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Senate passes bill blocking public access to many government records

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  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    March 4, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    We want to do it today. It will complicate matters if it has a weekend to fester, Waddoups said. He said he did not want senators subjected to pressure from the bills opponents over the next two days.

    Is that a joke? Letting people think about the ramificiations of the bill over a weekend is "festering?" What has thought ever done for anyone, anyway?

    I used to be a FOIA manager, so I understand how intrusive the media can be when digging up information while researching stories, BUT, government business is the people's business and government should not hide what they are doing on theier goverment (taxpayer) provided computer, cell phone, etc.

    This is just going to end a lawsuit that the state will lose, and lose big.

    Festering? Wow, what ignorance. This is so reminiscent of the USSR and their state-run media.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 4, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    Dirty dirty legislators, is their a raise attached too?
    Doing there best to protect themselves against the laws they pass on the citizens of this state.

  • scambuster American Fork, UT
    March 4, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    I heard that the Utah Senate was also set to pass and Enabling Act.

  • Dustyredcliffs Saint George, UT
    March 4, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    So Much For Transparency In The Goverment.
    Just An Other To Hide The Truth From Us.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    March 4, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    We need more, not less disclosure, from our government.
    The arrogancy of our republican dominated legislator has no bounds.
    They have refused to hold themselves to any meaningful ethics laws.
    They already try to skirt around open meeting laws, by calling public meetings private planning sessions
    Now they do not want anyone knowing about their public e-mails, and text messages, by calling those private converstations as well.
    So a legislator is voting on a law, and gets a text message from a lobbyist during the vote.
    They do not believe that the public has the right to know who texted them, and what the text said?
    What are they trying to hide?
    Based upon the news reports I have seen, they have alot to hide.
    Only evil likes to hide in the dark. evil hates the light, because it shows the world what it is doing.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    March 4, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    Anything this controversial must be discussed openly and deliberately, especially when so much of this year's legislation is concentrating more power at the state level.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 4, 2011 1:34 p.m.

    Dishonest people, who wish to hide the truth from the voters.

    Thank you for our one party system, Utah.

  • Dewey Hewson Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 4, 2011 1:37 p.m.

    Nobody likes to do this in an election year, Waddoups said. So now is the time.

    Yep, nothing like a year where you don't have to answer to the people to pass your real agenda.

    Too bad the Utahn people never seem to remember this open disdain for them every time they go to the polls.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 4, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    You give them a little power, and this is what is done with it. The government is too busy to keep those who elected them into office informed about what they are doing in the public's name. The public or citizens of the state are just too much of a hassle.

    Interesting.

    The true agenda is becoming less and less transparent.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    March 4, 2011 2:45 p.m.

    I've attended Realtor meetings in several states and without exception a substantial part of the meeting was soliciting contributions to RPAC (Realtors Political Action Committees. It was always referred to as job protection. Do you think they wanted their interactions with Legislators made public?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2011 2:50 p.m.

    'SALT LAKE CITY The Senate is expected to pass a fast-tracked bill Friday afternoon that would greatly restrict the public's access to government records...' - Article

    Disgusting.

    TSA, Patriot Act, warrentless wire taps, all these are levied at average joe public...

    however our elected leaders shouldn't be BOTHERED by such petty demands.

    My email at work is open to review, at any time, without my consent.

    The fact that Waddoups supports this dirty bill is no surprise to me.

    I guess the promise of more 'open discourse' by Republicans is, once again, a lie.

    *'How the House GOP promise to cut $100b became $32b' - By Luke Russert - NBC - 02/03/11

    Since any legislation by Republicans has not seen ONE comittee.

    Chicago style politics?
    Back room doors?

    Where are all my conservative friends, who claimed Obama did this very thing...

    now?

  • carabaoU Moab, UT
    March 4, 2011 3:03 p.m.

    I might have suspected this coming from the Democratic Party, but Republican Party? Maybe they are afraid we will find out more of them are involved in vices that would embarass their grandmothers.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    March 4, 2011 4:28 p.m.

    carabaoU
    Why would you have expected this of the Democratic Party?

  • peterslu Midway, UT
    March 4, 2011 4:44 p.m.

    Sounds like its time to recall Waddoups and Dougall.

    ~Come on home boys! Come on home!
    The power done gone to your head, so come on home!~

  • MormonConservative A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    March 4, 2011 5:03 p.m.

    The bill, HB477, which would make wide-ranging changes to the Government Records Access Management Act, passed the Senate Rules Committee on a 5-2 vote.

    One would think this is just a cover-up Bill, to hide the illegal's better while in Utah's school's etc.

