Rolly: Count My Vote foes give movement an unintended endorsement

By PAUL ROLLY

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: April 23, 2014 07:20AM
Updated: April 22, 2014 10:09PM
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Paul Rolly

Former legislator and popular conservative blogger Holly (Holly on the Hill) Richardson was a call-in guest Saturday to the weekly Red Meat Radio program on 860 AM hosted by Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper.

Both are strong advocates of keeping the current caucus-convention system of nominating candidates and have been vocal opponents of the Count My Vote movement that would replace the system with direct primaries.

Unwittingly, they gave a rousing endorsement to those wanting to dump the caucus/convention system.

They were aghast that Greg Graves was nominated outright at the GOP convention, effectively making him the next Utah County commissioner. He ousted Commission Chairman Gary Anderson with nearly two-thirds of the delegate vote. The Democrats did not field a candidate.

It has since been learned that Graves has several bankruptcies and a theft conviction on his record.

Richardson attributed the surprise to the fact that the delegates were elected at the neighborhood caucuses in late March and had only three weeks to vet the candidates before the convention.

Well, that’s the point behind Count My Vote, and it belies Hughes’ previous arguments on Red Meat Radio that the convention-caucus system is better because the elected delegates can really get to know the candidates.

Chicken Democrats • Part of the blame for the Greg Graves fiasco lies with Utah County Democrats. With two of the three County Commission seats up for election this year, along with the seven other countywide seats — assessor, attorney, clerk/auditor, recorder, sheriff, surveyor and treasurer — not one Democrat filed in any race.

You mean like Mike? • On the same Red Meat Radio program Saturday, Hughes and Richardson guffawed at Graves’ assertions that he was a fiscal conservative who would reduce public debt.

Hughes went on to talk about the hypocrisy of candidates and brought up two Democrats on the national stage — former presidential candidate John Edwards, who championed poor people while living like a king, and Bobby Kennedy Jr., who preached energy conservation while flying around the country in his private jet.

Later in the program, Hughes had Sen. Mike Lee as a guest and fawned all over the tea-party backed junior senator from Utah who has loudly touted reducing the debt.

No mention was made about Lee reneging on his million-dollar mortgage and selling his Alpine home short, saddling the bank and its shareholders with a $400,000 loss.

PACs to the rescue • Republican patrons on conservative email lists received startling news this week.

Utah congressional candidate Mia Love has President Barack Obama shaking in his boots. He can’t sleep at night because of the fear the former Saratoga Springs mayor strikes in his heart. He probably has nightmares and obsesses on ways to destroy this upstart from Utah.

Why?

Because the Conservative StrikeForce PAC says so.

And how can you save this valiant Republican from being bombarded by the Obama machine and his liberal minions?

Send money to the Conservative StrikeForce PAC in Arlington, Va.

Don’t send money to Love’s campaign. Send it to these guys.

Love’s campaign manager, Dave Hansen, has never heard of them. It’s similar to a fundraising email sent to conservatives last year from the Conservative Campaign Committee, based in Sacramento, Calif. The “fellow patriots” on the receiving end were to send their money to the PAC to save Love. Hansen hadn’t heard of them, either.

It’s a growing trend from the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that allows PACs to raise unlimited money and hide their donors.

Hansen says these PACs take a cut for their own administrative fees, so if you want to help Love, donate directly to her campaign and skip the middle man.

prolly@sltrib.com