Government Accountability and Transparency – Alliance for a Better Utah

Government Accountability and Transparency

There is not a crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle, there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy. Get these things out in the open, describe them, attack them, ridicule them in the press, and sooner or later public opinion will sweep them away. –Joseph Pullitzer

As a representative democracy, the United States is based upon the principle that power derives from the people and is then exercised through elected representatives. But in order for the arrangement to work effectively, there has to be a well-informed electorate. As Thomas Jefferson said, “[w]henever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”

For this reason, the Alliance for a Better Utah strives to maintain an open and transparent government here in Utah. We have been an advocate of keeping meetings open and transparent, particularly through highlighting the GOP’s unfortunate use of closed caucus meetings during the legislative session. We continue to track the influence that outside groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have on the crafting of Utah policy. We also strive to shine sunlight on the inner workings of the government by submitting requests under the Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”) so that people may understand how decisions are being made.

The Alliance for a Better Utah understands that our government leaders need to be held accountable for their actions. We were the organization that filed the election law complaint against former Attorney General John Swallow that ultimately led to his resignation. We called for the impeachment of Judge Johansen after he flouted the law by using his own personal beliefs to take a child away from her parents. We criticized the Utah Technology Council when they endorsed school board candidates based on their lack of UEA endorsement – resulting in their flipped support of two candidates. We will continue to stay vigilant in tracking the actions of our government officials so that they may be held accountable by their constituents.