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Letter to the editor: Ethics reform petition

By David Carrier
Salt Lake City


A petition for ethics reform in the Utah Legislature is now being circulated throughout the State. The Utah Citizens' Counsel, a nonpartisan group of fourteen concerned senior citizens, urges all registered voters to sign the petition.

Because ethics reform has failed to make significant progress in the legislature, more than 20 former legislators and many other community leaders have created Utahns for Ethical Government to develop an initiative process that will enable a majority of voters at the general election in 2010 to establish limits on the amounts that individuals and corporations are permitted to give to candidates for the legislature, to prohibit retiring lawmakers from becoming paid lobbyists for two years, and to ban all lobbyists gifts to legislators except for light refreshments.

Utah is one of only a handful of States lacking an independent ethics commission, and thus far our legislature has been unable to adopt such a commission. The Utah Constitution provides that citizens may legislate through the initiative process, and we strongly believe that when the Legislature fails to act, citizens must assert their right to act to correct bad behavior.

Everyone is urged to sign the ethics reform petition as soon as possible. To place the Ethics Reform Initiative on the ballot in 2010, at least 95,000 valid signatures must be filed in the Lt. Governor's office by next April. The Utah Citizens' Counsel strongly supports the petition drive.

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