Two Democratic and two GOP legislators met Monday morning to publicly oppose the wildlife constitutional amendment on November's ballot.
Rep. Dave Jones, D-Salt Lake, said while the proponents of Proposition 5 are sincere, their solution "is a gross overreaction."Proposition 5 would change the Utah Constitution to require any citizen initiative dealing with the management of wildlife be passed by two-thirds of the voters, rather than the simple majority required of all other citizen initiatives.
Proponents of Proposition 5 say "radical" wildlife groups are using citizen initiatives across the West to micromanage wildlife issues.
Proposition 5 "is like undergoing chemotherapy because you are afraid to get cancer, rather than actually treating the disease," said Jones. He adds that no issue should be treated differently in the Constitution as it applies to citizen initiatives.
Sen. Dave Buhler, R-Salt Lake, brought a sledgehammer to the Capitol press conference and said Proposition 5 is like trying to hit flies with it - wrong tool, ineffective.
And Sen. Millie Peterson, D-West Valley, showed a chart she says shows that proponents of Proposition 5 are getting a huge part of their funds from out of Utah - thus out-of-staters want to change Utah's Constitution.
Rep. Sheryl Allen, R-Bountiful, also attended and spoke against the measure.
"There is bipartisan support in the opposition to this amendment," said Jones.
Reminded that the amendment passed the House and Senate by greater majorities than the two-thirds needed (only three senators voted against it), Jones said: "There are some real regrets (in the Senate) today by some of those who voted for it."
While Republicans hold a majority of greater than two-thirds in the House - and so House Democrats can't stop a constitutional amendment on a straight party-line vote - Democrats hold nine Senate seats and, if voting in a bloc, could stop a constitutional amendment there. But five Democratic senators voted for the amendment.