Despite the dire finan­cial cir­cum­stances that most of the fifty states find them­selves in, there is at least one Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who would like to see Utah reck­less­ly spend mon­ey like a sailor on leave. That’s right, Mitt Rom­ney wants the state of Utah to spend any­where from $2.5 mil­lion to $3 mil­lion to move its pres­i­den­tial pri­ma­ry from June 26, 2012 to a date ear­li­er in the spring. The rea­son for this move would be to ben­e­fit Rom­ney’s can­di­da­cy for Pres­i­dent and give him an ear­ly win from which to build momen­tum. It’s a crass polit­i­cal move and for­mer Gov­er­nor Mitt Rom­ney should know bet­ter than to raid the pre­cious resources of a state gov­ern­ment in the name of per­son­al ambition.

Mitt Romney’s Utah advis­ers are work­ing to try to get the state’s Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial pri­ma­ry moved up, from late June to ear­li­er in the spring where it might play a big­ger role in the nom­i­na­tion process.


How­ev­er, it could also end up cost­ing tax­pay­ers between $2.5 mil­lion and $3 mil­lion to stage the primary.

Right now, the Utah Repub­li­can Par­ty is plan­ning to hold its pres­i­den­tial pri­ma­ry on June 26, 2012, the same day as the statewide pri­ma­ry elec­tion for oth­er Utah offices.

There are a cou­ple of prob­lems with this strat­e­gy. The first issue aris­es with Rom­ney’s belief in the good polling num­bers he’s received so far. As our read­ers know, we at the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute strong­ly believe that the only poll that mat­ters is the one on Elec­tion Day. True, Mitt Rom­ney has strong poll num­bers in Utah, and even polls ahead of the state’s for­mer Gov­er­nor Jon Hunts­man, but there is no guar­an­tee that those poll num­bers will trans­late into a win for Rom­ney in the primary.

The oth­er prob­lem is that Mitt Rom­ney is a can­di­date whose own web­site lists “fis­cal respon­si­bil­i­ty” as one of his top issues. While we won’t link to the Rom­ney cam­paign web­site so as not to dri­ve traf­fic there, here is what the web­site says:

The mis­sion to restore Amer­i­ca begins with get­ting our fis­cal house in order. Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has put our nation on an unsus­tain­able course. Spend­ing is out of con­trol. Year­ly deficits are mas­sive. And unless we curb Washington’s appetite for spend­ing, the nation­al debt will grow to the size of our entire econ­o­my this year.

So how about that fis­cal respon­si­bil­i­ty thing? Pres­sur­ing Utah to hold its pri­ma­ry ear­li­er while spend­ing $2.5 to $3 mil­lion to ben­e­fit his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, when those funds could be spent on health care, edu­ca­tion or oth­er vital ser­vices that ben­e­fit the peo­ple of Utah isn’t even close to being fis­cal­ly respon­si­ble. It’s a bla­tant, self­ish act in the name of polit­i­cal expe­di­en­cy; an obscene cam­paign con­tri­bu­tion drawn from the com­mon­wealth of the peo­ple of Utah.

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