Washington Governor Gregoire, “Cancel the 2012 Presidential Primary Election”

by lewwaters

In her ongoing quest to slash costs to the state, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire is calling for the 2012 presidential primary election to be canceled. Delegates to national conventions would instead be selected via caucuses.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican said,

“I join Governor Gregoire in reluctantly asking the Legislature to suspend the 2012 Presidential Primary in Washington. Ever since the Legislature approved the presidential primary in 1989 as a people’s initiative to the Legislature, the primary has been a very popular way to engage average citizens, not just party activists, in the process of helping nominate candidates for President of the United States. But at the same time, we acknowledge that Washington faces a grave budget shortfall and that many important public services must be suspended or eliminated. Suspending this election will save taxpayers more than $10 million. Ordinarily, I would be the last to propose suspending an election, but these are not ordinary times and we all are looking for ways to tighten our belts and live within our means. I look forward to Washington resuming the presidential primary in 2016.” 

Washington State Republican Party Chair Luke Esser disagrees saying

“Eliminating the presidential primary directly contradicts the will of the people as expressed by Initiative 99 in 1989, and it disenfranchises military voters serving overseas and many other voters.”

In 2008, State Democrats bypassed the presidential primary election, choosing their delegates and nominating Barack Obama during their caucus. Caucuses are open to any interested, but are mostly attended by those most connected to their individual parties.

Read more at Seattle PI

See Secretary Reed’s full statement at Tri-City Herald

The Seattle Times tells us, “The political parties haven’t exactly embraced the presidential primary in Washington state,” and “The vote in February of that year drew almost no attention from presidential candidates.”

That I recall, the caucuses drew a lot of attention and were well attended, by Ron Paul supporters who succeeded in getting a few delegates for Paul. Otherwise, the Republicans did not really supply any candidates that drew the support as Paul did locally.

That Ron Paul is a nutcase and can draw that much support, while the GOP fronts such lackluster candidates as Arizona Senator John McCain might be reason enough to keep the presidential primary and maybe do away with caucuses if anything. While the caucuses don’t cost the state, they are mostly attended by partisan activists and selecting presidential candidates by caucus just leaves those activists with the voice, not the everyday citizen.

I’m no fan of Luke Esser, but he is right when he says using only the caucuses to select a presidential candidate cuts many out of the process, especially our Troops overseas.

I think if the real goal is to save money, declare union contracts moot and force a renegotiation at more reasonable wages and benefits, with state public union employees picking up more than just 15% of their health insurance premiums.

There are several areas being cut that maybe shouldn’t be and many areas that should be and aren’t. Removing citizen voices from the process 2 years from now might not be in the interest of the voters in Washington State.

I might change my mind on this one in due time, but for right now, I think money could be better saved elsewhere.

Time will tell as I continue studying this one.

2 Comments to “Washington Governor Gregoire, “Cancel the 2012 Presidential Primary Election””

  1. Dear Gov. Gregoire, Choosing who you want to represent you in DC is a fundamental right that you just took away from your voters. You stole their voice in this election! Why don’t you start by cutting school admin’s salaries, or maybe your own salary to save a few bucks. I can’t believe that you would cut something so basic and so “the people’s right”. The first revolution started with a Tea Party and it looks like the second one has already started. Politicians like you are to blame!

    Like

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