A Facebook friend who has been following the twists, turns and votes on HJR 3 has reported on the defensive behavior of Representative Dave Ober, one of the “yes” votes for that measure.
Apparently, Rep. Ober is unwilling to engage in discussion about his position or his vote–according to my correspondent, he has “de-friended” people posting contrary positions, no matter how respectfully, eliminated critical posts from his official Facebook page, and refused to defend or even discuss his vote.
Ober isn’t the only legislator hiding from public debate and scrutiny: when a reporter friend of mine asked for an accounting of the letters and emails generated by the HJR 3 debate, she was told that the Freedom of Information Act doesn’t apply to the legislature, and they didn’t have to respond.
Now, there might be an excuse for refusing to supply the contents of legislative emails; there really is no reason–other than potential embarrassment–for refusing to tell the media how many communications were received pro and con. ( Why do I suspect that if letters supporting HJR 3 had outnumbered those against, they’d have complied?) As it is, the legislative response to legitimate inquiries can be summarized as a collective “go *** yourself.”
Can we spell “arrogant”?
The next time one of these self-important lawmakers pontificates about how he’s “doing the people’s business,” someone should remind him that the people have a right to know how their business is being conducted, and whether the measures being passed are consistent with the people’s expressed policy preferences.
Theoretically, democracy is supposed to work like this: we elect folks, watch how they behave, and subsequently vote to retain or reject them based upon that behavior. When those we elect opt to game the system, refuse to defend their reasoning, and generally take the position that they aren’t answerable to those who elected them, it’s time to clean House.