Why this great expenditure of time, effort and money to examine a piece of
legislation that has no place in any corner of the universe much less inside the
United States? It's baffling that this bill was introduced, passed, and (perhaps
more understandable)not vetoed by the Governor. This is not a liberal,
conservative, libertarian, progressive or Republican vs. Democrat issue. It's an
issue of keeping elected officials and their respective staffs honest and,
failing that, accountable.
Is it just me?...or do other people find it disconcerting that Elder Ballard,
Bishop Wester and the elite Alliance are wading into the waters again?I
agree with their position here; it just gives me the willies whenever they throw
their weight around.In our democratic republic, their opinion should have
no more validity than 15 voters chosen at random from the Panguitch phone book.
To our lawmakers, just repeal HB477.To those of us who vote, please
give some consideration to voting out those who pushed HB477 thru in the first
place.Because we can't trust the lawmakers, be sure to sign the
@ ConsideringYou raise one concern at least worth visiting...and
clearly thought about it some. I understand folks just want to be heard, and
don't necessarily want to stand up for something...not my style but I cede the
need to protect that.Rural logisitics are more inconvenient, but
representatives need to understand what it takes to fully represent their people
when they take the job. As well GRAMA provides some ability to protect your
constituents. I would do the following...In an e-mail request, I
would redact the name and addresses and leave all the comments...then let the
requestor ask for more specific information related toa specific email...whats
the big deal? As far as cell phone records, redact the last 4 digits of the
phone number if providing itemized phone records...if you need to provide a
voicemail message, use a voice to text converter and provide transcripts...and
black out names. This is all very easy stuff to do. No court is going to order
you to provide more unless your constituent happens to have an interest in
government business.Convenience is not reason to create a GRAMA that
opens the door to cooruption.
I wish the press would have cared as much about HB116 as they have this issue.
They really hyped HP477 and blew it way out of proportion. HB116 has much
greater potential for damage to the State.
So I trust everyone who demands 100% access to every phone call a legislator
makes on State issued blackberry are also ok with the name, address, and salary
of EVERY State employee being posted on the internet. You all are good with
making every email sent between teachers and students (or the students' parents)
open to public review, right? After all, it is all done on taxpayer provided
equipment.Or are those cases "different" somehow?I've yet to hear anyone give a specific line item, or specific section of code
that presents a serious problem.I've also yet to see any of you
urban folks address the reality of rural living. It is easy to drive 5 minutes
and have a private, face-to-face conversation with your legislator when his
district is all of 5 miles across.But when a leg district includes
the better part of two full counties and it is a 2 hour drive to your
legislator's home, a phone call, email, or text is far more practical. Why
should rural (conservative) constituents' conversations with legislators be less
private than urban (liberal) constituents' simply because geography necessitates
the use of electronics?
Are these people mentally ill? They pass legislation their constituents
overwhelmingly say NO to. Now the collect pay to re-visit their stupidity?Yes, the public is entitled to the letters, emails and notes of ALL
communication that pertains to legislative business. If they want personal
correspondence exempted, do it at home on their own dime, not on taxpayer
money.Every meeting and communication as a legislator belongs to the
voters. Hiding it looks like you are hiding something you are ashamed of - like
this asinine bill.
They should adopt West Valley City's approach of "How can we serve the
Public better? Make the process more accessible? Reduce costs?" That's the
I believe we all have just about had enough of the condescending attitude the
Legislators display towards those who have elected them into political
office.Why has this become so prevalent?Who or what has convinced
those who believe themselves to be "Elite", that they are living on a
level that is so far superior than their constituents?Every so often we
hear of "those Elite shadowy figures" who are "really running the
world". Is the quest for money and power so strong at this time, that
there truly is a possibility of the disappearance of the middle class?
To quote many many many many Republicans and conservatives that are fine with
destroying our civil rights and curb the Constitution, "If you have nothing
to hide then what is the problem?"Those who voted for this
bill, If you have nothing to hide.....Oh silly me to question how
you use tax payer money. Go ahead and give away another 13 million $
consolation prize for NOT building a road.
None of this REWORK or READJUST garbage, REPEAL. There was nothing wrong with
the law to begin with. If you have shady business that cannot be conducted with
the glare of the public on the public's dime, do not run for elected office.DO NOT let them try and pass some other garbage.
