Home > Citizen Task Forces > How Anti-Infanticide Bills Die in a "Pro-Life" Senate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Our Site Only
  
Entire Web

 

Site Index

 

 

 

How Anti-Infanticide Bills Die in a "Pro-Life" Senate:

A Summary of Facts & Eyewitness Accounts
 


Note: This write-up is intended for your personal use and to disseminate—either in email or hard copy—to your friends, colleagues, fellow citizens, media, and elected officials. The issue discussed has been selected because it either promotes freedom or it poses a significant risk to freedom.

Summary: Below are highlights of the official events and citizen eyewitness accounts regarding the death of House Bill 123, Substitute 6 (hereinafter referred to as HB 123), "Prohibition of Public Funding for Abortion," by Rep. Morgan Philpot. Had this bill passed, taxpayers would no longer have been forced to directly or indirectly pay for abortion procedures performed for any reason other than to save the life of the mother, incest, rape, or permanent, irreparable, and grave damage to a major bodily function of the pregnant woman. (This last exception did not include "mental, psychological, or emotional harm, illness, or distress.")

Primary attention will be given to HB 123, but a second bill, House Bill 241, "Partial Birth Abortion Amendments," by Rep. Mike Thompson, also died in the Senate in like fashion. This bill attempted to ban partial birth abortions, and also gave the natural father rights to pursue legal action. Though there were technical problems with this bill, it has been included because there was ample time for the Senate to both debate it and attempt to resolve those problems.

The reader is encouraged to read this report and reach his own conclusions. It is my personal belief, however, that there is great cause to investigate and expose corruption, deception, and manipulation by numerous elected officials. I believe the official records and eyewitness accounts demonstrate that, though Senators were well aware of what was happening and though they had ample advance warning, not one Senator took any substantive action to fight for the passage of these bills.

I believe there is evidence of broad collusion and that every Senator was in some way complicit in avoiding, filibustering, and ultimately killing these anti-infanticide bills. I am forwarding this report to those fighting infanticide around the nation, so that they will know that Utah is not the state to emulate with regard to protecting the lives of the unborn.

The issue of infanticide will only be discussed to illustrate the prevalence and depths of the misrepresentation, deception, and breach of public trust that has been perpetrated on the citizens of Utah. I have gone to this extensive effort because I believe the last moments of this legislative session provide a very intense and detailed study of the modus operandi of legislative leadership and the Senate in general.

It is my recommendation that the Accountability Utah Citizen’s Task Force for Legislative Integrity study this issue further and recommend appropriate actions to stop this horrific behavior.

Topics:

1. Senate Delays Action on Anti-Infanticide Bills Until Last Day of Session

2. Official Audio & Written Record of Final Hours

3. Senators Given Ample Notice of Importance of HB 123

4. Eyewitness Accounts of Senate Manipulations

5. Additional Communications with Specific Republican Senators

6. Media Reports on the Final Hours

 

1. Senate Delays Action on Anti-Infanticide Bills Until Last Day of Session

HB 123 passed the House 56 to 15 with 3 absences and was sent to the Senate on February 25, 2003. This bill was held in the Senate Rules Committee until March 5, 2003, the last day of the legislative session. There were intense citizen efforts to bring this bill out of the Senate Rules Committee prior to this time. (HB 241 passed the House 66 to 8 with 1 absence and was sent to the Senate on February 24, 2003.

The Senate Rules Committee is composed of nine members (seven Republicans and two Democrats):

Sen. Lyle Hillyard, Chair (Republican)
Sen. Curtis Bramble (Republican)
Sen. D. Chris Buttars (Republican)
Sen. Gene Davis (Democrat Assistant Minority Whip)
Sen. David L. Gladwell (Republican)
Sen. Parley Hellewell (Republican)
Sen. Scott Jenkins (Republican)
Sen. Ed Mayne (Democrat)
Sen. Michael G. Waddoups (Republican Senate Majority Leader)

Some have offered the excuse that the Senate was just too hectic and busy to deal with bills to prevent infanticide. Citizen activist David Hansen spoke with Senator Greg Bell (Republican) on Tuesday evening (March 4, 2003, or the second to last day of the session) at the capitol. He asked what was happening in the Senate and the following exchange ensued:

"He [Sen. Bell] said basically nothing, that there was nothing on the board and they were waiting for the house to complete their bills. So I asked him about the two abortion bills [HB 123 and HB 241] that had passed the house but had not yet been heard in the senate. He said the senators were doing what they could. I asked him if he would please make a motion to bring them to the floor so they could be voted on. He then said that he could not because he wanted ‘to live to fight another day.’"

Back to Topics

2. Official Audio & Written Record of Final Hours

The Utah Constitution required the legislative session to officially end at midnight on March 5, 2003. I obtained copies of official Senate audio tapes of those final hours, and also an official Senate document that details the motions made during these final hours and that coincides with the audio tapes.  You can view this official Senate document for yourself. Pay particular attention to pages 9-12.
If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you will need to download a free copy.

