Comments about ‘House, Senate GOP can't agree on congressional maps, postpone session’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 4 2011 12:00 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, Utah

Why can't the republicans do their business in the light of day? Why do they have their discussions in caucus meetings and not on the floor? Don't these republicans who claim to be lovers of the constitution understand that the founders advised against political parties, and therefore did not intend for the debate to be behind closed doors in caucus meetings. When was the last time that the Utah legislature had a meaningful debate on the floor? This map or that map may disenfranchise a segment of Utah voters, but we are all disenfranchised when the legislature does their business behind closed doors.

Why are the republicans so afraid to let the citizens see government in action? What are they doing behind closed doors that they obviously don't want the public to see?

Please republicans be respectful of the citizens of this great state and bring this debate to floors of the respective houses, so all elected members can participate and so we the people can see what you are doing.

Provo, UT

Ben McAdam's proposal is a good-faith effort that garnered support from the Senate. Why are the extremists in the house so opposed?

Shame on the GOP for this rampant dishonesty and corruption. You know what they say about absolute power...

Moab, UT

I really don't like the idea of mixing urban with rural. Rural Utah has needs and issues far different than any urbanite knows or understands.

Sanpete County, UT

It is alarming that the Republican majority would attempt to disenfranchise not only such a huge segment of Utah's population, the dreaded Democrats, but also those in rural areas who would simply not be represented with the "pizza" map. Living in a rural area, my concerns are vastly different from those of someone in an urban area.

We have a representative government. That's Civics 101. But if my representative does not actually represent the majority of his constituents, it's not a representative government. SLC is an entity unto itself in this state - lots of Democrats there. So what? They also have lots of urban issues the rest of the state does not have. SLC should have the right to select its own representative to represent its own issues and interests. Rural areas should have that same right. I live in a rural area, and I would be very disappointed if my representative did not represent me in that way.

We need to grow up here and stop playing politics. Those who take the Constitution seriously should understand that true representative government is much more important than party politics.

Murray, Ut

They also separated Brambles district in Provo with 200 people from Wallsburg. Since the district now crosses county lines, Utah county will not be able to vote him out in the country caucus, it will be decided by the state. The HB116 gang has struck again.

Midvale, UT

People haven't you all figured it out. It stopped long ago about being Republican, or Democrat politics, it's what am I going to do when I am in that seat, what am I going to get out of this job, what will I need to do to keep it and stay in this seat. Hasn't the politics of this country and the way it is going telling you what, is what. All the issues this country is facing, and nothing is getting done, Immigration is still out of control, the border is still unsecured, drug war failed, but still pumping money in it, unemployment is up and at 20%, not 9 like they say, they forget to put 16 to 18 year old's in that, remember they used to work too, food costs are up, oil cost per barrel is at 75.00 a barrel, gas is 3.40 at the pump, should be 2.75, or 2.80, illegal immigrants using the state system and getting food stamps, and anything else, property taxes are up, has anything changed.... Nope comes to mind, they are in it for themselves and We The People doesn't mean a thing.

innocent bystander

The redistricting is a huge mess. Listening to public input was a sham and charade. Keep up the phoning, protesting, and truth-telling! The voters are supposed to be able to choose their representatives, not the incumbents choose their voters. This may require our own "occupy Wall Street" movement on Utah's State Street, where money and power meet behind closed doors at the Capitol Building.

Fixing just District 2 is not enough, as the proposed new District 4 is a gift to the Republicans--apparently Wimmer--and exposes the lie that the districts should all be a pizza slice with an urban/rural mix.

District 2 was pivoted across the state giving Matheson different constituents than he had ever known and also dumped every announced Republican contender out of residence. My house in east Salt Lake County moved from Matheson to Chaffitz. That wasn't for the voters--it was clearing the way for someone to run from OUR RULING CLASS, the Utah legislature's veto proof Republican super-majority. Restoring District 2, to whatever degree, is about the incumbent Republican Governor, to keep a squeezed out Matheson from running for Governor.

District lines are wrong until voters choose their representatives.

Salt Lake City, UT

So much for open government. Why do these important meetings involving how OUR votes are counted closed?

Huntsville, UT

"... spent much of the day behind closed doors..."

Whatever happened to the open meetings requirement? Secrecy only enhances the view of Utah Republicans as Criminals.

Districts should be drawn without regard to the political parties of those within the boundaries.

I'm literally fed up with Utah's Governmental leaders.

Clearfield, UT

If the State Legislature in its attempt to provide voter representation for the election of representatives to Congress by using a rural/urban mix, then it would be just far better to make them into at-large seats because by mixing up differences of voters, there really isn't any true representation, just a homogeneous whole. the majority population is attempting to eliminate differences as if voters are all the same, while the minority population is seeking some voice. Setting Congressional Districts should be about real representation of our differences and seeking compromise instead of the majority seeking to impose the will on everyone.


I have nothing to add here that hasn't already been said. If you know you are doing the right thing, you shouldn't have to hide it. Have open meetings about this and invite the public to be a part of them. Rural and urban areas have different issues and should not be lumped in together. And as Innocent Bystander said "The voters are supposed to be able to choose their representatives, not the incumbents choose their voters."


