Utah Bill Sponsor Blames Guv’s Veto on Gamer E-mails

As GamePolitics reported yesterday, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman vetoed HB 353, the Jack Thompson video game/movie bill that would have targeted retailers who sold M-rated games or R-rated movies to minors.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Mike Morley (R-UT), told the Salt Lake Tribune:

I think it’s simply a result of an e-mail campaign from a lot of gamers that misrepresent the bill and [the governor’s staff] has not studied it closely enough to recognize that is not the case. I think it was crafted very carefully to avoid those issues and I think they’re mistaken.

However, a source close to Utah state politics told GamePolitics yesterday that Gov. Huntsman was the subject of intense lobbying from retailers. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Entertainment Software Association mounted a major lobbying campaign as well.

Morley complained to the Deseret News that the Guv didn’t give him a courtesy call before vetoing the bill:

I would have thought that just common courtesy would have been to call me.

Legislators are now deciding whether to pursue an override of the veto.

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  1. TBoneTony says:

    Like the Football player who argues with the umpire that makes a decision against him in the final moments of a tight match.


    Rep. Mike Morley does not understand a single thing of what he is talking about.

    The way he blames Gamers for influencing the Gov’s decision is just a pitiful as being a sore looser.

    He does not understand that even the Eagle Forum and JT himself has been deliberately lying about the content in games like GTA IV and many other Violent Videogames making them seem like they are worse than what they really are.

    We gamers have had to put up with all of that media circus and it is about time that we finally have a Gov who can see though all those fabrocated lies/slander and strike down this bill for the mess that it is.


    My Mike Morely, before you critizise the gamers for the veto of this bill, you should think about the mess that the Eagle Forum had made with this bill when they lied about the content in GTA IV.


    If you can’t even understand that, then get a life and start playing GTA IV so you can understand that it is not as bad as what JT and the Eagle Forum said it was.


    And even if you still can’t understand all because you don’t even bother to play the game to back up your own information, then perhaps you should not have been a politician at all if you can’t handle this bill being struck down not only by the courts but also by the Gov himself.


    Stop wasting tax payers money and do a real job.


  2. Kincyr says:

    I would have thought that just common courtesy would have been to call me.

    that’s only after sex, and only if you’re a woman

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  3. MasterAssassin says:

    First off if this is true then I’m glad that gamers are starting to express themselves to thier elected officials and make themselves heard. We DO have a voice! People will listen to us if we scream loud enough. We may not have the money and media connections that the Christian family groups and people like Jack Thompson have but we CAN make a difference. We have a vote too! It’s time to stop being appathetic and let our voices be heard!

  4. Cecil475 says:

    Mike Morley: "DANG IT ALL TO HECK!! This wonderful, wonderful..shit..this beautiful bill! *weeps* It was on the verge of passing. Of becoming law, just like Thompson and the Eagle Foundation wanted. But those vile gamers…. Those ignorant self-serving CLOWNS had the GALL to email the governor directly. To think those people have a voice! That they vote! If it wern’t for them, we would have seen all the oppisition shot down. WHY?! DANG YOU, Governor. Huntsman! You should have called me to let me know you were going to veto it!  I could have talked to you and I could have told you about how those ignorant people that were emailing you. Those kids don’t know what they were talking about."

    Yeah, I’m sure he’d say that 😛

     – Warren Lewis

    R.i.P GamePolitics 2005-2016

  5. PeterWDAwson says:

    The fact that he only ‘thinks’ we’re wrong should be a big clue as to why he failed, don’t you think? Plus he refers to ‘I’ instead of ‘we’ since it was passed thus he had a decent amount of support.

  6. insanejedi says:

    A person veto’d a bill because the people didin’t like it? Surpise surpise, we live in a democracy. Deal with it.

  7. Ashkihyena says:

    Surprise surprise, the bill fails and the people who drafted it complain.  I’m just quite surprised that a certain someone has posted his reponse on this yet.

  8. SimonBob says:

    That would’ve been the most awkward phone call ever.  "Hey, listen, you know that bill you were sponsoring about the M-rated games?  Uh, I don’t know how to tell you this, so I guess I’ll just say it… I’m gonna veto it.  …Aw, c’mon, don’t cry, I hate it when you cry."  And so on.  I guess the legislature and the governor aren’t BFFs any more. :~(

    The Mammon Industry

  9. black manta says:

    Sure, Morely.  Blame us for the failure of the bill and not the asshole who drafted it with his dodgy language in the first place.  Smart thinking.  Two words for you: Vox populi!

