I agree with precisely one sentence in Davis GOP Chair Phill Wright’s recent guest column (Your Vote Counts in Caucus System - March 6). It is “Go to your caucus night.” Beyond that single sentence, I find Chairman Wright’s facts, math, and conclusions to be seriously flawed.
But let’s focus on our area of agreement first. A vote at the caucus is the only way to have a voice in who ends up on Utah’s primary ballots...until the changes in the Count My Vote (CMV) compromise take effect. So please, attend the caucus of your choice.
My strongest disagreement with Chairman Wright’s article is his assertion that CMV does not represent the average Utah voter because 35 wealthy donors contributed the bulk of the funding necessary to run the CMV campaign. Chairman Wright knows all too well that those people are not the only supporters or benefactors of CMV. And even if they were, it is Chairman Wright’s contention that a few wealthy contributors somehow invalidate the political support of the thousands of voters who give time, effort, and small amounts of money? If that is his claim, then his own mega-donor dependent party is in serious trouble.
According to Chairman Wright, CMV supporters are those who “are unelectable and know the only way to get elected is to outspend the Republican Party nominee with millions of dollars in a direct primary.”
Not only is this assessment blatantly wrong, it is illustrative of Chairman Wright’s dismissive opinion that only the GOP should set the political landscape. I spent months gathering hundreds of signatures from Davis County residents who strongly support CMV and the number of mega-million dollar potential candidates among them was exactly zero.
Then who are the people supporting CMV? They are the 65-75 percent of Utahns who expressed their support of caucus reform in multiple independent polls. They are certainly the 100,000-plus petition signers. They are also the many volunteers who gathered signatures statewide. Chief among them were many members of the Davis Alliance for Public Education. They gathered thousands of local signatures, and contrary to what opponents of CMV have alleged, they did it without pay and without pressuring or deceiving anyone. They did it by showing up week after week and by explaining what an open primary system could do for Utah.
Utah voters then stepped eagerly forward by the thousands to sign. That is what I saw, and more importantly, that is what the State Legislature saw. That is why they compromised on a solution before the full reforms of CMV were voted into law, which they certainly would have been had the measure gone to a general vote. Thanks, Davis Alliance volunteers and thanks, Utah voters for your commitment to broader representation at all stages of Utah government.