Demos vow to fight any attempt to restrict citizen input
Just vote them out, please!
Bramble is not only a parasite, he is a cut rate one.
Funny thing: Bramble was actually the only legislator who DID represent his
constituents on the voucher issue. Turned out his district was the only district
that voted to keep the voucher law during the referendum. But I do
agree that he's one of the worst legislators we have, in terms of arrogance,
bullying, and insider manipulation.
This just simply proves what I already suspected: Republicans in Utah have no
fear of any recourse by the populace. They can say and act in virtually any way
they choose and can guarantee to be reinstated term after term. Please wake up
this year Utah! Republican does not equal "inspired leader". What we have is an
oligarchy of businessmen who are looking out for their own interests, abusing
the people who vote for them year after year. If McCain or Obama had uttered
those words, you can bet it would go immediately into the news cycle and their
campaign would meet its demise. Here in Utah, however, voters will happily go to
the polls to reinstate the oligarchy. Thank God for the UEA, who acted as one of
the last firewalls to organize the people's will to overturn the legislature's
vote these guys out? Are the majority of Utahns finally seeing what the
Republican-held legislature feels about following what the voters want?The
Utah legislature doesn't care what voters think because they know they'll be
reelected anyway. I hope more citizens are seeing what a stranglehold this has
had on democracy in Utah.
"Please don't turn Utah into California where they have 15 initiatives and
referenda on every ballot and interest groups spend billions trying to get their
way."Are you seriously trying to tell us that special interest
groups in Utah don't spend billions (or at least millions) trying to get their
way? Special interest groups hire lobbyists to bribe legislators to pass laws
for their own benefit. Try visiting the capitol and getting an appointment with
your state senator or representative, you'll soon find out that it's "No pay, No
say."Tell me which is easier for a special interest group:(1) Campaign donations and gifts to a few key legislators to get them to pass
your law.or(2) Massive petition drive to get an
initiative on the ballot, followed by large-scale public relations campaign to
get the general public to vote the initiative into law.Believe me,
special interest groups in Utah would much rather have the initiative and
referendum processes severely restricted (if not eliminated altogether). That
way, the people would not be able to overturn the laws they bribed the
legislature to enact.
The referendum vote was put on the ballot by the governor, he had to issue the
special election order. Turn out was higher then average, with people voting
well past 8 pm, they were in line at 8 pm and therefore had the right to vote.
The final vote count was 198,205 For the vouchers and 325,279
Against vouchers. 41% of registered voters voted. Even if every public school
teacher, employee, and parent voted, I doubt that it would have totaled the
523,484 that voted in the election. Vouchers were defeated and unfortunately
the Legislative leadership is taking it personally and are choosing to take away
one of the citizens' opportunity to tell them they are wrong. Maybe
if Bramble, Valentine, and Hughes were voted out this year, things could start
to change in the Utah State Legislature.
Modify the referendum law by doing 3 things:1: Leave the signature
process alone.2: Require a 2/3 vote to override the elected
legislature.3: Remove the ability of the legislature to prevent a
referendum by 2/3 of their own.
Yes, Curt Bramble is arrogant. He doesn't represent his constituents. He
represents himself only. Everyone who cares needs to talk to their
representatives and tell them to LEAVE THIS LAW ALONE.
We the citizens of Utah need to clean house and elect new representatives, esp.
the GOP ones who make laws that go against the majority will of the people!
Democratic form of government have elected representatives that vote on the
consensus of the citizens they represent. It's time to get real GOP of Utah and
This conservative Utah Republican will now blindly vote a straight democratic
ticket in all state races, no matter what. No questions asked. I won't even look
at the names or the issues. Its long past time to get these dictators out of
Isn't it a given nowadays that when a story runs in the paper about political
arrogance, that Curt Bramble is interviewed?
Curt Bramble is the product of decades of one-party rule in Utah. Wake up
Curt Bramble is the absolute worst. If we get him out of office, the entire
political and electoral process will improve. He needs to be removed, then
those who oppose him will not be bullied.