    I guess they are scared of ICE.

    Ya think?.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 4, 2011 5:07 p.m.

    Republicans make me sick!

    I've never seen a bigger group of hypocrites in all my 52 years.

  • Rock Of The Marne Phoenix, AZ
    March 4, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    All power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely especially when you have long term one party rule as in Utah. Where are the checks and balances? They get away with all this because you keep them in office; they have no reason to fear accountability as due to their party affiliation theyll win regardless of their self serving shortsighted actions. Make them accountable or all you have is a dictatorship by quorum.

  • MormonDem Provo, UT
    March 4, 2011 5:17 p.m.

    Wake up, folks. This is what happens when you have a one-party system.

    Recently:

    --the ranking majority member in the senate resigns in shame for a DUI
    --the ranking majority member in the house resigns in shame for hot-tubbing nude with a minor, AND a DUI
    --the governor is either criminally involved in or utterly oblivious to a scheme to give millions of dollars to the LOSER of a huge construction bid

    And even more recently:
    --legislators defeat ethics legislation on promises to watch the henhouse themselves
    --legislators redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich by trying to raise taxes on food so they can lower them on luxury goods
    --and now, they try to shut down the channel of information that we, the public, need in order to at least find out how they're abusing us.

    I swear, all you have to do to be elected in Utah is say "Socialism! Obama! Abortion! BOO!" And then once you get into office you can do whatever you want, as long as you keep that "R" after your name.

  • Rock Of The Marne Phoenix, AZ
    March 4, 2011 5:32 p.m.

    carabaoU, I think the evidence is that it is typically the Repubs in this state that act like they are above the law/accountability. And speaking of law or laws, they also feel okay to enact legislation to help their own business interests or those of their friends and chose pensions for themselves over helping the poor; regular King George's they are.

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    March 4, 2011 5:39 p.m.

    This has nothing to do with a one party system. I'm probably more conservative than every legislator we have and find this bill repulsive. This is plain cowardice and stupidity. Darkness is Satan's realm, light is Christ's realm. Republicans are not the problem, stupid Republicans are the problem!

  • Honest Abe Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2011 5:42 p.m.

    When the legislature voted their own ethics rules and thwarted the citizens initiative for ethical government, they insisted that disclosure is what is important, specifically when it comes to gifts from lobbyists.

    Now that the legislature has little to fear since they made it virtually impossible for citizens to vote for real ethical change, it appears they are now incorporating non-disclosure as part of governing.

    Honest, as a Republican, I do not like our Utah Republican Legislature. We need new leadership!

  • scambuster American Fork, UT
    March 4, 2011 5:47 p.m.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    March 4, 2011 5:47 p.m.

    What a great day. The people who work for us get to look at everything we're doing yet we do not get to see what they are doing. Tell me why we put up with OUR employees doing things like this that actually HURT us.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    March 4, 2011 5:50 p.m.

    Of course they had to rush it through because ordinary folks wouldn't support it. well done, Legislators (sarcasm). All voters need to remember this come election time (but they won't).

  • ECE Ferron, UT
    March 4, 2011 5:55 p.m.

    What are you going to do? Force some districts to only allow democrats to represent them? There is nothing you can do about the majority or the "one party system" of this state. It is what it is. Republicans are there because their constituents voted them there. A private conversation with a private citizen is just that, private.

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    March 4, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    I believe that a private citizen having a private conversation with a legislator (whether in person, via phone, or via text/email) should remain private. If current law does not allow that, then it should be changed.

    HOWEVER, I am concerned about how quickly this bill has moved. Does it only protect what are truly private conversations? Or does it allow some government business to be conducted secretly?

    That all said, this bill was passed with bipartisan support and has nothing to do "one party rule" in Utah. The proportion of elected democrats to elected republicans simply reflects how people vote. In business terms, the Democrats are not selling a product most Utahns want to buy. It would be good to have more competition in Utah politics. But I can't force the Democrats to be more competitive. If they want to push a hard left, socialist agenda that centers on attacking self-defense rights, wealth redistribution, redefining marriage, and defending late term elective abortions of convenience, most Utahns won't vote for them.

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    March 4, 2011 6:12 p.m.

    The previous law already allowed for private conversations. The law was based the content-- private (stop and get some milk, dear) or public (make sure company X wins the bid for project Y). This makes EVERYTHING private even then is it totally official business no matter how shady. This is a direct result of the people finding out embarrassing things. You think it's been bad, just wait. But we'll never know about it. Utah needs a memory that lasts till the next election.