My email at work is open to review. My phone at work is recorded. My property can be searched without warrent due to the Patriot Act. I won't even TELL you what happens to me with the TSA on flights. And the Utah legislator is 'above' all these things? I,
disagree. I agree with THM. CONTINUE to contact your
senators. CONTINUE to sign petitions. We cannot allow this.
Everyone - don't let down your guard. Keep contacting all senators today. 477
must be repealed and not repelaced. Keep signing petitions too.
I have two comments:1, Repeal is the only acceptable choice. There's no
reason the Legislature can't live with the simple requirements that they conduct
official business on state equipment and that their actions concerning official
business are subject to oversight by the public.2, News media
representatives SHOULD NOT be involved in any legislative working group. Their
presence co-opts them, makes them part of the process. How can they objectively
report on a bill they helped craft? It is unbecoming and it's an assault on
journalistic impartiality. Of course they were invited. That is the best way to
get them all puffed up with their own importance -- while they help abridge
freedom of information.
If a "work group" is needed to understand that this bill is wrong,
then our "leaders" have clearly lost their way.
@JMT...actually, allowing the changes to GRAMA would be the sovietification.
FOIA and GRAMA are companions, and force government accountability at all
levels, which is the opposite of the type of government found in the soviet
union today, and historically speaking.So...not sure what else to
make of your statements, I assume you were trying to say something, but since
your opening line was off 180 degrees, I'm lost.Always interested in
hearing different points of view, although I've yet to see a well thought out,
reasoned approach for supporting the proposed changes to GRAMA.I
have seen silly justifications that fail the reasonable man test.Even the "Cost" justification blows up when you realize that Utah
legislature just made their communications "important" to the type of
wiki-leaks mentality that is prevalent today. Do you have any idea what
cyber-security infrastructure and personnel will cost to protect this now
"priveleged" information...I'll help you...it'll be 5X what the
taxpayer is burdened with due to supposed fishing expeditions.If by
Sovietification, you mean reasoned, rational thought...I guess I'll take your
label and wear it proudly.
Is it just me--or are they wasting a WHOLE LOT OF TIME on this?First
to get it talked to death and passed, and now to get it talked to death and
repealed. There are so many more REAL problems that should be being
dealt with instead.
With apologies to "freedomforthepeople" I offer a different
perspective:We cannot have freedom and a representative government
if the people treat public education with such contempt and hatred as
legislators thus far have treated them.It is very popular in Utah to
hate public education no matter what it does. The uneducated among us (many of
whom seem to elected to public office) open their full hatred upon volunteer
citizen teachers who are trying to serve their fellow citizens.Why
all the hatred? Is it the classic envy? Is it the uneducated class warfare
perpetrated by arm-chair quarterbacks?Teachers are volunteers. They
were hired by the school boards we elected and follow the curriculum guidance
given by our elected state school board and legislature. They are doing the job
as best they can. They should have privacy and you strip them of it, we will
all pay the price. Capable, smart high school graduates, seeing the risks will
refuse to major in education. Teachers have other lives, too,
Senator Bramble. They sign an annual agreement that they expect NO privacy
using school email, and that they can be fired for political advocacy using
email on school computers.
To freedomforthepeople | 7:04 p.m. We cannot have freedom and a
representative government if the people treat their volunteer legislators with
such contempt and hatred as posters thus far have treated them.--------------------------You've got things backward. The
legislators aren't being treated with contempt and hatred. The legislators,
though bills like HB477, are treating US with contempt. They are our employees,
and we have every right to know what they're up to. They have no right to hide
their maschinations from us. The people of Utah are just holding them
accountable for what they are trying to do.
Ah, the Sovietification of America....the progressives and their marching drum
beat of populism. Does anyone on this board even know the history of GRAMA and
FOIA? You think you own these legislators? Do you think you are entitled to
their every communication? Sadly, a little history and truth will
never last the great fantasy being lived out by the radicals. But by all means,
enjoy your pitchfork party.
I would venture a guess that not one of our elected officials campaigned on
their intention to make Utah the most secretive state in the union, or do away
with e-signatures, or import guest workers to take our jobs. Make a list of
everyone who voted for these bills and vote for the other candidate next
@ freedomtrying to remain tactful here. I heard about HB477 through
the media, and read it myself...I sought out folks who can interpret these
poorly written "Bills", and they confirmed my suspicions...also all of
them happened to be Republicans...again no bias. I will admit, in addition to
my research the local papers alerted me to additional issues in the bill...their
job I'd say...but I don't need an editorial to tell me a dead Carp stinks.This privacy thing is a complete farse...if you are organized and
thoughtful, and take the time as a legislator to define your own communications
policy, you should never have an issue where personal communications are in
jeopardy. And spare me the goofy excuse that constituents might be compromised.
