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This is Why Democrats Don’t Want You to See into the General Assembly

Last week over at Maryland Reporter, Len Lazerick wrote about the latest hearing surrounding the effort to ensure that proceedings of the General Assembly were televised over the internet:

A brief, perfunctory hearing in a Senate committee Tuesday made a weak case for Gov. Larry Hogan’s legislation to make the legislature’s proceedings more open and accessible to the public.

Hogan’s Transparency Act of 2018 (SB295/HB352), sponsored by almost all Republican lawmakers and no Democrats, requires the legislature to live video stream and archive all sessions of the House and Senate and their committees, including voting sessions…..

…..Hearings in the House and Senate committees are already live video streamed and archived, but voting sessions in committee, where members debate the merits of bills, are not. Audio of sessions of the full Senate and House have been streamed and archived for years, but since no personal names are allowed to be used during debate, it is often difficult to know who is talking.

“I love transparency all the time,” said EHE Committee Chairman Joan Carter Conway, but she expressed concern about the million-dollar price tag for installation.

Sen. Ron Young, D-Frederick, asked why meetings of the governor’s cabinet should not be videoed. Dudderar pointed out that the meetings of the Board of Public Works, which approves all major state contracts and is chaired by the governor, are lived streamed and archived. She also said the governor’s press conferences are video streamed on the governor’s Facebook page.

If you ever wondered why Democrats don’t want more legislative business televised, we’ve got your answer.

On Monday, Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports attended a hearing before the Baltimore City House Delegation discussing the emergency shutdown of the Baltimore Metro system. In this exchange between Ports and Delegate Brooke Lierman, it’s very apparent that Lierman doesn’t understand the issues at hand.

Let’s just say the video does not show Lierman, who is most famous for wanting to raise taxes on groceries and for getting elected on the basis of her political connections, in a great light.

Democratic legislators don’t want you to see videos like this. They don’t want you to see their ignorance on issues. They don’t want you to see their lack of engagement. They sure don’t want you to see their frank discussions in committee, or the number of times their votes in committee change from those votes that they make on the floor. They don’t want you to see the debate from the floor of either chamber. And why? Because they are afraid of accidental moments like this where they show that they do not know what you think they know. Because videoed proceedings will make people realize that most legislators have no special skills, no special powers, and no special knowledge.

Without the video, Democrats can continue to pretend to be your betters and hope that you won’t notice that they aren’t.

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