A few months ago, I posted some information about political power brokers who want to crush the neighborhood caucus system (and why they want to do so). The elite group is lead by Kirk Jowers who is rumored to have aspirations to be governor one day (and needs to rid himself of potential obstacles). In the power broker post above I noted a potential “Plan B” caucus killers may pursue would be to virtually guarantee every race would go to a primary where the big donors and political elites can have the most influence, I even went so far as to suggest that Jowers was behind the suggestion penned in a Deseret News editorial.
A few days ago, Mary Carpenter (Communications Director for the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce) put up some tweets touting the Capitol Club meeting on the caucus system and Jowers’ proposal to lower the primary threshold if the caucus system could not be removed. The meeting is available in mp3 format here. The Capitol Club appears to be an invitation only event put on by the Chamber:
The Salt Lake Chamber Capitol Club is composed of business leaders with a keen interest of policy issues affecting Utah’s business community. The Capitol Club meets monthly to engage with policy and business leaders regarding the most pressing policy issues of the day.
Both Jowers and LaVarr Webb spoke in an effort to convince attendees to get rid of the caucus system or neutralize it with a guaranteed primary. Jowers went so far as to speciously blame low election turnout on the caucus system using highly questionable statistical extrapolations (ie personal beliefs rather than facts). This shouldn’t be much of a surprise as both Jowers and Webb were organizers of the effort to terminate the neighborhood caucus. Attendees at the Webb-Jowers “Mainstream Republicans” lunch included several SL Chamber senior employees and members (Stan Parrish, Lew Cramer, Natalie Gochnour, Robin Riggs, and possibly Lane Beattie). At the end of the event, Wesley Smith (Director of Public Policy of Chamber) concludes that it would be better to weaken caucus system so that candidates wouldn’t contact delegates but “go to the people” [requiring significant donations, organizations etc…].
Be on your best guard. The best thing that could happen for high powered political players and big donors would be to push influence from citizens and their neighborhoods firmly into territory where their money and influence have a greater impact: primaries and general elections. The best thing for the run-of-the mill political nobody is to preserve the ability to elect their neighbor or themselves to represent their values and neutralize the big players in the process.