Utah Election Law Reins in Tea Party
I think kudos are in order for this change in the state that was much maligned in the Romney campaign critics days.
SALT LAKE CITY — Four years ago, the fledgling tea party claimed one of its first and greatest victories in Utah, ousting the state’s veteran Republican senator in a thunderclap of anti-incumbent anger.
Now the establishment has struck back, with a new law giving more voters a say in nominating the candidates for public office.
The measure, signed this month, amounts to a compromise in a fight to limit the influence of grass-roots activists and others bent on purging the GOP of all but the most ideologically pure.
Under the agreement, primary candidates can still be chosen, as they long have been, at party conventions, attended by just a few thousand delegates chosen at neighborhood meetings. But others can bypass delegates and appeal directly to voters if they collect enough signatures to make the ballot. Those unaffiliated with a party, a big chunk of Utah’s electorate, will also be allowed to vote in Republican primaries.