The Deseret News ran an article last week about our efforts to secure a place on the ballot in the upcoming special election. It correctly noted that I chose not to run as an unaffiliated candidate, because the main purpose of my campaign is to introduce the United Utah Party and its principles to the people of Utah. I’m not unaffiliated, and I’m not willing to pretend that I am.
There are a lot of moving parts to this process, and a number of people are understandably confused as to what’s happening. It doesn’t help matters when the Lieutenant Governor of the state of Utah tells the Deseret News that he’s enforcing rules to keep prevent “this very type of shenanigans” in which our party is engaged.
“Shenanigans.” That’s what the Lieutenant Governor thinks we’re doing.
It would be nice if he would be willing to say this to me or any member of my party in person, yet he has refused to meet with us throughout this whole process. Instead, he and his office belittle us in the press, insisting they’re just following the rules, ignoring the fact that these are rules they’re making up on the fly and selectively enforcing solely to keep us off the ballot.
In short, he’s making up rules to help his team win. Isn’t that the very definition of shenanigans?
Every deadline, every rule, every single element in this entire special election is being conducted solely on the arbitrary decisions of the Lieutenant Governor’s office. There are no laws on the books that govern this, so when the LG starts talking about rules, he’s hoping you don’t notice that these rules didn’t exist just a few weeks ago. Every “rule” begins and ends with the whims of Spencer Cox.
So when the special election was announced on May 19, with the first deadline for partisan candidates to file on May 26, even though neither of those dates had any basis in actual law, we still moved heaven and earth to gather the 2,000 signatures necessary to make us an official party. (We got 2,700 of them.) We submitted them on the morning of the 25th, and election officials told us they would count them in time for me to file as a candidate by the end of business the next day.
They didn’t. In fact, three weeks later, they still haven’t. We’ve complied with every arbitrary deadline they’ve set up, but they’re shutting us down simply because they think they can get away with it.
Why didn’t they certify us before their first deadline? The answer they originally gave is that they couldn’t do it in time. Yet when two Republican candidates each submitted over 7,500 signatures each, they were both verified within two days time. Why couldn’t the elections office verify our signatures, which represented a fraction of the Republican signatures, within the same time frame?
Shenanigans, that’s why. They could have done it easily, but they chose not to. They’ve even told us they’re finished with the certification process, but since the law lets them have thirty days to do it, they’re going to officially take the full thirty days and sit on our application for weeks on end, just to slow us down and make it harder for our party to get a voice.
Shenanigans? You bet.
There is no law to prevent them from letting us on the ballot, and there is a great deal of case law that insists that government should always err on the side of providing more ballot access, not less. But now, as we move forward with legal action, they’re preparing to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to keep me off the ballot.
Why? What are they so afraid of?
The fact is that the United Utah Party represents a real threat to their one-party state, and they know it. They’re happy to bend the rules whenever it benefits the GOP, but they’re willing to use your money to contest our legal action in an attempt to get us to sit down and shut up.
Well, we’re not sitting down and shutting up. We’re fighting this. And we’re going to win this fight. The United Utah Party deserves a voice, and no amount of shenanigans from the elections office is going to stop us.