Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Standard-Examiner Editorial: Open Government Battle Not Over

Nope. The sky wasn't falling. Yep. They lied to us. And yes, they're gearing up to do it all over again

Excellent Standard-Examiner editorial this morning, echoing the words of gentle WCF reader "Paul Revere":
The Standard is right. The legislature's attempt to "hastily install a law that limited the right of citizens and media to have access to government business" was "a deliberate, insidious, anti-democratic move;" and Utah citizens would be wise to anticipate more of the same, as a handful of legislative tyrants mendaciously begin the process of conducting "planning workgroups and special sessions to make changes to the state's Government Records Access Management Act."

It's pretty clear that legislative "leadership" such as Sen. Michael Waddoups and Rep. Becky Lockhart will continue to resort to whatever extreme devices they can exploit to create a "sky is falling" atmosphere surrounding the current GRAMA law, just as they did in the runup to the initial passage of HB477. And in that connection, we invite our readers to check out this morning's astonishing Salt Lake Tribune story, which demonstrates the outright dishonesty employed by HB477 adherents as these authoritarian legislators whipped up fear-driven HB477 support during the final few hours of the 2011 legislative session:
From the Tribune story:
As Utah lawmakers argued why they needed the now-repealed HB477 to shield more records from public release, leaders repeatedly said their staffers had been swamped by records requests in 2010 and spent more than 400 hours filling them.

But an open-records request from The Salt Lake Tribune shows the Legislature can produce no records to substantiate that claim, and attorneys now say it was an estimate. Related records that do exist suggest that the estimate may have been high.

Also during debates, lawmakers worried aloud that the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) could force disclosure of their personal emails or texts.

However, the documents obtained by The Tribune show that whenever such records were requested recently, the Legislature denied them, saying they were not public under GRAMA (without changes sought by HB477).
Nope. The sky wasn't falling. Yep. They lied to us. And yes, we'd be wise to heed the warning of this morning's Standard editorial, as the forces of government despotism crank up the "fear machine" for another craven assault on Utah's Open Government Laws.


Rich G. said...

If you knew what Mike and Becky knew about what is getting ready to happen on the planet: millennialist LDS Zion profitsey, the Anti-Christ's heavy metal reign, global pissing-match war, and starving refugees flooding into Utah looking for Jebus...

well, then you would have the wisdom and foresight to make the types of far-seeing and astute decisions that Matt and John, Becky and Mike, make every day.

Its why they are building up the downtowns of various LDS population centers.
Those are not "high adventure facilities". They are actually processing centers, relief warehouses, and holding pens for the unwashed.

You think I am kidding, or being a bit over the top?
Then you do not know Mike.


LOOK AT THIS!!!!!!!!!

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's ... a New Seagull-Like Robot Spy Drone!


RudiZink said...

In a normal western European society, Mike and Becky would be "straight jacket material."

Unfortunately "normalcy" doesn't prevail in modern (21st Century) America, where the likes of national looniebird Glen Beck set the pace for the insane public discussion.

"In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king."

And so on and so forth, ad infinitem.

Just Wonderin' said...

Maybe I have something wrong here, but 400 hours @ a 40 hours per work week is 10 weeks and assuming a 2wk vacation that equals 20% of one workers time for the public right to know. 1/5th of one workers time and it's an overestimate. At the stated $34.00 per hour that is $13,600 What % of the state budget is that???? To carry this even further, at $34.00 an hour that would be 20% time of one worker with a salary of approximately $68,000 a year.

What exactly do I pay taxes for if not to know what my taxes pay for.

Just wondering.....

Bill C. said...

The more facts come out, the more obvious it becomes that this was an intentionally planned assault on the people of Utah by their elected representatives.
Not only the way they went about it but also the fact that all their excuses (rational,justifications) are in fact nothing but pure fabrications.
We cannot dismiss the prominant parts played by our very own Weber County Pols Jenkins and Dee in their capacities of leadership on Capital Hill.
Were there any means of recall or immediate removal from office it should be started all ready, sadley there is no instant remedy. There's no way either one should be re-elected, we'll see. This is the same folks that elected Stuart Reid, not too sharp an electorate.

Still Wonderin' said...

Bill C.,

Thanks! Clearly, one of the facts is that it is more than 2 x's as important to commence a special one day session of the legislature ($30,000) than maintain the public right to know what their government is doing on their behalf or on their dime($13,600 for a full year). I don't know the costs for legal or Commission oversight, but I doubt that the state of Utah legal team is making the $600.00 an hour that Blain Johnson's law partner is collecting from the citizens of Ogden to do the work of the city attorney's office. To carry their argument to the ridiculous, according to Google, in 2004 Utah had 990,317 state income tax returns filed. $13,600 divided by 990,317 = .0137 cents or less than a penny and a half per return, (per return not per person.) The my way or no way, power and control and how you get more of it at any price crowd have gone waaaay toooo far. Add cutting education so the electorate not only isn't, but can't put 2+2 together, politicizing the board of education, wiping out any semblance of ethics or transparency and, and, and. It would be very hard to see Betty Sawyer not having had both the guts and good sense to have stood up on behalf of her constituents. I truly do not understand the good voters of Utah continuing to be swept along by the lies and manipulation.

Still hopin' for better

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