If we have let the legislators do their jobs and they have "ignored the will of
the people," then vote them out of office this fall or whenever they are up for
re-election. Tell them that you're not happy about what they're doing. If
you're not happy with your legislator, then maybe you should consider running
for office to take his/her place. I know the system isn't perfect, but it's a
lot better than having everybody vote on issues. California politics are
chaotic now with all their initiatives and referenda. Let's not follow the same
This is simply a power grap by the conservative legislature in Utah who think
they know whats best for everyone. This is the same mindset that led to illegal
activities in our recent primary election for The State Treasurer. This is the
Fruit of the one party rule that Utahns have decided to accept.
I do think a geographic component to referendum, initiatives, and other direct
democratic actions is a very important safeguard. I would not want to be in a
situation where the heavily populated Wasatch Front could force their will on
rural areas too easily.While one should not look to much at any
specific issue or item (IE school vouchers) when considering how to architect
government, it is worth noting that such a requirement probably would NOT have
changed the outcome on this issue as rural areas seemed even less enamored with
the vouchers than did the urban areas.
To: A Republic if you can keep itWe have LET these legislators do
their jobs and they have ignored the will of the people. They are elected to
serve us, NOT to tell us what they think we should have. As to having plenty of
checks and balances to prevent bad laws from passing: HELLO??? What about the
school district split law? That is probably the worst case of legislative
action in the last 20 years in this state.
Utah County "Republicans" need to offically start their own party known as the
Facists of Utah County.
It isn't just the legislature that don't represent the public. In Sevier
county, the County Commissioners, all Republicans, acting like democrats, want
to give the citizens something they just don't want: a coal powered Power
Plant, in the middle of a narrow valley subject to temperature inversions.
Why do politicians run for office in the first place? Remember years ago when
they were threatened with an initiative on term limits. They passed a bill
implementing term limits, but before it actually went into effect, they changed
the initiative requirements, to include more counties and more signatures
required and shortened the amount of time required to get the signatures. Then
when it came time for the term limits to kick in, they repealed it. Mr. Bramble often states that we don't need term limits, that the voters can
remove them at any election. The thing he forgets to mention is they flex their
muscle with the lobbists and have huge amounts of campaign money available,
where as their poor opponent is starting from scratch. Convenient that they
voted to allow themselves to keep any left over campaign funds.It
just warms your heart to see the articles about the lobbyists arms being twisted
to contribute or their bills won't be sponsored.I have tried
contacting my representative and senator, my senator, a democrat, actually
responds, the republican representative only responded after a negative letter
to the editor, wonder why?
The U.S. is a democratic republic not a pure democracy and for good reason. The
democratic part is that we vote for our representatives but then it's up to them
to do what's best as they listen to our desires. If we don't like what they do,
then we vote them out of office, but we shouldn't change the law ourselves.
When the laws are unconstitutional the courts eliminate them and the governor
can also veto them before they're passed. There are plenty of checks and
balances to prevent bad law from passing. We the people are the
main problem, not always the legislators. We need to voice our opinions more to
our representatives so they know how we feel, and more of us need to vote more
to boot the bad legislators out of office. Please don't turn Utah
into California where they have 15 initiatives and referenda on every ballot and
interest groups spend billions trying to get their way. We pay these
legislators to make wise decisions for us, so let's trust that they'll do their
job and if they don't kick them out of office.Matthew Piccolo
Well! I have voted Republician for the last 11 elections and it is time to make
a change. When mr. bramble ( spelled in lower case on purpose) states that "
Every pure democracy in history of mankind has failed in a very short period of
time. The wisdom of a representative demoracy is there is some insulation
between that populace, and that doesn't mean the voice of the people isn't
important. That doesn't mean we don't listen to our constituents." I guess
that your constituents are profiteers and lobbyist like (EX) representive Ferrin
who used his position for his own financial gain, and not the public who
electicted you. A vote of 61-39 is not even close. What is the matter with your
math because your knowlage of history is really lacking. We in Utah
county do not need a new referendum, we just need to vote you, Valentine and
the rest of the life time (ordained by God) professional politicans out of
Is Bramble sovereign or are the people? All of Brambles constituents, take
note--"I'm in charge here, I know better than you what's good for you, so shut
your little mouths and be quiet."
