Caucus experience: Inspiring power of neighborhood involvement

Thousands turn out at their neighborhood caucus meeting around Utah Thursday, March 15, 2012.

By David Whittle
For the Deseret News

The Springville Precinct 4 caucus meeting Thursday was, for me, an inspiring confirmation of the power of neighborhood involvement in the political process.

This was only my second caucus in the past four years, but this year the lines were much longer. We started late with standing room only for the 130 or so there, but it was great to see so many friends and neighbors getting together in a grass roots political setting.

I’ve been reading Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb in the Deseret News for years now, so I had already decided I wanted to run for state delegate in order to speak out against the “dump Hatch” bandwagon, not because I think highly of Orrin Hatch’s voting record, but because I got a robo-call from Mitt Romney telling me he wanted Hatch to be the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.

That’s enough for me to overlook my strong disagreement with some of Hatch’s votes.

As things turned out, I ran for Precinct Chair in order to increase my chances of getting one of the three state delegate positions, and ended up surprising myself and my wife when I won against four others, including the incumbent and family friend who brings our daughter home from school.

I was expecting her to win, but was happy that she won the vice-chair position.

I think the reason I won was because others had waffled a bit about whom they were supporting, while I spoke boldly that I favored Romney, Gary Herbert, and Hatch in spite of my reservations with Hatch, and that I believe we Utahans faced a rare opportunity this year to make a huge difference over the next four years.

Over a dozen people ran for the two state delegate slots, and the large turnout defeated every single anti-Hatch candidate.

Dave Whittle is the Founder and CEO of CoolHotNot and the author of “Cyberspace: The Human Dimension,” and a technology expert since 1981, when he started Lloyd’s Computers in the University Mall

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