Columnist Praises Guv, Spanks Thompson Over Utah Video Game Bill

In a Saturday column, Salt Lake Tribune political reporter Paul Rolly praises Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) for his recent veto of HB 353, the Jack Thompson-conceived video game/movie bill. Thompson, however, comes in for some heat:

Gov. Jon Huntsman’s veto of House Bill 353 underscores the importance of the constitutional checks that can be imposed on the Utah Legislature, whose members often are influenced by ideological extremists or questionable special interest groups.

In this case, while 25 of 29 senators and 67 of 75 representatives voted for the bill that supposedly protected children, it was Huntsman who proved to be the adult, protecting us all from the childlike antics of the legislators and their puppet masters.

In discussing Thompson’s involvement with the vetoed legislation, Rolly cites a pair of GamePolitics stories. The first was our February interview with HB 353 sponsor Rep. Mike Morley (R). That interview’s bizarre turn of events offered clues as to who wielded the real political clout behind HB 353. Hint: It wasn’t Morley:

Thompson teamed up with Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka to push the legislation, a fact that Morley seemed reluctant to admit when he was interviewed by Game Politics, a publication that tracks the video-game industry.

The SL Trib columnist also dug up a 2007 GamePolitics interview with Jack Thompson. At the time Thompson was pushing a different piece of video game legislation in Utah. When Attorney General Mark Shurtleff suggested that the measure was unconstitutional, Thompson called for his impeachment. In the interview, I asked Thompson how such over-the-top verbiage was helpful to his cause. Ever the charmer, he called me a "goofball" and referred to Shurtleff as a "moron."

Thompson’s involvement in Utah’s legislative process is clearly troubling to Rolly:

This is a guy who is guiding legislation in Utah, the latest example of the influence certain ideologues can have on a Legislature controlled by one political party and too often predisposed to approve legislation, no matter how bad or bizarre, from right-wing zealots.

Pictured: Gov. Huntsman, Rep. Morley, Utah Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka, Jack Thompson

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  1. TBoneTony says:

    Who here is thinking that Gayle Ruzicka and the rest of the Eagle Forum are planning on going POSTAL on the entire Utah Videogame Retailing Industry after being made fools of themselves in the newspaper?

    Now everyone will hopefully realize that she and her Eagle Forum are nothing but a pack of wolfs in sheep’s clothing after realized the mess they could have made.

  2. TBoneTony says:

    People will slowly finally realize that us gamers were the ones who really were the first ones to find out who the real author of this bill was.

    And slowly, around in 10 years time hopefully, that we would see the end of such actions in America.

    15 years to go for the UK and Europe Videogame Industry and also 20 more years until Australia will finally have the R18+ rating to fully make Videogames have equal rights amongst movies.

    This is an important time for Videogames and also Gamers who have been the only few who have ever done their research about Videogames where other people have not done much at all.

    Because Gamers have accturely PLAYED Videogames to truly understand them.

    This will be going into my bookmarks.

  3. Magic says:

    No offense taken. That was just the general stereotype I had of the place, while I’m very quick to change depending on what I experience, such as this news piece. 🙂

  4. Conejo says:

    and yet a lot of those same people saw nothing wrong with lying to others in another state to push propaganda that supported revoking civil rights from US Citizens…

    everyone is aware that Utah is full of crazy right-wing nuts (just like San Fran is full of crazy left-wing nuts) who push religion as the top agenda.  that’s what Thompson wanted: a place so full of God it was willing to ignore the rights of man. 

    What he didn’t expect is some of those right-wing guys weren’t nuts like himself.

    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe.

  5. Ratfunk says:

     I just want to point out that a lot of us "Religious Mormon people" didn’t want the bill passed either. As a matter of fact, most mormons would rather not have the government messing with anything we do, that includes Video games.

    After all… it’s why we moved to Utah in the first place… that… and the extermination order on our heads… yeah…

    EDIT: Not trying to start a flame war, just wanted to point out sometimes people’s pre-concived notions on a group of people can be wrong… like… all Video gamers are infantile, school shooters… meh.

  6. Magic says:

    My respect for Utah has significantly increased after reading this, it’s good to see that ideological extremists can actually be held in check by US legislature, especially in a state that I previously thought was little but religious Mormon people.

