Tuesday, April 22, 2008

are primaries good?

While millions vote in the pivitol Pennslyvannia Democratic primary today, a local political story caught my eye.
A Utah House GOP candidate says he was encouraged by a county party officeholder to get out of his race but declined to do so.
Rob Alexander is one of two Republicans who filed against Democratic incumbent Rep. Mark Wheatley, D-Murray. Rick Taylor also filed for the House District 35 seat.

In a comment post to a Deseret News article on Monday, Alexander says that after he filed at the request of Salt Lake County Chairman James Evans, he got a telephone call from Carrie Towner, a Senate District chairwoman. Even though Towner was from a different Senate district than is Alexander, she asked him to get out of the race, since Taylor, a candidate she supports and asked to run, was already in the race, Alexander said.
That's right, the Deseret News is writing about a comment posted to one of its stories on its website. What a brave new world indeed. They didn't even need think up the contextual link either because, by Alexander's commenting on stories about Utah County Republican Party shenanigans, he gave them the context.

Now Carrie was a classmate of mine at law school, and I like both her and her husband. Bob Bernick that "intrepid reporter," must have called her up for her reaction to Alexander's comment. Or maybe he just waited for Carrie to reply to the comment thread. And people like me call journalist's lazy...he had to pick up the phone and call people, THEN type. Oh the horrors.
But Towner says Alexander misinterpreted her telephone call. While she did recruit Taylor, she said she called both candidates after the filing deadline to suggest that they get together and decide if one or the other "really didn't want to run" — and thus a party convention, and perhaps a primary, could be avoided.

"I didn't pressure (Alexander) to get out any more than I did (Taylor)," she said.

But Alexander said he found Towner's call odd — especially since she was not from his Senate district. "She was passing herself off as my district chair, a person who supposedly had some kind of authority over me. She is not from my district. She made it clear that (Taylor) was not going to get out (of the race) and asked if I wanted to. It was all kind of fishy. Both she and (Taylor) were at the same meeting where James [Evans SL County GOP chair] announced that I would run for this seat and they didn't say anything," Alexander said in an interview.

While it is against party rules for a party officer to take sides in an intra-party challenge, Evans said that rule only applies to the current chairman, vice chairman, treasurer and secretary of individual county parties and the state party, not to other party officeholders, like a Senate district chair, as is Towner.

"So no rule was violated" by the telephone call, said Evans.
Note to the Towners, don't let Evans come to your defense. The "they didn't break the rules!" line really makes you look worse. Tell him you will handle this one. The man can't help but sink candidates (did Sheriff Winder ever send you a bouquet?). Anyway, if either Towner wishes to comment further on the episode or the article, feel free to do it here. You don't want to put it in the D-News' comment board, they will surely need to fill in more space and write an article on that next.

This line by Evans is slightly better:
"Carrie was on a candidate recruitment committee the last two years, since the 2006 elections. And so she and others have been looking for candidates" countywide. When the 2006 GOP candidate, who was expected to run again, decided not to run at the last minute, Evans said he and other county GOP activists started beating the bushes — and no doubt that is when Towner found Taylor and asked him to run.

"We don't do what the Democrats do all the time. They pick one person and run them" with few intra-party fights, said Evans. Republicans have multiple candidates in many races, said Evans. "And we only said: 'If this is something you really don't want to do, and if we have a good candidate in the race already, then feel free"' to get out, said Evans.
He has a (sort of) good point, Utah Dems rarely have primaries. But the real question is why, and if you know that, then you know that this is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

First off, there aren't that many places were there are enough Dems to have primaries I can name the neighborhoods off the top of my head and I am sure you can think of the same. Heck, there are some races were Democrats struggle to find candidates even to run. The GOP in Utah rarely has that problem. Second, when you are in the minority to the extent that Democrats in Utah are, you get vary pragmatic, and tend to coalesse around the most "electable" candidate. While there are Dems and liberals I know in Utah that are dissatisfied with moderates like Jim Matheson, you don't see any of them wasting their time and money trying to primary him.

And speaking of Jim, he can thank his lucky stars he didn't have run against Carrie in 2002, when he got only 1600 votes more than the detestable John Swallow. Did the same convention goers that nixed Gov. Walker's bid do in Carrie?


Mark Towner said...


If you look at the DNews comments section you will see what this is all really about. Alexander was a Ron Paul / Mike Ridgway plant and this is nothing more than try to get some press against Carrie for next weeks criminal trial of Mr. Ridgway. MR is looking at 1-5 years for criminal trespass of the Utah Republican Party HQ. I find it amazing that Bernick used my name as he knew full well I have nothing to do with the GOP, and in fact I'm looking forward to the Dem convention this saturday. This was nothing more than a hatchet job to try to put in question Carrie's credibility. We both know the truth about that, and Carrie will come out of this unscathed.


Rob Alexander said...

I posted the following comment on the DNews comments section of the article:

"Mark Towner,

Thank you for pointing out that Legislative District 35 splits between 2 Senate districts, one of which is Senate District 2. I wish that information had come to light sooner. I telephoned your wife, Carrie, discussed this with her, and apologized for this misunderstanding getting escalated to the point it has."

I am not a plant, and the timing of it had nothing to do with Mike Ridgway's trial. I didn't even know he was having a criminal trial.

Mark Towner said...


Thanks for the clarification. I'm glad. Here is the information about Mr. Ridgway's trial

Ridgway, Michael Timothy 07CR02924 Jury Trial 5 04/29/08 09:00:00

Roobah Fox said...

