Comments about ‘Jay Evensen: Editorial: Utah bill makes citizen initiatives harder’

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Published: Thursday, March 10 2011 9:50 a.m. MST

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one old man
Ogden, UT

It surprises me to read an editorial like this in Deseret News. Thank you for having the courage to write something that is right.

I just hope that Utah's voters will have a long enough attention span to remember this next time we head for the ballot boxes. (Ooops, ballot machines.)

The American Taliban is alive and well in Utah and are doing the bidding of the Gadiantons.

williary
Kearns, UT

Not a chance. No way. How could Republicans who want to limit government, and give the people more say, put through two bills like this?

I'm at a loss for words. I would never have expected such deceit from Republicans. They talk such a good game.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Jay -
I'm usually one to disagree with you, but on this article we've found common ground.

The problem is, Republicans in Utah are lulled into blindly thinking the GOP is the party of righteousness, a moral extension of the LDS church, and will always CTR [Choose The Right] - in fact, many believe the GOP is divinely following the Spirit and the will of God in their legislating on the hill.

Meanwhile, their leaders are caught time and again again Hot Tubbing with minors and being arrested for DUIs and receiveing standing ovations from the House floor.

Raising Taxes on the poor and the needy [Food], and giving $13 million in bogus construction projects who are "friends".

You said, "I'm also fairly certain most members of the tea party would favor giving greater power to the people."

The Republicans do NOT, repeat do NOT, represent the Tea Party anymore than Democrats do.

They duped Tea Party members and have used them once again for political power.

That's why they don't listen - they don't represent you.

There's and Old saying --

Fool me once - shame on you,
Fool me twice - shame on me.

dalefarr
South Jordan, Utah

Excellent editorial. It seems like every time the self called conservative legislature meets, another first amendment right is restricted. I cannot remember a one party legislature ever protecting,expanding or enhancing a first amendment right.

Mike in Texas
Allen, TX

This is no surprise. Republicans fear the power of the people, and so they want to increasingly disenfranchise them. Republicans don't really want to "limit" government, the want to emasculate the people and the opposition party to increase their power. But, the good people of Utah bought the ultra conservative Republican cool aid. Now they have to drink it just as the public workers in Wisconsin now must bear the fruits of their unfortunate political decisions.

Prodicus
Provo, UT

Legislators want to restrict citizen initiative abilities because they're afraid of what will happen if the ethics initiative gets on the ballot. They know that it would pass and that their actions would face stronger scrutiny. They know that their actions can't stand up to that kind of scrutiny.

Further, any kind of direct democracy provisions require public officials to be more directly accountable to the public. People in the legislature, as well as some county officials, don't want that- they feel they should only be answerable to their party leadership in closed-door meetings and perhaps to the fringe of people who end up at party conventions.

Not only should SB165 be rejected, but we should implement more rigid provisions for direct democracy, slightly loosening the initiative requirements and by allowing for recall. Recall provisions would have to be carefully crafted, setting the bar fairly high and making the process fair. Even if it's extremely rarely used, though, the existence of recall provisions will force legislators to rethink some of their "muscle-flexing hubris of the kind that naturally follows one-party dominance" and pay attention to public outrage like that over HB477.

chris8484
South Jordan, UT

It is clear the legislators do not want ethics reform, transparency, or accountibility. Any of our legislators who support these terrible bills should NOT be reelected. We need more transparency in government, not less.

Here or There
West Valley City, UT

@LDS Liberal

I have to admit I rarely agree with your philosophies, but read your replies anyway;-) In the case of this legislation it is just plain bad.

However, you over state the blind obedience mentality of the sheep in Utah. The problem isn't just a Republican one. Consider this, most folks, even in Utah tend to float nearer the center, well center for here anyway. When the Dems float candidates with either extreme leftist views or lifestyles that reflect the same most people here don't vote for the Republican they just vote for the lesser of two evils. When the Democrats bring more moderate candidates to the ballot box they have a good chance to win. Even in heavily conservative areas. Can you say Jim Matheson?

All that aside wouldn't it be nice if the local Republican caucuses would allow more moderate candidates? Which, in fact is the biggest problem. It still blows my mind that Jon Huntsman was elected governor. But in a good way. I still think Sam Granato would have been a fine Senator, this was just the wrong year.

Eric the Half-bee
Bountiful, UT

Two words: Term Limits.

