Friday, August 31, 2012

Utahns for Ethical Government Survey

To the Utahns for Ethical Government (UEG)

Answers to your 3 questions:

1. I am supportive of the current ban for members of the legislature to be contract lobbyists.  Is there a proposal I can read? It appears you are just targeting one republican member and some existing democrat members would be exempt. Unless drafted correctly, writing a law for one person is against the Utah Constitution.

2. The past proposals would do nothing to stop individuals from currently working as a paid lobbyist for a single company or leaving the legislature and immediately working as a paid lobbyist for a single company. One of the current teacher's union representatives appears to have done exactly that legally and stepped down and started working as a lobbyist.

Increasing the time from one year to two doesn't solve that. Why change the time from 1 year to 2 when someone can immediately lobby for their new employer whether in the legislature or not?

We have members of the State School Board that seem to be able to be lobbyists. Do we need to change that too?

3. You are describing only one exception (not two) to a very complicated law. I would love to have the law more simple, but again, you seem to be targeting a very narrow situation.

Generally lobbyists can only now pay $10 or less for a meal without disclosure, unless they invite a very specific general group, such as all the Utah Senators, where that invitation was very well known. Modifying what we have may make UVU fill out a bunch of paperwork for inviting the legislature to a ribbon cutting ceremony for their Center of Constitutional Studies. They already have provided a lot of transparency in their current invite.

I hope you find the answers helpful,

Thank you for discarding your past 20 page proposal. Many items were already solved in past years. These are three great questions, but they don't have simple yes or no answers.

Fred C. Cox

Representing House District 32 and running for the new House District 30


TO:  Utah Legislative Candidates in the November 2012 Election
FROM: Utahns for Ethical Government (UEG)
RE: Brief survey

            We respectfully request your response to the following 3 questions. We are interested in ascertaining which legislative candidates would support key elements of ethics reform that have not yet been adopted by the Utah Legislature. We plan to release the survey responses to thousands of our supporters across the state and to the media. Silence is usually construed by interested persons as a NO answer. We request your response by Friday, August 31st.

1.  If you are elected, will you support legislation to prohibit a Utah legislator from simultaneously serving as a paid lobbyist?

                        YES _______              NO _______

2.  If you are elected, will you support legislation to establish a 2-year waiting period before a legislator can become a paid lobbyist after leaving the Legislature?

                        YES _______              NO _______

3. If you are elected, will you support legislation closing two major loopholes in the 2010 lobbying reform act that (1) allow lobbyists to pay for meals for groups of legislators and (2) require no disclosure of that fact?

                        YES _______              NO _______

To respond, just hit the reply button, mark your response in the Yes or No blanks, and hit the send button. Thank you for your response.

      Kim Burningham and Dixie Huefner for the UEG Executive Committee