Based on stories like this one at Colorado Senate News today, it’s all but apparent that Colorado Democrats have no real interest in open, transparent government:
A Republican staffer was ejected from a Senate Democrat caucus meeting today at an eatery near the Capitol, raising concerns by Republican leaders that the ruling party might be debating public policy in private–a violation of state law.
By law, when two or more members of the General Assembly meet to discuss legislative business–regardless of the location–other members of the public cannot be refused entry. There are no exceptions for members of an opposing political party or the news media.
The meeting had been announced on the Senate floor today by Democrat Sen. Suzanne Williams, of Aurora, at the conclusion of the Senate’s morning session. Senate GOP policy and research assistant Kevin Van Winkle was asked to sit in on the meeting, which began at noon. Shortly after he and a companion arrived, he said, the Senate Democrat chief of staff told him to leave because the meeting was “private.”
It doesn’t matter if you’re Republican or Democrat, Libertarian or Green or whatever, this kind of behavior should not be tolerated – including from those on the State Board of Education.
Arrogance is not becoming on anyone, especially in elected political officeholders, and even more so in those that have been in majority power for too long.
Open government isn’t a conservative or liberal idea, though the more philosophically and practically enamored officials are with state power the more likely they may be to conceal themselves from a scrutinizing public. If Colorado Democrats indeed flouted the law in this situation, it should be dealt with accordingly. But to continue down this path will mean facing more than just legal troubles.
Inquiring minds want to know what Colorado Democrats were trying to hide.