Below is a summary of the information provided by the audio tapes and written record:

Note on "Circling": To "circle" a bill is to essentially remove that bill from current debate.  This motion is used to buy time to resolve some issue before that bill is brought back for debate, or to permanently kill that bill.  "Uncircling" a bill typically has the opposite effect, depending on where the uncircled bill is placed on the reading (or consideration) calendar.

8:47 PM: Sen. Michael Waddoups, Republican Senate Majority Leader, made a motion, under suspension of the rules, to rearrange the Second Reading Calendar (bills are typically considered in the order in which they appear on this calendar). The first bill on the Second Reading Calendar was HB 296. Sen. Waddoups moved the following bills under HB 296 in the following order: HB 302 S1, HB 324 S1, HB 342, HB 358, HB 129, HB 349 S1, HB 6 S1, HB 230 S1, HB 299 S1, HB 109 S1, HJR 3 S1, and, finally, the bill to prevent infanticide, HB 123.

Republican Senate President Alma Mansell asked Sen. Waddoups: "This list is from...?"

Sen. Waddoups responded: "This is the prioritized list given to me by the Majority Leader in the House. I’ve already sent a list over doing the same thing for their body."

Someone in the background made an indiscernable comment, whereupon Sen. Waddoups could be heard stating: "...I didn’t take anything off."

Sen. Mansell immediately interjected: "I’ll take that motion..." The motion to rearrange the Second Reading Calendar passed.

According to testimony from citizens and representatives, House Majority Leader Greg Curtis repeatedly claimed that he had the infanticide bills prioritized high on the lists he gave Sen. Valentine.

9:19 PM: Sen. John Valentine, Republican Senate Majority Whip, moved to suspend the rules for the remainder of the session so that bills on the Second Reading Calendar would be considered read for second and third time and up for final passage. This points to the fact that the rules could be suspended at any point.

Eight bills ahead of HB 123 were then considered by the Senate: HB 296, HB 302 S1, HB 324 S1, HB 342, HB 358, HB 129, HB 349 S1, HB 6 S1. This moved HB 123 to only five bills away from the top of the Second Reading Calendar.

10:16 PM: Sen. David Gladwell, Republican, with time beginning to run short, made a motion to move to the Third Reading Calendar and to uncircle HB 112 S2, "County Correctional Facility Reimbursement." Sen. Patrice Arent, Democrat, proposed a friendly amendment and this bill was briefly circled.

10:18 PM: Sen. Bill Hickman, Republican, made a motion to uncircle HB 249 S2, "Licensing Mortgage Loan Officers," by Representative Brent Parker, and to strike the enacting clause. It is interesting to note that Brent Parker had already resigned the legislature for allegedly soliciting a male prostitute. This bill was defeated.

10:20 PM: Sen. David Gladwell made a motion to again uncircle HB 112 S2 again. Sen. Patrice Arent made an amendment which passed, whereupon Senators John Valentine (Republican Majority Whip), Gene Davis (Democrat Assistant Minority Whip), David Thomas (Republican), and Bill Hickman (Republican) spoke to the bill. The amended bill was passed and sent to the house.

10:30 PM: Sen. Curt Bramble, Republican and the Senate Sponsor of HB 123, made a motion to adopt a Joint Conference Committee Report on HB 136, "County Option Sales and Use Tax for Highways, Fixed Guideways, or Systems for Public Transit." The motion passed and the bill was sent to the House. It is interesting to note that Sen. Bramble felt that this bill was more important than getting directly to bills that aimed at preventing infanticide.

10:34 PM: The House requested the return of HB 367, "Substitute Delivery Sales of Cigarettes," to reconsider. The motion passed. Sen. Bill Hickman, Republican, then took a moment to report that the Jazz had won a game against the Sonics.

10:35 PM: Sen. Michael Waddoups, Republican Senate Majority Leader, stated: "I think its time that we take another little break, however, I’m going to make a motion to rearrange the board [the Second Reading Calendar] again before we go so that we’ll be ready when we come back. I’m gonna do them one at a time because some of these are a little controversial; [and I] wanted you to be able to vote on them one at a time."

Remember that HB 123 was only five bills away from being considered. Sen. Waddoups first proposed putting HJR 28, "Resolution Urging Congress to Review Immigration and Naturalization", in front of HB 123 on the Second Reading Calendar. Sen. Mansell asked if there were any discussion to that motion. No Senator felt the need to speak against this motion and the motion passed. Hear the motion and vote.
This is a .wav file.  If you have a slow connection, right click on the link above and select "Save Target As" to save the file to your hard drive before you actually play it.

Sen. Waddoups then moved to place HB 306 S2, "Construction Lien Amendments", and place it above HB 123 on the Second Reading Calendar. The motion passed with plenty of audible "aye" votes and no audible "no" votes on the audio tapeHear the motion and vote.

Sen. Waddoups then moved to place HB 309, "Special Function Officers for Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing", above HB 123 S6. Again, no audible "no" votes. Hear the motion and vote.

