We the People threatened to exercise our muscle, and They, the veto-proof majority of Lawmakers who just had to rewrite GRAMA rules to their liking in HB 477 (you know, because it’s *not* an election year), recalled their dreadful bill, to “tweak” it.
Let’s face it. Lawmakers are only now reverting to Plan B because Gov. Herbert didn’t sign the bill over the weekend. They had their ducks in a row, their best laid plan. And Herbert was probably a shoo-in. But after his office was deluged with outrage over the weekend, the guv, knowing he'd be the uber fall guy, likely was having frightful visions of flag-waving dissidents in Tahrir Square dancing in his head. He knew better than to sign it.
When the bill went unsigned by the start of business on Monday, the element of surprise was lost, surprise being central to lawmakers’ conspiracy to block news outlets from inundating them with GRAMA requests. (We got ours in, thank you very much, as, we are sure, did many others.)
So lawmakers have no choice but to revert to Plan B, which is to actually listen to and work with those troublesome stakeholders they represent.
But it’s like having a bad fight with your lover: Sometimes things are said that pierce to the bone and can’t be taken back. That’s what happened last week. Lawmakers showed their true contempt for the media and, by extension all Utahns who take comfort knowing the provisions of GRAMA are available to them.
A nice romantic dinner with much groveling is in order but I suspect lawmakers would expect us to buy and to do the groveling. To those who devised this caper and voted for the bill (yes votes are here and here), all I can somewhat ominously say is, hell hath no fury like a voter scorned.