Powell is seeing the backlash and is now trying to save his skin for the next
election. He's pretty transparent, too bad he doesn't seem to understand the
need for transparency in government.
Spin this anyway you want. You still voted for it. Right is right, wrong is
wrong. Know the difference and act accordingly. You had your chance.
HB477 isn't a done deal yet. I think Powell's willingness to dialogue honestly
with the public about it will have a positive impact on the final state of the
bill. The folks whose feet really need to be held to the fire are the bill's
sponsors, John Dougall and Lyle Hillyard, the house and senate leaders, Becky
Lockhart and Michael Waddoups, and of course our brilliant governor, Gary
Powell is as reasonable as they come. If you understand his history in the
legislature this makes sense. His first move when he started in the legislature
was to run several campaign finance reform and government ethics bills. By
doing this, he angered other members of his party. Powell since then has been
told again and again - go along to get along. In that context it is
understandable why he voted for a bill that he opposed so strongly, it also
explains why he is so annoyed now. I don't think it excuses the vote, but I
think the man is trying to make things right, do you see any others who voted
for this bill stepping to take heat on it like this?
HB477 is a dirty bill. Under the Patriot Act, our private property
can be searched, without warrent. But under HB477, the public has no
access to records from public officials that take such action (email, text
messages) on the tax payers dime. Both, the patriot act and HB477,
has had the full support of the Republican party.
to Pagan: you nailed it. But no one is listening.
Although non-access to emails, text messages, etc., is extremely important, the
most important issue is the change in the intent language of GRAMA. Under
GRAMA, it was the government who had to prove why the information should not be
made public. Under HB477, it is the public who has to prove why the information
should be public. . .how do you prove something should be made public when you
are unable to see it? The Republican leadership was merely trying to remove the
power of Chief Justice Christine Durham, a justice they feel is too liberal
(although she was appointed to the court by Mike Leavitt), simply because the
court seems to side with the public in virtually every instance when it comes to
releasing documents and cite the intent language. Without that language, the
public will be seriously damaged. How does it feel Utah to have a more
secretive government than Mexico and to have our legislature and government pass
the most anti-Democratic secrecy legislation in the country?
I am glad that at least one Republican is not a simple rubber stamp. That closed
records law was wrong from the beginning and needs to be repealed on a permanent
basis. This indicates just how corrupt our elected officials are. They should be
removed and thrown under a fast moving bus.
What if:1. The media has a huge interest in this being overturned
and is controlling the information that we are getting as the public?2. The legislature had tried for 3 years to get some clarification and
development of these laws so that they could more effectively address the new
communication tools (texting, email, other e-forms) but the opponents (mainly
the media) stalemated each discussion and never would allow this to have a
reasonable dialogue (like they are still doing now)?I am not a
politician of any type - just a citizen - but i did ask how this happened and
what I heard made me realize there really are always two sides and things we
don't know about. We are easily deceived because we have a pre-conceived bias.
And the media controls what we find out. In this case, it is easy to see the
media's bias.I am looking forward to the discussion that will
hopefully now happen. This was the only way the legislature could get a
discussion going - in a special session - where the changes needed can be made.
The media still doesn't want that discussion to happen.
@freedomforthepeople, there's no excuse for the rushed, anti-transparent way
this bill was pushed through the legislature and onto the governor's desk.
Maybe the legislature has some valid reasons for supporting this, but one
wonders why they didn't see fit to take the time to inform Utah voters, since
ultimately we're the ones who will suffer from the increased restrictions. I
think the media would have been happy to discuss its merits, but the proper time
for such a discussion was well before the legislature voted on the bill. I too
am hopeful that the discussion will be productive and that the final bill will
not create a gigantic loophole for our already ethics-challenged legislature to
hide in, but the law IS already signed and I really have no faith in our state
legislature. Any group who can make as many stupid decisions as these folks did
in this year's legislative session doesn't deserve to be trusted. These people
don't represent most Utahns' views and they have no intention of doing so.I'm looking forward to a referendum on this atrocious bill come
Theres more to HB477 than emails and texting. The data used leading to an
anticipated fiscal cost is also exempted. ---Legislators shouldnt but do, get
involved with which data gets used. Eg., the school voucher bill. The number
of students that might use it was greeeaaatly exaggerated (100%) Thus, the
anticipated benefit. Currently, we can see which data is used in
the calculations of anticipated fiscal cost. Under HP 477 we wouldnt be able to
until it passes. Imagine, diminishing the benefits of bills you dont want
passed and greatly exaggerating bills you do want. If you can control the
money, (if only on paper) you control everything. What is the justification
of having that exemption in that bill? Power!!!!
The new Speaker of the House and President of the Senate and Governor need to
remember the words of the Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863: "and that
government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from
This bill and all that it now hides should serve as notice to those who blindly
vote for the All Mighty, All Knowing, All Seeing Utah Republican Party. This
bill should wake some of you up but sadly it won't for many of you.
The Republicans, in this case, are no better than the Democrats in Congress who
rammed through the Obama Care Bill without debate or scrutiny.
Several commentators on this issue take Utahns to task for voting for these
individuals who don't seem to understand basic principles of good government.
It's all about the caucuses. Utah voters don't decide who runs, the very
motivated special interests who become the caucus delegates in the Republican
Party, such as the Eagle Forum decide. This is a very small group that have the
motivation and time (for some reason, nothing else to do with their lives) to
control the caucuses. As a result, our "representatives" are not the
least representative of normal Utahns. Legislative leadership's votes, and
public opinion polls are almost never close to each other. The solution is a
referendum to change to open primaries. It has to be a referendum because the
party leadership will never allow any change themselves. It's all
about the caucuses. Until the Democratic party is viable, the Republicans must
take back their Party.
There is an interesting development in Miami on governmental policies. The Mayor
of Miami-Dade County, Florida was recalled because he raised taxes on wealthy
property owners and redistributed the money to teachers and other public
employments. I want to watch for the longer term effects to see what lessons
can be gleaned.
Rep.Powell's proposal of a 72 hour time frame is way too short. If the purpose
of a Representative is to represent the people,the people need time to
read,discuss,and provide input. I would suggest a minimum of 2 weeks at least.
What's the rush? Especially something of this magnitude.
at John Jacob etc. @10:17 Was itonly repubublicans who voted for this? Was
there no Democrats? I want people who represent what we want no matter what
their affliation is. I wish everyone complaining was willing to vote the way
Wow, this is a lot of high drama for a very low-key issue. At least it should
be low key. The legislature is going to fix the bill. Give them a chance. If
Powell felt pressure to vote for the bill it sounds like the pressure was
perceived, not necessarily real. This bill needs some work; I don't like it as
is, but it's not the worst bill I've ever seen, not even the worst one this
Fix the bill???? Why? The gov gave them a 'blank check'. They don't have to
do anything at all. In fact, they keep saying they're doing this to give us
extra time for input. That being said and done, the bill stays the same.
I think two things that will make them change it is: If we gather
those 100,000 signatures to put it on the ballot. (If that fails, then why
might they change it?) And, if we each contact our legislator and tell them to
repeal it. Then, bring it up next election year that they didn't if they don't.
I think Powell is a good man. I believe that he has rendered
himself politically impotent at this point. He has bitten the hand of
leadership and even if he appeases his constituancy and gets re-elected, he will
be shunned by the legislative leadership. Sad reality.I
hope for better.
powell will be out of office next election and all the republicans and co
demacrats to.they will be working at cove fort,we willget some good people in to