For many elected officials, it is either common practice or legal requirement that they disclose their schedule. They don’t need to disclose what was said at the schedule, just who they were meeting with. After all, we are there bosses, right?
But the California Legislature? Not so much. The AP tried for quite a while to get access to legislators schedules through the Open Records laws. Those requests were denied. They then tried simply asking the legislators. One, Senator Leland Yee, agreed and wanted to open up his schedule.
The Legislature was having none of that:
The rules committees for the Assembly and Senate, which oversee the operations of the state Legislature, refused to provide lawmakers’ schedules, pointing to a provision in the Legislative Open Records Act that excludes “preliminary drafts, notes, legislative memoranda, personnel, medical or similar files.”
They also cited security concerns and a 1991 state Supreme Court decision that allowed then-Gov. George Deukmejian to keep his schedule private under a separate state open records law.
In a letter to Yee, Secretary of the Senate Gregory Schmidt said the Senate had an obligation to protect citizens’ rights to “complain, chastise, petition or even praise” their elected officials without third parties knowing about it. (AP)
Um, yeah, that’s what this is about. The rights of the downtrodden lobbyist for anonymity. What a crock of BS.
Look, if it’s good enough for the president and the governor, it’s good enough for the legislators. They weren’t even asking for the content of their discussion, simply for who they were meeting with.
The Legislature occasionally distresses about their low approval ratings. But, you want to improve the public trust in their government? Why don’t you start with providing the people of the state of California information about what exactly is going on in Sacramento.