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
"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.
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!
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.
@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.
@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.
I will sign the referendum, I'll also take a petition list to help out.
'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!
"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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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...
We the People will do as they will have us to do, We have no say in the matter
with our Elected Officials.
Can't wait until the next election. I will vote D before I vote for any more
Right Wing Republicans.
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.
Go to the many festivals here in Utah and have people sign up! Go to the
Scottish Festival and I will sign up!
Where can I sign up?
I'll sign too!
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.
Anyone with information want to tell me where I can can sign it?
How do people help get signatures? Where's the petition? We want to sign it.
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.
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
Where do I sign?
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
please give us more information. I want to help.
Sad that those elected to represent us... apparently are unwilling
to do so. HB477 is a bad bill.