  10. hellfire7885 says:

    Yet movie enthusiasts are never mentioned, meaning their intentions were to target games and movies and music were only added to make it seem legit.

  11. CodeMonkey76 says:


    When the KSL Nightside Project (evening talk radio) host talked with the Governor’s staff, he asked if they were receiving a large number of calls/emails from gamers and others opposing the bill.  Quite to the contrary, the staff member told him that they were being inundated with calls/emails in SUPPORT of the bill.  Thankfully, in the face of such support of the bill, the Governor was able to actually read it, which many legislators apparently failed at, and recognize it for the bad bill it was.

  12. Malygris says:

    Morley has been sticking to the point that the bill isn’t actually what we all seem to think it is – ie., it doesn’t expose retailers who support the ESRB to risk of litigation – but I’ve never seen him actually explain how that is. He claims the bill was "misrepresented" but has he ever said in what way exactly? I’m honestly curious, because it seems pretty clear to me and it was apparently pretty clear to Governor Huntsman as well.

    Do we all lack such basic reading comprehension skills that we’re missing something here?


  13. Erik says:

    I am curious to what he thinks we lied about?  It seems pretty clear to me that if a business could be liable for not upholding its voluntary procedures then it would stand to reason that they would do away with those procedures, thus robbing parents of those tools.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  14. JDKJ says:

    Actually, I think the Tribune got it right in a sense. What you describe is the letter of the law. What they describe is the spirit of the law.

  15. Hackangel says:

    It is nice of him to mention us but we can’t take all the credit, common sense had a lot to do with it.

    The Salt Lake Tribune gets it completely wrong though. The bill was not "aimed at cracking down on retailers who sell violent or sexually graphic video games to minors".

    It was aimed at cracking down on retailers who say they will follow voluntary ESRB or MPAA guidelines and then sell violent or sexually graphic video games and movies to minors.

    I guess they CAN blame the governor for vetoing the bill when they cant even get what the bill is about.

  16. JDKJ says:

    Actually, Rep. Morley’s legislation was not "crafted very carefully." Having paid close attention to both the legislative and drafting processes which attended this particular piece of legislation and being somewhat familiar with the law and the processes by which laws are made, I must conclude that Morley and his allies made themselves look like a bunch of amateur hacks without the slightest clue as to what is was they were doing. "Crafted very carefully" . . . my ass.

  17. tony selby says:

    honestly i don’t think Morley really cares, i kinda got the impression he’s just jumping through the hoops that Gayle from the eagle foundation is setting up for him

  18. BearDogg-X says:

    Problem is, because the legislative session has ended, they have to get a 2/3rds vote of both houses to reconvene first before they can even think about overriding the veto.

    With Gov. Huntsman only vetoing one other bill besides Morley’s(a bill involving sewage and water issues), the question now becomes "will the Utah legislature even reconvene over two bills?"

    And overriding a very popular governor(84% approval rating in the Deseret News’ most recent poll) would make the legislature look pretty damn stupid.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  19. Arell says:

    The problem now is that they may indeed override the veto.  After how easily it passed the first time, it wouldn’t be hard to get a 2/3rds vote in both the Senate and the House.

  20. Michael Chandra says:

    Morley, cry yourself a river, build a bridge and get over it.

    He still only points at games, that’s all he did all the time. He never even considers the other media types that can suffer from the bill and that opposed it. Eagle marionette.

  21. Arell says:

    It’s just common etiquette.  An Executive usually calls and tells the sponsor of a bill before vetoing it, unless they’ve already publicly stated that they’re were going to veto it before it even came to them.  It’s just good manners.

    Although, Morley whining about it afterwards is poor etiquette.

  22. Austin_Lewis says:

    Rep. Morley needs to grow the hell up.  I wouldn’t have called him either, why should he have been?  So he can bitch and moan about it?

  23. BearDogg-X says:

    Man, Rep. Morley’s a crybaby.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  24. TK n Happy Ness says:

    The bill was made by Jack Thompson, so that’s not really being careful. That’s his attempt at continuing his agenda.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

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