Belching Cow
Sandy, UT

@LDS Liberal
"many believe the GOP is divinely following the Spirit and the will of God in their legislating on the hill."

I don't know any LDS people who think this. Judging by some of the things you say about members of the LDS Church you must belong to one whacked out ward.

On the other hand
Spanish Fork, UT

This year's legislative session has been a travesty. Our legislators have pushed the envelope too far. They're driven by an agenda that I think most Utahns disagree with, and they get away with it because Utahns have a habit of electing representatives who don't really represent their views. Utah's current dismal political situation is the unfortunate consequence of a handful of conspiring factors:

* a byzantine political system calculated to give disproportionate power to a few well-organized groups at the expense of the average citizen

* a prevailing culture that promotes voting for anybody with an R behind their name

* a current trend toward political extremism, which is sweeping through both major parties

Until some or all of these factors change, we shouldn't expect Utah's political outlook to get any better.

AZRods
Maricopa, AZ

@LDSlib, you only continue to prove that you are far removed from the LDS church or from any knowledge about the religion.
Accusing all members of the church as folliwing the GOP as though divinely inspired by God truly makes me wonder why they don't deny your comments every time your profile name pops up, hint hint.
Other than that, I actuall agree with other parts of your post.
Just try cutting out the hateful LDS garbage, it impresses no one.

blue dot!
Eagle Mountain, UT

@ Here or There

I dissagree with your notion that in this state the Dems only float radically liberal candidates. In fact, in order for a Dem to stand a chance in this state they simply must move closer to the conservative side of the isle to be taken seriously.

You mentioned Jim Matheson as an example of an extreme liberal. He votes mostly pro life, he votes fiscally conservative, voted against the Dream act and funding for Acorn, voted against regulation of drilling and for extension of tax credits for energy companies, voted for gun rights in DC, and against the health care bill, etc.. That's a pretty conservative record, that is, unless your view of conservative is much further right than other states.

freddysheddy
Bountiful, UT

Everyone is so afraid of America and Utah becoming socialist that instead they become fascists.

On the other hand
Spanish Fork, UT

@blue dot, go read Here or There's comment one more time. He/she didn't cite Matheson as an example of an extreme liberal but as a moderate candidate who can win even in a conservative area.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Are we a democratic republic or are we a pure democracy?

Under the mob rule of a pure democracy, a high profile, smooth talker could persuade people that a 2,000 page bill only contained things good for the nation, then we would have a problem where lies were hidden until experts combed through that bill and showed us that it had been lied about and that the smooth talker had totally misrepresented the bill.

That is the problem with initiatives, a smooth talking group of activists can make their initiative seem to be something different than it really is.

How many people blindly signed the petition for the 26 page ethics initiative without reading it? How many people blindly signed it because it used the words "ethics", "in" and "government"?

Citizens have a right to pass initiatives, but the last election showed that ignorant citizens are easily persuaded to follow the crowd. The politics of this State cannot be delegated to mob rule where loud political activists have a larger role than the Representatives who were duly elected to represent us in our Democratic Republic.

Until electronic signatures can be absolutely verified, that must NOT be permitted.

SG in SLC
Salt Lake City, UT

The hubris of the super-majority in the State legislature is just staggering . . . and sickening.

There REALLY needs to be partisan balance in our State legislature (and before some idealogue follows my post with, "Where's your indignation over the Democratic super-majorities in other states, you hypocrite!", yes, I do think there should be partisan balance elsewhere, too; I just don't care as much because I live in Utah and not "elsewhere"). These actions by the legislature intended to limit their transparency and accountability are unconscionable.

Considering
Stockton, UT

I tire of battles waged with out of State money and media campaigns to a populace largely ignorant of the issue at hand. Direct democracy SHOULD be very difficult. It should be possible only with overwhelming and broad based support.

Win at the polls when we elect legislators. Or quite whining.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Mike -

From your posts and comments,
I can safely assume you are FOR both SB165 & HB477.

Sad - I your ideology reminds of someone else's....
which goes something like this:

"We teach a party line made of the philosophies of Republicans, mingled with the Constitution."

....

FDRfan
Sugar City, ID

John Cotton, in a letter to Lord Say and Seale, in 1636 wrote this: Democracy I do not conceive that God ever did ordaine as a fit government either for church or commonwealth. If the people be governors, who shall be governed? As for monarchy and aristocracy, they are both of them clearly approved and directed in scripture. Sounds like the Kingmen have been revived in Utah.

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