Politician All For Transparency Until It Might Make Him Look Bad In A Campaign Commercial

from the hello-streisand dept

Apparently, California broadcasts many key state legislature hearings, just like many legislative bodies these days. However, right before a hearing on some key ballot initiatives, apparently California Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg ordered that the feed be turned off for the meeting. Critics noted that Steinberg was vigorously supporting one of the ballot measures, which involves sales and income tax issues. After complaining about cutting off the feed, Steinberg and his staff basically admitted that they did it because they don't want footage to be used against them in campaign commercials by opponents:
Steinberg spokesman, Rhys Williams justified the disruption of CalChannel service this way: 'It was inappropriate to provide legislative resources to promote the ballot measure campaigns of either side, and in particular to make those public-funded resources easily available for exploitation in political TV commercials.'"
In other words, because the public debate on these issues might lead others to make campaign commercials, it should not be transparent or shared at all.

The committee's own chairperson, Lois Wolk, was apparently horrified that the video was cut off, noting that "she had begun the hearing with a statement expressing hope that it would help voters reach a reasoned decision on the four measures." Oops.

Steinberg, to his credit has now apologized and admitted that: "It wasn't a good reason... When you mess up, you mess up. I'm sorry and it won't happen again." At least he recognizes that, but the initial move was still pretty blatant and raises significant questions about his motivations in cutting off this most basic form of governmental transparency.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    weneedhelp (profile), Aug 15th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

    Feed

    Did they still tape it? If so they should release it... unless it makes him look bad. /s

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 15th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

    I can see the political comercials now:

    "Steinberg doesn't want you to know what he's doing on the issues that affect you."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 15th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    Politicians v. The Truth

    When the truth makes you look bad...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    and does the apology include the transmission now? didn't see where there has been a change of mind on that part

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2012 @ 12:16pm

    Stainberg's Campaign Motto

    Do as I say, not as I do

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Stainberg's Campaign Motto

    Well he's making it pretty difficult to know what he does.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Stainberg's Campaign Motto

    Well, that might be good policy what with the corrpt behavier.

    You wouldn't wabt your neigbours to act like a bunch of politicians would you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 15th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Be fair...

    "Politician All For Transparency Until It Might Make Him Look Bad In A Campaign Commercial"

    In all fairness to Mr. Steinberg, he and his people WERE incredibly transparent about why they don't want to be transparent. So....that's something....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

    You're damned right you made a mistake.

    The bigger problem is that he even considered such a thing, much less acted upon it, to begin with.

    This points to a serious character flaw and character flaws are not cured with the utterance of an apology. He needs to go, ASAP.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 15th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

    Back in the day

    When CSPAN first started, they were restricted to very tight shots, because Congress didn't want people to know how often they didn't show up. Newt Gingrich and co. siezed on that and started making speeches during Special Orders and acting like that they were directly addressing congressmen who weren't even there. Tip O'Niel flipped out and made CSPAN pull back and show how empty it was.

    TL;DR Be careful about putting Pols in charge of broadcasting Pols.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    This is the kind of thing that happens when you have one party rule, as they do in California.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Robert Freetard, Aug 15th, 2012 @ 4:39pm

    >In other words, because the public debate on these issues >might lead others to make campaign commercials, it should >not be transparent or shared at all.

    No the Other Words that apply here are ACTUALLY
    Because his support of these issues, if VOTERS KNEW ABOUT IT may well change their decision to vote for him, he would rather keep it as quiet as possible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    eca (profile), Aug 15th, 2012 @ 5:33pm

    So..

    So..
    you dont want someone video taping your DOINGS.?.?
    Are you?
    Ashamed? smoking habit, you said you quit?
    Embarrassed? First time on a nude beach?
    Doing something Against the rules? You are supposed to represent a GROUP, and now you ARENT??
    Doing something against the LAW?? Striping in public? speeding?

    I thought we were supposed to place ideological persons that LIVED by what they said..
    I thought we were supposed to elect SMART people that Looked ahead and made decisions they could live with..

    THIS is a public OFFICE. This is a public JOB.. this is SUPPOSED to be where we can EXPECT those that we elected to "DO THE RIGHT THING""protect the public"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 16th, 2012 @ 3:02am

    Re: Be fair...

    Don't forget they apologized. I'm sure that everything will be alright when the Govt apologize for having violated the Constitution countless times since 9/11. /s

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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