Sen. Waddoups then moved HCR 14, "Resolution Encouraging Congressional Funding of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act", above HB 123, stating: "I don’t know what it is... Well, this is a House request. I don’t know the name of it..." Pres. Mansell then asked, "Ok, and what does this one do?"  Waddoups replied, "I have no idea."  Again, no audible "no" votes. Hear the motion and vote.

Sen. Waddoups, then moved to lift HB 289, "Human Resource Management Amendments", and then HB 10, "Parent-time Amendments", above HB 123. These motions failed.

Sen. Waddoups then moved HB 241 above HB 123. This motion passed, though there were many "no" votes.

Because of these motions, the bills that aimed at preventing infanticide, HB 123 and HB 241, were now eight and nine positions away from being considered.

10:38 PM: With only 82 minutes left in the session, and with the infanticide bills now 12 and 13 bills away from the top of the Second Reading Calendar, Sen. Waddoups moved that the senate take a 10 minute break, or "saunter." This "10-minute break" ended 24 minutes later.

Note To Reader: In order that the reader can better judge the priorities of his Senators, a brief description has been added to of each of the bills they substantively took time to deal with in the final hour.

11:06 PM: Republican Senate President Alma Mansell ended the "saunter" by calling the senate to order. The Senate first dealt with a committee report from the House to deal with SB 133, "Reauthorization of the Energy Policy Task Force," which reauthorized this legislative task force for another two years. This bill passed and was sent to the House Speaker for signature.

11:08 PM: Sen. Michael Waddoups, Republican Senate Majority Leader, presented SB 200, "State Auditor-Expansion of Duties," which had passed the House with amendments and would empower the State Auditor to conduct performance audits. This bill passed and went to the House Speaker for his signature.

11:10 PM: Sen. Beverly Evans, Republican, presented SB 251, "Firearms Revisions," which had passed the House and would have made slightly positive technical amendments to firearms discharge statute. This bill passed and went to the House Speaker for his signature.

11:11 PM: Sen. Michael Waddoups presented SB 111 S2, "Process Servers," which had passed the House and made technical amendments to constable and private investigator abilities under the law. This bill passed and went to the House Speaker for his signature.

11:15 PM: Sen. Michael Waddoups stated: "The House tells me they have three more very important bills they’d like us to handle; that they don’t take any discussion, that we can handle them in two minutes or less, and if we can’t, I would suggest that we ought to circle them or kill them or something." Sen. Waddoups moved that HB 152, HJR 26, HB 348 go the top of the Second Reading Calendar. The motion passed.

Because of this motion, the bills that would prevent infanticide, HB 123 and HB 241, dropped from eight and nine positions away from being considered, to eleven and twelve positions away.

11:16 PM: Sen. Carlene Walker, Republican, moved to reconsider a previous action the Senate had taken on HB 296, "Municipal Annexation Amendments." According to this bill’s summary, it would "require notice of annexations to be sent to affected entities and to provide for the effective date of annexations. The act requires certain municipalities to submit to the lieutenant governor a notice of adoption of an annexation ordinance. The act makes technical and conforming changes." The motion to reconsider passed, and the bill passed and was to be signed by the Senate President.

11:20 PM: Sen. Thomas Hatch, Republican, presented HB 152 S1, "Legislative Audits of Child Welfare Cases," which made technical amendments to audit procedures. This bill passed and was to be signed by the Senate President.

11:22 PM: Sen. Bill Hickman, Republican, presented House Joint Resolution 26, "Resolution Recognizing Competitive Academic Achievement among High Schools in Utah," which gave recognition, encouragement and support to the Utah Academic Decathlon. It passed and was to be signed by the Senate President.

11:24 PM: Sen. David Gladwell moved to circle HB 348, "Limitation on Alimony," which: "...Repeals any justification for continuing alimony for more years than the duration of the marriage, and allows for retrospective application to all orders currently requiring the payment of alimony."

11:25 PM: Sen. Curt Bramble, Republican and the Senate Sponsor of HB 123, presented the next bill on the Second Reading Calendar, HB 230, "Parental Relocation Amendments." This bill, "creates a requirement that divorced or separated parents provide a notice of relocation to the other parent before moving or leaving the state."

Sen. Lyle Hillyard offered a friendly amendment. Sen. Hillyard proved that debate could be forced more quickly by calling the question on the amendment, which call brought about an immediate vote. The amendment passed.

Rather than follow Sen. Hillyard’s lead and call the question on the bill, Sen. Bramble then stated: "I’d entertain any other questions on the bill." There were none. Sen. Bramble then stated: "Under suspension of the rules... oh, we’re already under suspension of the rules. Then I just move that we pass the bill." The bill passed, and went back to the House be signed by the House Speaker. Again, with time running out, it is interesting to note that Sen. Bramble felt that this bill was more important than getting directly to HB 123, which was designed to prevent infanticide. Also note that Sen. Bramble remained silent when subsequent motions were made to put other bills ahead of the HB 123.

