Scott Jenkins, Peter Knudson and Stuart Adams don't get it.
Neither do Stuart Reid, Allen Christensen nor Jerry Stevenson.
These are some of the state senators representing the Top of Utah who still insist House Bill 477, which guts Utah's Government Records Access Management Act, better known as GRAMA, shouldn't be repealed.
Basically, HB477 allows them to keep secret text messages and e-mails they send to and receive from lobbyists, contract bidders and their legislative cohorts so you don't know what's behind their governance.
They can spin it all they want, but that's the crux of the matter.
They think HB477 sticks it to the media and a handful of online bloggers they consider irritants. However, they are sticking it to you. They don't want you to know how they are managing your business, your state and the future welfare of your children.
That's right, this issue is about you, and your right to know. It's not about us or them. It's not about liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. (But most of those who want to slam the door on government transparency are members of the GOP).
On Friday, the Legislature will meet in special session to consider repealing HB477. A task force composed of lawmakers, media representatives and private citizens met Wednesday to discuss changes to the bill. This is what should have been done before the bill was passed. That's why the Standard-Examiner declined to participate. We are more than willing to discuss ways of updating the current GRAMA, but only after HB477 is repealed.
HB477 is not the foundation to build on. Repealing the bill will allow construction of a new, firm foundation, rather than retrofitting the old one.
A petition effort seeking a voter referendum on repealing HB477 continues. Petitions can be signed and packets picked up at the Standard-Examiner office in Business Depot Ogden and at our Layton office at 67 S. Main St. More information is available at the saveGRAMA.org Website.
This issue is about knowing and not knowing what your elected representatives are up to. Without knowing, there is no accountability.
President Ronald Reagan said it best: "Trust, but verify."
Following is contact information for Top of Utah state senators. We urge you to call or e-mail your senator and tell him you want HB477 repealed. If you're not sure which senator represents you, that's OK, contact them all. It's your turn to be heard.
* Peter C. Knudson, Brigham City, 435-723-2035, 435-723-6366, 435-730-4569; email@example.com
* Stuart C. Reid, Ogden, 801-337-4182; firstname.lastname@example.org
* Allen M. Christensen, North Ogden, 801-782-5600; email@example.com
* Scott K. Jenkins, Plain City, 801-731-5120, 801-621-5412; firstname.lastname@example.org
* Jerry W. Stevenson, Layton, 801-544-5172, 801-544-1211, 801-678-3147; email@example.com
* J. Stuart Adams, Layton, 801-593-1776; firstname.lastname@example.org
* Daniel R. Liljenquist, Bountiful, 801-294-2378; email@example.com
* Lyle W. Hillyard, Logan, 435-753-0043, 435-752-2610; firstname.lastname@example.org