Clueless on GRAMA panel

2012-09-23T00:00:00Z 2012-10-17T08:04:30Z Clueless on GRAMA panel Daily Herald
September 23, 2012 12:00 am

One might raise an eyebrow at Gov. Gary Herbert's appointment of former Pleasant Grove Rep. Holly Richardson to the State Records Committee, the panel that decides disputed requests for public documents.

Richardson was a hard-headed proponent of HB 477, the hideous government secrecy bill that would have ripped a hole in the nation's best open records law.

Gov. Gary Herbert's latest appointment to the State Records Committee -- which hears appeals of disputed public documents requests -- was a staunch supporter of HB 477, the 2011 legislation that roused voters to such an angry frenzy that the Utah Legislators quickly repealed it.

Richardson claims she has always has always been a champion of openness in government. After all, she voted to repeal the law.

Of course, that's what all legislators are saying after voting to repeal the law. We love openness. This after most of them had voted for the law over a tide of objections. People across the state revolted -- not only at the measure's substance but at the freight-train track on which it roared through the hallowed halls of the state Capitol and on to the flourishing of the governor's pen.

Does Richardson have the wisdom to decide matters of open records, to weigh the sometimes subtle nuances of transparency against the roadblocks constantly raised by cities, police departments, universities and other public institutions? As we recall, she brushed off concerns about HB 477 that were raised by some very thoughtful people. Her deaf ears impeded her vision then. Will they do so again?

Richardson has not even been careful about following the law with respect to her appointment. Senate confirmation is required, but that won't happen until mid-October. Yet Richardson has already hopped into a chair at the State Records Committee. She was at the committee hearing on Sept. 13 and voted.

Why the Senate would confirm anyone that clueless beats us.

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