11:29 PM: Sen. Chris Buttars, Republican and the Senate Sponsor of HB 241, made a motion to lift the infanticide bills, HB 241 and HB 123 S6, to the top of the Second Reading Calendar in that order.

Republican Senate President Alma Mansell asked: "[Is] that something that the House has asked us to do?"

Senator Buttars responded: "No, I’m asking us to do it... These two bills are the abortion bills and I think they’re probably more important than anything we got left, and we need to have time to hear them."

The motion passed, but the vote was close enough that Sen. Mansell had to call for the senators to rise to do a head count. It is interesting to note that Sen. Buttars waited this long to make this simple motion. He or any other Senator could have made the motion hours and, indeed, days ago. Also note that Sen. Buttars remained silent and did not protest when subsequent motions were made to put other bills ahead of these bills.

11:31 PM: Sen. Mike Dmitrich, Democrat Minority Leader, made a motion to move HB 5, "Prohibition of Coercive Restraint Therapy," to the top of the Second Reading Calendar and ahead of the bills to prevent infanticide. There was some laughter at this motion. The motion passed 12-11, moving HB 123 and HB 241 down from the top of the agenda.

11:32 PM: Sen. Mike Waddoups, Republican Senate Majority Leader, made a motion to move House Joint Resolution 28, "Resolution Urging Congress to Review Immigration and Naturalization," to the top of the Second Reading Calendar and ahead of the bills to prevent infanticide. There was more laughter. This resolution, sponsored by Democrat Duane Bordeaux, called on the U.S. Congress to:

"...Review and consider whether to permit parents of American-born children to become American citizens, whether to permit undocumented individuals who have married American citizens to become American citizens, whether to permit undocumented individuals that have been in the United States for more than five years to be given the opportunity to become an American citizen, and whether to permit undocumented individuals who have joined the United States Armed Services to become American citizens."

Though there is no recorded roll call vote with which to confer, the sound quality of the audio tape was quite clear. There was a very thunderous "yea" vote in support of Sen. Waddoup’s motion, but THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE "NAY" VOTE against this motion.

Senate President Alma Mansell affirmed the unanimous vote by happily stating: "Hey, we got one!" Where were all the supposed "pro-life" senators? At the very least, where were the Senate Sponsors of HB 123 and HB 241, Republican Senators Curt Bramble and Chris Buttars?

Sen. Ed Mayne, Democrat, presented HJR 28 and, before beginning, stated under his breath: "...Plenty of time." He then requested that the resolution be read in its entirety. There were no objections and the entire 381-word resolution was read aloud by the Senate Clerk.

Sen. James Evans, Republican, then spoke in favor of the resolution. The resolution passed and there was thunderous applause from the senators.

It is interesting to note that Sen. Evans then left the senate chambers and went out into the hall where he was seen by several citizens joining in celebration and receiving kudos from many of the supporters of this resolution.

11:41 PM: Sen. Carlene Walker, Republican, moved to circle HB 5 S1 (referred to previously at the 11:31 PM entry), which motion passed. This meant that the infanticide bills were next on the agenda. Again, if Sen. Walker’s motives were serious, why did she wait until the closing minutes of the session to attempt some sort of a motion?

11:41 PM: Sen. John Valentine, Republican Senate Majority Whip, made a motion to lift HB 299 S1, "Trust Law Amendments," which made technical amendments to trust law issues, to the to the top of the Second Reading Calendar and ahead of the bills to prevent infanticide. No senator spoke against the motion and it passed overwhelmingly.

Sen. Valentine was willing to present the bill, but the Senate Sponsor, Sen. David Gladwell, Republican, arrived and presented the bill. An amendment was presented and passed. Senators Lyle Hillyard, Republican, and Ron Allen, Democrat, spoke to the bill. Sen. Gladwell eventually called the question under suspension of the rules to force a vote. The bill passed and was sent back to the House.

11:50 PM: Sen. Gladwell, Republican, presented SB 164, "County Amendments," which had passed the house with amendments and would make a host of technical amendments. Senators David Steele, Republican, and Mike Dmitrich, Democrat Minority Leader, spoke to the bill. Sen. Dmitrich made a motion to not concur with the house amendments, which failed. It was passed and sent to the House Speaker for signature.

11:55 PM: Sen. Chris Buttars, Republican and sponsor of HB 241, made the useless motion of moving directly to HB 241. The motion passed, but the vote was so close, Senate President Alma Mansell had the senators stand to do a head count. Sen. Buttars then asked for questions.

Sen. Ron Allen, Democrat filibustered and then proposed to strike the entire bill with his substitute bill. Sen. Buttars could not seem to find his copy of Sen. Allen’s substitute and began searching his desk for a copy. Sen. Allen remarked that the substitute had been available on the Web site two days prior.

Sen. Buttars then asked: "Can I take a moment and see it?

