Lowell Nelson
Candidate for the
State Central Committee
Utah County Republican Party
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Organizing Convention
All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external trappings of elevated office. To me there is nothing in it, beyond the lustre which may be reflected from its connection with a power of promoting human felicity.
~ George Washington

I pledge to perform the duties outlined in the party's governing documents for members of the State Central Committee (SCC):

  • Attend quarterly meetings , and any special meetings.
  • Govern (regulate) the party. Make party policy.
  • Adopt bylaws consistent with the party constitution to govern subjects not covered by the party constitution.
  • Advise the party chair, and approve or reject appointments by the chair. Approve or reject the next year's fiscal budget prepared by the Budget Committee.
  • Fill officer vacancies within 90 days. Remove an officer if necessary.
  • Elect a Constitution and Bylaws Committee and an Audit Committee. Fill any vacancies in these committees.
  • Designate the date of the precinct caucuses held in even-numbered years.
  • Designate the time and place of the state nominating convention, set the number of delegates, and (six months prior to the convention) certify the method of election of party nominees.
  • Designate the time and place of the state organizing convention, set the number of county representatives to the state central committee, and (six months prior to the convention) certify the method of election of party officers.
  • Replace any state-wide or federal office candidate who cannot represent the party in the General Election.


I will work to achieve the following:

  • Champion our caucus/delegate/convention system.

    Neighbors choose trustworthy delegates to spend a substantive amount of time to study candidates and issues, and then to choose as party nominees those candidates who best understand the proper role of government. Spread the word about our awesome system! Read more.

  • Promote state sovereignty.

    Utah is (supposed to be) a sovereign state. Any executive order, congressional act, judicial opinion, or bureaucratic regulation that exceeds the lawful authority expressly granted and enumerated in the Constitution should be ignored (nullified). Read more.

  • Embrace ranked-choice voting.

    Ranked-choice voting (RCV) enables a voter to express his support for candidates in order of his preference. RCV guarantees that a winner will receive a majority of the votes cast, not just a plurality. Thus, we avoid "spoiled" elections due to vote splitting. Read more.

  • Allocate delegate seats to the precincts.

    Currently, scores of delegates in other counties are "automatic" or "ex officio" delegates, meaning that they are delegates by virtue of a public or party office not because they were elected to serve as a delegate. Read more.

  • Allocate national delegates to presidential candidates proportionately.

    Currently, we employ a "winner take all" rule that distorts the votes that are cast in our national conventions, and there is no provision for the allocation of delegates when Utah's favorite candidate drops out of the presidential race. Read more.


 

More on the caucus/delegate/convention system:

  • Every two years, neighbors meet to elect delegates they trust to choose good, wise, and honest candidates who are seeking their vote for public or party office.
  • Delegates spend a substantive amount of time deciding which candidates are best. They meet and interview the candidates, study their voting records, and determine their positions on key issues.
  • Candidates are forced to provide substantive answers to the questions a delegate asks. They cannot win the nomination with media advertisements (as is done in states where parties determine their nominees by direct primary elections); they must face savvy delegates.
  • This personal, face-to-face approach usually results in the selection of candidates who understand the proper role of government, who support the party platform, and who have a strong allegiance to the constitution.
  • Happily, our system emboldens good, wise, and honest challengers who might not have lots of money or a well-known name.
  • We must educate our fellow Republicans and our fellow citizens, and inspire them with the virtues of our very republican system of selecting party nominees.
  • Unfortunately, the Utah Legislature approved a bill in 2014, SB 54, which forces the party to put onto its Primary Election ballot the name of a candidate who gathers a certain number of signatures from Republicans throughout the state--without undergoing the scrutiny of convention delegates.
  • This dual-track system benefit candidates--especially incumbents--who have a lot of money and/or a lot of name recognition (the "rich and famous"). This system is also a windfall for media outlets, as well-funded candidates pour the money of their donors into the media machine in hopes of swaying public opinion in their favor!
  • Worst of all, having three or more candidates on the Primary Election ballot will more likely result in a plurality winner (with only 30% or 40% of the vote, for example) advancing to the General Election.
  • We must elect to the state central committee candidates who ardently support the caucus/delegate/convention system, and who will not bend to the pressure of those who want to replace our republic with a democracy.

