I was reading a Salt Lake Tribune article this morning about the Utah GOP Legislature’s habit of holding meetings in secret, justifying it with a weak semantic argument, and then claiming transparency, you know, “’cause they say so.”
One of the lines from the article – about how the legal departments of most of Utah’s News Media outlets are upset about closed door meetings by Republicans pretending to be acting on the public’s interest – that struck me was, as follows:
For at least two decades, Senate Republicans routinely have held closed meetings to discuss legislative proposals and have taken “straw votes” on legislation behind closed doors. House Republicans, in recent years, have generally opened their gatherings to the public, but they have voted to close their meetings to debate and vote on “caucus positions” on some of the most contentious issues.
Followed by this polished turd:
Both leaders also noted that they hold media briefings after the closed caucus to talk to reporters about what was discussed. Members of the bodies are discouraged from talking about anything that transpired behind closed doors.
Basically, it boils down to this: Utah Republicans, in a room, in a building, and during time, paid for by the people of this state, are closing the doors, and having “off-the-record” strategy sessions about legislation. Or, to put it more simply, GOPpers are keeping what they say and do hidden and secret, because they know that their narrow, and selfish thoughts, statements, and behaviors will cost votes during election years. Their “tue-selves” can not withstand public scrutiny.*
It’s been a problem long enough, that clear back in 2006, after listening to a stack of other issue ads I’d put together for the Utah State Democratic Party, the late Senator Ed Mayne heard the following, and exclaimed, “Holy shit, that’s more like it,” and found funding for a few weeks of ads to run on local radio (much to the chagrin of USDC Chair Holland, and the rest of the Matheson sycophants).
This is an old problem, and it has many lock stepped supporters and apologists. Begging Utahns to start voting in their own best interests seems a futile endeavor after so many years, but, maybe, with some help from historical context, and a messaging platform with some semblance of a backbone, someone, ANYONE, could start the long, exhausting, and expensive mass-educational effort to start breaking the “battered wife syndrome” of the Utah electorate.
At least, that’s what my unicorn tells me needs to happen.