Rob Alexander a MR Plant??? Mark, you've lost touch with reality. That's the funniest thing I've read this week -- Rob probably thought it was funny too.

Also, 1-5 sentence is 3rd degree felony sentencing. You are mistaken over the charges. This case is being held in JUSTICE COURT with a PRO-TEMP JUDGE (RE: Not a real judge, and automatically appealable), so perhaps you should get over yourself over the supposed self-importance of your case. Cases meting out serious 1-5-year sentences are NOT heard in Justice Court with non-certified Judges. Depending on circumstances, Class A misdemeanors are often not heard in Justice Court, EITHER.

If I'm not mistaken, the charges of "trespassing" are actually a class B misdemeanor? (NOT a felony.) Yes, Jail time CAN be imposed, but for a trespassing case, that is virtually NEVER done even when found guilty. From my legal observations, "guilty of trespassing" generally will only see jail time if ANOTHER criminal event ALSO happened at the same time (which wasn't the case here.)

So EVEN IF Mike were to be found guilty, his chances of "doing time" are really, really close to zero. Your eggagerations and air of self-importance are sometimes astounding.... CRIMINAL, shall we say?

The fact that YOUR side came UNPREPARED FOR TRIAL on the date you list, expecting instead for Mike to have succumbed to a self-declared guilty plea (which he did not do) OUGHT to be a total embarassment for your side. What an INCREDIBLE waste of public resources. (1/2 a day of court time shot due to Plaintiff non-preparation.)

You know, Judges don't take too kindly to Plaintiff's who come unprepared.


Again, what a TOTAL waste of city resources. IMHO, this is plaintiff abuse of court resources = approaching criminal abuse of the system. (How many more IMPORTANT cases will go unheard so we can hear a silly tresspassing case with a dozen witnesses paraded one by one with sufficient additional evidence to make the case you seek?)

DO take care that the more witnesses one tends to present, the more likely perjury is to occur as potential witnesses OBVIOUSLY contradict each other... and if their stories are all the same, why so many witnesses? (Waste of valuable court resources.)

SURELY with more witnesses than a typical murder trial, you should know if your case is not astounding with discovery, you will succeed in doing nothing more than pissing off the judge?

Mark Towner said...


"Your side" Are you referring to the Salt Lake City Prosecutor?

This is a criminal charge brought by the City of Salt Lake against Mr. Ridgway, just one of many.

Roobah Fox said...


I re-ran across this page doing a search on terms relating my posts.

Excuse me for being vague in my last post. "Your side" means, in this case, "Plantiff" came unprepared to present the case. I guess you are just a primary witness for the plantiff, my mistake. (In MOST courts, failure for the prosecuting side to present the case at trial usually results in an automatic dismissal of the charge, unsure why that didn't happen then.)

As for city prosecutors "bringing the charge" ... it is a FACT that city prosecutors had already ONCE BEFORE DROPPED ALL charges only to have the Salt Lake County Republican Party INSIST the trespass charge be reinstated. So while indeed it is the prosecutors who leveled the charge, it was at the behest of the Salt Lake County Republican Party. I'd say THEY do have some control in whether or not charges continue to stick. (Given that prosecutors DROPPED all charges ONCE, it's HIGHLY possible they are having their arms twisted to reinstate THE SAME charge again for the SAME event.)

Furthermore, the charge was reinstated at a level that COULD NEVER pass muster in court (class B misdemeanor) -- an impossible charge given the circumstances - charge didn't fit the alleged crime - If you wish to see the screws put to MR, then you should be glad it didn't stick, as a motion to dismiss could have been granted immediately due to improper charges being filed.

(Hmmm, I've presented TWO instances where a motion to dismiss charges SHOULD have been presented by now. GOOD THING I haven't yet been in court, huh? But I'm just getting up to speed on this case. I WON'T be involved, but I WILL be advising from the sidelines. There is ONE MORE reason to dismiss as well, but I need to look into the legal facts for that... given there is NO jail time involved, I doubt a motion to dismiss for the reason I have in mind would be possible.)

Due to that fact that WRONG charges were last filed,

And since we all last posted here, the public might care to note a JURY TRIAL will not longer be possible for this justice court case, as the case has been further dropped to a mere "infraction" of the law -- not even a misdemeanor. (Maximum fine: $50 and no jail time.) (I believe littering carries a heavier penalty than this?)

Chances of your so-called, '1-5 years in jail for a guity verdict?' ABSOLUTELY ZERO. (Always HAD been ZERO -- Gee Mark, I am SURE you knew that, given that your wife is a lawyer, I can't IMAGINE she wouldn't be keeping you up to date on this case. So isn't your claim that Mike Ridgway is facing 1-5 years in prison for this case QUITE a libelous statement on your part? Even a class B misdemaeanor MAX sentence is 180 days in jail, not 1-5 years in prison.) You should have double checked your factoids with your lawyer-wife before posting such embarassing claims to the public.)

BTW, I STILL think it's funny you think Rob is a MR plant. HA HA HA HA, ROTFLMAO HA HA HA. Tears rolling down my eyes. Yes, MANY of us know Rob and I can even say I can carry on a friendly conversation with Rob, but a ROB as a MR PLANT?

Maybe Rob SHOULD be recruited as one of those because no one would suspect... except maybe MT.

SHEESH, dude, not all Ron Paul leaning supporters are out to get you! If you think that, you are in a WORLD of hurt because there are a LOT of Ron Paul Leaning Supporters out there!

Tears dried away, now I'm just gtmq (giggling to myself quietly.)