24 September 2009

lege committees to hold 'secret' meeting about reapportionment

c.b. forgotston sent this out a few minutes ago:

According to a story in today's Baton Rouge paper ( story here) some of our leges are planning to hold a two-day, secret meeting (where all expenses paid by us taxpayers) to discuss how to reapportion the districts by which they represent us.

The Clerk of the House says the clandestine meeting is legal. If so, it is only due to a "loophole" written by the leges in the Open Meetings Law.

The meeting was called by Rep. Rick Gallot, D-Ruston, who only recently escaped prosecution for violating the ethics law via a loophole he help insert into the law.

The meeting may be legal, but it is not right way to do the people's business.

Why isn’t it open?

This meeting is a part of the decision-making, process for reapportionment. What part of reapportionment is not the people's business?

[Speaker of the House Jim] Tucker said it is necessary to have the meeting behind closed doors so they (legislators) can have open discussions which could be otherwise inhibited.

In other words, the leges cannot be honest with the people they represent.

Do the right thing

The right thing to do is for all the leges invited to attend this meeting (which includes my representative) to refuse to attend unless the meeting is opened to the public and the media.


UPDATE: forgotston has now posted this to his blog here
two committees planning to meet together in secret at alexandria at the "old england air force base" 01 and 02 october 2009, include:

house and governmental affairs committee chaired by rob "heh heh heh ethics law" gallot; members: mert smiley, taylor barras, patrick connick, george cromer, michael danahay, noble ellington, brett geymann, cameron henry, girod jackson, rosalind jones, anthony ligi, karen carter peterson, erich ponti, stephen pugh, jerome richard, jane smith, charmaine marchand stiaes and wayne waddell.

and the senate & governmental affairs committee chaired by bob "the guy who helped destroy ethics laws" kostelka; consisting of senators, john smith, jody amedee, jack donahue, lydia. jackson, edwin murry and mike walsworth.

as you can see some very shady characters will be participating. the last thing we need is this crew meeting in secret to decide something as important as reapportionment.

so please contact your state representative and say no secret meetings! meet in a committee room or in the house chamber before the cameras and the internet live stream.