UPDATE: This post has been superseded by “Republican Delegates Beware II: Consolidated Post On Davis County Candidates (Liljenquist Senate Seat)”
Paul Rolly ran a report on Dan Liljenquist’s potential run for Senator Hatch’s seat. In that article he also discussed three people who are already making moves for Liljenquists seat with Republican delegates (delegates will pick his replacement until the next election). Scrolling down in the article under the subheading “Let’s get ready to rumble”:
Republican activists Todd Weiler, Randy Shumway and Greg Ericksen have begun reaching out to Davis County delegates for support to fill Liljenquist’s seat upon his expected resignation to run against Hatch.
Two of the three noted in the article raised an immediate red flag for me.
Both Todd Weiler and Randy Shumway attended Kirk Jowers Alta Club meeting for the political elites in an effort to change the nomination process (specifically the neighborhood caucus system) and retake/increase their hold on the party. Since the meeting Jowers and others from the meeting have been running articles and media appearances pushing for the end of the neighborhood caucus system. Doing so shifts electoral power toward big donors and large political organizations/insiders.
Shumway not only attended the meeting but is also part of the Dan Jones and Cicero Group and serves on the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Governors. These groups had multiple attendees at Jowers’ meeting. He is also part of the Chamber’s Capitol Club which recently hosted a meeting on neutralizing the neighborhood caucus with Kirk Jowers and LaVarr Webb presenting.
, besides being an Alta Club attendee, has tweeted Jowers appearances (here and here) on the caucus system. He received a significant amount from former Senator Bennett in 2009. Senator Bennett’s ouster was a good part of what prompted the Jowers Alta Club meeting as grassroots forces pushed out established insiders but Mr. Weiler has stated that he did not attend the meeting and is a “strong proponent” of the caucus system. As an aside, Weiler recently broke GOP convention rules by taking to the floor to debate an illegal immigration resolution reserved for delegates (he was not a delegate) – a complaint was filed.
I don’t know much about Ericksen (yet) but while looking for his stance on the caucus, I did find his “Keep Utah’s Caucus” article from the Salt Lake Tribune. He makes similar arguments to mine in the article. I also don’t know if there are any others beginning to make move in anticipation of Liljenquist leaving (please pass their names on).
For now, it looks like a Jowers political machine may be in the early stages with at least one affiliated candidates vying for an office with the ability to author ‘anti-caucus’ legislation. The irony of it all, however, is that
these candidates need Mr. Shumway must convince the delegates Jowers seeks to neutralize to vote for him…
All posts on threats to the caucus available here.
UPDATE: Edited the above (left significant edits for clarity/disclosure) based on new information received (comments).