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April 19, 2007

DANNY GLOVER HAS MORE on the "secret hold" that wasn't -- exactly -- a secret hold:

While bloggers may be wrong on parliamentary procedure, they appear to be right on the money in assuming that some Republican lawmaker -- and perhaps the Senate Republican leadership -- doesn't like yet another transparency bill and may even be working to keep it from seeing action. . . .

I entered this fray as a journalist, not as an activist for or against the particular bill in question. I just wanted to ask a question and get an answer. That didn't happen. With me at least, Don Stewart chose spin over transparency, and I'm not happy about it.

So to all of you bloggers out there, I wholeheartedly endorse the underlying message of this campaign against a non-hotlined, secret, non-hold objection: Keep calling your senators and demanding answers. I don't care whether you're doing it because you're more interested in journalism (like me) or campaign finance activism. Just do it -- and don't let anyone stonewall you.

Read the whole thing. And read this from Mark Tapscott, too:

That explanation is true, as far as it goes, but it carefully excludes mention of three significant facts. First, the objection stopped the bill's advance. Didn't kill it but put it on hold for now. Second, the identity of the objection GOP senator was not made public.

I'm just an out-of-town rube, but that sure sounds like a "hold" that is "secret" to me.

The third fact ignored in the Senate GOP rationalization is this: Feinstein's proposal is a no-brainer if you believe in transparency in government but there is a history of GOP opposition to it. That is why the proposal got nowhere in the Senate when the GOP had the majority.

The way to settle the argument here is simple: Disclose the identity of the object[ing] GOP senator who can then explain why his or her procedural argument had to be made behind a cloak of anonymity. It would also be helpful to know what possible objection there could be to having Senate campaign finance reports be made public electronically, just as they are by everybody else required to file them.

Sounds fair to me.