Sen. Allen responded: "Take your time, Senator." At this, the Senate exploded with laughter. Apparently, infanticide is a laughing matter in the Utah State Senate.

In the background, the audio tapes revealed the following words from Republican Senate President Alma Mansell: "What’s our timeframe? Do we have anything from the House?"

Sen. Mansell then stated: "Ok, I’m going to interrupt this debate while you’re having a good time. We need a circle [to receive a House report]."

Hear the Senate's sickening laughter.
This is a .wav file.  If you have a slow connection, right click on the link above and select "Save Target As" to save the file to your hard drive before you actually play it.  You can also try this smaller file.

Sen. Buttars then made a motion to circle HB 241 in order to receive a communication from the House for bill signatures.

11:59 PM: Sen Buttars made a motion to uncircle HB 241. Strangely, Sen. Buttars did not also move to call the question to immediately vote on Sen. Allen’s substitute bill. Sen. Bramble spoke against the substitute motion and did not call the question either. Sen. Ron Allen, Democrat, waxing profound, then spoke to his substitute bill and ran the clock to midnight. At the conclusion of his remarks, the following exchange took place:

Sen. Ron Allen: "...But more importantly, my computer being connected to the U.S. atomic clock in Denver, says that it is 12:00:30 PM.

Senate President Alma Mansell: "What does our clock say?"

Sen. Allen: "Well, I’d just like to point out that while this is a very important bill and hasn’t had a chance to receive much debate..." (Remember, the Senate received HB 123 on February 25 and HB 241 on February 24, and neigher bill came out of the Senate Rules Committee until this last day of the session, March 5.)

President Mansell: "Senator, it makes little difference. Thank you very much. I will declare it’s 12:00 PM and we’re through."

At this, the Utah State Senate erupted in applause.

Additional Note: Throughout this entire process, not one senator called for a recorded vote on any of the procedural moves made to keep HB 123 and HB 241 from being heard. A recorded vote would have put the senators on public record—something none of the Senators seemed desirous to facilitate. Fortunately, the official record and the testimony of citizens in the following topics reveal their cowardice and ineptitude.

Back to Topics

3. Senators Given Ample Notice of Importance of HB 123

Numerous calls, faxes, and emails from hundreds, if not thousands of citizens, were generated in the last week of the session on HB 123. In addition, as the bill was still not progressing, on the mid-morning of March 5, 2003 (Wednesday), I personally faxed and emailed a final letter to Republican senators Curt Bramble, Chris Buttars, Dan Eastman, James Evans, Parley Hellewell, Scott Jenkins, Howard Stephenson, Dave Thomas, John Valentine, Michael Waddoups, and Bill Wright. Each letter stated roughly the following:

Sen. [Name],

I understand that House Bill 123 is not progressing through the senate (see attached email from Sen. Dan Eastman). This is horrendous and unacceptable.

This bill is literally a life or death issue for many unborn children. In the house committee on the bill, I learned that there were over 3,000 "therapeutic" abortions performed in Utah last year.

You have a solemn duty before God to do all in your power to move this bill forward. If you are not successful, then you must make a motion to bring this bill to the floor. It must be a publicly recorded roll call vote so that everyone will be on record.

The only other option will be to record the entire senate as being against this bill when we put together our legislative report cards.

For the favor of our Creator,

Daniel B. Newby
5530 S. Red Cliff Dr. F
Taylorsville, Utah 84123
H: (801) 281-2670
F: (801) 281-2670
Email: daniel.newby@velocitus.net

At 5:20 p.m., I emailed the following message to Republican Senators Gregory Bell, Leonard Blackham, Curt Bramble, Chris Buttars, Dan Eastman, Beverly Evans, James Evans, David Gladwell, Parley Hellewell, Bill Hickman, Lyle Hillyard, Scott Jenkins, Peter Knudson, David Steele, Howard Stephenson, David Thomas, John Valentine, Michael Waddoups, Carlene Walker, and Bill Wright. Each email stated the following:

Senator,

One bill is dangerously low on the senate floor agenda: HB 123, by Rep. Philpot, which would end public funding of abortion on demand. It is not acceptable for this bill to not be heard and passed.

Sen. Bell told a constituent yesterday (Tuesday) evening that there was basically nothing going on, and that senators were sitting around waiting for bills to come out of the house. HB 123 was already in the senate, but was bogged down in the rules committee.

If this bill is not heard and passed tonight, no excuses will hold water. Everyone is aware that "controversial" bills have been held in the senate, and this will not build a greater sense of trust between the citizens and their elected officials and the process in general.

Senator, TODAY IS YOUR DAY. This is the day to take the most significant action of this session. Don't squander this opportunity. Allow the citizenry to see where you stand and what you are made of. Are you different from the stereotypical politician who says whatever needs to be said in order to win re-election?

Will you hold to the promise of being pro-life when it counts?