  • Rainman Syracuse, UT
    March 4, 2011 6:21 p.m.

    Seriously? This is the USA? Utah? Not China? Not Russia? This has to be a joke...

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    March 4, 2011 6:28 p.m.

    Senator Adams and every other Senator that voted for this bill stole the public trust. As such they are branded thieves and are unfit for Public Office. Citizens of the State of Utah remember this day. If any senator think this will be forgottne they are sadly mistaken. They just put Utah on the map for Chicago Style politics. They do not represent the State but their own selfish, dishonest interests.

  • AweMan tooele, utah
    March 4, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    Don`t ya just love it when politicians think they need to hide the public`s business from you?
    Who do these hucksters think they are anyway?
    Ever wonder what happened to the America you grew up in? Take a real good look ... the answer is staring you right in the face!
    In the future be real careful whom you vote for there are freedom haters hiding in every nook and cranny!

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    March 4, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    What are they working so hard to hide from the taxpayers?

  • OneMadGuy Salt Lake, UT
    March 4, 2011 6:47 p.m.

    So a UDOT employee is sleeping with an employee of the company that wins the I-15 Core bid and the taxpayers shouldn't have access to their email and texts. That stinks.

    This is really getting out of control. If the law makers don't want to be embarrassed they should stop doing things they would be embarrassed about. How about a little honesty and integrity?

    The Utah voters need to start kicking these guys to the curb and electing representatives that will be honest and do the will of the people.

    I'm disgusted.

  • Jiggle Clearfield, UT
    March 4, 2011 7:05 p.m.

    As a transplant from another state I can't help but see....that control of public access is being exerted by the Church by its upper echelon to another upper echelon, because after all....two upper echelons in this Utah society would want to hide its agenda from the masses! Just an outside of the culture observation!

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    March 4, 2011 7:06 p.m.

    @Still Blue after all these years

    based on your post, I'd say there are two of us...

    Folks, I'm a conservative...as such my views resonate with those who are Republicans...but I really have little use for either party. Neither PARTY has a solid grasp on ethical behavior, so the partisan hack jobs are just silly...

    I will say though, that the party in clear majority seems to be operating on par with the Reid and Pelosi "gang"...Reid and Pelosi took a nice haircut during the midterms...just make sure it happens in Utah...as much as ole bob bennett hates the tactic...someone different is the call to action folks...vote em all out...be polite, smile...but stop listening to them, and remind them to enjoy the scenery, because next cycle its going to change no matter what they do at this point...they are fired.

  • benlistening Cedar City, UT
    March 4, 2011 7:29 p.m.

    The people of this state are being run by the Gestapo, the conservative, one-party rule that hides their underhanded dealings against the people of this state.

    If there was any trust in the government of this state, it is completely gone. Is there not suppose to be transparency in what our lawmakers do? Whatever happened to this Freedom of Information Act?

    Utah is already the most restrictive State in our Union and we don't need anymore restrictions on our right to know what they are doing.

  • runwasatch Ogden, UT
    March 4, 2011 7:37 p.m.

    One party system? Dirty little legislators?

    Last I checked, there were Democrats in this state. Plenty of them. Are you liberals willing to call the North East the Land of a single party - democrats? Of course not.

    In the end, this will have nearly zero effect on the average citizen obtaining whatever information they desire. It will largely effect the media's relentless requests for every piece of communication made - just in case there is something in there.

    Our legislators are generally good people doing the best they can - well, maybe a question about Chris Buttars.

    It is a sign of the insatiable selfishness and immaturity of our society when the reaction to things you don't like are tantrums and vitriol.

    Grow up folks...

  • Mr. Bean Hicksville, Mexico
    March 4, 2011 8:03 p.m.

    @runwasatch:

    "In the end, this will have nearly zero effect on the average citizen obtaining whatever information they desire."

    The average citizen seldom goes after this type of information. It's the media that we count on to get in our legislators' faces and dig out what is going on beneath the surface.

    "It will largely effect the media's relentless requests for every piece of communication made - just in case there is something in there."

    The citizen has the right to dig for dirt... just in case there is some. Legislators should not be dealing in dirt. And citizens need to know when/if they do. We pay their salaries and should be allowed to know what's going on in their brains. If they want to be private they need to resign and return to private live.

    "Our legislators are generally good people doing the best they can..."

    The best way to keep them good people is to be able to review what they're doing.

    "...well, maybe a question about Chris Buttars."

    I rest my case.

    "Grow up folks..."

    The first step to a tyrannical government is secrecy.

  • Charles History Tooele, UT
    March 4, 2011 8:11 p.m.

