Do you think that lawmakers should have the ability to close their caucus meetings to the public?
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Some anonymous comments:
'Do we really believe there is no value in legislators being able to hash out ideas in private? Is every idea you have ready to be splashed all over Ben Winslow's Twitter feed as soon as it leaves your lips? The "decisions" which really count from the legislature is called legislation...and legislation is very public."
"The option, yes, the practice, no."
"The only reason the Dems have an open caucus is because nothing substantive happens there."
"GRAMA records reveal Democrats had secret caucus meeting during reapportionment"
"Within limits but not to discuss pending legislation where 'party stands' are decided. All legislation should be open to public view. Citizens can only make intelligent decisions when they are aware of ALL the facts."
"The legislature should play by the same rules they set for all other levels of government."
"Transparency has its proper role and place, and often some privacy is required for deliberations....just like in family, home, church and life."
"Elected officials are there to do the business of the people. There are certainly valid exception when meeting must be closed because of the nature of the issues they are dealing with, but in general, caucuses should be open so that voters can see the work their elected officials are doing."
"If Bob Bernick wants to be inside the caucus meetings, he should run for the legislature."
"If they are doing the people's business, the people should be able to know what they are up to and how decisions are being reached. If they are saying something that shouldn't be on the front page of the newspaper, maybe they shouldn't be saying it to begin with. Legislators would get into a lot less mischief if they would conduct business openly and with a high value placed on transparency. Making all decisions in secret, without accountability, is a terrible way to run a state."
"This is a guise and a sham. The public deserves better."
"If they were smart legislators, they would open as much of their decision making process as possible to public scrutiny. It is the best way to discourage the public's default assumption that they are all in the pockets of special interests."
"They should have to obey the Open Meetings law just like any other governmental body."
"Nothing good happens behind closed doors (just like I tell my teenagers that nothing good happens after midnight). They should remember that they are not in High Council but rather in the legislature. The more they protest sunshine, they more they appear as cockroaches."
"Public business should be done in public, not in closed sessions."
"Government is supposed to be transparent. Wasn't there something called 'The Sunshine Law'? With 'closed door meetings,' we get things like our new redistricting. Who knows what they would come up with next? There are so many important bills this session, just keeping up with them is hard. Not knowing what is being discussed makes that impossible."
"We are paying their salary, so we should be able to watch them do their work; ALL of their work."
"I don't know why every other government agency has to comply with open meeting laws, except our legislature!"
"Most of the time they could/should be open. There are critical moments when you want to fight it out in private however."
"Unless they are discussing litigation or employee matters, they should be open. If they want to have informal meetings amongst themselves, fine. But any formal legislative meeting should be open, especially for Republicans who control the legislature."
"But they should do so rarely and only to discuss political topics, not policy direction."
"Legislative caucuses are made up of elected public officials, operating with public funds and deciding the public's business. Open policy discussions are essential to maintain public trust and confidence in government, particularly where one party is so dominant that the real decisions can be made behind closed doors and the public vote on the legislative floor is a rubber stamp formality."
"Opening up the caucus is fine, but it only forces the decisions to be made further behind closed doors."
Respondents include -
Fred Adams, Stuart Adams, Jess Agraz, Scott Anderson, Patrice Arent, Bruce Baird, Tom Barberi, Heather Barney, Steve Barth, Jeff Bell, Tom Berggren, Mike Bertelsen, Ron Bigelow, Rob Bishop, Laura Black, Jim Bradley, Ralph Brown, Ken Bullock, Chris Bleak, Curt Bramble, Ralph Brown, Aaron Browning, Dave Buhler, Ken Bullock, Ric Cantrell, Maura Carabello, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Kay Christensen, David Clark, Thomas Clay, Peter Corroon, Fred Cox, Lew Cramer, Gene Davis, Richard Davis, Brad Daw, Alan Dayton, Margaret Dayton, Mike Deaver, Brad, Dee, Joseph Demma, John Dougall, Randy Dryer, Donald Dunn, Becky Edwards, Scott Ericson, Jessica Fawson, Janice Fisher, Wendy Fisher, Lorie Fowlke, Ronald Fox, Jordan Garn, Luke Garrott, Dave Gessel, Natalie Gochnour, Robert Grow, Karen Hale, David Hansen, Neil Hansen, Joe Hatch, Jeff Hartley, Deidre Henderson, Lyle Hillyard, Randy Horiuchi, Bruce Hough, Scott Howell, Miriam Hyde, Allison Isom, Eric Jergensen, Mike Jerman, Roger Johnson, Michael Jolley, Gordon Jones, Leslie Jones, Kirk Jowers, Brian King, Scott Konopasek, Chris Kyler, Fred Lampropoulos, Douglas Larson, David Litvack, Larry Lunt, Matt Lyon, Ben McAdams, Gayle McKeachnie, JT Martin, Jason Mathis, Karen Mayne, Derek Miller, Rob Miller, Ethan Millard, Brett Millburn, Karen Morgan, Mike Mower, Holly Mullen, Wayne Niederhauser, Mike Noel, Ralph Okerlund, James Olsen, Val Oveson, Scott Parson, Kelly Patterson, Frank Pignanelli, Jason Powers, Joe Pyrah, Mike Reberg, Jill Remington Love, Lauren Richards, Holly Richardson, Robin Riggs, James Roberts, Luz Robles, Ross Romero, Don Savage, Bryan Schott, Jay Seegmiller, Patrick Shea, Randy Shumway, Soren Simonsen, Jeremy Slaughter, Carol Spackman-Moss, Howard Stephenson, Mike Styler, Todd Taylor, Juliette Tennert, Gary Thorup, Kevin Van Tassell, Royce Van Tassel, Michael Waddoups, Chuck Warren, Christine Watkins, LaVarr Webb, Todd Weiler, Alan West, Ted Wilson, Carl Wimmer, Mike Winder, Thomas Wright