Sincerely,

Daniel B. Newby
daniel.newby@velocitus.net
(801) 281-2670

Back to Topics

4. Eyewitness Accounts of Senate Manipulations

As explained in Topic 2, numerous bills were rearranged and moved ahead of the HB 123 and HB 241 until the clock ran out. Several citizens were on hand and had the following observations to add.

Citizen Terry Trease’s report:
"At about 10:45 pm the last night of the legislative session we noticed about eight bills moved in front of HB 123 (123 had been in the fifth position). I went and asked Sen. Mike Waddoups, the Senate Majority Leader, why it was pushed behind so many bills? Sen. Waddoups told me that the house (specifically House Majority Leader Greg Curtis) was in charge of the bill order on the senate board and the senate was in charge of the house board. Sen. Waddoups said that if I wanted the order changed, I needed to get a note from Rep. Curtis changing the order.

"Many of us went to the House side and started writing notes to Rep. Curtis requesting that he move HB 123 and HB 109 [a bill requiring informed consent before administering shock treatment] back up to the top of the board. At this time Sen. Curt Bramble came by and asked what bill we were concerned about. We told him what had happened. He said he was the Senate sponsor of HB 123 and HB 109 and requested I come with him to find out what was going on. The middle door to the senate floor was open, so we went and looked at the Senate board to find the positions. Sen. Bramble said one of his bills was up and he had to address it. He went away, and never returned.

"At about 11:00 p.m., HB 123 moved back to almost the top of the board again (leaving HB 109 at about tenth position). At approximately 11:15 p.m., HB 123 was again moved down to about eighth position. HB 241 was moved just above HB 123 with HB 109 about twelve down from the top. We again started writing notes and calling representative to ask Curtis to move it back up the board.

"Senator Parley Hellewell came out and we showed him the problem on the board. We repeatedly asked him to do something about it. He did nothing and showed little concern. James Evans would not agree to do a thing to help.

"I went to the middle door again to ask Sen. Waddoups to move HB 123 in front of HB 241 and to move it way up the board. I told him the debate on HB 241 would likely kill HB 123. Sen. Waddoups told me that House Speaker Marty Stephens told him to move HB 241 with HB 123.

"I came back out to tell others concerned with the bills what Sen. Waddoups had said. Gayle Ruzicka said that she had asked Marty Stephenson to move HB 241 up.

"Again, we asked for HB 123 to be moved back up. I went to talk to Sen. Waddoups at the middle door. Rep. Greg Curtis [House Majority Leader and the one supposedly in command of these arrangements in the Senate] was there, standing directly behind Sen. Waddoups. I told Rep. Curtis that we needed to get HB 123 back in front of HB 241 so it would be heard and not killed. Rep. Curtis said there was a reason HB 241 was in front of HB 123. He said it was because Senate leadership wanted it that way.

"I said, ‘Oh really? They said you were the one that put the order this way. You’re not the one holding it up, Greg?’ He said no. I again repeated to him that the Senate was saying it was him. Greg replied, ‘Yeah, right. What can I say?’ I asked him if it was the Senate holding back these bills and he replied that it was.

"At this time Sen. Waddoups—only a foot away and with his back to us, was on the phone and waving his arm in the air to get Senate President Al Mansell’s attention. Sen. Mansell picked up the phone. I told Rep. Curtis I needed him to stay so I could talk to him and Waddoups together and get this mess straightened out. I tried to get Waddoup's attention (again, he was only about a foot away), but he would not reply. Rep. Curtis said he would be back in a minute. He almost ran away and Waddoups continued to ignore me. After a brief conversation on the phone, Waddoups hung up, but still did not turn around to face me."

See also the Deseret News story, "Photo: LAST-MINUTE BUSINESS," available at which stated: "Utah House Majority Leader Greg Curtis, R-Sandy, left, and Senate Majority Leader Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, compare notes Wednesday as the last session of the 2003 Legislature winds down."

Intercepted Note:
Citizen Arnold Gaunt sent in a note to Republican House Speaker Marty Stephens at 11:20 PM. It stated the following: "We need a note from Greg Curtis to move HB 123 to the top of the Senate list. Will you help?" Mr. Gaunt received the note back. On it, Speaker Stephens had written: "Ok" and had signed his first name. See the note in .pdf format.

David Hansen’s report:
"With less than an hour left in the session, a group of us raced back and forth between the senate and the house trying to figure out whether it was Rep. Greg Curtis who kept bumping bills in front of HB 123 (which was what Sen. Waddoups told us) or whether it was the senate (which is what Curtis told us). Rep. Curtis stated: ‘The Senators have a lot of power.’ Sen. Waddoups finally told us to get a note from Curtis telling him where he wanted to have HB 123 placed on the board, which displays the order of bills as they are to be heard.

"We ran over to the house and contacted Rep. Curtis who said he would provide the note. Representatives have back passageways to access each others’ areas, so I have no means of knowing whether the note actually was written or delivered. At this point, however, HB 123 did move to near the top of the list. In the meantime a resolution concerning illegal aliens (which would not have had any effect whatsoever legally) was heard on the floor that ate up about 20 precious minutes.

