Here's the best example of media double standard that I've seen in years.
This week, House Republicans voted to change the rules so that they can meet in closed caucus. Naturally the Democratic Caucus complained about transparency and the Mainstream Media trotted along....until the Republicans pointed out that the Democrats already conduct closed caucuses.
I pointed out earlier this week that when the Democrats controlled the budget process in 2007, they negotiated the budget in secret and then unveiled and attempted to pass it in one day.
Naturally the media when faced with such an abuse of process by Governor Napolitano and the Democratic Caucus--completely ignored it.
Here's an example that is more recent and more egregious.
First a quiz: What is the most significant bill that the Legislature has passed in the last decade?
I think the clear winner is Medicaid Expansion. Most of the Republican caucus opposed the expansion and Governor Brewer worked with Legislative Leadership and the Democratic caucuses to pass the bill. I supported the expansion, but the tactics that the coalition used to force the measure through the process were truly shocking.
The bill never had a hearing in committee. The House rules are full of protections for the general public that ensure the bill will get a public airing and that people will get an opportunity to testify, ask questions and see the bill crafted. The coalition suspended all of those rules and took the bill straight from introduction to Committee of the Whole (with a possible stop in the Rules Committee where testimony isn't allowed, but frankly, I can't find a record of the bill even going through Rules.)
Did every Democrat support the rule suspension? Yep. Did the media complain about the process? Nope. Keep that in mind when these same House members complain about the process.
I've printed the list of suspended rules below.
4-J. Every bill, resolution and memorial, except death resolutions and Senate bills to be substituted on third reading pursuant to Rule 7 C, shall automatically be assigned to the Rules Committee at the time of assignment to another standing committee without action upon the part of the Speaker.
8-J. On First Reading, all bills, resolutions or memorials shall be referred by the Speaker or the Speaker’s designee to appropriate committees. Each committee shall report each measure it carefully considers back to the House with such recommendations as may be deemed proper. All amendments proposed by the committee shall be separately reported. If the Speaker designates his referral authority pursuant to this rule to any member of the House other than the Speaker Pro Tempore the designation shall be in writing, state the period of time for which it is effective, and be filed in advance with the Chief Clerk.
8-K. When the first committee reports the measure to the House, the Speaker places it on the House Calendar (Inactive Calendar). When the last committee to which the measure was referred reports to the House, it is the property of the Committee on Rules, which considers the measure. The Speaker sets the order of the measures on the Active Calendar for the consideration of the Committee of the Whole.
10-A. Reports of Standing Committees shall be announced to the House upon receipt of reports from the committees. Reports from the following committees concerning matters herein named shall have precedence and may be received at any time except in Committee of the Whole: 1. The Committee on Rules on joint rules, order of business and rules relating to the order of consideration of bills; 2. The Committee on Judiciary on the right of a member to his seat; 3. The Committee on Ways and Means on bills for raising revenue; 4. The Committee on Appropriations on all matters referred to it.
B. When a report of a committee is printed, it shall include a minority report, if requested.
17-A. 3. Speaker may refer the bill with the Senate amendments to a committee which after study shall recommend concurrence or nonconcurrence. 4. The Speaker may refer a measure that was subject to Senate amendments that introduced new material or was the subject of a strike everything amendment to a free Conference Committee that is primarily comprised of members of a standing committee that is customarily assigned similar subject matter and the measure’s prime sponsor. Public testimony shall be allowed at the conference committee.
33-B. A standing, interim or joint committee or a subcommittee, except the Committee on Rules, shall not take action on a legislative measure unless the measure has been on a committee agenda which was available at the Information Desk by 4:00 p.m. on the previous day. Standing Committees are also subject to Rule 9 C. Interim committees shall prepare and distribute agendas no later than 4:00 p.m. on the second previous working day, excluding Saturday, Sundays and holidays, in advance of the committee meeting.
33-C. A measure not considered by the Committee of the Whole on the same legislative day as it was reported out of the last standing committee to which it is assigned, other than the Committee on Rules, shall not be considered by the Committee of the Whole unless it appeared on an active calendar of the Committee of the Whole which was available at the Information Desk on the previous day.
37-1. Every bill, resolution and memorial shall be referred to one or more standing committees, except death resolutions and Senate bills to be substituted on Third Reading pursuant to Rule 7 C.