How do people keep their legislatures in line when the legislature works to
enact something it knows directly opposes what the people of the state want and
thereby attempts to force its will on an unwilling populace. A good example of
that is the voucher vote you cite. The people of Utah, by a very large margin,
made it plain (before the legislation was enacted) that they did not want
vouchers. (Pleas note that they confirmed that point in the referendum vote by
defeating vouchers by close to a 2/3 margin.)The legislature
knowingly tried to stuff something down the collective throats of Utahns that
the people of this state adamantly didn't want. It knowingly tried to impose
its will on the people, contrary to their desires. Our representatives derive
their power from our consent. When they operate contrary to what we want, they
need to be brought up short. They don't like being thwarted, and are trying to
take away our ability to stop them. We need to have a free-enough
referendun/initiative process that we CAN haul them up short when they overstep
and make sure our wises are put into force. You advocate taking that away.
As a concerned citizen, I'm running for legislative office to put an end to this
kind of arrogance. I, and the people of my district, quite disagree with Bramble
when he says that the GOP "listen to their constituents." It may be true that
the GOP listens to their contributors (for a list, go to the Utah Candidate
Reporting System at the state website), but if they listened to their
constituents there wouldn't have been a voucher bill, much less a law to be
overturned by referendum. The best way to curb such abuses is to vote the
incumbents out--frequently--but referendums and initiatives are a last resort
that should be as sacrosanct as our beloved right to bear arms.
"Conservative Republicans who care about their childrens education and not UEA
union bosses scaring teachers to the polls." What is this, the 1950's? Nobody
was scared to go to the polls. It's just your neo con mind thinking too much.
It looks like the pro-voucher folks are still grumping about their defeat at the
hands of the voters. Some, like Sen. Bramble feel that voter initiatives gives
"special interest groups," and I suppose he means by this Utah voters, too much
influence in government. That is the kettle calling the pot black. If you really
wish to see "special interest groups" in action, the Utah Legislature is the
place to look, only to be superseded by the U.S. Congress.Anyone
that feels that getting an initiative on the ballot is too easy should get
involved in the process and they will find that it is already nearly impossible.
It is a miracle along with an enormous amount of effort that the voucher
initiative made it, to the dismay of the republican leadership. Their arrogance
will not allow them to let this win by the "unwashed masses" stand.
"Whenever I see an initiative on the ballot, I'm always very suspicious of
it."And well you should be! Initiatives are, by definition, put on
the ballot by people who feel the initiative will benefit them. There's nothing
wrong with that, of course, as long as the voters realize that they're voting on
something placed on the ballot by special interests seeking to advance a
definite agenda that will not necessarily benefit the voter.
Bramble's comments prove once again that politicians are politicians first and
either Democrats or Republicans second.Yes, it is definitely time to
send Bramble and Valentine packing, but it should have been done in the primary.
The Kingmen have spoken. They want to appoint a King and squash democracy.
Sounds like a Book of Mormon Sunday School lesson to me.
GET REAL REPUBLICAN PARTY!The law that allows for a referendum vote
to challenge a legislative action is a check-and-balance factor that only the
most enlightened and law abiding democracies allow...The Republican
party has already proven during the Bush/Republican congress years that it's not
capable of being a one party system without over-reaching into Facist territory,
and the one party Republican party controlled State of Utah appears to now be
led by the same Facist-driven ideals... deprive its residents of the democratic
RIGHT to resort to check-and-balance laws that protect a citizenry from
anti-Constitutional/anti-Democratic machinations...Fact is, a
minority of individuals and self-righteous organizations are hell-bent on
depriving Utah's residents, as US citizens, of the rights to have essential
check-and-balances to the misuse and abuse of power, whether of a majority or
minority of individuals... which check-and-balances the Founding Fathers
intended all along and allowed and mandated that the 'respective States' had the
right to do.I'm telling you all, the Republican party is fast
becoming the party of the fanatical Facist Right.Let's have a
referendum vote to once and for all add the right to referendum process to the
Utah constitution itself.That'll settle the question completely!
No honest political activist was surprised that the UEA and PTA were able to get
enough signatures to force vouchers to a public vote. Let's do the math: There
are about 20,000 UEA members, 120,000 PTA members, and another 20,000 public
school employees who aren't in the UEA.... That's 160,000 people, and all they
needed was 90,000 signatures. Please. More people were upset about
the soccer stadium, but how many signatures did they get? Maybe 15,000? The
public employee unions are the most powerful political organizations. The only
thing competing with them are the fact that most people in Utah favor
The Utah Constitution guarantees that the people (you know, the citizens!) are
equal in power to the other branches of government. The referendum process in
Utah (which, BTW, is among the most difficult in the nation) gives the people a
voice when their "representatives" aren't actually representing them.As for the UEA scaring teachers to the polls, that's a complete absurdity.
