume this was an attempt to use a coincidental typographical mistake to ignore the voice of the people as they attempt to remove their signatures from a petition they realized they do not support. That would be unethical behavior, and so we would never make that assumption. Ever.

In the end, however, it doesn’t matter why the confusion took place. The people’s voice was represented because they were able to make an educated decision, rather than being pressured into signing a petition they realized they did not understand.

And hopefully the time spent knocking doors to better inform our neighbors will make us all a little more involved in the neighborhood caucus system the next time around. We, the people of Utah, are stronger when we are actively engaged and united in the cause of freedom.

It Shouldn’t Be So Easy To Get a Bill on the Ballot

After a David slaying Goliath type effort by grassroots Conservatives, it is expected that the “Direct Primary Election Act,” a petition based on Progressive/Liberal principles, will be disqualified from the ballot in November.

This has led to “Political Insiders” complaining that their $3.1 million dollars has gone to waste. Conservatives everywhere are, of course, devastated at their loss.

Said one “political insider:”

The tactics being used to rescind signatures are appalling. They are misleading and in many instances unethical. The chance to have something on the ballot to be able to vote on it is already a Herculean effort, and these unethical tactics to rescind signatures do not have a place in our democracy.”

Yet, in spite of their complaints, out of the hundreds of signature removals gathered by the pro-caucus efforts, where are the complaints of unethical behavior? If it required unethical behavior to get signatures removed, why did volunteers report that honesty and education were the best methods of gathering removals?

Former Governor Mike Leavitt called pro-caucus supporters, “dishonest,” and Rich McKeown, another sponsor of the Direct Primary Election Act, accused volunteers of “bullying,” and “unfair.” Yet the state elections director Justin Lee said his staff has, “had a few calls,” about the signature removal process, but no complaints of dishonesty, threats, or bullying.

Now, to be fair, there were reports of unethical behavior, though they were not from the pro-caucus movement. Pro-Direct Primary signature gatherers were charged and admitted to forging up to 472 signatures in Weber County.

More common than forgery, it seems was misinformation was the real culprit in gathering support for direct primaries. Volunteers who went door to door collecting signature removals reported a 70%+ success rate, simply by telling the truth. Read more about their education campaign here.

Featured Article

'Political Insiders' say it should be more difficult to remove signatures from ballot initiatives

"Our "Political Insider" panel is a select group of Republican and Democratic politicians, officeholders, lobbyists, and activists. This survey is NOT scientific."

Should We Have Petitions At All?

One anonymous commenter on the article pointed out:

“Passing laws by initiative is a very poor way to make laws. It allows for no amendments, compromises, or other give and takes that carefully considered laws require. Therefore, allowing rescinding signatures is a check on poorly considered proposals.”

Another said:

“I think initiatives generally make for bad policy (see California, for example) because they are not subjected to the same checks and balances–committee hearings, floor debates, veto, etc.–as traditional legislation. The proponents also don’t have to deal with the budget implications of the initiatives they pass. The Framers feared direct democracy for a reason. Consequently, I believe it should be hard to pass Initiatives–even harder than it is now.”

On the one hand, it is true, signature gathering is generally a terrible way to pass laws or nominate candidates. Some people will be highly informed on current events and candidate’s principles and history, but most people are not. Most people don’t have time to do so, which is why they elect their neighbors to be delegates and candidates to be government representatives. It is, in fact, the entire reason for representative government.

We elect representatives to read, debate, amend, and pass legislation. If they aren’t doing a good job representing you and your values, then let’s elect better representatives.

On the other hand, the Founding Fathers strongly believed in checks and balances. Petitions for citizen drafted laws can be a check on unresponsive representatives. It is not ideal, having better representatives is of course the ideal, and history shows the single path neighborhood caucus/convention system is the best way to achieve that

Our representatives ought to be so in tune with the elected delegates, who represent the people, that we don’t need legislative petitions in the first place. But if we must have the dual path, and if we must have legislative petitions, let’s at least make them better than they are now.