More on state sovereignty:

  • In December of 2013, Judge Shelby rendered his opinion that Utah's definition of marriage is unconstitutional. Yet that definition lies within Utah's constitution, was put there by the people of Utah, and is therefore ("by definition") constitutional.
  • Judge Shelby mistakenly believes that his (federal) opinion trumps that of the citizens of the state of Utah. Many public officials in Utah share his mistaken belief. This myth must be overcome.
  • The feds have NO authority to tell Utah what to do in domestic matters such as marriage, divorce, education, and health care. NONE. Federal authority does NOT trump state authority in matters where such authority has not been expressly delegated to the central government in the Constitution.
  • As Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Kentucky Resolution of 1798, "That the several states who formed [the Constitution], being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and, That a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under color of that instrument, is the rightful remedy."
  • Any executive order, any congressional act, any judicial opinion, and any bureaucratic regulation that does not fall within the bounds of lawful authority of the central government as specified by and enumerated in the Constitution should be ignored (nullified).
  • I will evangelize the proper role of state government in the face of tyrannical encroachment by the central (general) government. We must stiffen our backbone against such infringement.

More on ranked-choice voting:

  • A voter today sometimes feels compelled to vote for the "lesser of two evils", meaning that s/he would like to vote for Candidate A (his first choice), but instead votes for Candidate B because pollsters predict that Candidates B and C are the two strongest candidates in the race. So the voter casts his vote for B because he does not want C to win. In other words, he dislikes B less than C (but really would have preferred A)
  • Ranked-choice voting empowers a voter to rank as many candidates as he likes in the order of his preference: 1, 2, 3, and so on. His vote is never wasted. If his first preference gets the fewest votes in the first round and is eliminated, then his vote goes to his second preference, and so forth, until a candidate receives a majority of the votes cast.
  • Counting ranked-choice votes is analogous to a multiple-round election, except that you don't have to wait around to vote in each successive round. Because your preferences are fully expressed on a single ballot, you can leave after casting your ballot, and your vote will be counted. No time is wasted. Every vote counts.
  • Spoiled election... Bill Clinton defeated George H. W. Bush in 1992 with only 43% of the vote because Ross Perot garnered 19% of the vote, leaving Bush with only 37% of the vote. Perot was the spoiler.
  • Spoiled election... Jim Matheson defeated Mia Love in 2012 with 48.8% of the vote, or by 768 votes, while Libertarian Party candidate Jim Vein received 6439 votes. Pundits observed that most of those who voted Libertarian that year would have preferred Mia Love over Jim Matheson. That could have happened with ranked-choice voting! Vein was the spoiler.
  • The Utah Republican Party used ranked-choice voting at the 2002 convention, including a race among 12 candidates in the Second Congressional District, and a race among 10 candidates in the First. And the convention was brief!
  • The Utah Republican Party used ranked-choice voting at the 2004 convention, including a race among 8 candidates for governor. And this convention was short, too!

More on the allocation of delegate seats:

  • The state party constitution says that the "County Party shall designate, based upon the relative Republican strength of each precinct, the number of delegates to be elected in each individual caucus meeting" (Article XII Section 1 Paragraph A). Delegate seats that are not filled at the caucus may be filled by the county Central Committee (XII.1.D). Vacancies may be filled by appointment by the Precinct Chair (XII.2.D). Because no other method of allocation is specified in the constitution, other methods are precluded.
  • While it could be argued that a party officer who cannot attend his caucus (because of his official duty to oversee caucuses, for example) deserves a delegate seat, the constitution does not currently allow this. And if even one automatic delegate seat is awarded in a manner other than the three methods described in the constitution, then logically ANY method of allocation or assignment is permissible.
  • Electing delegates in precinct caucuses keeps the party close to the citizenry, and fortifies local control (you cannot get any more local than a precinct caucus). Some county party leaders occasionally argue for county "autonomy" in deciding how their delegate seats are to be allocated, but that represents a shift of power FROM the precincts TO the county party (less local control).
  • The primary role of a delegate is to select individuals as nominees of the party; in this sense, they are ELECTORS, and electors must not be beholden to those they may select. The writers of the US Constitution articulated this independence of electors in Article II Section 1 (second paragraph), "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector."
  • Currently, neither Utah County nor Weber County have any automatic state delegates. And other counties seem to be moving in our direction.

More on allocating national delegates proportionately:

  • In the 2008, Utah sent 36 delegates to the Republican National Convention. Of the 36 national delegates, 33 should have voted for Mitt Romney on the first ballot, 2 for John McCain, and 1 for Ron Paul. However, Romney dropped out, and the SCC decided that all 36 delegates must cast their votes for John McCain, who received only 5% of the popular vote in the presidential preference primary.
  • Our "winner take all" rule does not reflect the will of the people, nor does it reflect the will of the delegates who are elected to represent the will of the people.
  • I propose that, on the first ballot, our national delegates vote in proportion to the will of the electorate; and that if a candidate drops out of the race, the delegates are free to vote their consciences on subsequent ballots.