Every county voted vouchers down with a high turnout. Take the tiny number of
teachers out as compared to the overall population and vouchers still suffer a
landslide defeat.What hypocrites! You don't see the pro-voucher
whiners on this forum complaining about the marriage protection ballot
initiative in California. The far-right, ethically-challenged "conservatives"
here will either attack or defend the democratic process as long as it suits
their objectives.Where is their honor?
"The wisdom of a representative democracy is that there is some insulation
between that populace, and that doesn't mean the voice of the people isn't
important. That doesn't mean we don't listen to our constituents."This guy is completely out of touch. 69 percent went out to vote against the
measure. That's no small feat. You can't just keep doing the bidding of
special interests and ideologues.
"The legislature has the ability to hold hearings, call expert witnesses, do
tons of research and study each issue in depth"Looking back on your
post now, I bet you wish you hadn't put that in. Why? The legislature might
have the ABILITY to do those things but they DON'T! They waste their time at
the beginning of each session on trivial matters and then, the last few days of
the session, start to panic and pass bills into law that are NOT adequately
researched and studied. Your so-called "selfish manipulation"
applies directly to the pet agendas of whatever political faction is currently
in power (in this case the far-right Republicans). The referendum process is
greatly needed to challenge their selfish manipulation of political power. If
the voucher vote had even been close I might give some creedence to your
anti-UEA rant. However, the voters were not fooled by the millions of dollars
spent by PCE and Overstock or the misleading "oreo cookie" TV ads. 61% of Utah
voters cannot be fooled!
And Mitt wouldn't be considered a special interest candidate, right?
P.S. I am not in any way defending Curt Bramble. He's an arrogant jerk. The
guy is so full of himself. You can ask him a question that requires a
one-sentence answer and get a 45-minute lecture instead.So, don't
think I'm in any way defending Curt Bramble. And, I do believe that an
initiative process should still exist. I just don't think the UEA and other
self-interested groups should be able to manipulate and abuse the process they
way they have in the past.
I have to question whether or not the voucher referendum would have passed had
it been done in a presidential election year. Special interest like the UEA has
real power when the voter turnout is low. I dont think last years vote was a
real test of public sentiment in the issue of vouchers. I think it was a real
test of political apathy in local elections.I am not a fan of
vouchers nor would my children benefit either directly or in directly from
voucher. But I am politically involved enough to know that if the voucher
referendum were held during the presidential primary in February it would have
failed miserably. A different special interest would have killed it. If the vote was on the November ballot with Mitt Romney on the ticket, watch
the UEA get crushed by the real popular vote here in Utah. Conservative
Republicans who care about their childrens education and not UEA union bosses
scaring teachers to the polls.
This new referendum law won't keep initiatives off the ballot. It will just
make it harder for special interest groups to manipulate and abuse the process.
Whenever I see an initiative on the ballot, I'm always very suspicious of it.
The reason it's on the ballot is because the supporters are trying to bypass the
Legislature. What I want to know is WHY?The Legislature has the
ability to hold hearings, call expert witnesses, do tons of research and study
each issue in depth. Individual citizens don't have the time or resources.
Generally, the Legislature will make wise decisions that are in the interest of
the citizens. However, these decisions might be against the interest of
particular groups.The voucher vote is a perfect example. School
voucher legislation, as written, was very much in the interest of children,
families and taxpayers. However, it wasn't in the interest of the EDUCATION
MONOPOLY otherwise known as the UEA. The UEA managed to get it on the ballot,
produced millions of dollars in misleading, scare-tactic TV ads and brought in
union members from outside Utah to defeat vouchers. Unfortunately, they
succeeded in defeating what would have been a wonderful opportunity to improve
education in Utah.I applaud the attempts of the Legislature to put a
stop to this selfish manipulation of the democratic process. I hope they
Our national constitution only allows for referendum by electing different
representatives to go back and change the law, and states would be wise to
emulate this. This is what keeps people actively engaged in who they elect.
