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GOP lawmaker apologizes for HB477 vote, saying he feared retaliation

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  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    March 14, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    I am now even more concerned about Utah Legislators.
    They are frightened of each other!

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    March 14, 2011 3:05 p.m.

    Somehow, given what happened, Lockhart's comments lack veracity. Also given the circumstances, I find Powell VERY believable.

    It's time to make a LOT of Republican legislators pay the price for what they tried to impose on the people of Utah.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    March 14, 2011 3:05 p.m.

    If the three Nephites ran on the Democratic ticket in Utah, they would be slaughtered.

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    March 14, 2011 3:17 p.m.

    Rep. Powell, resign! You vote for something, then after the fact castigate it, the entire legislature, and the Republican party. You demonstrate a degree of lameness and whininess that begs for you to leave the field for more someone more qualified.

    For the record, I also feel that 477 is bad legislation, but I wouldn't have voted for it. Grow a spine and focus your efforts elsewhere.

  • gs86js Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 14, 2011 3:41 p.m.

    Re Florwood: I highly doubt that Rep. Powell is the only Republican legislator who felt pressured to vote against his constituents. So said, KUDOS to the Cottonwood Heights senator AND representative for the courage to vote in favor of your constituents and against 477. Morgan and Poulson - my hat's off to you both!

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    Someday........I'd like to know the "backstory" of why this bill got rammed through.
    Was it because lawmakers didn't want the public to know what lobbyists were "offering" for their votes on a particular topic?
    Not all "perks" offered by lobbyists are of a monetary variety. Sometimes......cushy jobs magically open up at a lobbyists' company or affilliated company for when the Senators or legislators decide to retire from legislative work! Imagine that!!

    I'm not naive enough to believe that legislators passed this bill simply to save the state money on "printing costs"!

    Whats the REAL STORY?

  • jean22 Bountiful, UT
    March 14, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    If lawmakers are exempted from having to disclose their e-mail correspondence, voice mails, text messages, instant messages and video chats, then they should not use them to conduct government business. However, that is not how communication is done these days. Now with this exemption, they will probably carry out much of their communication this way so that they are shielded from public scrutiny.

    This is a bad law for Utah and I hope the furor over its fast-track passage will still be high when the time comes for them to "amend" this in a special session. They are hoping we will forget by then. We cannot let them get away with this. I hope that other lawmakers like Rep. Powell will see the error of their ways and change their minds by then so that it doesn't just sail on through because of our one-party system. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    March 14, 2011 4:15 p.m.

    Those that don't believe this was fast track through the subverted legislative process just need to see the public record timeline for HB477. The Governor did his part to sign it in one day after passing, also. "Pass it and sign it and then read it." Rs Slam-dunk bill. Numbers= Yeas, Nays, Absent
    2/4/2011 Bill Numbered by Title Without any Substance
    2/5/2011 Numbered Bill Made Available for Public Distribution
    2/5/2011 Bill Numbered by Title Without any Substance
    3/1/2011 Bill Numbered but not Distributed
    3/1/2011 Numbered Bill Made Available for Public Distribution
    3/1/2011 House/ received bill from Legislative Research
    3/1/2011 House/ 1st reading (Introduced)
    3/1/2011 House/ to standing committee
    3/2/2011 House Committee - Favorable Recommendation 10 0 1
    3/3/2011 House/ passed 3rd reading 61 12 2
    3/4/2011 Senate/ passed 2nd & 3rd readings/ suspension 21 7 1
    3/4/2011 Senate/ to House
    3/7/2011 Senate/ passed 2nd & 3rd readings/ suspension 23 6 0
    3/7/2011 House/ concurs with Senate amendment 42 29 4
    3/8/2011 Governor Signed

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2011 4:16 p.m.

    HB477 is a dirty bill.

    Even those who voted for it can't stomach it.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    March 14, 2011 4:19 p.m.

    Florwood | 3:17 p.m. March 14, 2011

    If you look at the voting in the House and Senate, it was basically party line. Some of the House noticed their constituent's comments and when the Senate amended HB477, some of the Republicans changed their votes. It is such a bad decision by any leadership to push this type of bill. Trust is not highly needed by the leadership, just force the other elected officials use their "read the bill after the vote" mentality. It is not just in Washington, D.C. now that Utah has set a precedent on frank and open discussion.

