Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Fun and games still abound from Capitol Hill

Published: Sunday, March 2 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

Webb: Dirty things happen in politics, but bad behavior is not rampant in Utah and pretty good laws already exist. We ought not to make running for office or serving in office so onerous that good people are discouraged from participating.

Privacy extremists v. political operatives, research organizations:

Pignanelli: Although an actual case of harm is elusive, the emotional threat is compelling legislation that eliminates public access to voter registration rolls. Lawmakers will balance the cries for privacy against increases to campaign expenses by at least 500 percent. Much hand wringing to come.

Webb: I’m so old that I remember when “big data” (everyone’s name and home address) existed in a big, thick, printed document — known as a phone book. Every household had at least one copy. You could find about any address or phone number in 10 seconds. Today, whole industries are built around analyzing and slicing and dicing the state voter file. So cut out the birth dates and allow anyone to delete their data. But don’t give special privileges to politicians, candidates, campaign consultants, journalists or lobbyists. Make what’s available to them available to everyone. That’s only fair.

Governor and some legislators v. other legislator’s Round II:

Pignanelli: Lockhart's aggressive technology initiative is expensive. Funding will require changes to current funding or absorbing new dollars. Either method breeds hostility.

Webb: Everyone supports more technology in schools. But the value of the initiative has to be weighed against all other state priorities, and it’s really tough to find the money.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com.

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