Sunday, March 06, 2011

Standard-Examiner Guest Op-ed: "Why Did He Vote For That?"

Damn good question, Rep. Dee. Damn good question

By: Curmudgeon

For those of us who appreciate a nice piece of creative fiction, there's a wonderful op-ed up this morning in the SE. It's called "Why Did He Vote For That?" and it's by Ogden area state representative Brad "Free Lunch for Me! Dee":
In it, Rep. Dee undertakes to convince us that he and his colleagues, the Republican majority that runs the Utah legislature, take their responsibilities v-e-r-y seriously, and that in deciding to vote how they vote, they rely not on lobbyists who've sprung for a hundred means for the boys in Salt Lake during the session, and not on major contributors. No, perish the thought! Rep. Dee insists that he relies more than anything else on what his constituents tell him, collected at pre-session meetings and by his survey of his voters.

He soberly explains how the voters instructed him on the budget, taxes, alcohol reform and immigration. And he ends this way:
We take our charge very seriously to represent you and to reflect the values and beliefs of our communities. Don't be afraid to reach out and let your legislators know how you feel about the issues of the day. We can't represent you if we don't know your views.
Of course, we have to remember that while Rep. Brad "Free Lunch For Me!" Dee was composing his little hymn to his own integrity, he knew [be we did not] that he was planning to vote to gut the GRAMA law, and all but destroy Utah's "sunshine" law for public documents. Odd, but Rep. Dee seems not to have asked his constituents prior to the session or by his survey if they'd like government transparency gutted and more done in secret. Imagine that.

I know why he didn't ask his constituents that. Because when Mr. Dee and his cronies sprang the GRAMA gutting bill on us all, and rammed it to passage in 48 hours flat, a KSL/Deseret News poll indicated that two out of three Utahns did not want that bill passed, and nine out of ten believed restricting government records would hurt the public's ability to monitor the legislative process. But Dee voted for more secrecy in government, for making it nearly impossible for ordinary citizens to get access to the public documents their taxes paid people like Brad "Free Lunch for Me!" to produce.

Rep. Dee's little homily to his own virtue is entitled "Why Did He Vote For That?"

Damn good question, Rep. Dee. Damn good question. Tell us, why don't you, how voters at your town meetings and in your voter survey demanded that you repeal the Sunshine law, that they wanted less government visibility and accountability.

Update 3/6/11 10:52 a.m.: Here's Rep. Dee's contact information for those curious readers who'd like to directly ask him the obvious question:
"Don't be afraid to reach out and let your legislators know how you feel about the issues of the day," Free Lunch says. "We can't represent you if we don't know your views."

10 comments:

Mike Brice said...

Can you provide links to the poll data? I am interested in sharing that with some elected officials. Thanks.

Monotreme said...

Mike:

http://www.deseretnews.com/mobile/article//705368021/Senate-passes-bill-blocking-public-access-to-many-government-records.html

blackrulon said...

Could the Ogden City Council pass a city GRAMA law/ordinance that is similar to the law before the legislators gutted the current law? It would also be interesting to discover what position the city lobbyist took in regards to the recent GRAMA changes. Will the S-E continue to remind voters of the changes to the law prior to the next election cycle or is the S-E editorial a one time only outrage?

Mike Brice said...

Thanks

Curmudgeon said...

MB:

What I was referring to in the main entry above was a poll reported in I think the SL Trib the day after the bill passed in the House and was sent to the Senate. But the results appeared in side-bar boxes in the print edition of the Trib story, as I recall, and I haven't been able to pull them up through a search of the Trib site. [Not all Trib content is searchable or available on its website.] The poll information was much more detailed that the one line at the bottom of the KSL story. I've written to the Trib editors asking if they can supply a link to the sidebar poll results. Will post it here if they reply.

If KSL has a link up to its poll results, I haven't been able to locate it. If anyone does, please post the link here.

RudiZink said...

I believe it was a Dan Jones poll, Curm, which was commissioned by KSL and the DNews. In the usual instance these Dan Jones polls are used by these news outlets internally, and their methodology is generally not published online.

I've edited your original article text by the way, to reflect the poll reporting by the Deseret News.

If somebody can come up with an additional free-standing online poll page, I'll happily do a re-edit, of course.

South Bench said...

Someone asked, why did he vote this way?

Here is an example of the breathern at the capitol, and they way they make law.

"Becky Lockhart was just weeks into her first session as a state Republican representative from Provo when she encountered her moment of truth. A male legislator from her own party got in her face.
During a break between meetings, he backed her into a corner, scolding and threatening her for not voting his way. He was angry; she was stunned. It was ugly enough that the confrontation drew the attention of others (who would later ask if she was all right).
So this was her test. He was trying to intimidate her into supporting his vote. What would she do? Lockhart was certainly vulnerable. She was new and young — barely 30 years old — and one of only a handful of females in a male domain. Could she be intimidated? Would the novice be eager to please and comply? Could she be her own woman in an arena that was so highly competitive and dominated by egos and testosterone?"

~Doug Robinson, from the Desert News.

Dan S. said...

On the enrolled version of HB 477, Dee is listed as a cosponsor (as are most of his colleagues).

Betty said...

Don't forget that Brad Dee is also a public manager working for Weber County. These changes will benefit his work at the legislature and at the county.

He apparently will pay lip service to his voters, but when it comes down to it - hopefully all can see what he and other legislators are really up to by voting for and sponsoring bills such as this.

The Utah Republican Party and Utah Legislature have really outdone themselves this year.

RudiZink said...

Mike:

If you're still around reading this blog, here's some additional info on that Dan Jones Deseret News/KSL poll, concerning HB477, which I've copied from this Facebook page, and published to out WCF archives:

Deseret News/KSL HB 477 Poll Results

Hope this helps!

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