UTAH

OPINION: Transparency in government has a down side – for politicians

Sep 16, 2020, 3:06 PM
utah covid-19 special session...
(PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's Kelli Pierce)
(PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's Kelli Pierce)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom. 

Transparency in government is almost always good for democracy. Citizens need to know through the news media how their taxes are being spent to fund police, politicians, infrastructure, military, etc.

Some information, such as battle plans, needs to remain hidden.

Until recently, if you filed to run for office, you had to tell state or local government some of your personal information, such as phone number, email, home address, etc.

That information was available for the public to see.

But state Sen. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi, changed all that with a bill in 2019, which became law.

If you navigate to the lieutenant governor’s website, you will find many candidates do not disclose their home addresses.

I’m OK with that.

Government transparency could hurt politicians at home

In defending his legislation last year, Anderegg said “an emotionally disturbed person” didn’t like the way he had voted on a particular bill, obtained his home address from the website above and showed up at his home.

He was not at home. His daughter answered the door.

“Needless to say, it wasn’t a pretty or pleasant circumstance,” Anderegg said. 

Candidates, not their children or spouses, run for office, so withholding the candidate’s home addresses is wholly appropriate. 

What should we know about where politicians live? 

For the state House, all the public needs to know is if the candidate resides within the legislative district of which he or she in running to represent.

Utah state Sen. Deidre Henderson, a Republican and the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, explains why she voted for Anderegg’s bill last year.

She said a couple of years ago a group handed out fliers, which included “complete lies,” and printed her home address on them. At the time, she said her daughters were home alone. 

“I was really quite frightened by that,” she said.

This is a good example of when transparency should not be the rule.

 

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

Today’s Top Stories

Utah

Deuel Creek fire burns in the nighttime...
Samantha Herrera

Deuel Creek Fire continues to burn, officials hopeful for more containment

As of Tuesday morning, the Deuel Creek Fire was 10% contained and affected 129 acres near Centerville, Utah. Officials continue to work to contain it.
13 hours ago
The community built a small memorial in front of Macie Hill's family home. Hill passed away after a...
Amie Schaeffer

GoFundMe started to remember 8-year-old girl who died in Kaysville parade

The Kaysville City Fourth of July parade turned tragic when Macie Hill was hit by a vehicle. She reportedly died from her injuries.
13 hours ago
A multi-vehicle crash on I-15 kills motorcyclist. Photo Credit: Getty Images...
Amie Schaeffer

Early morning crash on I-15 kills motorcyclist

A crash on I-15 in Salt Lake City resulted in the death of a motorcyclist early Tuesday morning. The victim died at the scene.
13 hours ago
Highland Drive Closed...
Heather Kelly

Highland Drive open after closing for hours due to fatal crash involving Coke truck

A crash left Highland Drive closed between 4500 and 4600 South on Tuesday morning. The crash left a 74-year-old woman dead.
13 hours ago
A brush fire started in Saratoga Springs last night. Photo Credit: Saratoga Springs Fire Department...
Devin Oldroyd

Fire officials say aerial firework caused brush fire in Saratoga Springs

An aerial firework caused a brush fire in Saratoga Springs Sunday night.
2 days ago
The Deuel Creek Fire started on the hillside above Centerville late Sunday night....
Devin Oldroyd

Deuel Creek Fire starts in Centerville overnight, evacuation order lifted

The Deuel Creek Fire began late Sunday night in Centerville.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
OPINION: Transparency in government has a down side – for politicians