Here are some ideas to improve signature initiatives:

  1. Lower the amount of required signatures per county, but require signatures be gathered at a government building on a digital kiosk to ensure signers truly care about the petition, rather than being collected door to door by paid staff.
  2. Require a valid government I.D. be scanned by the digital kiosk.
  3. Require petitions be contained to a single page of a specified font, size, and margin to ensure brevity and help increase understanding.
  4. Require petition be read aloud before signing.
The above steps would save hundreds of thousands of dollars, lower the risk of forgery, and ensure everyone knows exactly what they are signing before giving their support. This would also allow petitions to be brought forth based on their merit more than how much their financial backers can pay signature gatherers.

How Difficult Is It To Get Your Name On the Petition?

To sign a ballot petition you need to provide your: 

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Signature.

This information is typically fairly easy to come by, you will often see signature gatherers in front of the grocery store or Gail Miller’s Megaplex Theaters.

While the petition may be dozens of pages long, few, if any, signers have time to read through them all. This is the entire purpose of electing representatives, so they can be the professionals in reading and understanding complex legislation. That is the entire point of representative government, and why the Founders called pure democracy, “mob rule.” 

Here is an example of a petition signature form.

Click to Expand

Required Information

Click to Expand

How Difficult Is It To Get Your Name Off the Petition?

To remove your signature from a ballot petition you need to provide your: 

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Last 4 digits of your social
  4. Entire driver’s license number
  5. The name of the ballot you want your name removed from
  6. Signature

There tends to be considerably more pushback from people when requesting this information. It took building a relationship of trust,  education, and passion in favor of the neighborhood caucus system for people to be willing to give such sensitive personal information over the past few weeks.

Here is an example of a petition signature removal form.

Click to Expand

Required Information

Click to Expand

In other words, it is already considerably more difficult to remove your signature than it is to add it. It’s no wonder, then, that these “political insiders” want to make it impossible for voters to remove their support after learning more about what they have signed.

The hope of Delegate Digest is that there will be more transparency and accountability in the future for the petition signature gathering process, as we outlined above. The people of Utah deserve to know a) what they are signing, and b) to remove their signature if it was gathered by unethical means.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Representative Republic vs Pure Democracy

Why Not Democracy?

Did you know the word “democracy” is not found in the Constitution, nor in the Bill of Rights, or even the Declaration of Independence? Yet the word “republic” is found 5 times in the Constitution, the governing document of our nation.

Why is it the Founding Fathers of our nation created so many checks and balances, yet only gave the people the power to vote directly for members of the House of Representatives? (Article I Section 2:1) All other officers of the Federal Government are chosen by the elected representatives, or appointed by them. 

The Senate, originally, was appointed by the elected State Legislatures, up until the 17th Amendment. The 17th Amendment, by the way, was passed with the promise of “ending corruption in Congress.” How well has that gone over? 

The President, originally, was appointed by the Electoral College. Members of the Electoral College once were elected by the people, who then in turn elected the President.

Why do this? What is the advantage of representative government? We have the technology, why not have everyone vote for the House, Senate, and President, right? 

Well, why stop there. If it is better that everybody have a vote on who is nominated to represent the party in government elections, then wouldn’t it be even better if we ended Congress and the Presidency, and instead had everybody vote on every piece of legislation? 

Just log into your phone every morning and decide if we are going to war with China. Right?

In fact, why have a jury trial? We could all wake up and pass a guilty/not guilty verdict on each trial in our city, county, state, or county?

Featured Video

Democracy (Demos-kratein) is Latin for “Rule of the People”

Republic (Res Publica) is Latin for “Rule of the Public/Law”

"Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%."
(source)
Thomas Jefferson

Why a Republic?

A government where the people can vote on every law and elect every politician has proven to do more harm than good. Take Congress in our own nation, for example, where the people directly elect every member of Congress through direct primaries. Rather than representing the people, Congress has a 15% approval rating, yet they maintain a 90% reelection rate.