Circumvent it with direct voting on laws and you distracting from the real issue
-- knowing who you elect -- and in the mob rule you create, minorities end up
with an even weaker voice as well.Madison would be appalled. Know
your constitution, folks.
There is some hope for finding ones way in Utah. Just look. Not one comment in
favor of this stupid proposal by the republicans. Happy days are here again.
The unfortunate truth is that no one understands the word democracy anymore. Its
former negative connotation has morphed into a denotation of liberty, or freedom
. . . or something like that. Those who want to believe our country is a
constitutional republic are privy (or need to become privy) to the reality that
we are actually no longer constitutional, but rather democratic. So, our
democratic republic will rule. Because of this, the majority of people can't
even understand Curt Bramble's argument; it just makes no sense whatsoever. A
bit of poetic justice for the few remaining Republicans who understand
principled government. I'd say the Republicans are likely to get their just
rewards. It is a sad and unfortunate truth. But the real irony is that the
Democrats, whose name bears the form of government for which they so desperately
fight, will actually eventually get what they want, and that's what it will take
to realize that what they want is the exact opposite of what's best for them.
And so goes the march toward tyranny and oppression, all by our own choice.
The referendum process is one of the last lines of defense against an
over-reading government. The current Utah State legislature acts as an
over-reaching government. Of course they don't want to have their power taken
away from them.We need a less-restrictive referendum process, not a
I am a very conservative Republican.I live in the People's Republic
of Washington. We have a Democrat psudo-govenor (elected after two recounts and
9 separate discoveries of "uncounted ballots") and a Democrat Senate and
House.On issue after issue the polls show that the state is far more
conservative than the Democrat dictators they keep electing.Funny,
the Democrat dictators here in Washington keep complaining about our initiative
process. They sound just like the Republicans sound in this article.In Washington the legislature can declair any bill to be an emergency. Doing
this denies the people the right of referendum (easy to get). We can pass an
initiative but we have to get far more signatures and it cannot simply
invalidate a law like the referendum can do.Elected representatives
who don't like initiatives really want to be dictators. I know. I live in a
Hey Curt, Sorry about questioning your judgement! Name me the last five times
the initiative process was used? The process is the last refuge from people like
you and valentine!
It appears by the comments from our legislative leaders that they are really out
of touch with their roles and the true will of the people. We, the people, are
not subject to their will, rather they are subject to our will. It is difficult
to fathom that Utah voters are so far into the Republican Party they can not see
those Republican politicians usurping their freedoms and running roughshod over
representative government. Utah, please throw out these self-centered, out of
touch with the public, ignorant of their responsibilities as representatives of
the people and wrong-headed legislators. While every state has some of these
folks, we have too many of them: Bramble, Valentine, Curtis, Buttars, and many
others. The people must guard against those who would limit their voices in
The Republican gerrymandering, lack of ethical reform, and their relationship
with lobbyists is bad enough. Now they want to make the referendum process
harder because they got spanked by the people with their voucher legislation
because representing the people was not enough. They know the will
of the people but seem to think that most will be asleep and they can do as they
want even if it goes against the constitution. It's amazing to me how someone
like Bramble can be so hypocritical and arogant. It's time to bring
some balance back to Utah Politics.
It's funny that Bramble says that the Republicans listen to their constituents
and then vote for what they want, yet the legislature passed the school voucher
law, which his constituents then voted down by a 2-to-1 margin. Comical. Maybe
those legislators need to clean the wax out of their ears and really listen to
those who elected them! The U.S. is a republic not a dictatorship.
"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner." My problem is
that I am a sheep in a state full of wolves, so whether the wolves vote directly
or through representatives, it is usually not in my best interests.I
don't know what to think about the initiative process. In the vouchers case, it
really provided a protection mechanism to bring the legislature in line with
public opinion. But I do think the system is capable of being abused and could
result in some ghastly laws. Remember that the vile Amendment 3 was ratified by
popular vote just a few short years ago.
