Daily Fix, March 21

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Let’s talk about GRAMA again. You know what they say about picking a fight with those who buy ink by the barrel…..After a couple weeks of relentless beatings, the Utah House and the Governor are ready to scrap the bill and start over. President Waddoups, not so much.

*At least one media outlet admits there are issues with the current GRAMA law. A KSL editorial over the weekend acknowledged that legislators have a right to some level of privacy and that the costs of GRAMA requests should NOT be borne exclusively by the taxpayers. It’s a start. KSL

*A special session has been called for Friday. The legislature will meet to discuss repealing HB 477. The House met for 3 hours in a majority caucus meeting and the results were clear – the House supports repealing and starting over. KSL

*President Waddoups, with only one more session to go before he retires, is balking at the call for a special session and does not intend to support the call to repeal the bill. He said Monday evening that the Senate would not go along, potentially derailing the repeal, which House Republicans had already endorsed earlier in the day. A number of Republican Senators disagree with his stance. Show-down, high noon, Friday. Trib

*Before the bill is even repealed, the new 25-member working group will have had their first meeting. It will be Wednesday morning at 9 am. I’m looking forward to a vibrant, robust, respectful debate. Senate Site

Stay tuned for more on this topic.

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9 Responses to “Daily Fix, March 21”

  1. Dwight Says:

    I don’t get the privacy bit. Yes, you should be allowed privacy, but GRAMA already granted privacy. Can you point us to even one instance where an embarrassing or private matter of a public servant was accidentally released? Google is not turning up anything.

    Personally I think the times GRAMA has benefited the citizens far outweighs the costs of fishing expeditions and extreme outliers. If you are being honest that $30,000 GRAMA request for WVC only net cost them $20,000 as Mayor Winder stated that they collected $10,000[1]. Throw in that this outlier occurred in 2004 and it’s patently obvious that this isn’t an everyday problem. So the costs were not entirely borne by the tax payer.

    I wonder how long the state could have funded GRAMA requests just from the $13 million paid to the losing bidder on the I-15 reconstruction project.

    [1] http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705369111/West-Valley-leaders-promise-open-transparent-government.html

  2. mark Says:

    Face the facts, Holly. The GOP leadership in the legislature has gotten so used to getting its way, it was probably completely oblivious to the fact that the public is watching anything that it does. The end of the session probably struck them as the perfect time to get this secrecy bill passed. One party governments don’t worry about debates. What is there to debate? They have all the wisdom! What are elections to them other than a necessary inconvenience to obtaining the perks of power?

    What is hilarious to me is that you and the GOP leadership–having been caught with your pants down–now want to blame the news media for your dilemma. You essentially would like to kill the messenger for bringing you the bad news that, for once, the public is up in arms with what you are doing.

    I can tell you right now what the “endgame” is to all of this. The legislature will reluctantly end up repealing this law while maintaining a desire to “get even” with the news media even though it was their own arrogance and hubris that lead to this problem.

    You people really ought to stand in front of a mirror and take a hard look at yourselves. There is nothing like the arrogance of power. You might repeat an old Robert Burns poem to yourself and your colleagues:

    Oh would some power the gift to give us,

    To see ourselves, as others see us,

    It would from many a blunder free us.

  3. Chris Howard Says:

    You don’t make any sense Holly.

    This is not a media issue . . . by your support of this bill (and I see you are on the working group), you are saying you don’t trust us, the voters. That is a put down.

    And then to make signature gathering harder, come on. I am tired of the California comparisons on initiatives. It doesn’t work. California voters gave Prop 13. California voters put restrictions on tax increases.

    Why don’t you trust us, Holly? What has gotten into my fellow Republicans?

    I am saddened. You don’t trust us. Why? Think about it.

  4. Jacob Says:

    Holly,
    If this was about saving money, why was it pushed through with the intention of having special sessions to clean it up? How much does each of those sessions cost us your employers?

    Instead of making GRAMA requests more difficult, or creating means of communications exempt, why not work at making GRAMA irrelevant by automatically releasing all communications, which could potentially be requested via GRAMA?

    You and others have stated we, the taxpayers, don’t have any reason to see your grocery lists or love notes to your spouse. Can you give me an example of a GRAMA request where you would need to provide your grocery list?

    I have yet to hear a compelling argument for HB477. Every argument seems like a lame attempt to ensure that you, our legislature, have means of communicating without the pesky public finding out about your deals.

    Perhaps it’s time to shed more light on these deals, not less. Perhaps rather than worrying about the public finding out about the deals, you, our government leaders, should stop making them.

    We are paying attention, and won’t forget about the contempt for the public the legislature showed, and is continuing to show.

  5. Chris Howard Says:

    Republicans want openness in government to show how corrupt Democrats have come. I am beginning to wonder what happened to our party in Utah. It is sad.

  6. FreedomMonger Says:

    Holly: I getting really sick and tired of you legislators blaming this mess on the media. I am not in the media, and I think HB 477 is a disgrace. According to recent polls, the vast majority of regular citizens agree with me. Those of you who voted for it deserve all the public spankings you get. I don’t even know what to say to those of you who still support this disgraceful attempt to make government a secret club. And please give us all a break on the privacy thing. Private communications are not and never have been subject to GRAMA. Stop obfuscating and insulting our intelligence and repeal HB477.

  7. Bronson Says:

    Holly’s voting record shows she is a very good Republican and a lousy conservative. Where have all the Statesmen gone? See you in 2012 sweetheart.

  8. L. Hatch Says:

    Vibrant, robust, respectful debate will be a welcome relief.

    If a fresh start can be attained through repeal (Come on Senators) maybe the rhetoric of this being a fight with just the media can be set aside.

    Hopefully this can be a careful look of balancing the public’s right to access with personal privacy rights. And hopefully that intent will not be lost or eliminated in the shuffle.

    GRAMA is important to citizens like me not just to those who buy ink by the barrel.

  9. Tim Says:

    Holly,

    I really see no other response, either I am for it or against it. No real conditions to that statement and angling on it only dilutes credibility. I think that based on this blog alone not to mention the overwhelming citizen response from your area of representation prove that we want a representative to standup for transparency or to stand aside for those willing to.

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