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Utah

Citizens file for referendum on controversial records bill HB477

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  • Richard Votaw Sandy, UT
    March 18, 2011 7:02 a.m.

    Unfortunately this "group" is comprised of the "He who must not be named" devotees, including Nancy Lord, and all strong organizations, the Democratic Party, rhe Republican Party, vertually every organized group hates these people so much thtat they will not tie their name to it, and thus it will fail.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    March 13, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    "Collaborative," "deliberative," "robust debate" are the words used by Governor Gary Herbert who I think is generally doing a good job but he does not lead.

    Having collaborative, deliberative, and robust debate after a bill is passed and signed is a poor procss.

    When the legislators wants something for themselves like HB477, it happens within 48 hours.

    When the public wants a gift ban law enacted (no gifts period not even a pen), it never happens. New Jersey not known for its moral rectitude passed a total gift ban, but Utah will not. Instead, HB477 is passed and signed like greased lightening.

    The fundamental problem with the Utah legislature is that the integrity of the group is lower than the the integrity of the individual legislator.

    It is ironic, that when so many good people get together the level of integrity drops, and bad bills are passed.

    If we are going to spend more money for a special session, make it really special session and make Utah a GIFT BAN STATE as well and increase transparency and open government.

  • NoBoxScot Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 13, 2011 6:58 a.m.

    It is a sad comment indeed that Utah is the one to lead out in this Opacity In Government bill. Regardless of what form of communication is exempted, that will become the most frequent form used in the future. If it had exempted all memos typed on electric typewriter you would see a sudden hunt for these old machines and a resurgence of a long gone industry!
    I wonder if they will permit "traffic-stats" to be released, i.e. number of cell phone calls, text messages, etc.; and how much detail they will release? Not much I bet! But then we all knew "Transparency" was just another buzz word didn't we?
    Well, I think I'll get off my duff and get involved!

  • vmcmillen Belgrade, MT
    March 11, 2011 2:03 p.m.

    It sounds like the Republican rule in Utah is that they have things to hide. If they are allowed to do this, one has to wonder about their true ethics.

  • Joe Bauman Salt Lake City, UT
    March 11, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    @15secondsoffame: Why do you assume email and texting would need to be transcribed? These communications are already written. All the officials need to do is copy them with a few clicks of the mouse. Besides, if there's a cost to freedom, so be it. The government is willing to bear the cost of providing rifles to soldiers to defend our freedom and it should be willing to bear the minimal cost of providing GRAMA information for the same reason. Finally, your statement that those who object are "eitehr [sic] heavy ACLU-types or simply reporters" is so contemptuous, ill-framed and incorrect that it speaks for itself.

  • isittrue Midvale, Utah
    March 11, 2011 10:04 a.m.

    @15secondsoffame
    My employer monitored and kept e-mail and internet traffic of all its employees.

    Are we not the employers of our civil servants. And the irony, we are allowing them to set laws for us to follow.

  • isittrue Midvale, Utah
    March 11, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    I will sign the referendum, I'll also take a petition list to help out.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 11, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    'Do YOU keep every email you have ever sent?' - 15secondsoffame | 8:16 a.m.

    No. My employer does. They keep every email, record every phone call. I pay for my cell phone service.

    I do not ask tax payers to pay for each of these things...and then tell them I don't have to show it too them.

    More examples of how Utah's legislature feels it is above demands of it's constituants...

    while at the same time asking for our vote!

  • 15secondsoffame Provo, UT
    March 11, 2011 8:16 a.m.

    "Citizens" or "media lead group" ... come on, let's be honest in our reporting here. I have seen lots of negative comments, and all are eitehr heavy ACLU-types or simply reporters.

    And while "open government" is truly important, I love the demand without providing the means. Do YOU keep every email you have ever sent? And how do you keep text messages? Do we hire a whole new group of typists to transcribe these? And who is going to pay for that?

  • Joe Bauman Salt Lake City, UT
    March 11, 2011 2:39 a.m.

    Freedom of information is our most fundamental freedom; it is the underlying principle to freedom of the press. Without information we cannot make informed decisions. This blow to freedom of information is a sickening attack on our open, free, unfettered government. If it is allowed to stand we will be thrown backward to a period before the American Revolution. We must repeal this evil law, and those who supported it must pay with their political positions. A wall of shame should be erected with the names of all who voted for HB477 and that of Gov. Herbert, who gave it his signature of approval, so that nobody forgets this wrongdoing in the next election. They must not be reelected.

  • Not So Fast Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    Good news, the citizens beat the deadline of another bill by two hours that eliminates electronic names on petitions. The Gov. signed that too but this referendum beat it before the Gov. could put ink to paper.

    There was a GREAT rally tonight at the Capital and the speakers included those who made the effort in this story. I don't ever remember citizens being this politically active. I am curious where the Dnews story is about it though, coming latter I guess.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    March 10, 2011 10:29 p.m.

    Is it a wonder that these low funded Utah publicly educated politicians just failed civics 101. My 10 year old has a better grasp of the democratic process.

  • David Centerville, UT
    March 10, 2011 10:23 p.m.

    It is interesting that legislators passed a bill to make it more difficult to obtain government information, and a bill making it more difficult to successfully complete a citizens initiative. They seem to believe we don't deserve access to some information, or they don't want us to know certain things. They also don't believe we are smart enough to make decisions about government-hence the more difficult citizens initiative process.

    Somehow a regular citizen can win and election and suddenly become better, smarter, and above the "fray". Meanwhile, the rest of us Utahns should just trust our legislators and be happy with whatever they decide for us.

