SALT LAKE CITY—March 3, 2014—Pro-Utah Caucus-Convention group “Keep Our Caucus” responds to the deal reached between Count My Vote (CMV) and the Utah State Legislature.
“CMV has spent over $880,000 to dismantle Utah’s Caucus-Convention System. In their attempt to gather the necessary voter signatures for the initiative to be on the 2014 ballot, they have hired out-of-state employees who are paid-per-signature collected,” explained Keep Our Caucus Director Brandon Beckham. “These outside special interest groups are employing aggressive, fraudulent tactics to meet CMV’s signature quota, while deceiving Utah citizens at every step.”
LaVarr Webb, CMV Executive Committee Member, announced on KSL Radio’s Doug Wright Show that CMV had over 100,000 signatures and was confident the petition drive would be successful. The CMV campaign’s recent “closed-door” deal with the Utah legislature proves otherwise. Sponsored by Senator Curt Bramble, SB 54 is not only an overreach of legislative power, but was also CMV’s chief goal since day one, to carve out an alternative path to the Primary ballot and circumvent the Caucus-Convention System to ensure wealthy politicians win elections in Utah.
As Utahns become aware of CMV consequences, backlash is mounting due to the following reasons:
• CMV won’t achieve signature requirements: approximately 102,000 signatures required from 26 out of the 29 senate districts as mandated by Utah law (to date, a majority of signatures are from Salt Lake County only);
• CMV petition is under threat of challenge by legal firm hired by Utah GOP State Central Committee (SCC); Independent legal counsel, Chris Troupis, presented brief to SCC on March 1st proposal unconstitutional based on First Amendment (meaning SB54 is also unconstitutional);
• CMV signature-gatherers used fraudulent practices to entice voters to sign petition, diminishing petition’s credibility and driving requests to remove signatures from the petition;
• Financial backing of the CMV effort is drying up due to diminishing support and credibility.
“Although a majority of Utah lawmakers support and want to preserve the Caucus-Convention System, including Senator Bramble and House Representative Dan McCay, we do not support SB4,” continued Beckham. “Nor, for that matter, do we support any legislation or state action that undermines the right of every American to freely associate within a political party based on their beliefs, as protected under the United States Constitution.”