    WOW

    Are there any conservatives in this state that will stand up and say hey this is a good bill?

    Please wake up Utah, these legislatures are for them and their friends. Why do we keep wanting these people elected?

    I guess I am right; liberals are for an open for-the-people government and the conservatives like to keep things hidden and shady.

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    March 4, 2011 8:13 p.m.

    @runwasatch...

    well, how'd you vote today, and why?

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2011 8:21 p.m.

    Who needs checks and balances anyways. I'm sure our government will always do the right thing, there's no need for us wee little peasants to look after them.

    I'm not religious at all, but I agree with "Still Blue" this bill is evil and it's aim is to keep Utahn's in the dark.

  • MormonDem Provo, UT
    March 4, 2011 8:53 p.m.

    Actually, the Democrats in this state consistently take moderate positions that are closer to public opinion than the Republicans. But the citizens of this state are well-trained to vote R.

  • Fred44 Grantsville, Utah
    March 4, 2011 9:23 p.m.

    MormonDem,

    You are right on, and the dems will never be a force in Utah because of gerry mandered districts. Look at your maps and the way the districts are divided. The strongest pockets of dems in the state are divided into several heavily republican districts. We would be a stronger better state with a strong two party state regardless of who was in the majority.

  • slgs5aggie Cedar City, UT
    March 4, 2011 9:36 p.m.

    OF course they passed it. Let them know how bad this makes them look. A statesmen would not want to HIDE behind their public service. Herbert needs to take the time to at least explain the bill to the public before he signs it, or it is going to hurt him as well. So much for Transparency.

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    March 4, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    This is disgusting.

    I'm sad to call myself a Republican.

    Last election I voted all Democrat in my local and state elections and Republican in the national races.

    I advise you to do the same.

    This is WAY out of control.

  • ms Draper, UT
    March 4, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    While I agree that it is likely that the Republican party will likely rule the legislature because they account for the majority of residents in this State. But I for one will vote out all incumbents just so they can remember who they work for and if they continue to ignore their residents interest I will vote out the next republican elected in their place and i will continue to do so until such time as the representative that holds this office listens to the constituents he represents and acts with 100% transparency. Unlike the U.S. Congress where we are reluctant to similarly vote out our senior representatives because of the powerful committies they sit on as it takes years to achieve such national senority and it is hard to give this up. But such is not the case in the State Legislature so I for one am happy to vote them out.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2011 10:11 p.m.

    I support having a government. Utah doesn't have one... we have a bunch of people who get elected and do whatever they want and half the time they get re-elected because of party-line voters and those who vote for the people they personally know. I am a strong conservative who is sick of Utah's legislature.

    They will be held accountable... now or later, there is no avoiding it. Whatever is secret now cannot remain secret forever.

  • MormonDem Provo, UT
    March 4, 2011 11:34 p.m.

    Fred44:

    You're absolutely right. Moderate dems in Utah (who would probably run as moderate Republicans in any other state) just can't catch a break because people in Utah just don't pay attention. They assume that the GOP is going to represent their moderate, mainstream opinions--and they're only just now starting to wake up to the fact that the GOP in charge of this state is an extremist organization that pushes for positions far more on the fringe than most Utahns realize. And the dems in Utah just don't have the $$$ and clout to get the message out that their moderate message is actually far more resonant with most mainstream Utahns than the extremist far-right GOP in Utah is.

    And yes, the GOP uses gerrymandering to keep it that way. Let me give you an example and a prediction: Lane Henderson, who ran for Utah County Commissioner as a democrat in 2010, was a Republican who fled the party because it got too extreme. His house in Salem is out in the middle of a field. What do you wanna bet he's gerrymandered to prevent him from running for statehouse?

  • RRB SLC, UT
    March 4, 2011 11:35 p.m.

    Utah's senate resembles Obama's policies. They ram things through without proper time for discussion, they bail out business by killing immigration enforcement?

    Maybe they should start explaining why they should be trusted, and why we should vote for them next election.

    Time to get a citizens initiative to kill our caucus system.

  • freedomforthepeople Sandy, UT
    March 5, 2011 12:42 a.m.

    1. How many posters actually read this bill? I daresay perhaps NONE.

    2. How many posters understand this bill impacts the media most, who just happen to have 100% control over how the bill is presented in this newspaper and in all other outlets?

    3. How many posters understand that if the bill impacts media most, then media just MIGHT not be the best place to go to get your information about the bill?

    4. Think it is a coincidence that nearly 100% of the posters bought into the media's representation of this bill, and I'd daresay nearly all have not read the bill but have only read what the media wants them to think about the bill?