There are already laws and provisions in GRAMA to protect that stuff. If those
are inadequate, then address them...thats not at all what we have in HB477. This was DC politics, and some Chicago style in there based on the Heber
Rep's. comments. "Volunteers" in any endeavor who are self-serving
need not apply. You can pick them out because they use their volunteerism as a
Fred - the legislators are willing to give up SOME of their privacy and always
have. Things are evolving now so they are not safe from voyeuristic media. You
cannot tell me that you don't agree the media has demonstrated over and over
that they are not concerned about people's personal welfare when compared with
the opportunity for a story. Many innocents have been tried and convicted in
the media, and the media doesn't bother to retract, or even have the decency to
run the story when they are acquitted or the charges are dropped.If
it were happening to you, I believe the story would quickly change. Currently,
the media can request whatever they choose at the expense of the taxpayer, and
go on a "hunt" for juicy gossip. Of course that is not
the story you get from the media itself - why would they present that view?JWB - you are being tricked by one of the oldest tricks in the book -
"it isn't the bill, it's the process". This is a tried and true
strategy, used for ages. Take the focus off the issue and accuse people of
something less tangible.
Elected Officials and Government Workers: Use the phone, computer or other
electronic device I pay for, and I have the right to expect access to the
communication on it. The public provided these tools to you to do the public's
business. Do your private business on your own devices. How hard is that? There
are plenty of perks that you elected people receive beyond the financial. I
don't think any of you are so pure to serve strictly for altruistic reasons. You
all receive many kinds of rewards for serving. I have a right to check up on
you, because you all take money and other various perks from people who want to
influence you (and do). Most of you won't allow ethical regulations that folks
in other states now operate under. Am I, the average citizen out there,
skeptical about how much we can trust you? Yeah, I am. Especially since you
hold a whole lot of communication behind our backs in closed causes now. Get off
your arrogant high horses, repeal this bill, and stop patronizing the public.
freedomforthepeople,Lets be truthful here. These folks ran for an
office, volunteering is working in your local little league concession stand or
the food bank. These folks are compensated. No they are not getting rich but
$15-20,000 a year with a very good health insurance plan is not a bad part-time
job. Ten years in the legislature buys you lifetime insurance, that is not a
bad perk. No one is taking away their privacy. If they use their own phones
and computers not state supplied phones and computers they have all the privacy
they want. Do the business of the state in the open and their will be no
problems. I will grant you that the newspapers and tv stations have
jumped on this one hard because it impacts them, but it doesn't make what the
legislature did right. When you CHOOSE to run for office you give up some of
your privacy, that is simply reality. If they want to maintain complete privacy
I would suggest they get out of politics.
@Freedom: with all due respect I can only hope that you are trying pull a"
funny". I don't know where to begin refuting your postings. Let's start
with volunteer legislators. They receive compensation,benefits,gas mileage,and
free phones with all the bells and whistles. The uneducated class
warfare? So these individuals are educated and everyone else should just go
blindly obedient because they are smarter than the rest of us? Sounds like we
should just have a ruling class and then everyone else. I would love to serve as
a legislator but unfortunately I am not an R. I am an American. We tend to
forget that that is more important than the D or the R.The Desnews
is serving the people. All the people. Not just the R's or the D's or the LDS or
the Catholics or whomever. Their agenda is to do exactly what they are doing. It
would be shameful if they did anything less.
To freedomforthepeople 7:04 p.m. I believe may be missing the point with
HB477. It is not really the bill, per se. It is the process they took to move
it through in hours and days from beginning to end. I don't believe there is a
feeling like you are expressing. Legislators know what they are getting into
when they run for elected office. That process culls people out. Legislators
are smart but also listen and feel for the people in the bills that go through
the process. DNews and KSL and the SLTribune are not tricking people. People
are the government and want to ensure their rights and interests are considered
in the governmental process. The legislators that understand now that this
specific bill was fast-track understand they might have been misled or persuaded
unduly to vote in a certain way. Voters take that into consideration when they
county and state conventions meet the next time we have elections. As you know,
not everyone votes for elected officials but that is what they should do.