"HB 123 did not stay near the top for long, however. It was bumped down on at least two occasions. Then, all of a sudden, HB 241, which attempted to target would have banned partial birth abortions (nobody knows how many have ever been performed in Utah, with numbers ranging from 1 to 15 total), leapt in front of HB 123.

"With only 10 minutes left in the session, HB 241 appeared at the top of the list and was to be heard. Sen. Chris Buttars did not make a motion to hear HB 123 first (nor did any other Senator), and we could see that HB 123 was doomed. I stayed to the bitter end and watched from the gallery as even HB 241 was defeated. Sen. Buttars made too long of an introductory speech. I believe he then called for a vote, but Democrat Senator Ron Allen then proposed a substitute bill.

"Sen. Buttars was (apparently) completely unaware of any substitute bill. Sen. Allen told him that it had been posted on the website for the past two days. Sen. Buttars fumbled around on his desk, then looked on the desk behind him. Sen. Ron Allen told him, "Take all the time you want, Sen. Buttars." This brought a laugh from senators. Finally, Sen. Buttars obtained a copy, read it, and declared it was not acceptable to him. I was stunned at how unprepared Sen. Buttars was to handle this ‘debate.’

"Sen. Allen then gave a delaying speech, arguing that Democrats work just as hard as the Republicans do to stop abortions. Considering how hard Republicans were working to see to it that HB 123 was not heard, I had to admit that he may have been correct. Sen. Allen argued that Democrats have a long legacy of working very hard to stop the practice of abortion, and talked of ‘education’ and of implementing programs to promote adoption.

"Sen. Ron Allen noted that his computer was connected to an atomic clock and that it was now 12:00:30 a.m. and the session should be terminated. The clock on the Senate wall still showed about 1 minute left. Sen. Mansell ignored the request. It didn't take long for that last minute to run out as Allen continued to drone on about how Democrats oppose abortion, and Sen. Mansell declared the session over, which brought a round of applause from senators."

Back to Topics

5. Additional Communications with Specific Republican Senators

A group of citizens were present during the final hours of the legislature to observe these horrific happenings. These citizens sent in numerous notes to various legislators requesting that they move HB 123 up on the agenda and pass it out. In addition to the written notes, many senators were directly approached. The following are reports on several of those dialogues.

Senator Howard Stephenson (Republican)

Citizen Daniel Newby’s report:
"I approached Sen. Howard Stephenson outside the senate chambers roughly around 10:40 p.m. I asked him what in the world was going on with HB 123 being moved down on the agenda. He replied that they [leadership] were trying to kill it. I stated that was not acceptable and demanded to know what he [Sen. Stephenson] intended to do about it.

"He replied that there was nothing he could do. I stated that he could make a motion to move the bill up on the agenda. He replied, 'There are some things that just cannot be done.' I stated that there were thousands of innocent babies who would be murdered (and we taxpayers would pay for it) if this bill is not passed. He replied again, 'There are some things that just cannot be done.'  [Note that according to the official records, the rules had already been suspended.]

"Sen. Stephenson then hastily retreated away from the senate area to go speak with some other individuals, ignoring my further statements that his answers were not acceptable or sufficient. According to the official record, the rules were During the floor actions, Sen. Stephenson made no motion to move HB 123 up on the agenda and did not argue once in defense of the unborn that night."

Senator Parley Hellewell (Republican and 2004 Gubernatorial Candidate)

Citizen Daniel Newby’s report:
"A goodly number of us confronted Sen. Hellewell at the television screen outside the senate chambers roughly around 10:40 PM. We showed him on the screen how HB 123 had been manipulated down on the agenda. We reminded Sen. Hellewell that his campaign literature stated that he was an advocate for ‘the right to life.’ We asked him to tell us what substantive actions he would take to see that this bill received a recorded vote.

"Sen. Hellewell agreed with us that this bill was probably the most important bill of the entire legislative session. He refused, however, to commit to making any motion or taking any action whatsoever. We reminded him that lives of the unborn were on the line and that many would be murdered if he did nothing. We pressed him for a commitment. It was all to no avail. He refused to commit and made no motion to move HB 123 up on the agenda."

Citizen David Hansen’s report:
"On the last night of the session, I was there outside the senate door with Senator Parley Hellewell when we asked him to make a motion to move HB 123 to the top of the list. He told us he would do so. He did not seem concerned, however, indicating that ‘there would be no problem’ getting through the entire list of bills in the little more than an hour or so left in the session."

Citizen Terry Trease’s report:
"Senator Parley Hellewell came out and we showed him the problem on the board. We repeatedly asked him to do something about it. He did nothing and showed little concern."

Senator Scott Jenkins (Republican)

Citizen Daniel Newby’s report:
"Sen. Scott Jenkins came out at about the same time Sen. Hellewell did, and was present for almost the entire conversation. I turned to Sen. Jenkins and asked him if he would make a motion to move HB 123 up on the agenda. He was also non-committal, though he admitted that he could make a motion to move the bill up on the agenda. He repeatedly replied, however, that he was sure the senate would be able to get to this bill and others. At one point, he did offer the consolation prize that he ‘understood the concern’ we were expressing."

