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Democrats want Utah redistricting documents made public

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The battle over hidden redistricting documents continues, as Utah Democrats argue against steep fees.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Utah's Democratic Party says the state should give ABC 4 the secret papers it has been withholding.

Democrats and Republicans have been fighting over two boxes of redistricting documents.

They deal with new political boundaries drawn last year.

The Democrats have already paid the legislature $5,000 for one box, but won't pay nearly $10,000 more for two more.

Tuesday, ABC 4 got an exclusive look at the one box that has been released and found out why Democrats are so angry.

According to Utah Democratic Chairman Jim Dabakis, the box he paid five thousand dollars for was a bust.

Dabakis says it’s filled with documents not worth the paper they were printed on.

"I spent five grand. I could have taken the office to Wendover," said Dabakis.

Dabakis now suggests the legislature purposely put its most boring documents in the box it gave to Democrats and kept the more interesting redistricting documents in the two boxes it won't hand over.

This is unless the Democrats pay the nearly $10,000 more.

Dabakis told ABC 4, "Occasionally, you get played and it would appear that the legislature - and those that really don't want those public records out - played us."

Now, because Dabakis and Republicans are still battling it out, ABC 4 has given the legislature a new records request.

Since the other redistricting documents have already been pulled - and are clearly in the public interest - we've asked the legislature to turn over the other 2 boxes.

Dabakis agreed, saying, "We want the documents to go to Channel 4. We would feel more comfortable having Channel 4 or a media outlet get the documents than the party."

What's more, Dabakis also says the Democrats are so upset with the $5,000 they were forced to pay for the one box of documents, he's now thinking about asking the state to give the money back.


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