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Public still can't see state documents after crazy day at capitol

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Fewer than 80 days before elections, Utah Republicans and Democrats aren't playing nice.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Just 78 days before election day, Utah Democrats and Republicans are busy playing games and the loser may be you the Utah public.

At issue, are secret legislative documents Utah Democrats have been seeking for months.

These documents deal with the drawing of new political boundaries.

Monday brought all sorts of new accusations and bizarre twists of events.

First, Democrats were again denied access to the documents.

So, then Republicans said we'll pay for them and make them public.

More on that in a minute.

The fight over the documents has been going back and forth for months.

In fact, it was Utah’s Democratic Party that first filed an open records request for the documents.

Then ABC 4 also filed a similar request.

Monday morning, at a special legislative committee hearing, Republican Chairman Thomas Wright thought what he was listening to was wrong.

What he heard was Democrat after Democrat attacking the Republican controlled legislature.

Specifically, for not releasing two boxes of redistricting documents.

The problem has been - to get the two boxes released - Democrats would have had to pay nearly ten thousand dollars to the state.

This was the amount incurred by the legislature’s staff as it put the documents together.

But for months, Democrats dragged their heels and wouldn’t pay.

So, Monday, Wright decided the time was, well, right.

In a surprise announcement, Wright told the legislative committee,

"The Utah Republican Party is offering to pay the balance of the remaining two boxes."

But a scheduled payment for and transfer of the records never took place
late Monday afternoon.

ABC 4 is being told the Republicans offer to pay is still on the table but Democrats are refusing.

When ABC 4 asked Democratic Attorney Joe Hatch why Democrats wouldn't take the documents if somebody else was paying, he told me they won't accept "blood money."

So, now, Republicans aren't happy...
Democrats aren't happy...
and the public shouldn't be happy - because it can't see what's in those boxes.


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