  • dogchow1 Murray, UT
    March 14, 2011 4:20 p.m.

    I guess the polls showing peoples displeasure at passing this got to him. Maybe the next rep. from his district will have a spine.

  • williary Kearns, UT
    March 14, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    This story just more clearly illustrates the hypocrisy of Utah politicians/voters.

    A Republicans comes out and claims he was pressured by his party to vote for an unpopular bill. There are then 6 whole comments about it. The typical stallwort commentators from the Republican/Tea Party making up zero of those.

    Yet recall the situation with Jim Mattheson and his "forced" vote for the Health Care Bill in committee. He was torched alive on these boards by Utah Republicans. Those who are missing today.

    Some things just never change.

  • Florien Wineriter Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 14, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    I believe this form of legislating result when ever one party completly controls all branches of government. The longer one party keeps such complete overwhelming control the worse governing we will get! When the republicans legislatively redistrict the state we probably will not have either a democracy or a republic we may end up with a theocracy.

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    March 14, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    Well Rep. Powell, you can fear the leadership or you can fear the people, take your choice. You were voted in to represent the people and to do what's best for them. Of course, they may not remember this vote so you don't really have to worry about your next elections because you'll get the peoples vote with the leadership's help and money.

  • Laser Iowa City, IA
    March 14, 2011 4:48 p.m.

    Wow a politician goes to the airwaves with his side of the story...I'm not sure he's being honest.

    He should be voted out for a representative who will vote his or her conscience.

    The act in question is fine except for the idea that it's not the governments responsibility to make public records public. Oh, yes it is!

  • Carson Provo, UT
    March 14, 2011 4:49 p.m.

    Will you people wake up and stop voting these people in office just because they belong to the same church as you do!

  • David Centerville, UT
    March 14, 2011 4:55 p.m.

    What kind of message can be sent to Republicans so that this type of legislating doesn't happen again? Vote them out...those that voted for HB477. Then vote out our governor.

  • Norm Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2011 5:15 p.m.

    This really dosen't surprise me. It is the same with illegal immigration. We have a group controlling our state and do what they want. Watch they will be relected. I hope not I will help anyone running against them and I am a Republican but not a follower or give into any religious group for guidance.
    With the new immigration bill what is to stop Mexican or any country immigrants that want to come to the USA,they can save money to pay the required bribe to get a work permit. They then can bring in all of the relatives they want to gain the benefits we so freely give. I talk to many people and they are all against the immigration bill as well as now they can hide behind the new secret law, so much for transparnecy. I have no idea how they get the polls to agree with what they do. I have found very few that do agree with them. They must have a list of followers they call, who knows.
    Very frustrated with the state legislators and what they are jamming down our throats. Time will tell.

  • David B. Cedar City, UT
    March 14, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    You Republicans better start growing a pair PDQ or your going to lose your jobs come election time!There is still a very strong anti-incumbent attitude. So be careful how you tread on us.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    March 14, 2011 5:32 p.m.

    I hope the good people of Heber City remember they elected a man who is afraid to stand up to his own party. If he won't stand up to them will he stand up for you?

  • Draper Kearns, UT
    March 14, 2011 5:37 p.m.

    The problem is that many bills that wouldn't pass if they had a full hearing are held to the last minute. Then they are forced through before anyone can do anything about them. This is not a new tactic by the Utah Legislature.

    I have no doubt that the leadership pressured the other lawmakers into voting for this law. I would like to believe that some of the legislators would not have voted for it if they had the time to read the bill.

    In my opinion a legislator should vote no on any bill that he has not had the opportunity read and to hopefully understand, especially bills pushed through at the last minute. This bill was not do or die issue and they should not have voted for it so quickly

  • scambuster American Fork, UT
    March 14, 2011 5:37 p.m.

    It's unfortunate that he felt that that process didn't live up to his expectations, Lockhart said.

    Well, I have news for you, Mrs. Lockhart. I can speak on behalf of many, many voters and we feel that the process didn't live up to our expectations either. Your leadership this legislative session leaves a lot to be desired for the people of Utah.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    March 14, 2011 5:39 p.m.

    To dogchow1, who states: "I guess the polls showing peoples displeasure at passing this got to him. Maybe the next rep. from his district will have a spine."

