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Utah Legislature releases contentious documents

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - 16,000 about redistricting are made public.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Friday, Utah legislative leaders released 16,000 state documents.

These documents all deal with the 2011 redistricting process and the drawing of new political boundaries.

They previously had not been made public.

Utah’s Democratic Party had unsuccessfully been trying to get the documents released for more than a year.

Friday, Democratic Chairman Jim Dabakis told ABC 4,

"It's a victory today. Not just for Democrats but for people all across the state."

Earlier, after being charged five thousand dollars for one box of documents, Dabakis refused to pay nearly ten thousand for the other two.

He even sued the legislature to get them.

Now, at first glance, the new documents seem to provide insight into Utah's redistricting process.

They appear to include a number of emails sent from the public to legislature.

Not all of them are positive.

One reads,

"The final congressional redistricting proposal now before you is nothing short of cynical."

This may be exactly the type of response Dabakis wanted to see.

He told us,

"We are very excited that the legislature finally decided to do what they should have done more than a year ago."

As for legislative leaders, they decided it was time for the documents to be set free.

As Senate President Michael Waddoups put it,

"ABC 4 has requested them and, now the documents have all been gathered, the legislature sort of feels like, with this many requests, they probably are in the public’s best interest."





FOLLOW CHRIS VANOCUR ON TWITTER: @cvan4
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