Utah woman shadowed lawmakers to ease her political rage

Apr 7, 2022, 2:37 PM
A Utah woman shadowed lawmakers...
Members of the Senate conduct business on the last day of the legislative session at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, March 4, 2022. (Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)
(Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — It seems everyone feels frustrated with politics and politicians these days, but how can we have better discussions without losing our principles? A Utah woman decided to engage better in order to lower the temperature on her political rage.

Leslie Carpenter of Hyde Park is the founder of the Become a Delegate training program. She joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson to talk about how during the last session at the Capitol she shadowed state lawmakers whom she sparred with on Twitter. Carpenter wrote about her experience in the Salt Lake Tribune:

Twelve days with Utah legislators made me a less angry constituent:

” . . . in the 12 days I ended up shadowing House and Senate legislators, I lost three pounds from all the walking and stair climbing.”

Surprises at the Capitol?

“Tell us some of the process that you learned and maybe some of those things that surprised you,” Boyd asked.

“I was surprised at how much of their time was spent in committee meetings,” Carpenter said.

She added, “I really liked how collaborative it was between the legislators and the lobbyists and the stakeholders in these various topics.”

“Sometimes we call that the making of the sausage, and it’s not always pretty, but it is flavorful and it’s important,” Boyd said.

“. . . Even though someone may end up voting ‘no’ on a bill in the end, they still might have made the bill significantly better by going through that process,” Boyd added.

With understanding, comes peace

“I had assumed that the bill that gets voted on is how it always is. And so I appreciated watching our legislators compromising,” she said.

Carpenter said collaboration on the state level is not at all like the environment portrayed by the media with representatives and senators openly feuding in Congress.

“I know a lot of people like to say, ‘Oh, well, we’re a majority Republican [state], and they just they run the entire show.’ They actually work really well with the Democrats, and the Democrats work really well with the Republicans. And so I thought that that was very interesting and insightful as well,” she said.

Boyd noted that a person can gain a new understanding of the political process by observing it from beginning to end.

“It takes the temperature down quite a bit when you actually watch the process and follow something all the way through those sometimes very laborious committee hearings and some of those votes and amendments and re-readings,” he said.

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 


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Utah woman shadowed lawmakers to ease her political rage