    I''m not sure what you're saying, dogchow1. Are you for the bill that passed or against it?

    But I'll try to make the best sense of it that I can.

    Let's see now, "I guess the polls showing peoples displeasure at passing this got to him," points to Mr. Powell as spineless; I suppose, right?

    Yes, it's true. It definitely is too bad that Mr. Powell didn't vote the way the "displeased people" wanted him to vote; he should have!

    And all the rest of the Utah majority-party representatives and senators should have, ALSO!!!

    Isn't that the premise of our representative form of government, for heaven's sake?!

    Isn't that what Utah's majority party keeps yelling at us? "We want our elected senators and representatives in Washington D.C. to actually represent the people's wishes!"

    That's really too bad. Here in Utah the Republicans shout, "That's what we want back there; certainly not right here in Utah itself!"

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    March 14, 2011 5:43 p.m.

    By "spilling the beans" Representative Powell committed political suicide.

    As a registered lobbyist, I see these things happen but I've never ever seen a legislator have the guts to come out and admit it.

    I find it extremely refreshing that Representative Powell found the guts to open the jar of insanity that rules in Utah politics.

    Spot on Representative Powell. Thank you for stepping forward.

    This is the reason the LDS Leaders advise their members EVERY election to study the candidates and pick the one they feel is the best. In other words not all the best candidates are Republican nor are the Democrats the worst.

  • Not So Fast Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2011 5:48 p.m.

    Laser - Every single politician does what this guy did but most of them will never talk about it. He is showing courage now in being honest. The way this passed and wish such speed and force, there is little doubt the GOP leadership planned and then railroaded it passage but so far only one guy is coming clean.

  • trapdinutah South Jordan, UT
    March 14, 2011 5:50 p.m.

    What Rep. Powell says about one-party rule is absolutely true. That's why we got Obama-care in Washington. That is why Stalin and Mao did so well in their respective countries. There is no difference between those despots in the USSR and China and the Utah State form of government - be it a republic, democracy, or democratic republic. They all know better than the people, and it is routinely "my way or the highway."

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    March 14, 2011 5:55 p.m.

    I wonder why the majority of voters in the State of Utah have hardly seen fit to make any comments on this article?

    I'll tell you why. It's because the party of their choice has acted in a most hypocritical manner!

    In campaigns for election they figuratively (and often literally) yell that elected representative and senators should represent their constituents' wishes.

    Except, however, when you're a republican lawmaker. In that case, you should "vote your conscience."

    Problem is, after HB477 one wonders if they have a conscience!

    Sadly, it seems, Mr. Powell doesn't believe either one of those apply to him!

    (And, by the way, which party does he belong to?)

  • Bullmoose Clinton, UT
    March 14, 2011 6:05 p.m.

    I have always feared aone party state due to the behavior and arrogance of our legislators. It is time to vote in people from another party in for some balance. This is a bad law and for some reason I believe that Rep. Powell is telling the truth. I dont always agree with either party but moderates are needed in the legislative body now.

  • ih8bella West Jordan, Utah
    March 14, 2011 6:32 p.m.

    What happened with HB477 is nothing new. This is how Utah's legislators have always conducted business - by intimidation and "horse-trading". I wouldn't be surprised if more than half the legislators who voted for the bill didn't even know what it said. And for Herbert to sign it and say they'll fix it later - that's just stupidity in cosmic proportions!! You won't get my vote in the next election Mr. Herbert. (That's assuming that the legislature doesn't outlaw the next election - clearly they don't want government of the people by the people.)

  • E. Hindman Ogden, UT
    March 14, 2011 7:16 p.m.

    Unfortunately, Lockhart doesn't get it either. We as voters in Utah don't care that Powell feared retaliation, what we fear is the manner in which many, far too many, bills are pushed through the legislature each and every year. It isn't just the issue with HB477, but year after year of the Republican controlled legislature passes bills that control and restrict Utahns; now if this happened at the federal level they would be moaning and groaning about the liberal, Democrats contolling or trying to control our lives.

    If Powell's fears make him unable to fulfill his duties as a legislator, he needs to step down and not wait to be voted out.

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    March 14, 2011 7:17 p.m.

    Well then maybe you should repeal #477 in 2012 if you want to stand a chance for re-election. None of us is going to forget who voted for this bill.

