On Tuesday, the Republicans in the Arizona House of Representatives voted to change the rules of their chamber to allow them to close their caucus meeting to the public.
From the Casa Grande Dispatch, written by Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services -
Saying they sometimes need some privacy, House Republicans voted Tuesday to let themselves — and Democrats if they want — have closed-door discussions about pending issues.
House rules have required party caucuses to be open except for certain executive sessions for specified reasons. Historically, that has included the election of party leaders and advice from legal counsel about pending lawsuits.
The new rule, however, allows party leaders to shut the doors any time they want.
While the House Rs were doing their level best to reduce government transparency, Senate Rs were demanding more transparency of others.
On Tuesday, Senators Gail Griffin, Sylvia Allen, Barbara McGuire (a D, but don't let that fool you - she's a conservaDem of long standing), David Farnsworth, and John Kavanagh introduced SCM1012.
It was officially "First Read" (introduced) on Wednesday and assigned to a committee (Federalism, Mandates, and Fiscal Responsibility), where it has already been placed on an agenda (Tuesday, 9 a.m., SHR3).
The equivalent of a love letter to Congress (you can tell by the overuse of the word "whereas"), it "respectfully" (their word, but trust me, they don't mean it) requests that Congress pass a bill to require the US Fish and Wildlife Service to disclose how much they are spending to respond to lawsuits over the Endangered Species Act -
Whereas, the 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act would require the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to track, report to Congress and make available online the federal taxpayer funds used to respond to ESA lawsuits, the number of employees dedicated to ESA litigation and the amount of attorney fees awarded in the course of ESA litigation and settlement agreements; and...
Watching them in action makes me wonder one thing -
Where are they going to bury the "dancing shoes" line item in the budget this year?