Judge halts public release of Utah ethics petitioners' names

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  • Teha Rangi
    April 16, 2010 9:38 a.m.

    Extremely distressing news. The is nothing more than a lash-back by our political power-mongers.

    Why can't they get the message: It's wrong to accept gifts (read that: anything of value) in connection with your office.

    Come on, Mssrs. Bell and Waddoups... Pay for your own lunches for crying out loud!

  • Anonymous
    April 16, 2010 9:10 a.m.

    I'm confused, they want the list made public so they can unsign us one OUR petition, but the ones asking for that release are john doe? What are the real names of the people who want my name? I also think the politians fighting this going to the ballot should become known as those who stand with the name as "supports of non-ethical government".

  • My2Cents
    April 16, 2010 4:21 a.m.

    These initiatives are a vote and free speech right and should remain sealed from prying tactics of politicians to rebuke the issue. The anti ethics committees want these names so they can send mailers out with an opt out clause. If you don't respond with a written letter to remain on the initiative then you are automatically removed from the petition. In other words make you sign it twice or verify your support.

    In the legislators last attempt with this opt out law they just wrote was just for this reason, to subvert and deny the people their voice.

    This current unethical attack on citizens only adds more proof to the need for this initiative for ethical government. This is turning in to a battle of absolute power struggle for legislators who don't want ethical government.

    I'm glad the judge did block the legislators from more unethical acts meant to disrupt the due process of elections and free speech. If the names are released, the legislators should be prevented from contacting or persuading others to change their minds. If people want to remove their names then it must be done on their own.

  • SLars
    April 16, 2010 12:32 a.m.

    If the names are released, I will be more than happy to explain why I think we need leaders with morals and ethic's.

    Question is, will he/she be willing to listen?

  • Utah Dem
    April 15, 2010 8:45 p.m.

    Cats - nothing is being circumvented, the Utah constitution allows for citizen initiatives.

  • Honest Abe
    April 15, 2010 8:04 p.m.

    Frankly, I am disappointed at the response from many of our local political leaders and disturbed at the measures they have taken to prevent this initiative from being heard by voters.

    A tea party slogan, "We the people...not We the legislature." ought to be heard by those in government who are trying to do anything BUT what is ethical, in order to snuff out this ethics initiative.

  • gs86js
    April 15, 2010 4:27 p.m.

    What makes you think the Democrats are behind the ethics reform? Looks to me like it's the PEOPLE. Looks to me like legislators from BOTH sides are opposing this action. I don't think lawmakers from either side want a cap put on the $$$ they receive from lobbyists. Let the people vote, for heavens sake, we're demanding ethical government. We would like our voices to be heard. What is so intimidating about putting this proposal on a ballot? We are in this dilemma, AGAIN, for the same reason we are every time we sign a petition. We want our voices represented. If they were ... we would not need to consistently challenge our lawmakers with referendums, initiatives, and petitions.

  • John S. Harvey
    April 15, 2010 4:18 p.m.

    RE: "Cats"

    Whenever the legislature seeks to exclude and bypass the citizens of this State I would like to know why! Actually, in this case I already know why because the legislators have said why numerous times. They like the gifts, and they pretend they have no influence on their decisions. They want to draw the boundaries themselves to keep themselves in power. You can judge for yourself if those reasons have any validity -- but you can only judge in a meaningful way if the two initiatives make it to the ballot.

  • Cats
    April 15, 2010 2:15 p.m.

    Whenever a group tries to bypass the legislature, I want to know why. This is really an attempt by Democrats to circumvent the legislative process set up by the Constitution of Utah. It's a bad idea that shouldn't pass.

  • Brian the engineer
    April 15, 2010 1:06 p.m.

    I can see both sides:

    Yes, those delivering the petitions may not be completely honest in what the petition or initiative implies.

    Yes, the petitions do not automatically indicate support for the initiative, the purpose is simply to put the initiative on the ballot.

    However, I am disgusted with party leadership in their strong opposition to these petitions. I would understand if they were simply stating perceived flaws in the initiatives, but instead they oppose public involvement on these initiatives.

    Over the past couple decades, Utah's elected officials have not had a great ethics record, and now they're telling us not to even talk about ethics reform.

    This elitist attitude, as well as recent counter-ethical legislation, prompted me to sign the petitions.

  • Ralph
    April 15, 2010 1:05 p.m.

    VIDAR, they don't have to call you directly. That's the beauty of the legislators' plan to avoid ethics initiatives.
    There exists in Utah, as I'm sure you're aware, a certain unnamed social hierarchy that has its own communication protocols. They don't have to call you per se, their subordinates can just approach you on Sunday and discuss this little matter with you, in an ever-so-gentle way.

    But if they don't see the list, they won't know who to approach, and that has those in power steaming about this latest effort to keep the signers privacy in tact.

  • lket
    April 15, 2010 12:59 p.m.

    its more about a power base than anything. now they really dont answer to anyone because people vote one party too much in utah. check the stats.

  • 20/20
    April 15, 2010 12:49 p.m.

    Every year, for at least the past five years, I have made it a point to e-mail my state senator and representative (both Republicans) and let them know what I want them to do vis-a-vis the major issues of the upcoming legislative session. Every year, I have asked them to stop taking gifts of any kind, and to support laws prhohibiting gifts to colleagues unable to say "no" to special interests' gifts. Every year, they have ignored my requests for ethical reform (with the possible exception of this year).
    I am a registered Independent who does not see what party affiliation has to do with ethical behavior.
    In multiple verses of the Old Testament,we are warned to "Take not the gift, for it cloudeth the judgement".
    The very purpose of the lobby industry is to "cloud the judgement" of our representatives.
    Legislators, you may ignore the Old Testament. You may even ignore that quiet voice in your head that tells you not to go drinking with Lush Killpack. But you ignore your constituents at your own peril.

  • Utahn
    April 15, 2010 11:48 a.m.

    Ethics should not be a Republican or Democrat issue. I do not support this inititive but I don't know why the Republicans are fighting so hard against it.

    April 15, 2010 11:19 a.m.

    let them call, I doubt they will stay on the phone long enough to hear what I have to say.
    I do wonder however, if you can put yourself on a do not call list?
    Then if they call, each time, is a ten thousand dollar fine.