People become more involved and the Senators or Representatives that didn't have
an opposition may have one next time
We cannot have freedom and a representative government if the people treat their
volunteer legislators with such contempt and hatred as posters thus far have
treated them.It is very popular in Utah to hate the legislature, no
matter what they do. The non-thinking among us (many whom seem to post on these
comment sections) open their full hatred upon volunteer citizen legislators who
are trying to serve their fellow citizens.Why all the hatred? Is it
the classic envy? Is it the uneducated class warfare perpetrated by arm-chair
quarterbacks? It certainly is harming our community, and the press
is responsible for it. Legislators are volunteers. They were
elected by US. They are doing their job as best they can. They should have
privacy and if you strip them of it, we will all pay the price. Capable, smart
people, seeing the risks will refuse to serve.Our legislators will
then be less capable and less smart. We will all suffer.I cannot
believe the DNews and KSL and other media outlets are so unashamedly promoting
their own agenda and tricking people into believing HB477 is a problem for the
The Governor, House and Senate are forgetting the reason people are upset over
this bill. HB477 addresses an important subject. It is not just the specific
bill but the whole shortcut process of the Senate and House trying to ramrod
this through. Two hours in the Senate and a little more in the House after the
Legislature General Counsel had it for a month. The Governor knew what had
happened in the process before he signed it. The Governor speaks from both
sides of his mouth by stating, "This should be the most open, deliberative,
transparent discussion on any issue maybe in recent memory here in the state of
Utah." The outcome he already decided when he signed the bill, which was
not any of the words above in that process. This group of people are a just a
sounding board with some few selected Senators and Representatives. These
individuals were civil today with David Kirkham stating everything is great,
that is not what the meeting is about. It is about making sure government in
Utah is open on all issues, not just this small piece which stymies all the rest
of the process with immigration, budget or education.
I am going to guess that the Legislators will tame down The Bill so "We The
People" will drop the full repeal referendum on a November ballot.Then, next year, they can add a little more to hide their shenanigansns and in
about three years we will have the same thing as bill 477...or worse!Even if our legislators repeal and drop the complete bill; We know what they
are up to! I Hope that "We The People" will put a referendum on the
ballot to stop any further manipulation of the GRAMA records law.
Life races on as we get older, so forgive me if I am mistaken.Didn't our
elected leaders just meet recently to discuss and debate state laws? It seems
like just a couple of weeks ago that they were all together up on the hill.I sure hope we're not paying for this little production of political theater.
This is really simple. If you want your conversations private, don't use your
state issued cellphone, your state issued computer, or have the conversation in
your state issued office. Really is it that complicated?
phgreek | 4:23 p.m. March 23, 2011 You beat me to it. Perfect
summation of the two incongruous quotes by Waddoups and Bramble.The
arrogance of these people is appalling.
I prefer that the legislature not repeal HB477. The citizens can then show them
what democracy means.
The 4th amendment stuff is just ridiculous..."We all have
rights, Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, told the panel.
"People have a right to privacy in their private and business
dealings."...and we have a right to ask you to be organized and
keep that stuff separated if you feel violated. I'm not, as of yet, thinking we
need to be Draconian in enforcing separation of personal and Gov. business...I'm
sure family calls, emails, and sends text messages...but you are taking our good
will in allowing you some flexibility and clobbering us with it...it is
enfuriatingSen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, said he has four different
lives his public life as a part-time legislator, his private life, his
professional life as an accountant and his ecclesiastical life as a church
leader and only records from the first should be available....And I
can argue that 1 of 4 belong on accounts I pay for Mr. Bramble. Again if you
are going to whine about the flexibility we allow, and club us with it, then
keep separate accounts...Where does this mentality come from?
Violation of their Fourth Amendment Rights.....when they are using OUR internet
connections, devices, and/or email addresses?Use your own darned
phone on your own internet connection AND NEVER use your personal device for
state work. If you even do it once, the cross-polination means your personal
device is now OUR device.Look, legislators: the only reason you
should be fighting this, is because there's something you are hiding.Utahns need to start looking at the candidates, rather than the pa(R)ty.
The ONLY appropriate thing to do is repeal HB477.People -- please --
don't stop working on the referendum to repeal. I don't trust these legislators
to follow through, and get the job done.
Whether you are against or for HB477 it seems to me the leadership on this issue
has be terrible. I am embarressed for them.