Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Anti Democracy

What the h--- happened in District 57?  Sould we really stand by and watch this happen to our fundamental way of governing?

Craig Frank has been serving the constituants of District 57 in Orem for the Utah Legislature for 8 years.  Last year, while the Utah Legislature was out of session, it was discovered he didn't live in the district he represents.  This is against the Utah Constitution.

I understand and support the Utah Constitution.  I agree a representative at the State level should live in his or her district to be a representative.

The problem is that Rep. Frank, all his constituants and the State Office of Voter Registration thought he did live in his district.  Only after many years of this misconception was it discovered, by comparing a State legislative district boundary map with the official map was this error found.  At least one election had been fully competed under the eroneous map description.  So, but for a map error by the keeper of the map, he did appear to live in his district, people in that district thought he lived in that district and in fact he was elected to that district because he supposedly lived in that district.

Now the Utah Legislature got involved.  Instead of accepting responsibility and rewriting the boundaries, they declared him ineligable as a Representative.  Rep. Frank was pressured to resign so his position could be filled by the Legislature with someone who did live in the area.  It turns out the Legislature can call together a committee of deligates and appoint someone for that seat.  64 people appointed another person for that seat. 
A lawsuit was filed by the 1500 or so people who live in the affected part of the district, who now don't have a voice in who their representative is.  The lawsuit was obviously a tactic to get the Legislature to consider them in their decision, because the lawsuit will be decided long after this process has moved on.

This is reminescent of the abuse Senator Robert Bennett suffered at the hands of the delegates last election.  Other candidates were chosen instead of the veteran Senator Bennett to represent the Utah Republican party in the last election, without the public vote.  The republican deligates appointed two candidates and Bennett wasn't one of them.  It turns out a majority of voters would have voted for Senator Bennett to be in the primary, but they never got a chance to say this.

I know I am probably making this too simple, but I think the Utah Legislature took the easy (chicken) way out with Representative Frank.  It makes you wonder if there was an ulterior motive behind all this.  This appears all too clean, to easy.

Our democratic process, the foundation of our country, was established to give us all a vote.  It is the most unpatriotic thing to prevent votes from being heard.  People in other countries die trying to vote because they believe so strongly in this premise.

We should not stand for this.  We should not tolerate the ignoring of one vote.  We should not allow the democratic process to be hijacked like this.

You have a voice.  You can let your representative know how you feel and how you would cast your vote for any of the bills being considered and any of the issues before them.  Go to This is the website for the Utah legislature. You can look up your legislators, current bills being considered by number and key word search and you can listen to the current debates and follow the ones you want with a daily agenda.

I am a strong proponant of personal involvement.  I have written my representative many times and sometimes I get a response.  I feel like I am part of the democratic process.

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