Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Utah GOP legislators hold Utahn's lives hostage for vouchers

I am not going to sugarcoat it, nor am I exaggerating. People die while insurance companies deny treatments that would save lives if done in time.
A high-powered group of Utah businessmen and health experts put forward Monday a plan providing affordable health insurance to an estimated 360,000 Utahns...
According to [Rep. Phil] Riesen [(D-Milcreek) and former local news anchor], [House Majority Leader Dave] Clark, [(R-Santa Clara)] when asked about the political chances in the Legislature of the broad health-insurance plan, told the health subcommittee that if local businesses don't support the voucher plan, there would be little chance of the health-insurance plan passing the GOP-dominated Legislature.
"I don't recall exactly" what he said at the subcommittee, but no connection was meant, Clark added.

GOP leaders admit that they met with local business lobbyists this summer to ask for financial contributions to the pro-voucher PIC [political issue committee].

Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, who helped form the PIC, said GOP leaders brought together lobbyists and government liaison officials from businesses and/or trade associations that had previously backed a public education reform plan, which included vouchers. Because the businesses had backed vouchers previously, GOP leaders figure they should now put their money where their mouths are.
I think Rep. Hughes means that businesses should put their money where GOP state legislature's mouths are. This PICs goal is to raise at least $300,000 to push for vouchers. According to the LG's website, "There are no laws that restrict the amount of money political issues committees can spend or receive in Utah." This means that one rich ideologue like the Overstock.com guy can buy himself a bunch of misleading nasty ads about vouchers. Oh and while PICs must file disclosure reports, LG Gary Herbert (R-Provo), ex-Utah County Commission Chairman, doesn't bother to make these reports easy to get or find. You will notice that they are not available even to print off of the internet. Rather, one must make a GRAMA request and then go to the LG's office and get more runaround. And I am sure you can't get copies, but only look at them and take notes. So much for accountability for his GOP buddies.

I hope that voters wake up to the fact that the Republicans they have voted for are supporting things they don't want (vouchers, ethics loopholes) and killing things they want (money for education, health care, banning puppy torture). Utahns, these guys are scared of you, but think they can con you into supporting them again because some Democrats are gay. What that has to do with anything is beyond me.


CraigJ said...

Great post!

"I don't recall exactly" is the favorite CYA political line of all time.

Marshall said...

See how the GOP supports small businesses...by sticking a gun to their back...with friends like these...