  7. PHX Corp says:

    Look at the two recent comments, They give a hilarious insight of the Utah legislature (and insulting Morely and Dayton at the same time)

    Quote by Gayles_Flying_Broom


    Gayle Ruzicka strikes again!!! Thank God Huntsman doesn’t listen to the nasty old witch. Butthead and Waddanass shouldn’t listen to her either.
       Butthead and Waddanass need to be sued in federal court for over ruling the Constitution.

    After giving this subject more thought, it appears that when nasty old witch Gayle Ruzicka manipulates Butthead and Waddanass to legislate the Constitution out of existence and over rule the lawful rights of others she commits a crime, "soliciting a felony". A good civil rights lawyer (LGBT) may be able to bring suit in federal court and get her bound over for trial on soliciting a felony abridgement of someone’s constitutional rights from a state legislator.
       Her right to free expression does not include her constant expressions of controlling the rights of other people. And her right to free expression does not over rule my right to not be annoyed by her constant blather.


    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  8. JDKJ says:

    But you don’t dispute that the CJCLDS had something to do with Prop. 8? And if so, are you now retreating from your previously expressed position that the Church does not advocate on behalf of any particular political position?

  9. PHX Corp says:

    Anyone taking bets on JT getting bitchslapped for a second time at backwater College (the first was from the gov of utah) on april 2nd

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  10. PHX Corp says:

    ok, very bad idea

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  11. JDKJ says:

    What we shouldn’t do is use GamePolitics as a forum to hatch schemes against Jack Thompson. The editors and moderators have repeatedly requested that the readership not do so.

  12. PHX Corp says:

    Should we notify the Fla bar and give them the press release that he still calls himself a lawyer over legislation that has been vetoed or just wait and see if they take action  against him


    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  13. JDKJ says:

    Sometimes, he doesn’t even bother with the glossing over. His March 3, 2009, press release states:

    "A bill drafted by Miami attorney Jack Thompson and sponsored by Utah Rep. Mike Morley, has today passed the Utah House of Representatives by a vote of 70-2."

    If I didn’t already know better than to expect the Florida Bar to do its job, I’d be sitting here wondeing why they haven’t called him on his continued misrepresentations of himself as an "attorney." 

  14. hayabusa75 says:

    This warms my heart.  The days of Thompson being able to gloss over his past with phrases like, "former lawyer" and "recovering lawyer" are quickly coming to an end, methinks.  Also, what’s up with Thompson’s lame threat about another bill banning game sales?  "Hey, if my shitty bill doesn’t pass I’ll totally come at you with an even shittier one!"

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  15. PHX Corp says:

    and you know what the SL Tribune response is going to be to Jackie poo, Just go away, crazy man before the US finds out that you are crazy

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  16. vellocet says:

    Who else predicts that one of monday’s headlines will be "Jack Thompson Threatens to Sue Salt Lake Tribune"?


  17. hellfire7885 says:

    A further paralell, in both cases the backers of the legislation had to outright lie to people to get it passed.

  18. mdo7 says:


    Glad to see some press criticize JT’s bill.  I think some people are starting to find out video game are not all that bad.

  19. JDKJ says:

    Are you referring to the fact that the main backing of Prop. 8 came from the Church of Latter-Day Saints?

  20. jmcc says:

    Am I the only one who finds the last statement pretty funny, coming from someone from Utah, given the prop 8 shenanigans in California?

  21. Leet Gamer Jargon says:

    Just read the Tribune article. Oooh, does Paul Rolly ruh-huh-hip into Thompson! He uses all manner of material to do so, most of which probably came from GP. I hope that was printed into the main newspaper, cause if it was, all of its daily readers now know all about Thompson. His antics have caught the attention of the Utahn media, so now it’s only a matter of time before the mainstream runs with it, and Thompson will finally be exposed for who he is…to everyone.

    P.S. Sorry about the (short) wall of text.


    Game on, brothers and sisters.

  22. Leet Gamer Jargon says:

    This is a guy who is guiding legislation in Utah, the latest example of the influence certain ideologues can have on a Legislature controlled by one political party and too often predisposed to approve legislation, no matter how bad or bizarre, from right-wing zealots.

