My brother Gabe wrote an interesting post highlighting how Google Trends searches show that Utah is a hotbed of Open Source. It reminded me that I haven’t plugged the Utah Open Source Conference that’s happening this week. This conference is something you don’t want to miss. I think you can still get tickets.
If your business is still not leveraging open source, you need to stop by to meet some of the people that can help you make it happen.
Now, on a separate nerdy note, I wanted to echo Gabe’s post by pointing out some business terms in which Utahans have peculiar interest according to search data in Google Trends. When it comes to industry related searches, we rank #1 for Multi Level Marketing, #2 in Outdoor Recreation, and #3 in Telemarketing.
I blogged that this was happening, and now it’s happened. I liked David’s Garber’s summary of the Utah GOP’s delegate bait and switch so much that I got permission to post it its entirety:
It’s official! This morning, by a vote of 70 supporters to 12 opponents, Utah’s state Republican Party’s Central Committee voted to adopt a proposed new “standing rule” that would apply a new twisted interpretation to our party’s by-laws–an interpretation that will now bind our state’s set of Republican national delegates to vote for McCain rather than Romney on their first national convention ballot.
Here is the precise text of this new standing rule:
This Standing Rule has been adopted by the State Central Committee of the Utah Republican Party and shall be a binding rule of the Utah Republican Party unless and until superseded by a change in the Constitution or Bylaws of the Utah Republican Party, or by a subsequent standing rule adopted by the State Central Committee expressly revoking or modifying this Standing Rule:
It is hereby ruled by the State Central Committee of the Utah Republican Party that:
1. An ambiguity exists in the meaning of “the candidate” as it is used in Bylaw 7.0 (B) that is sufficient to have generated public controversy among Party members over the meaning and effect of Bylaw 7.0(B); and that
2. Each reference to “the candidate” in Bylaw 7.0(B) is hereby interpreted to mean a person who is a candidate for nomination on the first ballot at the National Convention at the time of that ballot, according to the rules of the Republican National Committee and any rules adopted by the National Convention; and that
3. Bylaw 7.0(B) does not require that the Utah National Convention delegates and alternates be allocated to or bound to vote on the first ballot for a person who does not meet the definition of candidacy defined in part 2 of this Rule; and that
4. Bylaw 7.0(B) does require that the Utah National Convention delegates and alternates shall be allocated to and bound to vote on the first ballot for “the candidate” as defined in part 2 of this Rule, who has received the most votes of the statewide vote in the Utah Republican Presidential Primary.
RULED this 23rd day of August, 2008, by the State Central Committee of the Utah Republican Party, meeting in South Jordan, Utah, in the presence of a quorum.
Funny that they never noticed this “ambiguity” before–they seemed pretty clear about what it meant during our state convention when they tried to have this rule suspended.
I wrote this story for some friends on MySpace to try to explain what happened:
Utah’s GOP Leaders Defeat Utah’s GOP Rules
This morning marked the end of a long war between Utah’s GOP leaders and Utah’s GOP voters/delegates/rules over whom our national delegation will support at our national convention next week.
Utah’s GOP Primary: “Okay, it’s time to vote, Utahn Republicans! Which of these candidates do you prefer to become your next President?”
Utah’s GOP Voters: “Well, 89% of us reckon that we prefer that conservative-talkin’ LDS guy with the nice hair!”
Utah’s GOP Rules: “According to us, based on these primary election results, Utah’s Republican national delegation will be bound to cast 100% of their votes for Romney on their first national convention ballot in September.”
Mitt Romney: “Meh, my Presidential campaign is hopeless, with McCain’s friend Huckabee drawing votes away from me. So, I’m suspending it and becoming McCain’s biggest cheerleader, instead. *buttsmooch* I now want all of my national delegates to vote for McCain to the extent that the law/rules will allow. Now, what is thy bidding, my master?”
John McCain: “Muhahahahahahaha!!! Now, more than 51% of all national delegates will be voting for me! Next, I want to assimilate the other 49%, as well, so that I can enjoy a big everyone-loves-McCain-fest in September. Hey, Utah, gimme yours!!!”
Utah’s GOP Rules: “Sorry, McCain, but we don’t allow that–they’re bound to Romney, as the voters decided, and that’s final.”
Utah’s GOP Leaders: “Whoa, not so fast, you darn rules! No worries, John, we won’t let those pesky rules stop us from getting you whatever it is you want. Hey, state delegates, we need 2/3 of you to vote to suspend these annoying party rules so that our national delegates can be free to vote for McCain, instead.”
