Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Utah County Republican Convention

Saturday my wife and I went to the Utah County Republican Party convention, and it was relatively tame. It was her first opportunity to go, and it was nice because I was glad we could do some of my political stuff together, because it can drag. This convention was different though. I've never seen it be more efficient. We were out by 11:30, and some of that was because we didn't have any contested votes at the county level, and some was because we need to get the Convention Chair to permanently chair our convention.
The most important part of it for me was it was another chance to hear from the Congressional candidates. I like David Leavitt and Chris Cannon quite a bit, but Jason Chaffetz rubbed me the wrong way. First, he took some snarky digs at both Leavitt and Cannon, and I certainly didn't appreciate it. Second, he ended his speech with the line "God bless you, and God bless America" like he's the President of the Freaking United States of America. Shut your piehole, Chaffetz, you aren't. Don't patronize me with your crap. I'm still going to hear him out because I haven't had an opportunity yet, but my chances of voting for him are about .05% right now. I really liked what Leavitt had to say (especially when he said "we need to stop blaming everything on the Democrats" then proceeded to say where the Republican Party has failed over the past 6 years) - he's articulate, he's got some charisma, and he's sharp. Cannon...it's tough. I really like Chris Cannon. He's been a good Congressman, but I can see what Leavitt is saying when he says he's a majority style Congressman - he's blustery and loud. That's my biggest problem with him in general. It's why I'm about 50/50 between Leavitt and Cannon, and it's something that really has me stumped. I think I will probably not make my decision until I actually vote. I might be leaning slightly towards Leavitt, but it's really so up in the air that I just don't know what to do.


Mdot said...

Sorro - Great post. I was also at the convention on Saturday and was quite surprised at Jason's comments. I'm not sure if you've been to one of his meetings but it a mile wide and an inch deep. I asked him a number of questions about Social Security, Medicare, and oil shale and all I got back was wind. It's clear that he isn't up to speed on any of those issues. He's comfortable saying the same thing over and over again but isn't able to address the particulars of any issue.

I have also been able to meet with Cannon and Leavitt. This is my take on them and then I'll tell you who I'm supporting...

Leavitt - He was very articulate and made sense when he was addressing issues. Although he said he's a little left of Cannon on some issues and little right on others. I asked him what votes he would have cast differently and he said, "Cannon votes right on just abotu everything. I can't think of anything that I'd do differently than him in terms of the votes." This of course raised eyebrows throughout. He said that Cannon is like a car that you've had for 10 years and the car runs great. It starts when you need it to start and has been a good and faithful car. People just want a new car. Someone responded by saying, "Everyone here may want a new car but I don't want to pay for it for another 5 years." People laughed and Leavitt went on to explain that Cannon lacks influence and that if we're going to change our Representatives then we may as well do it while we're in the minority.

I went to Cannon's meeting wondering what the reception would be to what Leavitt had said in the previous meeting. Cannon chuckled and asked, "What does influence mean to you?" Someome said that it's the ability to work with others and get good bills passed by bringing people your direction. One of his staffers passed out charts and other material showing all that Cannon had done over the past 10 years. The information says that he's passed more bills than anyone else in Congress save two and all of which were good bills. He's also in line to be the next chair of two different committees and was elected by his peers to chair the Western Caucus - the caucus tat he says is nicknamed the energy caucus b/c it deals with energy in the West.

I am supporting Cannon b/c he has the experience and the seniority and we can't leave him given the fact that he's in a position to make a difference and it would take Leavitt years to get where Cannon is with no real guarantee.

Bradley Reneer said...

It's ironic --

"I really liked what Leavitt had to say (especially when he said "we need to stop blaming everything on the Democrats" then proceeded to say where the Republican Party has failed over the past 6 years)"

This is one of the lines that I heard from Chaffetz when he declared his candidacy. Leavitt is smart. He used all of Jason's best lines in his speech.

From my perspective Leavitt and Cannon are great at learning all the minutia around an issue, they can rattle off a long list of trivia, but Jason is the one that understands the underlying principles. I think he would have recognized No Child Left Behind for what it is, and not required his constituents to educate him. I'm not a Cannon or Leavitt hater. In fact I think they are both really nice guys. But Jason seems to understand the underlying principles much better.