    Uhhh……BURN!! And BOOM goes the dynamite!

    Glad to see that somebody outside the gaming community realizes that Thompson’s full of shit.


    Game on, brothers and sisters.

  23. Wormdundee says:

     You forget. According to Jack, once someone disagrees with him, they are no longer respectable.

  24. Mechadon says:

    I bet when Jacky started his bullshit a decade ago, he didn’t imagine running into critisizm from respectable adults. He probably imagined winning a fight against children and adolesents, the coward.

    Pick your fights better Jacky.

  25. Charax says:

    Exactly – it may be annoying for us to get every tiny update on what he’s doing, but when the time comes that background on the man is needed, it’s all here – every action documented, every abusive remark noted, for all to see.

    So even someone new to the controversy can look back and say "man, that guy’s a douche"

  26. JDKJ says:

    And kudos to GamePolitics for breaking this story and the continuous coverage — despite all those that said, "Why do you continue to cover Jack Thompson? No listens to him anymore." Turns out the "no one listens to him anymore" part wasn’t at all accurate. He somehow mangaged to get the vast majority of the Utah Legislature to listen to him.

  27. Conejo says:

    That’s what Thompson was counting on, though.  No other state in the union could be as easily duped into this kind of legislature, and now that it’s failed in Utah, it won’t be as easy for him to try and trick others.

    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe.

  28. JDKJ says:

    Rolly makes a good point: a large contributor to the successful passage of HB353 — and by such an overwhelming number of votes — is the complete absence of any meaningful opposition party in the Utah Legislature. Add to this monolithic voting block the fact that the vast majority of Legislators are of one religious affiliation (forgive me, EZK) and you’ve got not much more than a bunch of lemmings following each other over the cliff. I can’t think of a better example in support of the need for political diversity. 

  29. hellfire7885 says:

    Despite the addition of including movies, the movie companies would have never seen a lawsuit.

    It was only added to try and make the bill consitutional enough so Thompson could begin his lawsuit barrage against Take Two. Still seems to believe if he can bring them down the rest will fall like dominos, or at the least be too afraid to even approach a T rating.

  30. Austin_Lewis says:

    Always lovely to see Thompson referred to in such a manner.  God knows there’s nothing he can really say to defend himself, he’s a liar and a loser, not much else to it.

    And I believe Rep. Morley may be less than excited that people are finding out who REALLY wrote the bill.  God knows it probably looks bad to have a disbarred pathetic lawyer who can’t string two sentences towards anyone together with any semblance of courtesy or niceties writing your bills for you.

  31. Cerabret100 says:

    The mistake was having it affect movies, there is truly an accepted medium (relative to games).  so now people who might just go along for the ride on games without thinking, are seeing the effects of this legislation in something they understand.

    So yes, this may push his antics in to the spotlight where people will (ironically) begin to ignore him.

    Unfortunately due to the muddled inclusion of Thompson’s actual efforts, it’ll probably never reach the wide majority that he created it.  I’m guessing it’s that eagle or whatever group that’ll be the main "bad guy" of the legislation.

  32. Benji says:

    I suppose that’s the price they pay for not letting the bill die a quiet death.  With all the complaining JT’s apparently doing over this bill and the governor being a moron, non-gamers are overhearing and doing some research on what’s going on with the bill.  A lot of people criticizing JT and the bill now aren’t gamers, just normal journalists who think he’s a nut.

  33. HarmlessBunny says:

    Interesting when even news media is giving them (Eagle Forum and Jack) a hard time, not just us gamers. This is pretty damning to the pushers of that little Utah legislation 😛

    Though it is good to see you are getting some recognition out there, Dennis 🙂

  34. TK n Happy Ness says:

    I guess it would make sense to spank Jack since he acts like a little kid everytime he doesn’t get his way. He then resorts to childish name-calling. Kudos for the Gov for doing research.

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

  35. Charax says:


    I haven’t noticed too many people outside the gaming press commenting on the Thompson connection to HB. 353, nice that someone more mainstream picked up on it.

  36. Cecil475 says:

    Any word from the Eagle forum, or are they still too busy frothing at the mouth, to form a civil reply?

     – Warren Lewis III

    R.i.P GamePolitics 2005-2016

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