Glenn Richardson picks a fight with the press…

[UPDATE]:  The Georgia House passed the rules change that bars reporters from the floor of the House after the Rules Committee met and offered a committee substitute to HR595 at the request of the Speaker.   The new language (from my understanding) now reads “between thirty (30) minutes before the House convenes and ending at adjournment.”

To my knowledge, no reporters or cameras have been seen on the House floor since the rules change, although I’ve been quietly sitting up in the House gallery taking my notes. 

…This afternoon, the House Rules Committee sent to the floor House Resolution 595, which would limit press access to the floor of the Georgia House of Representatives to “between thirty (30) minutes before the House convenes and ending thirty (30) minutes after adjournment.”

Basically what this language means is that members of the news media will only have access to the House floor thirty minutes before the House convenes and thirty minutes after the House adjourns.  They won’t have floor access while the House is in sesson.

HR595 is a Glenn Richardson initiative and it’s the talk of the Capitol Press Corps this afternoon in both the House and the Senate.

From what I hear, House Democrats are opposed to the rules change, and Glenn Richardson is about to learn first-hand the old addage “never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.”

NOTE:  This was cross-posted at Georgia Politics Unfiltered

 

38 comments

  1. Doug Deal says:

    “between thirty (30) minutes before the House convenes and ending thirty (30) minutes after adjournment.”

    It might be my misunderstanding of english, but this sounds like it starts at 30 minutes before and continues (through the session) to 30 minutes after adjournment. It does not seem to exclude the press during the session.

  2. CobbGOPer says:

    Or as the boys at PI said, you’ll be seeing a lot more quotes from State Senators across the hall who aren’t as squirrelly about talking to the press…

  3. Mad Dog says:

    Andre,

    That’s how it is when a white man can’t get laid (anymore by the blonde lobbyist).

    They get all irritated at the little things.

    MD

  4. eehrhart says:

    The Senate has the same restriction as does almost every legislative body in the country. It is also intstructive that they continue to have more access than any Georgia citizen. I for one would prefer to give citizens better access than the press.

    As for the Democrats look no further than Pelosi and company for real restrictions on floor access.

  5. Rep. Ehrhart,

    Let me cite the rules of the Senate governing the press:

    9-1.9 Media(a) While the Senate is in session, representatives of the media, including print, radio and television shall be allowed on the floor of the Senate only in the area in the rear of the Chamber designated for them.

    Read that carefully because you’ll notice that nothing is there that in anyway resembles the language that was included in HR595.

    No time limits.

    No having to send a page to pull a Senator off the floor.

  6. Decaturguy says:

    Read the Resolution in full context. As much as it pains me to say it, I think that Andre is essentially correct.

    The resolution bars members of the media from the floor “during the period beginning thirty (30) minutes before the House convenes and ending thirty (30) minutes after adjournment.”

    During this time the media is limited to “the South anteroom and the Media Gallery of the House of Representatives.” It goes on to say that during this time “reporters for print media and broadcast media may request that a member leave the floor for an interview in the South anteroom or in one of the halls adjacent to the House chamber. A request by a member of the media for a member to leave the floor for an interview shall be made through a House Page assigned to the Media Gallery for that purpose.”

  7. Doug Deal says:

    Decaturguy,

    Ah, Andre did not post the summary of the resoltion in a way that maintained its meaning.

    He said:

    This afternoon, the House Rules Committee sent to the floor House Resolution 595, which would limit press access to the floor of the Georgia House of Representatives to “between thirty (30) minutes before the House convenes and ending thirty (30) minutes after adjournment.”

    Which suggests that is the time that they can have access to the floor.

    While, in your summary you state:

    The resolution bars members of the media from the floor “during the period beginning thirty (30) minutes before the House convenes and ending thirty (30) minutes after adjournment.”

    Which means the opposite.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  8. eehrhart says:

    Again…… it is them same as the Senate. If you do not believe me come down here and I will personally show you. The press is only restricted from the legislative floor during the session. In the Senate they are in the Gallery in the back and they cannot go onto the floor. It is the same in the House now after the resolution, only our press gallery is larger. The chambers are differently constructed but the access is the same.

