Friday, April 16, 2010

Utahns For Ethical Government Update

Bullet-point Post-Press Conference Report from the UEG's Utah Hero Kim Burningham

The lower text summary comes from UEG's Utah Hero Kim Burningham, via an email we received at 12:56 p.m. today:
Introduction

· Thanks to The supporters, the public, and to the executive committee and other key workers
· Overwhelming message: the public wants ethics reform (door to door, Arts Fest SG, Taylorsville library, Kent’s Market in Brigham)

Introduction to three main issues
1. Where we stand at the conclusion of April 15
2. Our delight at the temporary restraining order decision of the federal court
3. Our plans for the future * * *

Where we stand at the conclusion of April 15
· 77,000 signatures tabulated and delivered
· Other signatures turned in to local clerks: the number unknown
· Electronic signatures:
a. Many, whether the courts will determine they are allowed is unclear.
b. Wave of the future, but we suffered serious problems
1. In submission: in one location, they even refused to accept the copies of electronic signatures that we provided.
2. In keeping the web site open for people to sign
3. In long waits.

Our delight at the temporary restraining order decision of the federal court
· Yesterday in Federal court: request for a temporary restraining order
· Ultimately granted by Judge Waddoups, with an April 28 date set for the actual hearing
· I regard this decision as a victory for the rights of the citizens to privacy,
a. The right to remove names is not changed and appropriate.
b. But the decision to disallow public revelation of the names is akin to the sacred right of the secret ballot
c. This TRO is a move toward limiting harassment of petitioners throughout the State

Our plans for the future
· The game is not over!
· The drive to put the ethics reform initiative on the ballot has two deadlines
· Relative to deadline number one: April 15
a. In order to get on the 2010 ballot, yesterday’s April 15 deadline was our goal.
b. As I have explained, the actual outcome of that goal is not clear and will not be fully known for weeks.
1. The expectation that we would reach our goal in 26 of 29 districts is particularly challenging
· Relative to deadline number two: mid August
a. The law also says that an initiative effort has one year from the filing date to gain the necessary signatures (to put the issue on the ballot in November 2012 - Rudi).
b. deadline #2: We have four more months to make that goal!
c. At minimum, we are ¾’s of the way to that goal

Conclusion

a. Too close to call—we may not know the actual results exactly for some time
· However, the most challenging aspect of the requirements for passage of the initiative: the requirement that we reach the 10% goal in 26 of 29 Senate districts.

Basketball game analogy:
a. We have had a scrappy and tight battle to the end of the game
b. But like the basketball game where our team sinks the final bucket,
c. The game now goes to OVERTIME!

Open to questions:

Kim Burningham 801-292-9261 krburningham@utahethics.org

Dixie Huefner 801-359-6705 dshuefner@utahethics.org

Dang! Ya gotta love these hard working and stunningly community-minded UEG people!

Let's all step up and give them three cheers!

And let's all hang in there people, and devote all our efforts to beating down our autocratic Utah legislative tyrants, just as the founding fathers of America beat down the tyrannical King George III, way back in 1776:
"Nothing of importance happened today." - King George the Third - July 4, 1776 diary entry.

9 comments:

Dubious said...

I want to know where Dumb Carl Wimmer's Patrick Henry Caucus stands on this.

I want to know where the Patrick Henry Caucus stands on the issue of Utah voter rights.

I want to know if Super-patriot Carl Wimmer thinks its okay for the Utah Senate to extract a $25 thousand bribe from the citizens of Powderville, to get their voting rights back:

Standard Examiner: Powder Mountain Issue Still VERY Far From A Resolution

Speak up up please Carl, Mister Super Patriot!

Whistler said...

Some solid ethical rules for our legislature and all Utah politicians could brighten the future for all Utah citizens. An independent ethical commission would restore the confidence in government that is dropping like a stone.

We should all support ethical reform in Utah. Press you favorite candidate on this issue, if they are against reform, dump them and vote for someone else.

Curmudgeon said...

What is sickening about this whole thing is that our legislators need an independent ethics commission, with teeth, to keep them honest. I admit there may occasionally be a close ethical call which an ethical legislator might get wrong in the opinion of other ethical people. But such instances are rare. Most of the time, the right thing to do is clear, or should be to honest men and women.

That the majority, including some of our local representatives like Rep. Dee, continue to insist that taking valuable gifts from lobbyists in no way affects how they vote is proof enough that the good ol' boys need a body not filled with other good ol' boys reporting to still more good ol' boys to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Whistler said...

Crum, that is the heart of the issue. There is no down side to ethical reform for our Utah politicans for the citizens of utah! We should use that as a mantra in dealing with the politicians that always try to divert attention on this subject.

get down sit on a bench said...

Wow, Did anyone see the abc4news at ten? This is a juicy one that you need to see about the Great Brad Dee.
Here is the web page for it.

http://www.abc4.com/content/news/top%20stories/story/Utah-legislator-files-criminal-complaint-against/eXUmQGsuAUScmiqkPUJskA.cspx

Pencil Pusher said...

We should ask all of our politicians about ethics reform. It will be interesting to see the response. Those that fear reform will hop around and say they are for ethics reform, but not independent ethics reform. They will not agree that a independent body not connected to the legislature should review the issues on ethics. What are they afraid of? The legislature and all elected officials work for the people don't they?

Contrary Mary said...

Now is the time to push for ethics reform. Even many members of the culture are fed up with the public disclosures that have rocked the Utah legislature in the past year. The time is right to sign up and get involved as voters and citizens. Let these politicians know that they will not be supported in the elections unless they support an independent ethical movement in Utah.

Curmudgeon said...

Get Down:

Since this is a criminal complaint, the bar for establishing guilt is set high. So far, it seems the only evidence is Rep. Hansen's notes, which he says he made at the time, and his testimony about what Dee said to him. Dee says he didn't say it. Unless someone else overheard the conversation, or Dee was foolish enough to make a threat via email or by note, or Dee contacted someone in County government to pressure Rep. Hansen's brother, and that person is willing to so testify, I'm hard put to see how the matter can be proved sufficiently to result in a conviction.

ozboy said...

I'm still with Mr. Curmudgeon on this Hansen -vs- Dee thing. If Neil doesn't come up with his own version of the blue dress on this matter, then there ain'ta gonna be diddly squat officially done about it.

Except of course letting the public know yet one more time what a bunch of morally bankrupt operators we have at the levers of governmental ethics.

It seems to me that if this ship of fools that is the legislative leadership had a lick of sense they would see that by embracing the whole ethics reform movement honestly it would enhance their position and esteem amongst the public. This would, by nature, give them more power which after all is what their main objective is.

Alas, they just can't seem to arise above their own petty arrogance and lack of ethical bearing to see that they could get to where they want to be a lot quicker by being honest statesmen than they can by being sleazy little power mongers.

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