    We simply must be a smarter citizenry. You cannot get your information from a biased source and believe yourself to be well educated on an issue. Read the bill through a few times and then let's hear from you about the specifics you are opposed to.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2011 12:45 a.m.

    'I support having a government. Utah doesn't have one... we have a bunch of people who get elected and do whatever they want and half the time they get re-elected because of party-line voters and those who vote for the people they personally know. I am a strong conservative who is sick of Utah's legislature.' - 'A voice of Reason | 10:11 p.m. March 4, 2011

    VOR...

    Agreed.

  • SpecKK Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2011 12:59 a.m.

    For a bill that is universally panned, where is the published roll call vote so we know who to fire in 2 years? Waddoups and his cronies hope we'll forget this assault on our freedoms, but it sounds like 2/3 of these cowards need to go and soon. Shame they've tried to block online signature for the proposition of ballot measures, since this is a great candidate for citizen recall.

  • Blue Bolshevik Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2011 1:34 a.m.

    Sergeant Schultz covering for Colonel Klink.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    March 5, 2011 5:52 a.m.

    Governor Herbert must stand up and VETO this bill.

    If he won't, he should not be re-elected.

    Clearly the people are opposed to this mid-night bill.

    Our legislature exempted themselves from open record laws.

    Our legislature won't give up gifts and won't pass a gift ban like New Jersey.

    Governor Hebert, give us some leadership and VETO this bill.

  • AmPatriot Kearns, UT
    March 5, 2011 6:28 a.m.

    That sounds like the end of open and transparent government in Utah. They have received the everlasting seal of approval for continued secret government wheeling and dealing behind closed doors and a government of no accountability.

  • Rocky Mtn Lady Columbus, MS
    March 5, 2011 6:38 a.m.

    What is going on behind closed doors? The people have already spoken. We want open and fair government as well as legislators with integrity. It would seem in Utah we have neither.

  • Kiwini 52 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2011 6:41 a.m.

    People who run for office do so knowing full well that everything they say and do will be scrutinized by those who elected them. The passage of HB477 the peoples representatives have voted to keep secret their doings. I wonder what they are doing or want to do that needs to be kept secret from those they are supposed to be looking after.
    I just read a book that talked about people who govern in such a manner. I include a passage from that book, those Gadianton robbers filling the judgment-seatshaving usurped the power and authority of the land; laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least aright before him; doing no justice unto the children of men (Helaman 7:4).

  • David Centerville, UT
    March 5, 2011 7:47 a.m.

    I am less concerned about the speed at which this bill was passed by both chambers. I am very concerned about its content. It is not supported by Utahns, who feel like government should be accountable to The People, voters and citizens. Stating that the average citizen will not feel any impact from this becoming law is a diversion statement...of course they won't because the average citizen doesn't seek government documents. We depend upon the media and news organizations to do that for us.

    Just reading through this comment board gives a sense that Utahns are outraged by this. I cannot wait for the next few election cycles. I will serially vote against any and all incumbents, as the incumbents are not representing us well.

  • Larry Willard, UT
    March 5, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    Because this is a Church State, The Legislatue know the Devil will get them for their un popular decisions against the public.
    More and more Laws to trap the citizens in Utah.
    We need Laws that will trap Legislature People in mis Conduct.
    We can not count on The Utah Judicial Conduct Comission, I have been there and they refuse to work, They refuse to work for the People!

  • open minded Lehi, UT
    March 5, 2011 8:07 a.m.

    END THE CAUCUS SYSTEM. This is what we get when only 2% of voters decide who we elect. The only way to end the rule of the FAR RIGHT (when most Utahans are moderate right) is to create open primary elections. That way moderate GOP will run our state and not the radicals who have been bought off by special interests. The caucuses are ripe with special interest groups- not the average member of the GOP. We need change, accountability, and openness- not what we have now.

  • goinoutwestt Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 5, 2011 8:42 a.m.

    Obama the socialist shouldnt have never passed this bill!! Oh wait, State Republicans did.. im confused, let me check who the church endorses, that should settle things for me.

  • Patrick Henry West Jordan, UT
    March 5, 2011 8:55 a.m.

    Let the enemies of the People in the House and Senate be identified and may their treacherous acts be burned into the memory and hearts of the People so that they will never re-elect them again.

  • USA Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2011 8:55 a.m.

    This week we have experienced the honor of BYU, and the utter lack of it by the Utah Legislature.

  • Lorin Lehi, UT
    March 5, 2011 9:01 a.m.

