GOP ready to tackle state referendum law

Demos vow to fight any attempt to restrict citizen input

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  • tired
    Aug. 21, 2008 12:31 p.m.

    Just vote them out, please!

  • Rick's Cafe
    Aug. 21, 2008 10:15 a.m.

    Bramble is not only a parasite, he is a cut rate one.

  • Capitol Observer
    Aug. 20, 2008 10:18 a.m.

    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.

  • Rick James
    Aug. 19, 2008 9:47 p.m.

    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 ridiculous decision.

  • Can we finally...
    Aug. 19, 2008 5:03 p.m.

    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.

  • to: Matthew Piccolo
    Aug. 19, 2008 4:44 p.m.

    "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.

  • To: Cats
    Aug. 19, 2008 4:26 p.m.

    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.

  • This is what I'd like to see...
    Aug. 19, 2008 3:56 p.m.

    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.

  • How to stop this
    Aug. 19, 2008 3:43 p.m.

    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.

  • Devildog
    Aug. 19, 2008 3:24 p.m.

    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 clean house!!!

  • Utah Republican
    Aug. 19, 2008 3:23 p.m.

    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 office.

  • Coincidence?
    Aug. 19, 2008 2:25 p.m.

    Isn't it a given nowadays that when a story runs in the paper about political arrogance, that Curt Bramble is interviewed?

  • Brambles and briars
    Aug. 19, 2008 1:41 p.m.

    Curt Bramble is the product of decades of one-party rule in Utah. Wake up Utahns!

  • Bramble is the worst
    Aug. 19, 2008 1:25 p.m.

    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.

  • To EdM:
    Aug. 19, 2008 1:12 p.m.

    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 path.

  • Demo
    Aug. 19, 2008 12:59 p.m.

    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.

  • Initiative law
    Aug. 19, 2008 12:56 p.m.

    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.

  • EdM
    Aug. 19, 2008 12:43 p.m.

    To: A Republic if you can keep it

    We 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.

  • Kenny
    Aug. 19, 2008 12:39 p.m.

    Utah County "Republicans" need to offically start their own party known as the Facists of Utah County.

  • Medicare Kid
    Aug. 19, 2008 12:31 p.m.

    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.

  • Fed up with politics
    Aug. 19, 2008 12:23 p.m.

    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?

  • A republic if you can keep it...
    Aug. 19, 2008 12:02 p.m.

    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

  • Bill Delaney
    Aug. 19, 2008 11:51 a.m.

    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 office.

  • Oh Please
    Aug. 19, 2008 11:50 a.m.

    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."

  • So tell me, Cats,
    Aug. 19, 2008 11:21 a.m.

    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. Sad.

  • Taken for Granted
    Aug. 19, 2008 11:15 a.m.

    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.

  • RE: Truth
    Aug. 19, 2008 11:05 a.m.

    "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.

  • Stewart
    Aug. 19, 2008 10:59 a.m.

    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.

  • DR Don
    Aug. 19, 2008 10:59 a.m.

    "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.

  • HPS
    Aug. 19, 2008 10:56 a.m.

    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.

  • We are the elect
    Aug. 19, 2008 10:51 a.m.

    The Kingmen have spoken. They want to appoint a King and squash democracy. Sounds like a Book of Mormon Sunday School lesson to me.

  • Demopublican
    Aug. 19, 2008 10:49 a.m.

    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!

  • A miracle??? Give me a break
    Aug. 19, 2008 10:48 a.m.

    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 conservative principles.

  • whatever, arationalguy
    Aug. 19, 2008 10:45 a.m.

    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?

  • Dan
    Aug. 19, 2008 10:44 a.m.

    "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.

  • To: Cats
    Aug. 19, 2008 10:33 a.m.

    "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!

  • sodiedog
    Aug. 19, 2008 10:31 a.m.

    And Mitt wouldn't be considered a special interest candidate, right?

  • Cats
    Aug. 19, 2008 10:29 a.m.

    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.

  • The truth about the vote
    Aug. 19, 2008 9:56 a.m.

    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.

  • Cats
    Aug. 19, 2008 9:56 a.m.

    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.

  • Cats
    Aug. 19, 2008 9:44 a.m.

    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 succeed.

  • arationalguy
    Aug. 19, 2008 9:38 a.m.

    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.

  • Lost in Utah
    Aug. 19, 2008 9:07 a.m.

    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.

  • Suredopreciateya
    Aug. 19, 2008 8:39 a.m.

    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.

  • I'm not surprised
    Aug. 19, 2008 8:31 a.m.

    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 stricter one.

  • The Rock
    Aug. 19, 2008 8:17 a.m.

    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 liberal dictatorship.

  • stevo
    Aug. 19, 2008 8:12 a.m.

    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!

  • MadMax
    Aug. 19, 2008 8:04 a.m.

    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 self-government.

  • Instereo
    Aug. 19, 2008 8:00 a.m.

    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.

  • Comical
    Aug. 19, 2008 7:56 a.m.

    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.

  • uncannygunman
    Aug. 19, 2008 7:53 a.m.

    "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.

  • Stop Complaining, Take Action
    Aug. 19, 2008 7:50 a.m.

    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 action.

  • Embarrassed Republican
    Aug. 19, 2008 7:47 a.m.

    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.

  • Intoxicated by power
    Aug. 19, 2008 7:45 a.m.

    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.


  • mistersmee
    Aug. 19, 2008 7:28 a.m.

    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.

  • lost in DC
    Aug. 19, 2008 7:21 a.m.

    I agree that the repub leadership is getting pretty heavy handed and needs to back off.

  • irony
    Aug. 19, 2008 7:17 a.m.

    He actually says that they are elected to make decisions for the people, not to represent them? Amazing.

  • Fair Vote
    Aug. 19, 2008 7:13 a.m.

    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 cheat us.

  • Democracy?
    Aug. 19, 2008 6:34 a.m.

    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 handbook.

  • Utah County Republican
    Aug. 19, 2008 6:22 a.m.

    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 actually represents.

  • Bob G
    Aug. 19, 2008 6:10 a.m.

    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.

  • GOP power grab
    Aug. 19, 2008 5:52 a.m.

    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.

  • Utah Bill
    Aug. 19, 2008 4:43 a.m.

    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?