Monday, November 20th, 2017

This is a really dumb rule


Republicans and Democrats should just agree to get rid of this policy. As long as the audience members aren’t bothering anybody, why should the politicians care if they’re being recorded?

Members of the state Assembly returned to the Capitol for their first floor session since the summer. However, their efforts to take up the calendar for the day were repeatedly delayed by protestors. Police move quickly to remove spectators who were attempting to record the Assembly proceedings from the gallery.

Recording devices are banned under Assembly rules, except for credentialed members of the press. No recording is allowed in the gallery where the demonstrators were sitting. Several of those picked up by officers yelled out as they were removed, although all had been sitting quietly before police stepped in.

That previously quiet behavior prompted a call from state Representative Mark Radcliffe (D-Black River Falls) to consider changing the rules to allow videotaping by the public. The Black River Falls Democrat says “it’s disturbing to see my fellow citizens yanked out of here because they want to sit there with a video camera.”

Republicans rejected the proposal, but said they would be willing to consider the issue later.

Radcliffe is right. It is disturbing that the rule is in place. Also, what the hell does “credentialed members of the press” mean anymore? It’s time the Capitol caught up to the 21st century.

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