Salt Lake Tribune rolls over and takes a nap on HB 477

"That Becky Lockhart sure makes great cigars!!"

What in the world are the editors at the Salt Lake Tribune smoking?

Yesterday afternoon they published a ludicrous article filed by reporter Lee Davidson under the headline: Legislature votes to delay open records law changes.  Davidson, working together with Robert Gehrke and David Montero collected copious quotes from legislators who all support the bill (HB 477) to conceal government records from the public, and not a single one from anyone who can see this maneuver exactly for what it is, a tried and true tactic that will leave HB 477 in place while handing a fig leaf to the governor in order to avoid a veto.

The public isn’t fooled – as of this moment, 282 acid comments have been posted by readers below the Tribune‘s story with more coming in every second – so what exactly is the problem with the Tribune‘s editors?

Once again, I’ll try to make it simple.

1. HB 477 has passed.

2. Governor Herbert won’t veto it now because the legislature has so generously agreed to “discuss” the bill some more before they implement it.

3. “Discussions” will take place.  Rumor has it that Frank Pignanelli will negotiate for the media.  Oh good.  The cream puff against the iron maiden.  Nothing personal against Pignanelli, but he’s totally conflicted.  He can’t afford, for his clients’ sake, not to mention his paychecks, to alienate the dairy farmers, realtors and “consultants” currently running Utah’s legislature.  So it’s not exactly going to be a smackdown.  Becky Lockhart will file her nails and wait for the clamor to die down, because….

4. July 1.  HB 477 goes into effect.  Public access shuts down. Game over.

Actually it wouldn’t matter if Pignanelli were the iron giant.  By accepting this “deal,” the press has thrown away its trump card – the power of their editorial page and the righteous anger of their readers.

Pignanelli will have nothing to negotiate with.  The Tribune had the legislature and the governor right where they needed to be, and by seeing this transparent maneuver – the same the legislature tried some years ago with HB 320 – as “a break in the clouds,” the paper shows that it has swallowed the bait.

There will be plenty of consequences down the road, but there is one that immediately comes to mind.  UTA Board members need only wait four more months before they can really get down to business in their legally hermetically sealed back room, dealing out transit stops like blackjack cards to their politically well connected friends.

Amazing that none of the news media have yet made this simple connection, but why would they, when they’re this easy to fool?

UPDATE: 293 comments now.  Here’s a sampling:

…offensive is indeed the word that comes to mind after seeing her interview on the TV news last night. The arrogance was astounding. “Listening” to opposition will be an inconvience only tolerated for a moment in her push to force this down our throats. She has no intention of any compromise or changes at all.

Without a veto, this becomes law. Contact the governor’s office and tell him to veto it. The House and Senate have already passed the bill, therefore it becomes law with or without the Governor’s signature, unless there is a veto, which would force the legislature to vote on it again. I think if there were to be a second vote, it wouldn’t pass with enough to override the veto.

I suspect the reason for the delay is not to “tweak” the bill but to hire a PR firm to spin it in such a way that it gets passed. I know that sounds conspiracy theory but that’s how the world operates these days. Let’s keep the pressure on to get rid of this scam.

Herbert said he was “pleased” by the Legislature’s action Monday “and I’m encouraged they are committed to amending the bill in order to provide for a more thorough and deliberative process.”

Translation: “Thank God I didn’t have to make a decision.”

It’s a sly move – They push back the law so that it does not take effect until July. In that time, they will make only a few minor changes, then claim they had public input on their decision.

It’s all a bunch of bull@#$%.

Becky Lockhart, the people are NOT saying give us more time for input, you’ve got the input, quit your offensive pandering. The input should be loud and clear to anyone who is listening, your bill and your process are unacceptable.

It’s really that simple.

90 days comment and/or amendment before effective date?!!

NOT GOOD ENOUGH!! Changes must be made BEFORE it is signed into law. This sucker SCREAMS out for the veto pen.

What’s the big deal ???

Egypt has the same law, Iran has the same law, Libya has the same law, Syria has the same law.

Actually Egypt is working to reverse the law. However, Were not doing anything drastically different than these guys.

So this means the governor still intends to sign the bill? That’s not acceptable. We need to keep the pressure on him to veto it outright. Then push enough legislators to sustain the veto. Then if they want to call a special session to make some modest and reasonable changes to GRAMA, go ahead.

“Yes, but we’re a Legislature of good government. We want to work it out so that it works for everybody. We’re not into sticking a finger in the governor’s eye” No, they just want to flip a big middle finger to We-The-People. All this means is that they’ll wait until the heat dies down and then let it quietly become law. What a bunch of charlatans. And could that Dougall look any more guilty in every photograph.

Oh, so now the Pig is wearing pink lipstick instead of red, but won’t be on it until June. Well Done. Glad you all see the errors of your ways.

What’s to talk about Trash it you idiots!!!!!!


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