  • Fred44 Grantsville, Utah
    March 14, 2011 7:22 p.m.

    This is all great and good, but will the people of Utah do something about this at the ballot box? By the time 2012 rolls around, this will be forgotten and the good people Utah will go to the ballot box and press R like they always do. This bill would not have come up in next years session, it is to close to the election. Our legislators are not stupid, cunning yes, of questionable ethics absolutely, self-serving most definitely, but certainly not stupid. Please, push D next time instead of R its the only way to regain control of the state.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    March 14, 2011 7:35 p.m.

    Where oh where in these comments are the Republican voters???

    Don't you think you ought to at least TRY to defend your elected reps and senators?

    Cat's got your figurative tongue?

    Yeah, I know what you mean; it's hard to support a party that conveniently talks out of both sides of it's mouth, often consecutively.

    A one-party government NEVER truly represents the wishes of constituents, it just pretends to do so.

    That, my friends, is never representative government and it harms all the people as a whole.

    Hats off to Rep Powell.

    Either he or his fellow Republican reps have just committed political suicide.

    This bill, now voted into law, stinks!

  • Joe Bauman Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2011 7:37 p.m.

    Rep. Powell's lack of courage during the session can't be forgiven just because he owns up to it now. None of the legislators, and none of those in the governor's office, who supported HB477 should have a future in politics. It doesn't matter if they apologize. They violated the public trust.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    March 14, 2011 8:32 p.m.

    This bill makes me embarassed to be from Utah. Please vote your state legislators out.

  • roberto Moses Lake, WA
    March 14, 2011 9:02 p.m.

    It probably happens more often than I want to think. But all the talk that got Powell elected was just that 'talk'... I hope the voters remember this next time around...this and other stories of the actions or lack of action of the politicians make the voters skeptical every time they talk...We don't elect them to hide under the desk.
    Term limits is the answer. We get ride of the bad ones and loose some of the good ones.. eather way the house gets cleaned...Instead of solving some of the tuff problems they become part of the problem

  • Happy Valley Hillbilly Alpine, UT
    March 14, 2011 9:36 p.m.

    Mr Powell, the other legislators pose no threat to you. The looming demons for yourself and many other legislators will be outraged voters. Come next election cycle, there will undoubtedly be relentless reminders from opposing candidates of the incompetence and self-serving actions that has permeated every facet of this bill. Expect many new faces in Utah legislature.

  • ALJS Bountiful, UT
    March 14, 2011 9:38 p.m.

    Finally, even if it's after the fact, a Republican legislator who is telling it like it is. I am bitterly ashamed of the Republican party which, until recently has been my party of choice. Utah, Wisconsin, and Republicans in other states are a disgrace.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    March 14, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    We need to use our power of voting. We need to vote out every single leglislator who voted for this bill, regardless of the reason. Powell will not get my vote in the next election.

    Sadly, both parties have become corrupt and blind to the needs of the people.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    March 14, 2011 11:12 p.m.

    Utah voters, pay close attention to what Powell is telling you about state government. In this Republic which our legislature seems so proud of, all representatives are not created equal, and as a result the junior members (despite having been elected to represent you) must cede a portion of their lawmaking power to the senior members, whether by voting against the dictates of their conscience or by losing committee assignments, having bills suppressed, and otherwise being silenced. This is not the way the founding fathers envisioned representative government working. Perhaps in Washington, D.C. we must resign ourselves to this state of affairs, but in Utah this is offensive and unacceptable. When a bill as sweeping as HB477 can get foisted on and passed through the legislature in such short order, and when the governor succumbs to pressure to sign it despite expressing his disapproval of it, you know the system is really, really flawed.

  • Gandalf Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2011 11:15 p.m.

    Rep. Powell's remorse would be more respectable if he had voted correctly on HB 477 the second time it came before the House. The first vote was on Thursday, 3/3, and he voted yes. There was a firestorm of controversy over the next few days and the bill was recalled and re-voted with the addition of the delayed implementation date. The second vote in the House was Monday, 3/7, and more than a dozen representatives switched their votes from "yes" to "no." Was Rep. Powell among those who switched? NO! He voted in favor of HB 477 AGAIN.

    Not so good Representative.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2011 11:35 p.m.

    So this is the way it works?

  • ovirto Draper, UT
    March 15, 2011 12:40 a.m.

