Friday, March 18, 2011

Shooting Fish in a Barrel: More Developments in the HB477 Brouhaha

We'll leave it to our ever savvy readers to separate the "bull" from the "ticky."

More developments in the HB477 brouhaha. In truth, rounding up news updates for this simmering story is like shooting fish in a barrel:

1) The frenzy to repeal HB477 makes for some strange political bedfellows, as the Salt Lake Tribune reports:
2) Another masterful Standard-Examiner guest commentary from government transparency watchdog, Dr. David Cuillier:
3) And last but not least, our friends at Ogden Valley Forum shine the spotlight on House Legislative District 8 Representative Gage Froerer's "rationale" for supporting HB477 (and "gutting" GRAMA):
That's it for now, O Gentle Ones. We'll leave it to our ever savvy readers to separate the "bull" from the "ticky."


BenJoe said...

My favorite thing I am hearing now is, "Well I voted for the original, but voted against the amended one."


Biker Babe said...

in re: much better ways to spend $30K than on publicly requested documentation, where a product was actually exchanged:

what about a much better way to spend $3M than to give to the contractor who didn't get the job and for no product exchanged?!?




Moroni McConkie said...

BenJoe: Echoes of Sen. John Kerry's "I was against it before I was for it?"

Ozboy said...

What a Load-O-Crap this little weasel Froerer, and at least several other Republican legislators, are trying to peddle to the public with this thoroughly stupid rationale of "we passed this draconian and evil law, in the middle of the night so to speak, in order to bring the interested parties to the table to discuss some needed changes"

or the one the Governor's office put out "This bill will lead to a more open government".

Talk about double speak straight from Alice in Wonderland! Up is down, black is white and HB477 means more open state government!

It would be great if the hoi polloi remembered this insult on our collective intelligence come the next legislative elections, but I'm not very optimistic we will given how blinded we are by the great shining and magic "R" next to the names of the "called" leaders - so called.

If there is ever gonna be ethical reform in Utah in our life times, it will have to come from within the Republican Party. Given the current mentality of the GOP, that is a very grim prospect.

PPK said...

I saw a tidbit on the news that some watchdog groups are needing to get some 96,000 signatures in the next month to get this crap bill repealed. WHERE do I sign??? Is anyone in the know about this??

Amy Wicks said...

I'm trying to make contact with the organization spearheading the effort to get the ball rolling to mobilize a group here in Weber County. I haven't heard back yet today.

I'll keep you posted.

blackrulon said...

Ozboy- The Republicans overestimated public outrage over HB477. But tjey will recover nicely. After discovering that the public liked the old GRAMA they will eityher rescind the current bill or change it to closely resemble the old bill. Then they, with a straight face, will claim they helped the process along, brought people to the table and claim a great victory for open government. And unfournately a sizeable segment of the voters will belive the GOP did a miraculous heroicimprovement to save open government. Also the DeseretNews is reprinting a recent editorial from the Arizona Republic headlined "At least Arizona isn't Utah".

googleoogle said...


At least Arizona isn't Utah:

AWM said...

Somewhat off topic but relevant to the point that Herbert may yet take the fall if the GRAMA issue doesn't sink him..this from Utah News. The Salt Lake Tribune

"Salt Lake County Republicans denounced Gov. Gary Herbert and GOP lawmakers for supporting a state-based guest worker program, and other county parties may soon follow suit in expressing their displeasure.

The Salt Lake GOP actions represent just some of the resentment directed at elected officials by Republicans who feel betrayed by the passage of HB116, the guest worker legislation.

Tea party officials have vowed to field a candidate to run against Herbert in 2012, and David Kirkham, an organizer of the group, said they have interviewed several potential challengers, including legislators.

“There will be a price to pay,” said Kirkham.

The resolution, adopted Thursday night by a sizeable majority of the county party’s governing central committee, “publicly denounces Republican elected officials who voted in favor of, and the governor for signing into law” the guest worker program."

Ray said...

Its getting better and better, they're eating thier own. According to

Former House Speaker alleges pressure from current leadership on HB477
by John Daley

Rep. David Clark, Utah's former Speaker of the House, says leadership delayed legislation he sponsored after he changed his vote on HB477 -- the bill that gutted the state's open records law...

This fiasco may yet have long lasting political consequences in Utah. One can only hope.

Curmudgeon said...

More interesting content from that KSL report [and thanks for the pointer, Ray]:

KSL News asked to talk to Speaker Lockhart Friday, and we were referred to House Majority Leader Brad Dee. He told us he couldn't speak to Clark's conversation with Lockhart, and he declined to say the process was fast-tracked, saying "some bills are done that way."

Dee also said he doesn't think HB477 should be repealed.

So Free Lunch is holding fast to the ridiculous claim that HB 477 was not rushed through. And he doesn't want it repealed. He does favor a special session, though, to revise it [during which session he will of course collect per diems, and maybe nosh down on a few more lobbyist-supplied free lunches and dinners].

KSL also reports that a new Dan Jone's poll reveals that " 89 percent of Utahns call the process to pass the GRAMA bill 'not appropriate;' 8 percent thought it was OK."

The full KSL report is here.

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