    Can you say Secret Combination. What are they doing that they have to hide it? Either that or they are elitists and they figure us common folk aren't smart enough to understand what they are doing.

  • stupid news Tooele, UT
    March 5, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    For some reason Utah is not for its people. Why is there a NEED to hide information that should be public? Because the lawmakers know we will take exception to a vast majority of what they institute and they don't want to hear it. Kind of reminds me of the Brigham Young era and his penchant for secrecy. If you need to hide behind closed doors, then you are definitely up to no good!!!

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    March 5, 2011 10:07 a.m.

    Everyone here should write Gov. Herbert (the website makes it easy) and ask him to VETO this bill. WE have the right to know what our government is doing. It is the media's job to "dig up dirt" on our government.

    We must remember who voted for this bill and fire them in the next election. I don't care who else is running. Anyone is better than the joker's who passed this bill!

  • Nicky Gee Farmington, Utah
    March 5, 2011 10:08 a.m.

    Special interests rule! Now they can text legislators en masse while you testify at committee meetings and tell them not to listen to you.

    ---Special Interests can dispel logic with outright fraudulent statements and lies.
    ---We will never know what the opposition claimed. We will never see the dragon we are fighting since text messages are not public information anymore.
    ---- Instead of reforming their ways legislators seek to hide the truth.

    ---- We thank the media for their revelations!!!

  • runwasatch Ogden, UT
    March 5, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    Where were all you complainers when Obama/Pelosi refused to hold public meetings on Healthcare reform? Behind close doors. Where were you when Pelosi was saying things like "you'll see what's in the bill when it's passed"? What happen to transparancy then? How about Obama's plans to designate huge parts of Utah and the southwest wilderness areas in an effort to shove the liberal "no drill anywhere" policy down our throats without public input OR approval of the legislature?

    Seems you want transparancy when those you disagree with are calling the shots, and closed doors and secrecy when your ilk are in control.

    Typical liberal hypocricy!

  • james3333 Sonra, Ut
    March 5, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    What the State is trying to do is limit you access to information from agency's like ORS and the Ut State Taxation Records.
    This is many ways that they will do this. Think, if they wanted to keep the media out of states business they could just limit the media to the information in which the state would give out.
    One thing you have to remember is that ORS is one of the states largest money makers, and this agency is one of the most corrupt agency. The Nazi's of Hitler Germany did not have the control over the people like the destructive manner in which this agency has. And yet when you call the governor on it or States Senators they will run like they are told on.
    New you will be limited to Internet access. It is coming

  • newslover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    Let the people get this on the ballot...

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    March 5, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    We will not forget this at the next election. Maybe this is the straw that breaks the elephant's back.

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    March 5, 2011 11:12 a.m.

    @runwasatch

    1) I have had experience with GRAMA, and the things the disingenuous folks on the Hill in SLC are saying is COMPLETE hogwash...there are provisions ALREADY in GRAMA that provide relief for the issues they raise...the ONE point they made was related to costs...point is, thoughtfull changes to the provisions that ALREADY EXIST was the prudent approach where they weigh the costs against transparency...what they did was basically say I'm tired of dealing with this, and shut it down w/o any consideration for anything else...it was intellectually lazy, and in my view heinous disregard for the spirit and intent of citizen legislators. 2)in case you haven't come to that conclusion, I read the Bill, 3)and I'm conservative...4)and you still haven't told me how you voted and why.

    Anytime you want to debate the merits/details of why this is bad...name a time and place.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    March 5, 2011 11:23 a.m.

    look at where most of the legislators went to school.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    March 5, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    citizens gripe about our legislators every year. Is this now enough for them to carry their displeasure to the voting booth?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 5, 2011 11:34 a.m.

    I just GOTTA laugh....

    All the outrage about the secret Utah State Legislature, and no one willing to take a stand and vote these guys out because the have the letter "R".

    Obama's a jerk, Utah State are Saints.

    Give me a break.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 5, 2011 12:18 p.m.

    When it comes to government how is there any justification to reduce the transparency.

  • Charles History Tooele, UT
    March 5, 2011 1:13 p.m.

    We have the lowest voter turn out in the Country - these conservative legislatures are not going to be afraid of being kick out of office. They have this state locked up. YOUR vote does not COUNT.

    Look at the new way they are putting people into the state school board - they are want like minded individuals and they know most people in this state do not care to vote.

    We are No. 9 in Toxic environment list by Forbes, No. 1 for online Porn and dead last for voter tunout.

    Why would any conservative believe this republic should change. More power for the few.

