Monday, Jan 29, 2007, 8:49 pm
Republican Limbo: How Low Can They Go?
Jennfer Parker for ABC News reports
via SusanG at dailykos
Anger over Republicans killing bills without recording the vote, Democratic operatives began videotaping early morning and late-night statehouse proceedings and posting them on their assembly's blog and the Internet-based video site YouTube.And how do the Republicans respond?
"We're providing openness and access to Virginia government," said Mark Bergman, spokesman for the Virginia Democratic Party.
Bergman argues that the videos are the only way for Virginians to see these committee proceedings because the Republican majority changed the rules in 2006 to allow off-hour committee and subcommittee votes to go unrecorded.
Last week, House Republicans in Virginia defeated a Democratic measure without recording the vote that would have raised the state's minimum wage.
"They are scheduling these major votes in the wee hours of the morning or late at night, when no one from the public or press is there to see it," Bergman said. "Two or three members could effectively kill a bill at 7:30…in the morning when nobody's there and there's no record of the vote."
But Virginia Republicans said the video recordings of legislative proceedings have nothing to do with open government, instead accusing the Democrats of playing "gotcha" politics.Ah, yes, can't have any legislation being a matter of public record if it means Republican votes might not be well received by the public.
"It's an effort to demonize Republicans," said Shaun Kenney, communications director for the Virginia Republican Party. "It's about targeting and embarrassing Republican delegates," he said.
Kenney argued that Republicans changed the rules in 2006 to allow for unrecorded votes in order to combat "gotcha" bills sponsored by the Democrats.
via SusanG at dailykos
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