October 3, 2011 by Robert Poort
Not exactly about radical politics, but very interesting nevertheless:
Salt Lake Tribune 26 September 2011:
The Utah Democratic Party has 15 caucuses within its tent, ranging from women, labor, educators, the LGBT community, African-Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders and Latinos to rural and veterans and military families.
Now comes another, perhaps unexpected in Republican- and Mormon-dominated Utah — the LDS Dems Caucus.
Emboldened by the election of Jim Dabakis, who is gay, to the party chairmanship, a band of like-minded moderate and progressive Mormons decided they want “a room of our own,” says Crystal Young-Otterstrom, the caucus’s interim vice chairwoman.
“There have been many people for a long time who wanted to do something like this,” she says. “We want to find the closeted Democrats out there.”
At present, the caucus will focus on education, environmental issues, immigration and compassionate service to those in need, which is one of the LDS Church’s four main purposes.
By way of introduction, the caucus is hosting a pre-LDS General Conference breakfast on Saturday at Murray Park, where Mormon Democratic elected officials will be cooking. The party’s central committee is to vote Oct. 15 on the caucus’ application.
In early Utah history and today, we’ve learned that LDS people, like anyone else, are not monolithic. Faithful Mormons, Democratic and Republican, have and do occupy political seats in the Utah Legislature, the U.S. Congress, federal and state governments and mayorships and city council seats.
Former governors Cal Rampton and Scott M. Matheson were LDS Democrats, as are Matheson’s sons, one a sitting congressman, the other a federal appeals court judge. Still, the last presidential election when Utah leaned Democrat was in 1964, when Lyndon Johnson was elected. The Utah Legislature remains overwhelmingly Republican, and many members in both parties are LDS.
The LDS Dems have a new web page with further details and with quotes from both the scriptures as well as from church leaders: http://ldsdems.org/