    A call to arms to all Utah voters. I strongly urge each and every one of you to vote out the incumbents who voted for HB477 (either the first or second time). I don't care if you're Republican, Democrats, Independent, etc. I don't care if you vote for another Republican/Democrat/etc. candidate -- just not the people in office today.

    This issue really transcends parties. We, the voters of Utah, need to take back the legislative process and show the legislative branch that they are *public* servants and need to serve the will of their constituents, not themselves and not each other.

  • Dewey Hewson Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 15, 2011 12:55 a.m.

    When are Utahns going to learn that the Utah Legislature does not represent them?

    They don't even attempt to appear otherwise anymore; they have become so confident in their shiny thrones that they almost openly admit to the disdain they have for the people in this state, knowing that it doesn't matter what they do so long as they have the (R) next to their names come election time.

    Think, people! Quit electing people into office who openly despise you and stand against almost everything you care about!

    The definition of stupidity is continuing to make the same choices while expecting different results. The same goes for voting.

  • wrostow Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2011 1:34 a.m.

    Rep. Powell bravely offers the public unique insight into a legislative process that is closed to them and will become even more so under HB477.

    But here is the best line in his column: "I figure the feral cat is now out of the bag and this story is now bigger than any of us, so leadership will have to deal with it as well."

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 15, 2011 5:10 a.m.

    What irony.

    The letter writer used his freedom to speak freely to criticize another citizen's right to keep and BEAR arms. A right is a right, no matter what any individual thinks about it.

    This trampling on enumerated, guaranteed individual rights has gone on so long that some people feel justified in demanding that 'their' rights are more important than the rights guaranteed to every citizen.

    The letter writer must have a very low opinion of the Constitution to think that he has the right to deny a right that is part of the Supreme Law of the Land, particularly after the Supreme Court has ruled in two major decisions stating that we citizens do actually have the right to keep and bear arms.

  • Rufio Saratoga, UT
    March 15, 2011 6:38 a.m.

    Three very big points that are disappointing:

    1. A member of the legislature who does not understand that he represents his constituents and not a party has no business in the office.

    2. A member of the legislature has fundamental responsibility to vote for or against bills based on the content, not on party or pressure.

    3. Personal accountability is not pointing fingers and blaming others, it is about owning up to your stupidity when you do stupid things.

    This is clearly about a House member that failed at the basics.

    None of this is in relation to the Bill's merits or short-comings, frivolous GRAMMA requests are certainly a problem!

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    March 15, 2011 6:40 a.m.

    Unless we can get a Republican that is not a puppet for the Koch Brothers-Forbes faction and a Democrat who will stand up and fight the Obama- Holder agenda, then it is time for a 3rd party to be taken seriously. Voting for the lesser of 2 evils is not an option that we can live with any more. If someone like Evan Bayh cannot replace Obama or a Republican like Mitt Romney cannot make it through the primaries to get nominated then a 3rd party is absolutely necessary for the sake of our future. If it is to be a Puppet vs. Obama then I would rather write in the name of Mikhail Gorbachev

  • silas brill Heber, UT
    March 15, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    [ "So you're basically telling us you were blackmailed (to vote yes), otherwise none of your bills would be heard?" Royall asked. "Uh, yes," Powell replied ]

    I don't know what's more troubling, bully legislators or spineless legislators. It seems both types belong to the Republican Party. Let's get the Republicans out of power.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    March 15, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    So this is what a republic looks like- I was wondering

  • Barry Sandy, UT
    March 15, 2011 8:26 a.m.

    So if the majority of the state votes Republican are we suggesting that we have a group of people vote Democrat so we can have an equal number. I thought we had a representative government. If all of the people are republican then is not a republican government appropriate?

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    March 15, 2011 8:55 a.m.

    I think Mr. Powell allowing himself to be bullied happened to him in the heat of the moment, when he was stewarding some things he thought were more important to his constituency...I can forgive a moment of weakness...especially since he thought he was serving the interests of his folks...its apparent he was not the beneficiary of a sweatheart deal. The thing is, he did not have the chance to tell his constituents that he was in a position where he/they had to choose. I wish he'd have felt like he could do the right thing...I'm proud of him for at least taking a stand now, when there is time to stop this abomination.

