Dec 8, 2006

Editorial calls out county Livingston County GOP on closed-door county convention

Apparently, the days of political gamesmanship and plotting behind closed doors in a smoke-filled room are alive and well in the Livingston County Republican Party. Late last month when the county GOP chose a new chair it literally slammed the door in the face of the media there to cover the convention. Maybe they haven’t heard that government is best conducted in the open and in the bright sunshine. Technically, they did not violate the Open Meetings Act, but they certainly violated the spirit of the law. When you consider that the GOP here controls every board and commission in Livingston County from the U.S. Congressional seat down to the township boards it’s even more suspicious and ominous.
I have never, ever heard of a reporter being barred from a party convention, and the Livingston County Daily Press rightly called them out on it in an editorial today.

What kind of political party doesn't allow the media in to cover its convention?
The Livingston County Republican Party did just that, and we feel the decision to bar reporters from its recent convention was a mistake.
The county GOP met on Nov. 30 at the historical Livingston County Courthouse in Howell for its convention, and reporters (including one from this newspaper) were turned away at the door.
No official reason was given for the exclusion, but the word was that officials expected the convention to become heated. They didn't want reporters to see any intra-party squabbling.
Step back for a moment and you'll realize how silly it was that the county GOP barred the media from its convention. Can you imagine reporters being excluded from a national political convention? Or a state political convention? Heck, at those events, the politicians are practically begging for any coverage they might receive.
So why should a county convention be any different? If it's not a problem to cover a state or national Republican convention, why not a county political convention?

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