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Published: Friday, March 18 2011 11:50 p.m. MDT

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Dewey Hewson
Eagle Mountain, UT

The Deseret News has a fine and accurate headline for this story, but a replacement headline perhaps should be: "Blackmail at the Highest Levels of Utah Government."

This must be dealt with: first a total repeal of this horrid excuse for a law, then with the loss of power for all those who pushed it.

Utahns, come election time remember how most Republican legislators in this state truly view you.

Spuban
Provo, UT

I wonder why any of us are surprised by these turn of events. As Utahans we live in a state run by one majority. Regardless if they were Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, or Communists, having a government run by a single voice is a bad idea.

I know some people will argue that diversity in government only leads to stalemate. However, I am a stern believer that debate and the free exchange of ideas are a cornerstone of our country. In reality, if we are a state/country with only one view, dont we become one of those places that oppresses the views and beliefs of the minority?

Still Blue after all these years
Kaysville, UT

A vote was held up for 3 days because she didn't like the way Clark voted? I'm no fan of Clark after last year's Garn debacle, but really, do we have a bunch of 6 year olds in the legislature? Oh and BTW, that GRAMA bill? That was Obama type stupidity.

Most Truthful and Patriotic
Layton, UT

GRAMA was Obama-style stupidity? I like the way you snuck in that flattery to our President. Good job!

Utah voters don't understand what's happening. Most vote by rote, because they've always done it that way. They don't listen to the other side, they only listen to what their side says ABOUT the other side.

This leads to a state that thinks the wealthy have earned their status, that the well-educated have no role in society -- and so we idolize Biebers, Trumps and Kardashians.

By the time the Republicans in Utah have finished, it'll be too late for the voters. Chris Buttars and Carl Wimmer will be looked upon fondly as moderates.

Tami
Herriman, UT

The answer is simple, but sad. We have a bunch of veteran lawmakers whose power has gone to their heads. They ALL need to go the next election! This does not mean we have to change our own ideology and send in a whole different party. We just need new people from both parties. EVERYONE needs to go. I can't believe anyone would have voted for this bill the first or second time in any form! They obviously have brain damage. Has anyone checked the capitol building for radon gas?

jasonlivy
Orem, UT

My question is why? Why was it necessary to push this bill through without public debate and at such a furious rate?

My feeling is that this type of legislation would benefit a few now, but it seems could have the potential of being severely abused. I believe there are things that need to be kept confidential, but all in all the government needs to stay as transparent as our national security allows.

If our elected officials are worried about being embarrassed by DUI's and marital indiscretions, then tough. I feel the people have a right to know. These people whom we elect need to be examples to our communities.

If they are covering up personal business deals that hint on being unethical at best and illegal at worst, it is our right to know!

If they feel their lives are too exposed due to the technologies available today (internet blogs, camera phones, texting, etc.), they need to realize they are always on the job 24/7 before they run for office.

We need trust in our government know more than ever! Utah should be the beacon of trust and openness. By the people, for the people!

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington DC, MD

The things many people don't remember is that even Russia and Germany had the illusion of a two party political system but it was all corrupted just like we see in our own country.

fbmom
Draper, UT

This story is not surprising. Utah needs a change. Unfortunately, this WILL NOT happen until we get rid of the WACKY caucus system. It seeems most of the legislators that are currently in office are there not because they represent the views of the mainstream in Utah, but because they got all of their buddies to attend their neighborhood caucuses and become delegates. After that, if your name has an "R" by it, you've got it made. Utahns are complacent, they don't attend their caucus meetings and they don't do their homework before they go to the polls. This is unfortunate because in this state, the caucus is where is all begins.

wrostow
Salt Lake City, UT

At least Rep. Clark is talking about repealing this "abomination," and as soon as possible (in April). What I don't understand is why 1. Lockhart continues to deny putting pressure on her colleagues 2. Lockhart continues to defend this garbage piece of legislation and the "process" 3. Lockhart continues to blame the media, and 4. Why she even wanted this bill in the first place. She, Dougall, Waddoups and Gov. Herbert need to step up and take some responsibility. The only solution is a repeal.

Reasonable Person
Layton, UT

Tami says "This does not mean we have to change our own ideology and send in a whole different party"

Yes, it does. It's your ideology that causes things like this to be rammed through!

Your Republicans are shocked that there's an outcry! Why wouldn't they be shocked? They weren't criticized when they rammed through a large number of meaningless, money-wasting "message bills".

Did you speak out about the time and money wasted on redesigning the state flag? (Why wasn't the law just amended to allow the current design? Who had the deep pockets to ram the new design through?)

