This is an archived article that was published on in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Amazingly, given the recent pattern of actions, its clear the Utah Democratic Party is biased in favor of its own obscurity. This is a party that literally likes losing.

Hillary Clinton couldn't win Utah even if she started taking missionary discussions. A Bernie Sanders nomination, however, provides a real opportunity to turn Utah blue for the first time in more than 50 years, with major down-ticket implications — including a possible end to the Republican super-majority at the Legislature.

But Utah Democrats are willing to skirt, break, bend and abuse vote tallies and their own rules to make sure that won't happen.

Despite overwhelming indications caucus turnout would be very large, state party executive director Lauren Littlefield told the press she could never have foreseen it. This despite the 130,000 voters in 2008. Forcing folks to stand in four-hour lines in the cold was either willful suppression or gross incompetence. As organized, it would've been physically impossible for the caucuses to accept more voters than they did.

The party blames the GOP for not funding our Democratic presidential preference poll on caucus night.

To be certain, mockery of right-wing foolishness from a position of impotence is the birthright of every Utah Democrat. We like our Pat Bagley cartoons just as they are, thank you very much. But has it gone so far we now actually blame them for ourselves?

Clearly our share of the Hillary Victory Fund, laundered and returned, didn't help support the caucus either, serving only to keep the state party dependent and Clinton's coffers flush.

Raw vote totals showed Sanders' Utah victory approaching 90 percent in many areas. But thousands of ballots were disqualified on technicalities, whittling Bernie's totals to 79 percent and summarily awarding six delegates to Clinton.

According to the state party constitution (assuming you can find a copy), the state convention is the party's ruling body and is to adopt a platform during even-numbered years. But Littlefield made a video saying no platform this year. Apparently there were too many Bernie delegates. The party also posted a complete shut-out, do-nothing convention agenda within the rules.

In response, an organized group of delegates attempted to utilize the plenary right of delegates over the convention rules from the floor. The Clinton-supporting superdelegate herself, Breanne Miller, was at the podium at the time and refused to give these delegates a microphone and summarily declared their efforts out of order.

That was easy.

The delegates' attempted use of convention authority to adopt an innovative bylaw (similar to one Washington State is likely to address at their state convention later this month) — to incentivize Utah's superdelegates to respect democracy at the national convention — was squelched. But it did garner the ingenious response of changing the venue from the convention, overrun with Sanders delegates, to a Central Committee meeting stacked with the establishment.

During the days prior, Littlefield made multiple statements to the press insinuating Sanders people had no chance for success at the Central Committee meeting and it's time to just unify with Clinton.

Conveniently, rules created prior need not be ratified at a Central Committee meeting. Joe Hatch was appointed party parliamentarian and opened with a lengthy, though false, oration about the "legality" of the proposed bylaw. When the insurgents requested an opportunity to rebut Hatch's inappropriate and misleading diatribe, they were told to ask the body for a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority. The insurgents were never able to present all the facts in "full discussion" prior to the vote.

Ultimately, the Sanders insurgents' strategy to push the stringent bylaw was successful in achieving the resolution similar to other states. Further, please note it was the pro-Clinton contingent that was shouting people down and lacked decorum. The Sanders folks were organized, respectful, and factually accurate in support of fundamental democratic principles.

It remains to be seen how Utah's superdelegates will vote at the national convention. As we know, superdelegates don't vote until late July, despite the misleading delegate tallies proffered on a daily basis. But this much is clear: Any Utah superdelegate vote for Clinton can only be driven by interests other than success of the Utah Democratic Party.

We can't be certain Bernie Sanders will beat Trump in Utah in November, but there is no doubt Utah will be in play under that scenario.

But a Clinton nomination guarantees the Democrats continued irrelevance in Utah, just how the party likes it.

Rob Walton is a long-time Utah environmental activist, public interest lobbyist and political consultant with emphasis on criminal justice reform and Utah wilderness.