Utah’s GOP State Delegates: “Wait, you want us to throw out our rulebook and nullify our primary? Just to please that awful McCain?! HECK, NO!!!”
Utah’s GOP Leaders: “Dang, this won’t be as easy as we’d hoped. Darn those state delegates! Why must they be so devoted to those silly party rules rather than us? Hmmm, we need a different strategy to deliver those votes to McCain…”
Utah’s GOP Rules: “Forget about it, guys. As long as it’s up to us, Utah’s national delegates MUST cast their first set of ballots for whichever candidate received the most votes in Utah’s primary election. And that was Romney by a landslide. Sorry.”
Utah’s GOP Leaders: “Hey, that’s it!!! We’ll just redefine what the meaning of the word ‘IS’ is! Er, ‘candidate.’ Let’s see, hmmm… Let’s say that ‘the candidate who received the most votes in our primary election’ does not apply to candidates who suspend their campaigns once the primary election is over! So, although Romney was initially ‘the candidate who received the most votes’ with 89%, since he suspended his campaign, he no longer counts–and, so, McCain has now became ‘the candidate who received the most votes’ with only 5%. Once we pervert these rules, those darn rule-respecting Utahns can follow them AND still give us what we want! Why didn’t we think of this devious scheme sooner?!”
Utah’s GOP Rules: “Hey, that’s not what those who wrote us meant to…”
Utah’s GOP Leaders: “SHUT UP!!! You’ll mean what we say you mean! Now, central committee, we need you to vote to approve our new screwy interpretation that we’ve invented so that it will serve as a new standing rule for our party.”
Utah’s GOP Central Committee: “Okay, 85% of us say, hey, whatever you want, boss.”
Utah’s GOP Leaders: “Hurrah, we won!!! Eat that, voters and delegates! As you can see, your votes only count when we like the outcome. We, not your silly rules, are the supreme power in this party! Bwahahaha!!!”
So, in less than two weeks, despite the fact that 89% of Utah’s Republican voters wanted Mitt Romney (not Juan McCainnedy) to be their next President, and despite our party rules that we all assumed would bind our national delegation to support our primary election winner, our national delegation will presumably vote for McCain, instead, thanks to these underhanded machinations of our party leaders.
I’m tempted to produce some sort of flier about this subject, mass-produce it, and then deliver a copy of it to every likely voter in my area. Unfortunately, I’m too broke at the moment to spend much at any copy centers. But I hope that some of y’all will consider doing something like this, though. Our Republican neighbors need to know what schmucks are running their party and, unless they hear it from us, they may never hear it at all.
I also liked these comments from Lowell Nelson:
The new “standing rule” passed 70 to 12. It binds the Utah delegation to the convention-election candidate who received the most votes in the primary election. But it was introduced as a clarification (not a change to a bylaw), and passed with a simple majority instead of the two-thirds required to amend a bylaw. Dishonest. Lacking integrity. Sad day for the GOP and the Utah electorate…
Thus, in my view, party leadership was able to CHANGE Bylaw 7B WITHOUT proper notice and WITHOUT requiring a 2/3 majority vote. In doing so, they arbitrarily determined that the second-place finisher in the primary was also the second choice of the electorate (which is illogical to me). Effectively, this change repudiates the will of 265,000 Utah Republican voters and a majority of the state delegates, and replaces it with the will of a relatively few party leaders.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if delegates had been released to vote for whomever they liked, but this political chacanery to force Utah GOP delegates to vote for John McCain (who got less than 5% of the vote) is nothing short of political BS. Worse still is that the results of this “standing rule” created as result of political expedience will have long-reaching effects perhaps not considered by the State Central Committee.
Rob Alexander is one of the few Ron Paul endorced candidates running for State office; and he happens to be running in Utah. He’s running as a State Representative on the Republican ticket against a Democrat incumbent in the Utah’s 35th District.
I know Rob. I think he’s a good guy, and I like his politics (for the most part, anyway). He’s doing a money bomb today, and it looks like it could use a bigger push. I hope you’ll consider supporting his campaign.
There’s a volunteer meeting tomorrow as well, if you’d rather donate labor (or both). Here’s the info:
To celebrate the results of the moneybomb, I will have a campaign volunteer meeting the next day, Saturday, August 23, from 1 PM to 3 PM at the Taylorsville Library (formerly Park Library), 4870 S 2700 W, Taylorsville, 84118. We will be giving out walking/calling lists and rolling up fliers and placing them in clear plastic door-hanger tubes. Please reply to me directly at email@example.com to let me know whether or not you will be attending this meeting.