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    March 5, 2011 1:21 p.m.

    This makes me wonder what the legislators have to hide. What back-room deals are they making? What trades are they making for contributions? What corruption or mis-deeds are they trying to hide?

    There is no evidence, one way or the other, what actual perfidity (if any) they are perpetrating BUT it's curious that they don't want the people of the state to be able to see what they do. There is a real concern that, if they have nothing to hide, they wouldn't be trying to block access to their records.

    Their so-called concerns are already addressed in the current GRAMA law. There is NO reason for this bill, except that they are trying to hide something. I really wonder what that "something" is.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    March 5, 2011 3:00 p.m.

    I cannot understand how this bill could possibly have been passed, and why it was rushed through.

    So, full disclosure is right and good when it comes to the POTUS, but not the Republicans in the Utah House.

    The hypocrisy is mind blowing.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    March 5, 2011 3:34 p.m.

    Of course Gov. Herbrrt wont veto this. That would require courage.

  • gizmo33 St. George, Utah
    March 5, 2011 4:04 p.m.

    did any of you really think this bill would fail? ha ha this is your goverment doing the same old song and dance to the brain washed voting sector to convince you that the people on capital care about any of you. the casino manager of the MGM ran for county commisioner for a salary of 37.000 and was working for 140.000 a year and asked why he was willing to take a cut in pay like that and he replied. because I care about the people of Nevada . anybody want to buy a bridge ? he never got the position

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    March 5, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    Herbert will pass this bill. He is the most spineless person I have ever seen. He usually doesn't sign something important unless another state does it first, but this will be the first time he is setting a model for absolutely ripping off the people in his state. I'll remember this next elections Gary!

  • Jared Gainesville, FL
    March 5, 2011 6:35 p.m.

    Did all of you people commenting on this story take the time to contact your representatives and tell them that this is a bad idea? Contrary to what most people think, elected officials do listen to their constituents; they don't always follow them but they (most of them) do listen. Take time to contact your reps., the governor, and whomever else you can in order to try and reverse this madness.

  • DocHollywood Holladay, UT
    March 5, 2011 7:14 p.m.

    I will be sure to post the names and districts of all of the "representatives" that voted for this awful bill. It is sad that they have the nerve to pass a bill teaching our kids that the United States and Utah are a representative democracy and then turn around and do the opposite of the will of the people they represent. Vote these people out next election!

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    March 5, 2011 8:10 p.m.

    Governor Herbert show some political courage and veto this bill. This doesn't have anything to do with redistricting coming up does it? I didn't think so.

    Afterthought KSL did an excellent job critiquing this on the nightside project. Bad legislation.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 5, 2011 9:37 p.m.

    The majority of Utah
    [in my best robot voice]

    We...must...vote....
    R...is...good...
    All...else...bad...
    Must...vote....R...
    R....R....R...

    ==============

    Now - In my real voice,

    GOP does NOT stand for
    "God's Own Party".

    Wake UP!!!

  • benlistening Cedar City, UT
    March 6, 2011 2:31 a.m.

    The only option to defeat this terrible bill rests in the hands of Gov. Herbert since it has already passed both houses by 2/3 vote. It is easy to find Gov Herbert's email address and make your feelings be known to him. You will have to do it very quickly however.

    I sent my email to him today and asked for a reply. I mentioned in that email that he might just want to go online and take a look at the comments made under the article in this article about HB477.

    Just go on Google or Yahoo homepages and type: Gov Herbert email address. The options will come up. Please do it quickly. We will have to wait to vote these Reps and Senators out of office, but we must let the Gov know what we think of this Bill.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    March 6, 2011 7:24 a.m.

    There is so much furor over this bill, I wonder if it didn't also serve as a smoke screen. What else was hurried through out of all those "boxcar" bills? I hope more of us study the legislature's website and find out. Perhaps there are more to be discovered.

    Having read many of the bills already, there are certainly two trends: They don't like public schools and they prefer top-down government with less public input.

  • Freedom Huntsville, UT
    March 6, 2011 9:10 a.m.

    I was there. I've been there the entire session - 7am to all hours of the evening. It's a shame that more people don't read the bills they criticize.

    With all due respect to the media, as I was walking out of the Senate, I said in a jokingly but respectful manner to one of the most recognized faces in Utah's TV media who I had stood by many times during the session, "Not having a good day?" To which he quickly shot angrily back, "No comment." Ironic, isn't it?

    This was more about money than wanting to keep things in the 'dark'. The huge amounts of revenue it's taking to accommodate some of these requests is a ridiculous.