Friends, Romans, Republicans, lend me your ear. I tend to vote Republican on a
national level and I am quickly being converted to a Democrat on the state
level. Can you believe the arrogance of Bramble, Valentine, et. al.? Two
things have to happen: 1. Utah County voters have to have the courage to vote
against Bramble and the other power grabbers (I promise you that you will not
tear a hole in the universe if you vote against a Republican). 2. Voters
statewide should take a serious look at Springmeyer for governor. He will veto
any crazy piece of legislation that crosses the governor's desk. His veto may
be overridden, but he will make them work for their bad laws. Huntsman doesn't
have the backbone to stand up to the lunatic right. Stop complaining, take
I remember when Karen Shepherd made the mistake of telling the press that she
knew more than the people she represented. That was the end of her term in
office. Now, we have powerful republican leaders telling us citizens we have no
business messing with government. Is this for real? I agree with the GOP
powergrab above: the republican party is too powerful in utah - and arrogant -
and they don't even care. It is so sad. I think I will have to vote for a
democrat this year - which will probably make my dad roll over in his grave. The
republican party needs to learn that good government is the business of the
people - and when they don't want to hear the voice of the people, then they
cease to be good governors, and become tyrants.
Let me see! As a die-hard republican, Utah state government has been dominated
by republicans in the last 25 years, and Utahns pays more taxes than most
states? Now, the Legislators are way too smart to know what we want despite
what the referendum showed? Oh! They want to take the refendum out? Why did
we go to Iraq for? Maybe it is time we camped out outside the state capitol to
prevent Bramble and Company from preventing democratic process from the stupid
citizens of the states. Does it mean I trust the Democrats? Not
only NO, but heck NO. They have their agenda in opposing this. Has nothing to do
with you and me, just them. Democrats approaches have always been big government
and more taxes. Heck, the republicans are doing that now and it stinks.
We trust those who are elected to do what's right for Utah, not what's right for
them. All to often once elected they forget to do what's right. We need to have
a change in Utah. Make it less complex to let the people make things right if
needed. With this threat of the people, then the law makers will do what's right
for Utah. We need a strong threat of the people.
I agree that the repub leadership is getting pretty heavy handed and needs to
He actually says that they are elected to make decisions for the people, not to
represent them? Amazing.
Referendum and initiative are important checks to a rigged two-party system.FairVote: The Center for Voting and Democracy offers more competitive
and representative electoral alternatives than the one used by the Ds and Rs to
I'm beginning to wonder if our Republican legislature believes that power
resides with the people. It is almost like they are trying to create a
legislative dictatorship. I wonder what kind of laws they will pass to further
squelch political opposition and if they are making plays right out of Putin's
Bramble considers a single referendum a constant. Does he not know the
definition of the word constant? If it is a CONSTANT that the people are going
against what you are legislating, it isn't the people who are out of touch--it
is the politician. It is time for Bramble to get out of politics as he is out
of touch with Utah values.I do agree with Bramble, it must be hard
when the public wises up to his shenanigans and undoes his money schemes.
Hopefully they undo his 'representing' the people and get in someone who
The people have the constitutional right to act and confront their
representatives and our government. By referendum or initiative it has put up
roadblocks to the voice of the people. If people are being forced with these
roadblocks then lobbyist should face the same roadblocks and must get public
signatures to present legislative change. Lobbyist do not represent the people
yet they are not required to present referendum or petitions. The peoples voice
and choices should be an easy process and government actions and representation
difficult. Government was never meant to be easy nor made up of professional
career individuals. Career government leaders have undermined the laws and
constitutional intentions. People elect representatives to represent the people,
not business or CEO's or lobbyist. The people have been legislated out of the
power to make our representatives accountable and responsible for their actions
and middeeds. The people can no longer request or demand the impeachment of
misrepresentation of corrupt elected officials. Only representatives can impeach
each other now, this is not how our government was intended to perform. The
referendum laws are another means of preventing the people from having their
voice heard with their demands of their elcected representatives.
When a political party becomes so powerful that they can pass laws in staggering
opposition to the will of their constituents and diminish their constituents'
ability to address this abuse of power, the constituents need to reconsider who
they are voting for.Take the time to let your elected
representatives know that you oppose this attempt by the GOP to diminish the
sovereignty of Utah's citizens, and let them know that you'll remember their
votes on this issue when they come up for reelection.
Count me as a registered Republican who gets concerned when our Republican
leaders bemoan the fact we've got "too much democracy" in Utah.Do
these guys ever listen to themselves?