Thank you for your support of liberty, prosperity, and transparency,
The Deseret News is reporting that Governor Huntsman has ordered the Utah State Department of Commerce to monitor gas prices.
That’s just politics as usual, but I’m alarmed by how many people here in “conservative” Utah are commenting that they want the government to step in and “do something” rather than just “monitor”. It’s like we’re all living in some fantasy land where socialism works…
Attention people: price controls only ruin your quality of life. Prices that are artificially low cause shortages, and shortages mean hoarding, rationing, and long lines at the pump. Some days you just won’t get any. Do you seriously want that?
We should be thankful that the State is only “monitoring” for now. Ideally it wouldn’t be monitoring at all, because that’s a slippery slope –especially because political motives are involved. Plus, “monitoring” could be easily be done by an activist group or a not-for-profit –and they could do it without spending your tax money. That said, I will be interested to read the DoC report; I just wish it were generated by someone else and on someone else’s dime.
By the way, where were the government monitors a couple months ago when Utah enjoyed the lowest prices in the nation?
Prices fluctuate. If they’re unfair to either party, the market will insure that they become fair. That’s how free markets work. No intervention is necessary; in fact, intervention is almost always counterproductive.
Utah, the nation, and the world need a healthy dose of Econ 101. We shape our governments by our will, and if the voting public is ignorant of basic economics, our stupid will may well lead to our own demise.
I highly recommend Sowell’s Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy to anyone who wants an excellent treatise on economics, especially as it pertains to government.
I thought these emails were insightful as to the way the insider politics work in the Utah GOP:
From: Ivan DuBois [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 8:15 PM
To: Utah Republican Party
Subject: State Central Committee Issue
Dear State Central Committee Member:
Today we received a written request from State Central Committee member Mark Shurtleff to give our National Delegates some flexibility at the National Convention regarding the Utah vote. (His modified State Convention Resolution is below for your reference). He is asking that the State Central Committee allow the delegation to consider and fulfill the wishes of Mitt Romney, the winner of the Utah Republican Presidential Primary with over 90% of the vote.
I have had many discussions with the Romney campaign on this issue. They are firm in their desire for their delegates to be released. (See the attached Letter from Mitt Romney).
The Utah Republican Party Constitution does not address the issue of rebinding delegates once a candidate has withdrawn and asked to have their delegates released. To research this issue, I have spoken with the RNC to find out how other States are handling similar situations. I have also studied the Utah Republican Party governing documents, RNC Rules, Utah State law, and our Parliamentary Authority – Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
I have concluded that our National Delegates can be released, in part because no harm will be done to the affected party (Mitt Romney). In fact, this action is in response to his request. This procedure will be consistent with how other State Parties have handled this issue, according to the RNC.
I am asking for your support of my finding to allow Utah’s National Delegates to be released from voting for Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention.
The State Central Committee is the governing body of the Party so your advice and consent is very important on this issue. I would like to request that each State Central Committee member review this information closely and then respond to this e-mail. Please provide your feedback on my decision by tomorrow, Friday, August 8 at 5 p.m.
P.S. If we are unable to come to an agreement electronically, we will need to address the issue at a State Central Committee meeting on Saturday, August 23, 2008.
RESOLUTION REGARDING RELEASE OF UTAH’S NATIONAL
WHEREAS, Governor Mitt Romney was the candidate receiving the most votes of the statewide vote in Utah’s February 5, 2008 Republican Presidential Primary;
WHEREAS, Senator John S. McCain was the candidate receiving the second most votes of the statewide vote in Utah’s February 5, 2008 Republican Presidential Primary;
WHEREAS, Governor Romney has since withdrawn from the 2008 Presidential Election;
WHEREAS, Governor Romney has endorsed Senator McCain;
WHEREAS, Governor Romney supports Senator McCain’s candidacy for President of the United States of America;
WHEREAS, Governor Romney has respectfully requested that Utah’s National Convention Delegates attending the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota cast their votes for Senator McCain. In particular, in his February 29, 2008 letter to Utah Republican Party Chairman Stan Lockhart, Governor Romney wrote:
“Because I am no longer a formal candidate for the presidency of the United States, please consider this an official release, to the extent allowed by party rules and state law, of all delegates bound, committed, or otherwise pledged to vote for me at the 2008 Republican National Convention. I strongly encourage all released and uncommitted delegates to cast their votes for Senator John McCain at the Convention.”;
WHEREAS, the Utah Republican Party desires to respect Governor Romney’s request;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Utah’s National Convention Delegates attending the 2008 Republican National Convention are released from voting for Mitt Romney.