    At the end of day, their actions will speak louder than any covert meeting. And when those actions are not in keeping with your values, VOTE! But, that won't happen. People will simply want to gripe. Last election, we had about 38% turn out to vote. Shame!

    Read the bill. Look at it from many different sides. Ask questions. Then complain if you want. Then run for office. Or at least vote.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 7, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    "At the end of day, their actions will speak louder than any covert meeting. And when those actions are not in keeping with your values, VOTE! But, that won't happen"

    People don't vote anymore because they feel excluded from the process - disconnected. The issues is non-partisan, frustration with politics being above the people, and not responsible to the people is a sentiment held by the left and right.

    Keeping an open and transparent democracy is justified as with the alternative, the cost is far too high. The public is not on a "need to know" basis. Nothing they do is above or beyond the citizenries need to know. To have an active and engaged citizenry, they need to feel like they are part of the process. Utah politics is too filled with the few making decisions for the many. Maybe it is because of the culture from the church that many think this is acceptable. But being a representative isn't a calling, it is a responsibility, one where transparency to the process is critical.

    Knowledge = engaged public.

    Sorry Freedom, but I think you have the responsibilties backward here.

  • ValiantDefender Herriman, UT
    March 7, 2011 1:25 p.m.

    $80,000 is only 0.002% of the State's $4.2 billion budget. For a normal household making $45k a year, thats like spending $0.90 once a year. I think that we can afford .002% for transperancy (even if some idiots could abuse it - though no one seems to be able to give specific examples of when it was abused).

    Something about this just doesn't sit right.

    Also, if you're against a "one party" or "two party" system, then make your voice heard. Two party systems (or less) is dangerous to the republic!

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 25, 2011 1:38 p.m.

    The claim that Utah has a one-party system is hogwash. A one-party system means that the One party decides who is in office. The rise of Chaffetz and Lee among others shows that while people may identify with the same party, the fact that they have differing phylosophies leads to electoral disagreement.

    What Utah Democrats really need to learn is how to run a campaign on something other than the faults of their opponants. They also need to learn how to get their feet out of their mouths and not go around insulting the basic values of most of the electorate.

    Ross Anderson endorsing Nader was a step in the right direction for Utah Democrats. The less association they have with people who value controversy over compromise, and think making a failed stand on principal is worth more than getting a bill that gets as much as possible, the better off they will be.

    Lastly, the fact that Buttars voted against this bill complicates every set of lessons taken from it. Beyond this, most of the rhetoric coming out about the Democrat opposition ignores the inherent advantage an opposition has. Compromise is hard.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 25, 2011 1:49 p.m.

    open minded's theory that an end of the caucus system will change things assumes that the "moderate right" is a bunch of lazy people unwilling to participate in politics. This may be so, but on what basis does he think this will change with primaries.

    For one thing, if Utah ends the caucus system should it go to primaries where whoever gets the most votes wins, or should it require a runoff after the first primary if no one gets a majority of votes?

    I do think that Utah should at least provide for special elections to fill vacant seats in the legislature.

    However after reading the bizarre claims that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is somehow behind this act, which has no basis outside of the minds of some conspiracy theorists, and is really hard to believe in light of the fact that the Church owned Deseret News has not shown itself to be a freind of this law, all I have to say is that a good portion of these attacks are motivated by a desire to malign Mormons at every turn.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 25, 2011 1:54 p.m.

    Mormonsim is a religion that seeks for a Zion where people are of one heart and one mind.

    The two-party political system, especially when entered by people who have deep seated resentments at having lost many elections, breeds disagreement and animosity.

    We are encoraged to participate in politics, but it requires going outside of our comfort zones.

    It would help if people found a way to participate without being so negative.

    One really good thing would be if people would start from the premise that most people are good. This will require a major change on the part of commentors on both sides. The people who implemented the Health Care Act did so primarily because they thought it would be good for people in the long run. Those who opposed it also did so because in general they thought it was bad public policy and in many cases felt it exceeded the proper role of the Federal government.

    It would be nice if there was a willingness to recognize that people who held the other position were sincere. It would be even more nice if Republicans would grant Matheson the assumption of sincerity in his opposition.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 25, 2011 1:57 p.m.

    The number one reason why Utah has such a one-sided political environment is due to the attempts to nationalize politics from both sides of the aisle.

    A vote for Matheson is not a vote for Pelosi. A vote for Cannon never was a vote for Gingrich. Both major political parties have been guilty of attempting to nationalize politics.

    Until Utah Democrats realize they have to openly repudiate the radicalism of other members of their party to have any chance to win, they will tend to loose.