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Esty doesn't think the public has a right to know

by: ctblogger

Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 22:08:33 PM EST

This is complete bullshit plain and simple.

To ensure a frank and honest discussion at council chambers in City Hall Wednesday night, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty's staff has requested that the congresswoman's meeting with city leaders about potential policy changes in the wake of the Newtown school killings be closed to the public.


The meeting is in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown that left 20 kindergarteners and six staff members dead.

Hearings at the state level Monday and Tuesday were open to the public and lasted several hours each.

The Record-Journal declined an invitation to attend tonight's meeting because it was offered on the condition that all comments be considered "off the record" and not be printed.

A similar offer was made to the Register Citizen newspaper, based in Torrington, when Esty held a roundtable discussion there Monday morning. Co-Managing Editor Tom Cleary attended the meeting and wrote a story.

"Most people there were government officials that probably wouldn't have minded holding it on the record," said Cleary, adding that he felt it was an "unusual" way to hold a meeting.

Esty held a similar closed-door roundtable with officials in Waterbury Tuesday that was neither attended or covered by that city's newspaper, the Republican American. City Editor Thomas Ferriter said the decision was due to the closed-door format. Ferriter said he and reporters could have attended a press briefing after the meeting, but opted not to.

"I basically said, 'Look, you guys, you can do these meetings all you want. Just don't expect us to wait around to meet with you,'" Ferriter said. "I'm not complaining or criticizing. Our thing is to not cover meetings like that."

Jim Smith, president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information, criticized Esty and said local officials should insist that the meeting be on the record.

"It's absolutely outrageous for Rep. Esty to close this meeting," wrote Smith, a former executive editor of the Record-Journal, in an email Tuesday. "It is also very disappointing that a newly elected member of Congress would want to keep the public out of what should be a public discussion." At the state Capitol, "every word was on the record for all Connecticut residents to see and hear the discussion and participate if they so chose. Leaving the people guessing what is being said is absolutely the wrong way to go."

For a member of Congress, whose district includes Newtown, to ban the public from attending roundtable discussions on policy changes in the aftermath of the tragedy in Sandy Hook is beyond outrageous. At the very least, every newspaper in the fifth CD should be writing editorials condemning Congresswoman Esty's actions.

I think it's fair to say that Chris Murphy (or Donovan) would never ban the public from attending an important matter such as policy changes post-Sandy Hook.

I thought the Democratic Party was all about transparency. Oh, I forgot...Republican-light.


ctblogger :: Esty doesn't think the public has a right to know
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What the hell is wrong with these media idiots (4.00 / 1)
All the newsparers and television reporters should have shown up at these meetings after telling Rep Esty they would not agree to her terms and made her either capitulate and allow coverage or put the story of her throwing them out of the meeting as the front page story of their newspapers or the lede story on their TV news programs.

Esty is only getting away with this because  the wimp reporters,editors and media ownership she was dealing with.

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