LET IT ALSO BE RESOLVED that we give the delegation the decision making ability to vote for John McCain.
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff
Here are some excellent responses. This one is from Don Guyman:
With all due respect this request is completely out of order.
1) Where in the rules does it allow our delegates to be unbound? Utah voters went to the polls and voted by over 90% for Mitt Romney. These same voters gave John McCain 5% of the vote. According to our rules our national delegates are bound to Romney on the first vote. It is not fair to the Utah voters who went to the polls to vote for Romney to suddenly change the rules after the vote has been taken.
2) This same proposal was presented to the state convention delegates who voted to table the matter.
3) There is no provision in the C&B for electronic voting. This process is out of order.
4) Through the email process there is no room for debate of delegates. Only one side is being presented.
We can spend all of the money we want on ad campaigns, but if we are not viewed as a party that can be trusted we will eventually lose political power in the state.
With all due respect, I ask you to reconsider your motion.
This one is from Rob Alexander:
Dear Utah Republican Party Executive Committee,
The proposal by Chairman Lockhart and Attorney General Shurtleff to release Utah’s national Republican delegates from voting for Governor Romney on the first ballot is an egregious violation of the rules, especially the way it is proposed to do so. The Utah Republican Party Constitution does not address the issues of binding or releasing national delegates. The Utah Republican Party Bylaws clearly state the following:
7.0 CONVENTIONS AND ELECTIONS
B. Allocation and Binding of National Delegation. All National Convention delegates and alternates shall be allocated to the candidate receiving the most votes of the statewide vote in the Republican Presidential Primary. On the first ballot, the national delegation shall be bound to vote for the candidate who has received the most votes in the Republican Presidential Primary, but the delegation shall not be bound on any subsequent ballots.
Also, we delegates at the state convention resoundly booed Chairman Lockhart when he requested extra time to speak in favor of releasing the delegates from Governor Romney. I believe we delegates voted to table the matter not because we wanted it brought up by the State Central Committee at a later time, but because we wanted to end discussion on the issue.
Further, as National Delegate Guymon mentioned below, there is no provision in the Utah Republican Party Constituion or Bylaws for electronic voting, thus making the proposed process out of order.
As such, I respectfully encourage each of you to request that Chairman Lockhart and Attorney General Shurtleff withdraw their motion.
REPUBLican State Delegate, Salt Lake County
REPUBLican Candidate for State Representative
Utah Legislative District 35
This one is from Lowell Nelsen:
Thank you for asking, Stan.
Here are three quick reasons (not exhaustive) why Mark Shurtleff’s request should be denied:
1. As you said, our party constitution does “not address the issue of rebinding delegates once a candidate has withdrawn and asked to have their delegates released.” It does, however, clearly indicate that the votes of our delegates in the first round be given to the candidate who received the most votes in the Presidential Preference Primary (regardless of the status of that candidate). Therefore, our delegates must remain bound to Mitt until after the first round of balloting is concluded. This is a “rules” issue; we must follow the rules.
2. This question essentially was answered at the state convention when, by a super majority, state delegates voted to table the motion to unbind our national delegates from Mitt Romney. For the State Central Committee to reverse the decision of the convention would be a breech of the trust placed in the committee by county parties and Republican delegates throughout the state. This is a “trust” issue. First, the electorate of Utah said that Mitt Romney should receive 36 votes in the first round. Second, the state convention (composed of roughly 3500 state delegates) said that Mitt Romney should receive 36 votes in the first round. Is the State Central Committee (SCC) so brazen as to repudiate those two referenda and just do what it darn well pleases?
3. In our party constitution, Article IV, Section D, we read the following: “Quorum. In order to conduct binding business, the State Central Committee must have a quorum in attendance, defined as 40 voting members.” (This clause is echoed in the bylaws, Article II, Section B.) These two words, “in attendance,” clearly implies that a meeting (something that can be attended) be held in order to conduct binding (or unbinding, in this case :–) business. Therefore, putting forth this resolution is out of order. No provision is made for the SCC to meet, establish a quorum, debate, and vote (conduct binding business) electronically.
Please withdraw the motion/resolution.
Thank you. Lowell.
I couldn’t agree more with these last three. This back-door motion should be offensive to Utah State Republican Delegates who already voted on the matter in convention.
Why are Utah GOP insiders so anxious to show support for John McCain that they would disregard their own bylaws and trample the will of their own state delegates? Politics are supposed to be from the bottom up, not the top down.