A tried and tested political strategy is to appeal to the majority. Nothing wins points like tapping into popular opinion, and the Count My Vote effort is trying to do just that. Unfortunately, just like so many other efforts that do the same, they’re just the same old tired elitism trying on a new outfit. I’m not fooled, and you shouldn’t be either.
The first sign that this isn’t some grassroots effort is the money involved. So far, donors have contributed an average of $21K a pop. That’s enough money to run a pretty successful state house race. Count My Vote has raised enough for 21 such races. That’s an awful lot of money to spend on changing the party nominating process, especially when it would have a lot of influence in state and local races.
Then we need to take a glance at the names involved. It reads like a who’s who of Utah politics. Millers? Check. Mathesons? Check. Leavitts? Check. Del Loy Hansen, Bruce Bastian, Merit Medical, and a whole host of others who have been long entrenched in the political process are also on board. It looks an awful lot like a turf war by people with lots of money and name recognition. It’s almost as if they have a vested personal interest.
The real irony here is that the Count My Vote initiative, backed by well-financed political elites, is trying to convince you that the caucus system is somehow more elitist. It’s hard to see how switching to a system that thrives primarily on large donors and name recognition beats out a system that also allows someone willing to wear out a few pairs of shoes a real shot at public office.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxFOVtr9fbk]
Don’t be fooled by the language they use. The push to change the party nomination process is a smokescreen for further consolidating political power. If these people were really interested in providing greater choice to the voters, they’d work on allowing easier ballot access and run-off elections. Instead, they want to make sure their well-financed picks are at the top of the Republican ticket each time, an almost guarantee of winning the general election in much of the state. Sounds a whole lot like elitism to me.