During the 2013 session, Representative Greg Hughes, now the Speaker of the Utah House, sponsored a bill to end the flow of dark money flowing through shadowy organizations to influence elections. Though both King and Martindale are advocating for transparency now, they sang a different tune when it became clear that Hughes’ bill would require greater disclosure from organizations that included ABU.
Hughes’ bill, HB43 (the so-called “anti-Jason Powers” bill), required that non-profits that engage in political campaigns must disclose their donors, with exceptions for subscribers and members under a certain level. The law required from non-profits the a similar kind of specificity and transparency as required of individuals giving money to directly to candidates.
The response to the bill? Never have so many Utah Democrats opposed an increase in campaign finance regulations.—Utah Politico Hub
If bodies and party affiliations are all that matter, defeats and victories are foregone conclusions. But politics should be a lot more like that other, much more popular, American pastime: football.
In football stadiums across the country—even in Utah—there is a belief that the crowd matters. In College Station, Texas, where the Texas A&M Aggies play, the student body is thought of as the "12th Man" (11 football players take the field in college and professional football). Same goes for the fans of the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks—the team's crowd, among the loudest in professional football—are called the 12th man.
During this legislative session, around 800 bills, or new laws and amendments to laws, will be put forth. Hundreds will be approved. All of them, one way or another, will impact how Utahns live their lives.
Thumbing a nose at this gathering is among the worst sorts of apathy. Lack of participation on citizens' behalf is little more than a surrender to the whims and wants of these elected leaders and whoever it is that happens to be twisting their ears—and you can be sure someone is twisting their ears.
But, in 2015, why shouldn't you be doing the ear-twisting?—Salt Lake City Weekly