Legislative Coverage

Democratic Party Cuts Check for Redistricting GRAMA Request

The Utah Democratic Party decided Monday to deliver a check to the Legislative Records Committee instead of fighting over the $5,000 fee it was asked to pay for a public records request detailing last year’s divisive redistricting process. The party’s attorney advised for it to pay up, rather than file an appeal, because he said the issue would not be fairly addressed unless they took it to District Court.

(KCPW News) The Utah Democratic Party decided Monday to deliver a check to the Legislative Records Committee instead of fighting over the $5,000 fee it was asked to pay for a public records request detailing last year’s divisive redistricting process. The party’s attorney advised for it to pay up, rather than file an appeal, because he said the issue would not be fairly addressed unless they took it to District Court. Jim Dabakis is chair of the Utah Democratic Party.

“And that’s why we’ve taken this hard earned money and contributed it to this bureaucracy at $25 an hour so we can get public information,” he told reporters. “We think it’s a disgrace but we’re paying it because the citizens have the right to know what’s going on in the legislative process, particularly in redistricting, as it was such a horrendous process.”

Republican Senate President Michael Waddoups, though, says Dabakis showed little wisdom bringing up the issue right at the start of the 2012 legislative session.

“Everything isn’t all together that he wants. Staff has a lot of responsibilities now writing bills, getting us to meetings, trying to facilitate the work of the session and we can’t just drop everything to go out and look for the statistics, the background documents that Mr. Dabakis may put into his request,” said Waddoups.

The Utah Republican Party also filed a Government Records Access and Management Act, or GRAMA request for communication and documents relating to the redistricting process. It was asked to pay $2,000 for a less extensive request.

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