The redistricting game is one reason partisanship has increased. Carving out districts to ensure a politically homogenous group preserves an incumbent, but often creates an environment where more extreme candidates can get elected.

Elmo, UT

There is no perfect solution and to keep trying for one just gets those opposed even more riled up.
I agree with the rural issues are different from Urban issues. However, no matter how you draw the map, you would have to include some urban area (like St. George) in any "rural" district. Having a rep from St. George represent someone from Snowville is ridiculous also.
The pizza slice method would make every rep. at least have to listen to constituents from rural areas of the state. I know all the reps would be from the Wasatch Front "urban" areas. But no matter how you draw it the reps will be from urban areas...that is where the people are.
As for democrats crying about being disenfranchised, win and you wont be. The supreme court has consistently upheld boundaries drawn for political reasons. The only thing you can't do is draw boundaries that disenfranchise based on race, sex, or have disjointed geography (like St. George and Logan being in the same district with no continuous geography in between.)

Farmington, UT

Apparently the State Legislature is using the US Congress as a model on how to do (or NOT do) business. There current approval rating is around 15% at best.

I have an idea for Utah voters: Next election send a new group to the State Capitol in SLC and let them know you expect statemanship, not partisanship!!!

Kaysville, UT

One difference in Senators and Representatives is that Senators get four years between elections and Representatives only get two years. Representatives have to start running for election after their legislative session is over. Senators on the other hand get a little more time and a lot of the time, the Senators were Representatives prior. They have built statesmanship and also like the position they are in, in the Senate, especially for the Republicans since they have a majority forever. The Senators have probably more commonsense, at least in Utah. To run for office is more expensive for Senators and that means they get more PAC type money. Representatives have a lot larger number in their House, especially for Republicans from around the state. In redistricting for many cycles, the rurals, which is most of Utah have taken the hit. Their representation is going down as the office holders look at getting the most bang out of their campaign buck. It doesn't take very much of the Santaquin to Brigham City piece to wipe out the impact of the rest of the state if proportioned right. The main object for the Republicans is not to have any Democrats in office.

Highland, UT

All I'm reading here is a bunch of lib/dems whining that they can't get elected unless they are given special consideration and protected status. Let me tell you what it will take dems. Just become a party with ideals that people want to vote for. It won't matter what the district boundaries are if you do that. But of course you have no interest in that. You want to be given your own district without having to do the will of the majority of the voters fo this state. To the contrary you want to force your will on the rest of us without even being representative of what we prefer.

Sorry but in this instance you lose, and you should lose. Most of us don't want you or what you stand for. It really is as simple as that. Quit whining about it and change yourselves to reflect the values of the pople of the state and you'll win elections.

I guess that is to simple a formula for you.

Eureka, UT

The redistricting committee had open public meetings throughout the state for the past 3 or 4 months so they could say the process was open. Yet, when they go into closed caucus meetings and then completely ignore the input they got in the open meetings, it shows that something is wrong with the process.

I think they heard over and over again how rural Utah wanted representation yet when they propose the pizza solution, there is going to be a high probability we'll have four congressmen from the Urban Salt Lake Metro area. Rural Utah needs its own representative, not someone from Salt Lake who says they understand rural issues because all rural Utah knows if it's south of point of the mountain (maybe you could say Payson) it's northern Arizona in their minds and not their problem.

Highland, UT

It would be impossible to make a congressional districts that are pureley rural. 1st of all you can't do it geographically without some major gerrymandering and 2nd of all the population dispersal in the sate simply wouldn't allow it. The fact is a mix of urban and rural in each district is the best solution as every rep would have responsibilities to both constituencies and geographically it makes the most sense.

Face it, all of this whining is because dems want a guarnateed seat and has nothing to do with equal representation. Their bogus and politically motivated claims should be laughed at, scorned, and ultimately ignored as they are obviously neither factual or ethical.

Salt Lake City, Utah

I personally do not care near as much about the final product as I do about the way we get to the final product. I think it is interesting that many who seem to support republicans come on here and talk about whining dems and liberals of which I not a whiner a dem or a liberal, just simply a person who believes that the peoples business should be conducted in the light of day. I am surprised that republicans who always talk of the their love of the constitution wouldn't want to follow it to the letter all the time, not just when it serves their political purposes.

Do the peoples business in the light of day, and invite all to see. If you are doing whats right for the people you have nothing to hide.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT


So you are okay with government in secret, as long as your side gets what they want? Keeping public business in closed door sessions is what you stand for? I would think that all Utahns would be outraged about closed door sessions for anyhting that doesn't deal directly with national security. They are OUR representatives. WE pay their salary. WE are affected by their decisions. WE deserve to know what goes on.

Left or right, this closed door stuff needs to stop.

In your little rant above, you sound like the typical bully. "I have the power and you can't partake in my power trip." That's all I hear. How is it in the best of interest of the citizens of the city of Holladay to have be represented by THREE US Congressmen? How many represent Highland - where you live? I was moved from District 2 to District 3 in this new plan. I'm not happy about that at all. My representative, who is supposted to represent me wants to take away my livelihood. Should I be thrilled about that? I'm just as much a taxpayer as you are and I deserve to be represented fairly.

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