Thursday, June 05, 2008


Who can reign in the excesses of the Utah County Republican Party?
The Utah County attorney said no.
The attorney general said no.

The lieutenant governor said no.

If those three say they don't have any legal jurisdiction over the powerful leadership of the Utah County Republican Party, the question now is simple.

Does anyone?

Not really. [...]

Fast forward to the Utah County GOP convention in 2008, when a tremendously well-connected 17-year-old girl named Hannah Lockhart served as a delegate and voted to select the party nominees for state Legislature.

Was it legal for her to do so when Utah law states a voter is only eligible if he or she will be 18 on the day of an election?

The party interprets the law to refer to the general election, but a candidate who lost at the convention believed local GOP bosses at the very least bent the party's bylaws in favor of incumbent Sen. Curt Bramble. [...]


"If there's no one in control of the party, heaven help us," [Jacqueline De Gaston, the would be primary opponent to Sen. Bramble] said. "I don't know what the public can do. All the races in Utah County were settled in convention by the votes of the delegates, so thousands of Republicans have no say because they don't get to go to the polls for a primary."
In the sections I omitted, AG Mark Shurtleff and other officials correctly noted that the US Supreme Court's interpetation of the First Amendment forbids the government from getting involved in almost every aspect of a political parties nominating processees. This is why Florida and Michigan's suits against the DNC regarding their delegations were tossed (and now mooted).

However, the column hints at the lack of political will to take on the powerhouse of the state's dominant political party. Utah County is this sense is no different that parts of modern day Philly, Chicago, Providence, and New York back in the days of Tammny Hall. Remember our LG is from the Utah County machine, and Huntsman chose him to mullify any challege from the right during his 2004 nomination battle.

Will the voters of Utah County continue to hold their noses and vote for Republican incumbents, or might a primary challenger or Democrat finally break through? We will find out soon enough.

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