Guest post by Joyce Arnold.
That the 2010 reinvigorated Republicans promised to work in the light of day, and then aren’t, is no surprise, any more than it’s surprising when Dem Electeds do the same. One thing that’s happening in response, though, is worth noting. Think Progress has a short but revealing piece up: “GOP Response To Town Hall Backlash: Ban Recording Devices And Censor Citizen Journalists.”
In town halls across the country, voters are expressing their anger at the GOP priorities of ending Medicare, extending tax breaks for the wealthy, and protecting subsidies for oil companies. …
However, some congressmen are concerned about what could happen if citizen journalists repost their town halls on the Internet. At least two members of Congress have taken extraordinary measures to shut down the spread of information.
Those two members are Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) and Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV).
Barletta specifically barred citizen journalists and other non-credentialed media from recording the event, while Heck took a more encompassing approach of “˜no recording devices’ at all.
As Think Progress notes, a “central promise” by the new Republican majority House was “to make Congress more transparent.” At least for Barletta and Heck, though, transparency apparently doesn’t apply to district get-togethers with constituents.
The push-back from constituents, in person and otherwise, does seem to be having an effect.
At his town hall, Heck reportedly faced a rowdy crowd upset about his vote for the Medicare-ending House Republican budget. When pressed, he backed away from the plan a bit, saying, “˜I’m not saying it’s the best idea, but it’s the only one and the best being proposed now.’
I can sort of understand why he wouldn’t want that “clarifying” remark made any more public.