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Comments about ‘In our opinion: Repeal of HB477 is proper’

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Published: Wednesday, March 23 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

HB477 does not need to be repealed. It's a good law, although it may need some minor tweaks, but its basic intent is sound.

I do agree, however, that it was rushed through too quickly, and this understandably contributed to a negative impression in the public's mind. That negative impression was magnified by very biased reporting on the part of much of the media. The editorial page is supposed to be biased, but "news" reports (and their headlines and captions) are not.

We are right to be vigilant and informed about the laws and processes of our government. In the case of 477, however, when all is said and done, my hunch is that we'll realize that most of the concerns were unfounded.

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

At least as devastating to my confidence was Herbert's signature of HB166 which contains a duplication of much of the secrecy language of HB477 as well the unconstitutional and immoral guest worker retroactive amnesty program.

JStraight
Spokane, WA

Exactly -- If bringing this working group to the table is actually going to provide a "great opportunity" (per Lockhart) to address the issue and to restore the public's trust and confidence in the legislature, then remove the Sword of Damocles hanging above their table by repealing HB477 FIRST! 'Repeal THEN trust' should be the motto of this group.

To PeanutGallery: "HB477 does not need to be repealed...its basic intent is sound." How ironic you should say that, because HB477 entirely eliminated the ACTUAL, original, legislative intent language of GRAMA:

(1) In enacting this act, the Legislature recognizes two constitutional rights:
(a) the public's right of access to information concerning the conduct of the public's business; and
(b) the right of privacy in relation to personal data gathered by governmental entities...
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature to:
(a) promote the public's right of easy and reasonable access to unrestricted public records;...
(e) favor public access when...countervailing interests are of equal weight;

Let GRAMA speak for herself!

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

477 is just another step toward tyranny of the majority. The Republican supermajority now closes its caucuses, closes its primaries, lodges control of nominations in the hands of a few vociferous nut cases. Now they want to close access to public information. They're nearly right when they say Utah is not a democracy.

Esquire
Springville, UT

Repeal is proper, but it is absolutely shameful that we even got to this point. Truly shameful.

Chuck E. Racer
Lehi, UT

There is not a reason in the world why legislator's text messages or voice mails need to be made public (available for the media's (ab)use). It is merely the media's temper tantrum.

Calling the session for this Friday before there is time to write a better bill would be worse than leaving it.

Considering
Stockton, UT

I've yet to see ANYONE, including the media, point out exactly what provision of HB 477 is so offensive, damaging, or dangerous.

Please, give me a line number from the bill, or a code section modified by the bill, and tell me what it is about that language that needs to be repealed.

The process used to pass 477 was no more rushed, nor pressured, nor closeted than was the process used to pass 116 that gives amnesty to illegal aliens. But neither the media nor many other elites are complaining about 116.

If something in 477 needs to be repealed or modified, let's do so. But let's start by rationally discussing exactly what that item is rather than using broad brushes and bumper sticker sound bites to indict the entire bill without any specifics.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

Not only repeal the bill, but open the secret Republican caucuses, where with their veto-proof majority they can pre-pass moat legislative issues before convening in open session.

Noodlekaboodle
Salt Lake City, UT

Chuck E. Racer | 7:58 a.m. March 23, 2011
Lehi, UT
There is not a reason in the world why legislator's text messages or voice mails need to be made public (available for the media's (ab)use). It is merely the media's temper tantrum.

Calling the session for this Friday before there is time to write a better bill would be worse than leaving it.
----
"Chuck" So i have a question for you. Do you have a job? If you do and you work on a computer or have a company cell phone, your company has the right to look at anything you send on THEIR property. Do you see where i'm going with this? The citizens of Utah own these cell phones and computers. Why don't we have the right to look up this information?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

With the public outcry about HB477 I think repealing it is the right thing to do.

But I think once we get into it and people learn what was ACTUALLY in it (not just the mis-representations and hype the media started)... we will end up with something very similar to it passing.

===

It's a good thing our representatives still fear the voters. Because you know what we have when the politicians no longer fear the people... it's not good.

===

So... repealing it is a good thing. So why do the same politicians get the same hard time from the same people no matter what they do?

Pass it.. get lambasted.
Repeal it... get lambasted.

Seems like a no-possible-win situation when dealing with these people.

evensteven
Sandy, UT

One has to wonder if repeal is "proper" now, what made a veto "improper" a couple of weeks ago. Herbert seems to be rushing to the front of the parade in order to show he is still a leader.

pmccombs
Orem, UT

@Considering, I invite you to consider this: The legislature recently passed a bill requiring Utah Schools to teach that the United States is a "Compound Constitutional Republic." I'll have you know that the word "republic" comes from Latin, Res Publica. It means, literally, "things public."