    In the scheme of things I think he wins...rather he shemed this or not...apparently his bill(s) were heard, and he is likely the reason this thing dies the miserable death it deserves...HE BURNED YOU MRS LOCKHART...and torched whatever it is you stood to gain in this...hehehehehe!

    By the way I'm a registered Republican...I think the conduct here warrants a house cleaning (and a senate cleaning if you want to be literal)

  • JNA Layton, UT
    March 15, 2011 9:19 a.m.

    I have voted Republican for state offices in every election since I was 18. I am now in my mid 40's. That ends in the next election. I am ashamed of my party. Absolutely ashamed. I will be voting Democrat.

  • yes and no central, utah
    March 15, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    I can see both sides to this issue. Do I want transparency in government?, yes. I also like political diversity in government, it forces lawmakers to debate a topic and come up with a solid solution.
    I have also seen special interest groups go on "trash seeking" missions at little cost to the group, and alot of cost to tax payers. I have also seen these same types of groups cast a negative shadow over a politician by taking texts or e-mails out of context. They never publish the documents that show that the comment "get rid of the stinking rats" was in fact refering to a rat problem and not talking about political rivals.

  • tom_e Kaysville, UT
    March 15, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    I don't know what happens to people when they become legislators. It is like their brains are put in a mix master. When they are elected they PROMISE to vote a certain way and then very soon they feel they should not keep their PROMISE. I think it is all the back room dealing by the special interests - Salt Lake Chamber, the media and lobyists. Soon the legislators forget who voted them in The very sad thing is that it is hard to kick them out since we do not have open primaries.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 15, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    Mike Richards | 5:10 a.m. March 15, 2011
    South Jordan, Utah
    What irony.

    The letter writer used his freedom to speak freely to criticize another citizen's right to keep and BEAR arms. A right is a right, no matter what any individual thinks about it.

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

    Mike,

    I beleive you are off topic....this is about HB477 -- you know, giving the Utah State Legislature the right to play Gaddianton, and how some Representatives don't feel like this was the right thing to do -- but was arm twisted by our ONE-PARTY political system to do it anyway.

    BTW - How do you feel about HB477.

    My guess is you support it.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    March 15, 2011 9:44 a.m.

    So Ms Lockhart is willing to talk with the lawmaker about their concerns. What about the "concerns of the public?" It was explained to me by a representative that the legislative leadership insisted this bill be passed and those who lined up behind it and voted in favor are now feeling a bit stupid for voting for it. We all remember the comments about the quick vote being necessary so the thing "wouldn't fester over the weekend" and now that the thing has turned messy, who should we give credit (sarcasm) at the next election----our representative for taking the bait from their "leaders" or the leadership, or both? Just this once I hope all the voters have a long memory.

  • Eric the Half-bee Bountiful, UT
    March 15, 2011 9:45 a.m.

    If you want to throw them out, you have to do it in the primary. Waiting until November to cast a vote only gets you what the party players decided on at that time.

  • Lia Sandy, UT
    March 15, 2011 9:50 a.m.

    Bad scene, bad news, bad handling of a bad situation.
    The good news is that we will have a lot more democrats on the hill after the next election, and Gov Herbert will be just a bad memory.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    March 15, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    To Kraig: As a neighbor and friend, I appreciate you sacrificing your political career to educate those not paying attention on how things are done with a super-majority.

    To those not paying attention: grow up and start paying attention. This is the way things are done here and in D.C. This is why transparency and ethics bills are voted down or not allowed to come to the floor. This is why citizen initiatives are dying. This is why those in power (super-majorities) and thier judges allow unregulated and unlimited campaign contributions. It's about maintaining power.

  • Milo P Otis West Jordan, UT
    March 15, 2011 9:53 a.m.

    It's time for a complete overhaul of our caucus system. If 14 run for office, let them all on the ballot and whoever gets the most votes wins. Tired of the one party system in Utah.

  • CJ Murray, UT
    March 15, 2011 9:53 a.m.

    I have a radical idea. Rather than worrying about what your leadership wants or what unions, illegal immigrants, the Church, the Chamber of Commerce, or anyone else wants why don't you worry about what the legal citizens of Utah who elected you want? I know it is crazy idea but it might give new meaning to the phrase "house of representatives".

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    March 15, 2011 10:14 a.m.

