The Lexington Herald-Leader’s most recent editorial is titled “Kudos to legislature for opening budget negotiations“. Unbelievable.
For the record, budget negotiations for the 2012 General Assembly were not open — unless you consider the presence of one lone public-TV camera as a great example of transparency.
In fact, the paper says all you need to know in the body of the editorial when they contradicted the title:
The budget conference committee meetings were not open to the public but were broadcast by KET…
The Lexington Herald-Leader cannot speak firsthand on how open the meetings were because they were not in the room. How do I know that? Because press was not allowed. Having one camera in a room does not make a process open and transparent. The Bluegrass Institute pointed this out and asked these questions:
- Why was the press not allowed to attend these negotiations?
- Why were legislators not on the budget committee not encouraged to attend?
- Why did the budget committee need an armed guard?
- Why was the hallway roped-off?
Perhaps the Herald-Leader didn’t see the picture of the hallway outside the room where negotiations were taking place. I’m not sure how anyone could sell these recent negotiations as open and transparent.