I now refer you to HB 477 section 63G-2-305. 19(b) makes protected "a record that is related to the performance of official governmental duties and that is between: one or more legislators; one or more legislators and one or more legislative staff employees; or one or more legislative staff employees..."

How about 20(a)? "Records in the custody or control of the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, that, if disclosed, would reveal a legislator's contemplated legislation or contemplated course of action until the legislation has been introduced, or the legislator made the legislation or course of action public."

In other words, let's allow our public servants to work in the dark until they feel we are ready to accept what they have crafted behind closed doors!

Res Publica, indeed.

TRUTH
Salt Lake City, UT

Herbert can repeal it...NOWWW! But he is still toast come the next election if for no other reason than signing HB 477 and 116!

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Those who think Herbert is toast now... are silly. He's the same person he was a few months ago when elected soundly. I didn't like him then, and still don't like him now... but the problem wasn't just him... it was also the guy running against him!

You gotta come up with a better candidate to dislodge Herbert next time.

===

All this angst over one bill is good for rattling the sabers but.... it doesn't change elections in the end.

To change elections you can't just vilify the opposition (that hasn't worked out for Democrats in the past)... you also need to bring a better candidate and better solutions... ones the PEOPLE will vote for when it comes down to actually VOTING and not just TALKING. Like you did when you brought Obama. You FINALLY got it... that you can't win campaigning AGAINST Bush.... you have to win with a campaign FOR YOUR candidate.

It's the same in Utah. Utah_Democrats have been running AGAINST the "Republican Party" for decades now. When they start competing candidate-vs-candidate (not party-vs-party)... they will start winning more contests.

VIDAR
Murray, UT

Our founding fathers would not be happy with our legislator. They realizedt government was necessary, but knew that it should not be trusted. They created a system of checks and balances. In Utah, we have had several governors, who have controlled and been a check to our legislator. Governor Herbert has failed to do this.
The public should be allowed free access to all written and electronic information regarding the conduct of our governement. The argument of private messaging does not fly we me. let it simply be known that any e-mail, or text message to a legislator, is subject to GRAMMA disclosure when requested."
Being audited by the press has been called by our legislator "fishing". I say everyone has a job to do, and the job of a free press is to spend the time looking through records, and report the the public anything that is "fishy" they should not be blocked in their job by laws, or expenses.
Only evil likes to hide in the dark, goodness always likes the light. Our legislator has for too long tried to hide in the dark. Its time to shine the bright light into the darkness of our governement

Joe Bauman
Salt Lake City, UT

The Deseret News is to be congratulated on a sound editorial. Repeal is the only option, with a bill that limits the public's right to know. Need specifics? See the commentary by pmccombs above. Now some legislators are crying pretty hard in favor of HB477, and I imagine more than one of the comments supporting it on this forum are from legislators afraid to post their names. Don't hide behind handles, folks; if you believe in something speak up bravely and give your names. Lawmakers who still support HB477, I ask you this: if you aren't hiding anything, why are you trying so hard to hide it?

EJM
Herriman, UT

If the public is paying for their communication devices then we have every right to know what is being said. As a school official I use a computer that is paid for with taxpayer dollars. My superiors can access all that I do on it. Comes with being a public servant. Oooops my bad. I wasn't elected. I guess there must be a different standard for our legislators. I know. Sarcasm does not become me. But why should there be a difference with them and every other public servant in our state?

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

JStraight,
Since the house has agreed to repeal the legislation you are being unneccesarily shrill in your point. The person you quote supports the position you are advocating, so your writting in a way that tries to accuse people of inconsistency is just unneccesary bluster.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Public servants communications should be open to the public. This is what brought down the murderer, Kwame Kilpatrick, former mayor of Detroit.

Communications by members of the legislature should be part of the public record. It is better to have more chances to expose the illegal and unethical actions of men like Kilpack. Legislators should be worried about wrong doing being exposed, then they will do less.

On the other hand, changing fees might be in order. A better plan might be making fees variable on some sort of price index. The cost behind the fees change over time, and legislative fiat of what the fees are instead of creating somesort of rubric on how to determine the fees seems unwise.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Did Herbert ever sign this law? I have found no mention of him doing that. My take from this is that Herbert is a skilled negotiator who understands how to get things done, and knows that laying down the law and saying "I'm vetoing this, just deal with it" can at times harden the opposition when what you need to do is provide a way out for those who have supported a bill.

the reality is his way gets better results than the martyristic fighting to a last stand some people here seem to have argued for.

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