    I always questioned the 'wisdom' of our legislators, and this whole bill and ensuing uproar tells you all you need to know about their intelligence quotients being not far off their shoe sizes.

    What were they thinking? That we would just accept this?

    I have employees. I provide them computers and phones for their jobs. I hire good people, but there is a clause in their contracts that these items are to be used for work only.
    If they want to surf the net, sent tweets, or bore their friends to death on Facebook, they can do it on their own equipment, and I reserve the right to be able to see what goes on with my hardware at my discretion.
    These legislators work for US.

    So the fact that they thought so little of us as to step on us...PUBLICLY... is also an indicator that they aren't very smart.

    And people who aren't very smart have no business enacting laws that we all must live by.
    Good riddance!

  • EgbertThrockmorton Layton, UT
    March 15, 2011 10:15 a.m.

    It is now time for the sheeple of Utah, to wake up and force change in the political structure that puts these schlubs into office. It's time to abolish the "caucus" process that allows this kind of cronyism to fester like the infection it has so obviously become.
    This action by the Legislature is neither "civil" nor is it "transparent". Something most legislators have pledged to do, ah, so quickly they misinform the public, then behind closed doors, the works of the secret cabals in the Legislature oozes forth for the Governor's signature.
    Time to throw them all out. It's OUR state, and OUR tax dollars they are mismanaging. Give them they toss, they deserve it.

  • Acedean Provo, UT
    March 15, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    I am completely disgusted by all these left-wing comments. Looks like the readers of the DesNews are a bunch of commie socialists. Don't you realize that our Republican representatives are called of God? Shame on you for criticizing them. And be warned that you are on a slippery slope towards apostacy, perhaps even excommunication if you go so far as to vote Democrat.

    Also shame on the Democrat representatives for voting against this bill, and for the fallen Republicans who changed their vote. Any bill that is introduced by a Republican legistator is sacred and must be passed without argument, or you put your soul in jeopardy. I look forward to the day when our legislative body is purged of all the infidels and our bills can pass with a unanimous 100%.

  • Mike in Texas Allen, TX
    March 15, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    This is what happens when party is put ahead of good government and the needs of the people. Both parties are capable of this but in Utah's one party rule it seems especially agregious.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    This "confession" from the legislator pulls back the curtain (Wizard of Oz style) on a Governor and legislature who are full of reasonable explanations for what happened when HB477 passed and was signed at light speed. "The act was outdated" they said. "Text messages to my wife should be protected" they opined. But one legislator from their own side of the aisle shows the lie of it all. Both Governor and Republican leadership should be ashamed to be caught in a lie, but instead nary a blush is seen.

    PS. If this were a private company the courts have already ruled that if your employer furnished you a pager, phone, blackberry etc. nothing you do on it is private. If they want to text wife or kids and want it private, pay for your own phone and don't expect the taxpayer to pay.

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    March 15, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    To Acedean | 10:17 a.m. March 15, 2011

    At first I thought you were serious, then I re-read your comments and found your tongue planted firmly in your cheek all the way. Great irony!

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    March 15, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    Acedean..That is so much garbage. No way you honestly believe any of that. If you do, watch as your beloved republicans empty their desks on the hill after the next election. Even if you DONT believe any of that, still, you can watch as they make their mass exodus off the hill.
    Lead by Gary Herbert.

    Democrats are the only ones who can save this state.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 15, 2011 10:49 a.m.

    I think the most telling part is he admits he votes party line over what he truly believes is right or wrong. It is party above all else...nation, state, the people he represents, and his own morals.

    If there was any better reason to not be part of any party right now, this should be on the top of this list. The republicans in Utah don't trust the citizens to have an open primary where electorate decides who will represent the party, and they wish to do their work behind closed doors with the people on a need to know basis.

    I am not a democrat, but I have heard so many conservatives complain that the current administration doesn't operate openly and transparently. Those are only accusations. Here was have a party that openly admits it doesn't want the citizens to have access to know what these 'elected' officials are doing in their name, with their money.

  • uteman1011 South Jordan, UT
    March 15, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    It's not going to happen. 2012 will come around and everyone with an R next to their name will get elected and the same, lame, corrupt process will continue. Yeah, many may get voted out but they will be replaced with more sheep who are bound by their allegiance to their delegates and leaders who have R's next to their names.

