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There was a Senate hearing on an anti-labor bill yesterday in Jefferson City and the republican chair who controlled the committee didn’t want anyone recording the proceedings. Because public business isn’t public?

Right to record an issue at Missouri hearing on “right-to-work”

by Eli Yokley • May 12, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As the Missouri Senate prepared for a showdown on “right-to-work,” people attending a hearing on the bill Monday engaged in a showdown over another “right”: the right to film.

When reporters and the public arrived at a hearing of the Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee, they were told they could neither film nor record the proceedings. A Senate camera, they were told, would be recording the hearing “gavel to gavel,” and the public could obtain a tape of the hearing from them after it was over.

The option to obtain the video later was not enough for a number of radio journalists who hoped to record audio from the meeting in time to use it in their broadcast reports. “It’s like standoff at the OK Corral here right now, press aren’t backing down from access to audio recording,” said Alexandra Townsend, an organized labor activist who works for AFSCME….

[….]

Some of the social media traffic:

MO Democratic Party ‏@MoDemParty

With costs like these, no wonder #moleg GOP cuts public hearings short, bans cameras & rushes debate on #RightToWork [….] 9:16 AM – 12 May 2015

Christopher Ave ‏@ChristopherAve

Can anyone provide a single example of how barring recording of a public legislative hearing serves the public? Just one? #moleg 9:28 AM – 12 May 2015

Christopher Ave ‏@ChristopherAve

How is this law unclear? A public body shall allow for the recording by audiotape, videotape, or other electronic means of any open meeting 9:31 AM – 12 May 2015

Good questions.

Sean Nicholson ‏@ssnich

Still waiting for coherent explanation for why Sunshine Law doesn’t apply to @MissouriSenate [….]  #moleg 10:02 AM – 12 May 2015

It’s going to be a very long wait.

Previously:

Because asking politely for people to comply with the law always seems to work out so well (April 15, 2015)