Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Perception is what matters

An article in today's Deseret Morning News says the following:

"Pollster Dan Jones & Associates found in an early January survey that more than 75 percent of Utahns want to ban, not just see disclosure of, all but the smallest gifts to legislators.
Failing an all-out ban, more than two-thirds of citizens favor disclosure of all gifts to legislators valued at $10 or more, Jones found.
And lobbyists have more of an impact on lawmaking, citizens believe, than do lawmakers' own constituents, the new survey shows. Nearly 60 percent of Utahns say lobbyists representing special interests have "a great deal" of influence on lawmakers' votes.
Only 24 percent of citizens say legislators' own constituents have "a great deal" of influence on legislative decision-making, Jones found in a Dec. 26-Jan. 3 survey."

This is a real problem. If the perception of constituents is that they can't influence the lawmakers, there needs to be a change. Not a little change but a massive change like what Senator Greg Bell is proposing. It won't help things to have lawmakers say "But our constituents do influence us more than lobbyists." They have to do something to get the perception changed.

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