Saturday, August 19, 2017
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Iron County Republican Party Response to "Opinion on Caucus System"

Iron County Republican Party Response to "Opinion on Caucus System

On March 7th, Josh Huntsman wrote an opinion piece criticizing the Republican Party Caucus system. Huntsman accused the Iron County Republican Party of being out of line with the state party and not interested in seeing changes. In fact, in February an email was sent out to all precinct leadership and delegates explaining why we support the caucus system and asking for suggestions and comments at the utgopgrowth.com website. Also prior to that, there was in depth discussion amongst party leaders and delegates at our county party luncheon in January. I couldn't more strongly disagree with Huntsman's analysis of the caucus/convention system. On the off month we encourage these same delegates and precinct leaders to reach out to their neighbors within their precinct and ask for their feedback and concerns. I would encourage Mr. Huntsman reach out to the leadership of the party for feedback before making broad statements on behalf of the party and their organization.

I also find it ironic that Huntsman chooses to criticize heavily, a system to which he hasn't been a party. According to party data, Huntsman hasn't attended caucus in the last 6 years. I want him to know his voice is welcome. But his criticism of a process he, for whatever reason, hasn't participated in demonstrates a lack of credibility on this topic.  

The caucus system, is a system that is very representative of our republic form of government. We have a republican form of government with democratic processes not the other way around and there is remarkable wisdom in this.

 It's commonly mistaken  or portrayed by the media today that the U.S. is a democracy. That has unfortunate consequences for those who don't understand and appreciate what a republican form of government is.

 Article 4 section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states in part: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government."

So an analogy,

When we have a court trial, do we gather the town and have them all judge the accused by a majority vote if the person is guilty or not?

 No, but rather we have a jury of concerned citizens who carefully analyze the facts and make a tough decision based on the evidence provided.

The right to a trial issue/jury has a long and thoughtful history, the founders were very wise in many ways, the jury system today in the U.S. exemplifies the representation model that the caucus system is. 

The right to a trial by jury is found in many places in the constitution (Article III, section 2, (3), and it's also found in amendments 6 and 7 of the bill of rights)

The caucus system is the same model. It's the model of a republican form of government. 

Not every person has the time or wants to spend the time vetting candidates and issues for hours on end, days on end, townhall meeting after townhall meeting, meeting after meeting to figure out which of the 11 candidates who filed for 1 of the 8 public offices to vote for. (or however many it is that year) Then they get to do the same thing only for the other 7 public offices. (I'm only speaking of Republican candidates.) Last year 10 Republican candidates filed for U.S. Senate. This was narrowed down to 2 at the primary by delegates to the state convention.

The Utah caucus system takes money and TV ad's out the picture. It allows for any Republican willing to put forth the time to voice their positions on the issues and answer questions of delegates to have a real chance of becoming a public office holder.

Huntsman proposes that no matter what, 2 candidates advance to a primary. Why should the Republican party spend all its resources on primaries if the candidate receives 60% or more of the vote. Practically your saying we should have required Mia Love (who received 70% of the vote by duly elected delegates) to go to a primary election, spend a lot of money competing in a primary against another Republican and then challenge longtime incumbent Jim Matheson after exhausting many of her resources. 

This system also makes our public officials more accountable to the people. Rather than calling your Senators office and waiting on hold and then speaking to an intern who you hope will have time to pass your concern on to the senator, you have delegates as a powerful voice for your neighborhood.

These delegates represent a body of people from their caucus who duly elected them as a delegate. They have the voice of their neighbors and that representative will be proactive in reaching out to that delegate to try and obtain their vote. Ask any state delegate how many phone calls they get when they become a state delegate.

Now ask yourself, as a citizen, how many phone calls do I get from my senator, congressman or public official asking me what's important to me.

Take away the caucus system and it takes away in large, accountability by public office holders to the people.

Anyone can be involved and participate, And we the Executive committee of the county Republican party invite you to please participate. An informed electorate provides the best result in elections.

Blake Cozzens

Vice-Chair, Iron County Republican Party

The content of this message is approved by the entire executive committee of the Iron County Republican Party.