A few weeks ago (March 12, 2012), Utah State Senator Curt Bramble got into a Facebook argument on legislation and HB116 came up. Here’s what Bramble stated (edited to protect privacy):
Realistically, this isn’t much of a surprise given documentation of LDS Church Public Affairs’ prior antics on the subject. Senator Madsen also noted Public Affairs involvement in 2011. Interestingly, I think this is the first time that Bramble has explicitly told of church involvement.
What this doesn’t say, however, is how involved church lobbyists (Bill Evans and John Taylor) were in the details of the bill. Particularly given the majority of provisions which are clearly in line with Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce (a major proponent) desires. It certainly appears the Chamber crafted the majority of the bill with Bramble. Bramble may well be speaking in generalities here. It also leaves one to wonder if Bramble and bill proponents (including the Sutherland Institute) lead the church down the primrose path on what the bill actually does.
This also doesn’t change the fact that the LDS First Presidency still has not released any statement on HB 116. More so, when called on the issue by member opponents, church headquarters explicitly stated that political opposition was entirely in order and absolutely not out of line. Quizzically, on several different occasions, callers were informed that the law was not expected to go into effect or stand (is it just a PR game??).
What ever the case, Bramble provides another data point on the issue.
UPDATE: Looks like the Salt Lake Tribune blew their report by failing to ask key legislators regarding LDS Church lobbying on HB116. Today’s article (How Utah’s Capitol marches to a Mormon beat ) didn’t ask any of the amnesty bill’s key players regarding church influence. I have no idea why they didn’t ask Bramble, Madsen, Noel, Sandstrom, Wimmer etc…it seems like a wasted effort on the Tribune’s part. Sheesh, Dave Montero (their own reporter) could’ve pointed the writer (Davidson) to the right folks.
Also, the Facebook post with Bramble’s comments was deleted (hence no link) but I have a copy of it.