Going back to the jury example, the average voter does not have the time to keep up on every issue, to meet every candidate, or to follow every jury trial. It is not that the average voter is stupid, it is that they have different priorities, and that’s okay! That is why the Founders knew to delegate the responsibility from the people to delegates/representatives. They followed the pattern of Moses with the children of Israel, assigning “captains” of 10 families, 50, 100, etc.

The Founders knew the closer representatives were to those that voted them in, the more accountable they would be. This is why they favored small, localized governments, and representative government. 

Consider it this way: Let’s say your Senator is voting for things you do not support, How difficult is it for you, as a voter, to reach your Senator in Washington D.C. How well is your voice truly heard when you are but one of millions of voters?

Now consider how expensive it is for him to listen to you when he has to reach millions of other voters every term. How can he listen to millions of voices? He has to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach as many people as he can, and he can only reach them for a short time.

In contrast, how much easier is it for you to get ahold of your neighborhood delegate down the street? Or your city councilman, or state legislature? 

Let’s say our nation still ran as a republic instead of being so close to pure democracy, and your Senator was making bad decisions. Rather than you trying to reach his cell phone among millions of others, you call your local representative, the ones that appointed the Senator for you, and let him or her know your opinion. Now your local representative calls D.C. as a delegate or elected government official. In states like Utah, where republics still exist, Senators take the calls of the delegates that elected them, and because there are far fewer of them, the Senators can take far more time with each neighborhood delegate, to hear their concerns.

If that Senator were no longer representing the voice of the people, they can easily be removed by the delegates who elected him/her in, because delegates tend to pay  far closer attention to those they have elected than the average voter. That’s how Bob Bennett was replaced by Mike Lee, which is likely what started the war on the Neighborhood Caucus System in Utah.

The fact of the matter is that the Founders were right. The closer representatives are to those that voted them in, the better accountability.

America Needs More Caucuses & Less Primaries

Trust in Congress is at an all time low, and yet the incumbency rate is still 90%. What can Americans do to replace bad incumbents and get new, grassroot voices in office so we can restore our faith in Congress? 

The current prevailing system, direct primaries via signature gathering, favor the wealthy and popular. Voters tend to vote based on name recognition, not on principle. This is not because the average American is stupid, rather, it is a simple fact of human psychology. When we are unfamiliar with a situation, we will seek the familiar.

The majority of states have demonstrated for decades that the signature path/direct primaries are ineffective in consistently electing trustworthy Congressmen. Utah, on the other hand, demonstrates that the Neighborhood Caucus-Convention System is better at consistently giving grassroots candidates the advantage over those who would otherwise win by outspending the underdog.

From the article:

“As someone who has spent years recruiting and championing primary challengers to the establishment, I could write a book on how the system is irremediably broken. It is truly the nightmare our Founders envisioned that direct democracy would be, but it is even more potent in primaries, where name ID is everything.

Representative conventions are the great equalizer against the media. 

“Imagine if every red state held a convention instead of primaries and that determined the nominee on the spot? Sure, we wouldn’t win every nomination, but we’d have a better record than our five percent success rate in the House and essentially zero percent rate in the Senate.”

 Note: The following article is shared not to criticize Mitt Romney, but to demonstrate that the Neighborhood Caucus System is far more effective at giving grassroots candidates a shot, and denying popular candidates from being shooed in by the media without competition.

Featured Article

Romney’s Utah setback proves nominating conventions could fix the Senate

"If we continue down the current path with popular primaries, we will continue to elect the same Republicans – even in solid red states, even as they commit one political betrayal after another."

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About Us

Delegate Digest is dedicated the mission of protecting and rejuvenating the Neighborhood Caucus/Convention System.

We believe the best way to protect the caucus system is to rejuvenate it. Simply implementing it’s inherit organizational structure, unique at the grassroots level, will show people how genius small government representation truly is, and how vastly superior it is to pure democracy.

Rather than protecting the status quo, we need to implement modern technology to help get people to their caucus meeting, and keep them involved and informed in the time between.

Our hope is that upon seeing the caucus system fully implemented and representing their views, the citizens of Utah will laugh at attempts to subvert or destroy the caucus system.