Bob Bernick Jr.: Initiatives are consequences of slow work on ethics

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Kathy Anne Dopp
    Sept. 8, 2009 8:07 a.m.

    I would like to see more citizen initiatives in Utah. For instance:

    1. an initiative that forces Utah's county clerks to follow the Utah constitutional requirement for conducting secret ballot elections by scrapping the current voting system that records both electronic and paper ballot records in the same order that voters vote, allowing any election official to find out how most people voted by comparing them with the sequential poll books, and

    2. an initiative to subject election records to public scrutiny that are necessary to judge the integrity and accuracy of election results. Currently Utah conducts the most secretive elections of any state by not publicly posting polling place totals at the polls, not publicly posting the touchscreen machine counts that its audits allegedly check (but don't really), and not subjecting most of its election records to the government records and management act.

    Since when does an employee (elected government official) tell his boss (the public) that the organization's records may not be looked at by the boss?

  • Frederick Douglass said
    Sept. 5, 2009 12:46 p.m.

    “The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.”

  • wallofvoodoo
    Sept. 4, 2009 10:54 a.m.

    Legislative Ethics Reform is an oxymorom like Military Intelligence, U of U Parking Services & Business Ethics. Even if they think they will loose, they will fight this all the way.

  • Dwight
    Sept. 4, 2009 10:21 a.m.

    Bob, thanks for this excellent comment. It's unlikely that the legislature will make significant progress on ethics in the next session and there's no way there will be any changes on the redistricting issue. But you can be sure some on the Hill are thinking about running legislation to further restrict the ability of citizens to get initiatives on the ballot. Your legwork on comparing Utah to other states will make it easier to refute the argument that we have a problem with initiatives run amok in Utah.

  • Checks and Balances
    Sept. 4, 2009 9:36 a.m.

    Bob forgot to mention that initiative law, the same as legislative law, must be constitutional. Regardless of the origin of a law, it is subject to the judicial branch striking it down as unconstitutional.

    The initiative process can and should be used for the laws the legislature refuses such as ethics, term limits, etc.

    The people have power equal to the legislature, and generally do a much better job with their power.