Senator James Evans (Republican)

Citizen Daniel Newby’s report:
"On Tuesday night, Gayle Ruzicka informed me that Sen. James Evans was intending to make a motion to bring the abortion bills out of the rules committee. I called Sen. Evans at his home that night and left him a message, informing him that he ought to make his motion or motions a roll call vote. He did not answer, nor did he return my call.

"On the closing night of the session, a group of us confronted Sen. Evans on the situation. He told us to focus our complaints and issues on Sen. Mike Waddoups, Senate Majority Leader. Sen. Evans said it was out of his hands and control. I stated that he still had the ability to make a motion to move the bill higher on the agenda—and call for a roll call vote so that we would have the entire senate on record regarding their intentions. He refused, stating that was not possible. He stated that in the last hour, the senate was bound to accept the priority list provided to it by the house and that we should look there—i.e. Greg Curtis, House Majority Leader, as well.

"I told Sen. Evans that if such were the indeed the case, he could make a motion by roll call vote to suspend the rules so that HB 123 could be considered. He refused."

According to Joint Rules between the house and senate, the senate is supposed to give preference to house bills appearing on the senate calendar:

JR-4.36. Preference Given to Bills of Other House.
During the third and fourth days of each week, the House shall give preference to the consideration of Senate bills appearing upon the House calendar. On those same days, the Senate shall give preference to House bills appearing on the Senate calendar.

It was the third day of the week.  Note, however, that the rules do not say in which order the Senate must handle these bills, but that they are to give House bills in general preference. In addition, the official record repeatedly shows that the rules were suspended during the final hours. The Senate was not bound to follow the House's whims. In fact, several times during the last hours, Senators uncircled and moved bills around at will. This is why House bills moved up and down on the agenda and why the anti-infanticide bills were thwarted.

Sen. Evans proved the fallacy of his own claim by his own actions. Later in the evening, he spoke to House Joint Resolution 28, "Resolution Urging Congress to Review Immigration and Naturalization," by Democrat Duane Bourdeaux. This bill had been moved to the top of the agenda by a floor motion and ahead of the bills to prevent infanticide.

Citizen David Hansen’s report:
"During the course of that last hour of the session, James Evans also refused to make a motion to move HB 123 up."

Citizen Terry Trease’s report:
"James Evans would not agree to do a thing to help."

Back to Topics

6. Media Reports on the Final Hours

Deseret News Reporter Bob Bernick’s Account of the Final Minutes
"Some of the most contentious issues were avoided by tossing them off to task forces for further study. GOP senators even allowed one of their Democratic colleagues to drone on about the House's bill to ban partial-birth abortions until the clock struck midnight and the session ended." — "Session called one of the most difficult in memory," Bob Bernick, Deseret News, March 6, 2003

Senator Alma Mansell & House Speaker Marty Stephens
"The Legislature’s work was completed with no issues left hanging, said Mansell and Stephens." — ibid.

This statement is interesting as Republican House Speaker Marty Stephens was fully aware that the anti-infanticide bills had not been considered. Again, refer to the handwritten note obtained from Speaker Stephens to citizen Arnold Gaunt regarding HB 123. To this date, neither Speaker Stephens nor President Alma Mansell have called for a special session to address HB 123.

What Is Worthy of a Special Session According to Governor Mike Leavitt?
"However, Leavitt said ‘it is likely’ he will call a special session later this year for lawmakers to look at selling the state’s interest in the Workers Compensation Fund, a quasi-public entity that insures employees for work-related injuries.

"The ramifications of the proposed $50 million sale needed to be examined more closely, so Leavitt, and insurance man by profession, persuaded convinced legislative leaders to take a longer look at the deal before taking action." — ibid.

Sincerely,
Daniel B. Newby
daniel.newby@velocitus.net
(801) 281-2670
 

P.S. The preceeding message was my personal opinion. To receive an alert on this subject directly, email me at dnewby@sitestar.net.

Back to Topics

Note from Accountability Utah: We continue to obtain insightful quotes and information regarding this fateful night.  See our Issue in Focus: Why Pro-life Efforts Fail in Utah: Exposing the Deadly Myths and discover why Utahns are losing the battle against infanticide, and how quickly we can turn the tide.  Also see our ongoing Flounders Quotes section featuring embarrassing and callous quotes from senators, as well as the Infanticide section of our Issues & Alerts page.

 


If you have comments or suggestions, please email us at info@accountabilityutah.org.

 

Home | Issues & Alerts | Mission | AU Team | Reports | Citizen Library | Other Resources

Address: P.O. Box 141, West Jordan, Utah 84084
E-mail:
info@accountabilityutah.org  |  Website: www.accountabilityutah.org

Copyright © 2003 Accountability Utah