    I know that I will be working and putting my money towards getting the current legislators out of office. "Incumbent" is not a good word right now.

  • Maverick West Jordan, UT
    March 10, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    This issue has so many similarities to President Obama's administration. The elected officials who represent the people think they know best and are trying to protect us from ourselves. Very disappointing!

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    March 10, 2011 9:50 p.m.

    I'd love to help these folks with $$$ and manpower, but they need to advertise for sure.

    As well, they need to employ the university strategy...hitting all the colleges along the wasatch front...they generate signatures, but offer young legs to run this thing down across the state...

  • Larry Willard, UT
    March 10, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    We the People will do as they will have us to do, We have no say in the matter with our Elected Officials.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    March 10, 2011 9:05 p.m.

    Can't wait until the next election. I will vote D before I vote for any more Right Wing Republicans.

  • jean22 Bountiful, UT
    March 10, 2011 8:17 p.m.

    To the group who filed for the referendum:

    PLEASE advertise the referendum in all the forums you can (regular media and social media) to let people know how and where to sign it. There are a lot of people who don't like HB477 and the process by which it has been passed by the legislators and signed by the governor. They just need to know how to sign this referendum. This bill is bad news for the people of Utah.

  • Patrick Henry West Jordan, UT
    March 10, 2011 7:53 p.m.

    Go to the many festivals here in Utah and have people sign up! Go to the Scottish Festival and I will sign up!

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    March 10, 2011 5:37 p.m.

    Where can I sign up?

  • Zadruga Guy West Jordan, UT
    March 10, 2011 4:37 p.m.

    I'll sign too!

  • Utahwoody Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2011 4:29 p.m.

    I hope this works. Of course these same arrogant Republicans have made it increasingly difficult for referenda or iniatives to get to the ballot. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • An Enemy of the People American Fork, UT
    March 10, 2011 4:00 p.m.

    Anyone with information want to tell me where I can can sign it?

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    March 10, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    How do people help get signatures? Where's the petition? We want to sign it.

  • THM Cedar City, UT
    March 10, 2011 3:36 p.m.

    Those that filed the petition - please post your contact information. There are thousands of Utahns ready and willing to help with this cause. The time has come to take a stand. Thanks for filing the petition.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2011 3:29 p.m.

    This goes way beyond just using their own cell phones and email accounts.

    HB 477 not only exempts legislators from accountability for their electronic communications, it allows the State to charge huge fees to anyone asking for the release of public information and places a near-impossible demand for "preponderance of evidence" of wrongdoing before granting requests for communication that is suspected of being illegal. You basically have to prove your case before a judge _before_ you're allowed to question the suspect.

    This is the exact opposite of open, honest, accountable government.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    March 10, 2011 3:24 p.m.

    Where do I sign?

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    March 10, 2011 2:43 p.m.

    Our Utah legislator and governor are like out of control teenagers. They run around causing problems, and doing dumb things.
    Then the responsible adults end up paying for all the damage they do.
    It starts to get really expensive to have to always bail them out, and pay for all the things that they break.
    You would like someone to just lock them up, until they come to their senses.
    I would not be surprised, if the next law the Utah legislator passes, is to exempt themselves from all laws.
    Using the same logic, which they use for not passing a meaningful ethics law: we do not need an ethics law, because we do nothing that is unethical.
    So they will pass a law, which says they can not be prosecuted for breaking the law, because in their view they never break the law, so why do they need to obey the law.

  • Rainman Syracuse, UT
    March 10, 2011 2:28 p.m.

    Every once in a while, I'll look right in my kids eyes and tell them to stop doing something that is annoying me. Sometimes they look right back at me and still do what I'm telling them not to. That's how I feel with HB477. How can our elected officials look us back in the eye and still do this? What Utahan is for this?

    If you don't want us to look at your e-mail or text messages, buy your own Blackberry! Heard of Gmail? Try it! The company I work for monitors my work e-mail and text messages so I buy my own phone. Don't tell me you can't afford it.

    I've voted straight Repub most of my life up until the last couple elections where I've voted for a few Dems. I don't know if I can vote for ANY Repubs this next go round. I have no respect for them anymore. They think they're untouchable and don't listen to the people.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    First of all: MANY THANKS to Ms. Tobias and the other citizens trying to "nip this in the bud" before it gets off the ground!

    Second: I have a strong feeling many state elected officials WON'T BE re-elected due to both this bill and the immigration bills!

    Legislators/senators think we have real short memories but with the help of the Internet, negative news regarding the antics of our elected officials spreads FAST!

  • The Authority Richfield, UT
    March 10, 2011 1:33 p.m.

    It's ironic in a way. They're willing to take all this heat over a bill that's designed to keep them from taking any heat.

  • cymrul West Valley City, UT
    March 10, 2011 1:14 p.m.

    Honestly, with all the heat comming down about this bill and our elected officials haven't pulled the plug on it themselves?? People arwe already lining up to fight this and they do NOTHING? Are they paying attention to the people at all anymore? This bill is getting as much negative attention as one of Chris Butters' comments and no one on the hill is saying anything! The Gov. defended it once and then walked away. What's up with that? None of the other supporters of this bill have explained why they voted the way they did. Instead they all have opted to just shove it down our throats then walk away from us. It's time for them all to go!

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2011 1:06 p.m.

    please give us more information. I want to help.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2011 1:05 p.m.

    Sad that those elected to represent us...

    apparently are unwilling to do so.

    HB477 is a bad bill.