Did we really need to waste time (and embarrassment) on designating a "state gun"?

Your ultra-right ideology is coming home to roost. A lot of things have been condoned behind the scenes - like that $13 million pay-out by UDOT.

YET you all continue to support "your ideology".

I learned my own, from Sunday School, years ago.
Who taught you yours?

EgbertThrockmorton
Layton, UT

Czarina Lockhart and her minions act with the same imperial manner as our Governor. This isn't "news" at all, it's more of the same fetid political skull-duggery that so infects Utah politics. Time for mandatory term limits and to change/flush the political water on Capitol Hill.

DC
Alexandria, VA

An insidious relationship at best - Lockhart and Bramble. They're two peas in a pod, working together to make sure they have all the power. It's not that they necessarily have some policy agenda they want to get through, they just want to have power. They're the worst type of politician.
Like the term limits idea. Not a new one, but possibly one that needs to be enforced. The threat of it forced the legislature to adopt term limits back in the late 1990s, but then when the limits were were about to come up, they changed the rules, eliminating term limits. Why did they bring them up in the first place? Threat of a ballot referendum. Maybe time to bring one up again?

EJM
Herriman, UT

Well back home we have a saying: They eat their own. Like rats trying to get off a ship that is sinking it appears every legislator who voted for this bill is doing a Michael Jackson moonwalk. Don't let any of them get away with this and other "outstanding" pieces of work passed through this session. We elect these individuals to do their due diligence during a session. They failed.

Conservative Veteran
Layton, UT

I am disappointed with both the legislature and the governor. NO bill should be fast tracked. In order for their to be trust by the citizens of Utah in our state government, it is essential for the legislative process to be as transparent as possible. This means we should take the time on bills for feedback from any interested in commenting on the bill. Each bill should be read by all who vote on it; and we should all have the chance to review the bill and submit comments to our representatives.

If it was so readily apparent that the bill was flawed enough to justify a special session to modify it, it is flawed enough to vote against, get the bill right, and THEN vote for or sign the bill. It is irresponsible, in my opinion, for the governor to sign a bill he new was this flawed. His missgivings should have been enough reason to veto the bill. This is not leadership. This is cowardice, in my opinion.

political observer1
cottonwood heights, Ut

It is very interesting to be able to listen to the give and take between the legislative leadership and the members of the house. With just a little "looking between the lines" a picture is coming more clear about how things work on the hill. If you play along your bills don't get stuck in the rules committee or on the third reading list. If you don't play along, "things" can happen to your bill so it doesn't move along. No real verbal/overt pressure is put on the members to vote a certain way...but the message is loud and clear...you vote the way leadership want...or there is a price to pay. It may not be said out loud...but just observe what happens to the bills of those who don't. It was especially that way under Speaker Curtis and still is under the current leadership. One party with over 80% of the House in it facilitates just such a system. We need to move more closely to a real 2 party system. That is the best "check and balance" we can have. The founding fathers saw that. So should we.

JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
Beverly Hills, CA

The Republican Utah Legislature says they are for less government, what they really mean is less government by the people for the people, less freedom and less for anyone that isn't a millionaire developer they can sell out to in secret.

Hunt
Spanish Fork, UT

While I completely disagree with the bill, look at the poll question and how it is set up for the desired negative response. I'm really tiring of these Deseret News Polls and the blatant built in bias. for HB116 the poll questions are phrased positively toward support and for HB477 they are negative.

JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
Beverly Hills, CA

Here her! TIme for term limits! Get that referendum on the ballot.

Red Smith
American Fork, UT

Speaker Becky Lockhart, who is the lobbyist that pressured (lobbied) you to run this bill? What is the lobbyist's name?

Who is the client who paid the lobbyist and how much was paid?

DBeck
Eagle Mountain, UT

These elected representatives represent the majority view that government is not to be trusted. They represent their districts and are reelected because many of our fellow Utahns see no problem in rule by double standard. Now, if only this all could resurface during the 2012 session as they do very little but look to be reelected.

Why is Rep. Clark badmouthing Speaker Lockhart for doing the same thing he did when he was speaker? Campaigning fits some politicians better than the actual representation part. Why is the Right trashing the media so much over this? The media seems to favor whatever wing is NOT in power and seems more interested in full transparency than favoring a wing. How dare they attempt to protect the public interest!

Watch how things unfold over the next 10 or so months. Lots of smoke blowing. Lots of finger-pointing and scapegoating. And then watch the 2012 legislative session or any election year session. They are essentially do-little sessions. And we will do much like we have done in the past, reelect the same lot that we are so irritated with now. Maybe 2012 will be different, but I doubt it.

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