  • whatnext Clearfield, Utah
    March 15, 2011 11:04 a.m.

    I think it would not matter which party was the majority, they all play the same political game to achieve whatever agenda their party is pushing at the time. Every politician needs to recieve a wake up call and rememeber who put them in office. It wasn't the Republican party nor the Democratic part, it was the people. The sooner the people teach every Representative that, the sooner we will have lawmakers in office that will represent us and pass bills that help Utahns and not their own polictical careers.

  • David B. Cedar City, UT
    March 15, 2011 12:01 p.m.

    What is really sad is the lying by politicians to get elected or re-elected and do completely the opposite of what they promise or not at all and it's always to their benefit.The country is tired of this kind of behavior from people that are suppose to have our best interests at heart.why do you all think there is such an anti-incumbent sentiment.We eventually get will rid of people like yourselves,the self serving arrogance you display for all to see.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    March 15, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    And the Elite among us in the state of Utah will continue with this behavior with no thought to those they were elected to represent...
    Time for the little guy to join with other little guys to change this.
    Continually talking about these continued abuses in our government does not appear to repair or discard them. It may make us feel better as we read each other's posts. We see that there are many like minded folks out there. But that is no solution.
    Time to get serious and actually do something!
    Concrete ideas, Anyone? Anyone?

  • Norm Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    It is evident he is very concerned and having second thoughts. It is a shame how he responded with such a weird answer. Seems anxious and little scared. Makes me wonder how many of the peope who responded to this would have handled. He knows he made a mistake but handled it poorly. I think they made a terrible blunder voting this in, even worse how the Gov. handled. This may cost a few being not re-elected or if the followers are instructed how to vote. This like the immigration bill even though majority of the Utah(legal) citizens were against it our REPUBLICAN leaders knew best. I don't trust the polls at least not in this state. I think we had a sub-par session which had some very questionable results. But again our leaders know best (not the people)....

  • che loco Spanish Fork, UT
    March 15, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    Intimidation? Retaliation? How is this any different from organized crime? The state legislature is the mafia!

  • Abe Sarvis Cedar City, UT
    March 15, 2011 1:21 p.m.

    It's time the legislature enacts a rule requiring that all legislation be introduced at least seven days before the final day of the session, and that the full text of the bill be entered into the public record at that time. Legislators and the public both need time to read and digest bills before a vote. Enough of these last minute shenanigans.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    March 15, 2011 1:25 p.m.

    Owlmaster,
    I like your comment and highly recommend it. But part of the problem is that lobbyist are suspected of spending more time "buying" votes than informing. Maybe you should do your lobbying in the open, on facebook, etc instead of behind the scenes.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    March 15, 2011 1:26 p.m.

    party control is really the fault of the voters---

    why didn't powell specify which bills he supported that were threatened as pressure?

  • reenie72 Sierra Vista, AZ
    March 15, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    Shame on you for not doing the right thing. It's all about POLITICS, and what your colleges will think of you. You should work for the people, not for you popularity.

  • mississippi Gulfport, MS
    March 15, 2011 5:06 p.m.

    I can't believe I did this--checked my email and couldn't resist the DN link--The last time I lived and voted in Utah Curt Bramble and the Lockharts were supposedly on the way out--then I read that Becky Lockhart is the Senate Pres. --now I know I've fallen down the rabbit hole. Good Luck Utahns--buy yourselves a 2012 day planner and write who you want to vote against on the November 2012 pages--Please don't forget how you feel about this issue or nothing will ever change.

  • Freedom Huntsville, UT
    March 15, 2011 7:35 p.m.

    I'm disappointed in Rep. Powell. He consistently stood and spoke his mind. He consistently voted his principles. Many of those who voted yes later recanted due to the outpouring of anger by constituents. However, what people were reacting to wasn't the bill, it was the media's portrayal of the bill. It was sad. So, I don't know if Rep. Powell is trying to keep his seat or what? Sad, really.

    My understanding was that HB477 wasn't a finished product when it was passed. It needed work but most 20 year old bills do. I never saw or heard one person act like they were trying to get away with deceiving the public. That wasn't the intent. But, there were other bills that really made media mad and I felt like they jumped on HB477 and lead the public astray for their own purposes. Now, let's see if they will print this comment. I sure hope so. Last comment I made along these lines in the same easy tone was denied.