  9. Rep. Ehrhart,

    I’ve been coming down to the Capitol for about three years now, as a legislative aide, as a citizen lobbyist, as a regular citizen, and now as a credentialed blogger.

    I’m more than familiar with the layout of both legislative chambers.

    The difference between the House Press Gallery and the Senate Press Gallery is that the press gallery in the House is a completely enclosed room in the back of the House chamber. Yes, it’s much larger, but it’s also cordoned off from the House members.

    In the Senate, however, the press gallery is open air where members of the press (and members of the Senate too) can directly interact with each other. I know this because I’ve seen this myself on a first-hand basis.

    Technically, the press is not on THE floor of the Senate, but the reporters still have greater access to the Senators now than they do to members of the House.

    But it’s obvious that there’s not going to be any consensus between us on this issue.

    I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe, and that’s just the way it is.

  10. Bill Simon says:

    No, Andre, there won’t. Erhart has way too many other things on his mind than to discuss this piddly stuff with you.

    He’s got to work on how many more ways he can f*** with the Cobb school districts…or, figure out where else he can propose Vince Dooley’s name be affixed to something…

  11. eehrhart says:

    Lets try the evidence of you own eyes Rugy; is that empirical enough for you or do you just want to make comments on here. I said that the press is restricted to the gallery in the Senate the same as in the House. The press may not enter either floor. Unfortunately neither can a citizen. I for one believe they should have more access than the press. Come down and I will be glad to give you a tour and prove exactly what I said. You can make assumptions about quality of access all you want Andre that is not what I argued. I stated that they are restricted from the floor.

  12. Jason Pye says:

    I for one believe [citizens] should have more access than the press.

    A reasonable argument can be made that the press are the eyes and ears of the citizens, cutting their access could be portrayed as cutting access to citizens.

  13. Chris says:

    Are not most press critters also citizens? Do not all citizens have the freedom to write whatever they wish? How then can you permit citizens yet not the press?

    And Jason I must disagree. If I relied on the press to be my eyes & ears I’d be as misinformed about the world as the average democrat. 🙂

  14. Rep. Ehrhart,

    I’ve said my piece, and right now, we’re arguing over semantics.

    Here are the facts…

    “The new policy is similar to that of the state Senate, where reporters can ask a media liaison to get a senator to leave the chamber for an interview, but aren’t allowed to walk onto the floor during a session.

    But in the Senate, reporters are in the back of the chamber, where senators will walk by and can easily be called. In the House, reporters are in a separate room with glass windows.” 3/21/2007 Macon Telegraph Legislative Notebook

    This rule change has effectively isolated members of the press in the House and made it that much harder for them to do their jobs.

    But as I said earlier, we’re arguing over semantics here, which is the great thing about politics…people can spend four hours debating the definition of a comma.

  15. eehrhart says:

    Andre,

    Come down anyway and I will give you the full behind the ropes tour you might enjoy it.

    I like your terminology of semantics being the distinction chasing the difference.

    It truly is what makes politics such great sport.

  16. rugby_fan says:

    Fair enough Rep. Ehrhart.

    Although I will not renege on my belief that empirical, objective evidence will have little to no bearing on your judgment.

  17. eehrhart says:

    Jason that is a great idea! I will do it next week at a time we can get the most people to attend.

    We can even get a “grouchy” sign for Rugby to carry

    Perhaps there will be some left over donuts in one of the rooms and that will work on his empirical objective outlook which seems to be very cynical

  18. eehrhart says:

    I will post a couple of times next week and see if I can get a consensus on what works best from those on here….

    Oh yeah Billy Simon…maybe we can find a sign with some symbol text on it for you ^$^&%$ ##***

  19. rugby_fan says:

    eehrhart, I would love to meet you in person.

    Let me ask you some questions first. Do you have the same condescending tone and manner for all your constituents?

    Or do you only doff the role of public servant for select individuals?

    I await your response.

  20. eehrhart says:

    Thank you Peach

    Rugby, ones persons condescension is anothers response in like kind.

    Being elected is not an invitation to be your doormat. I will extend to you exactly the courtesies you extend to me. If you cannot handle that perhaps you should try a venue other than blogs where your sensitivity will not be trampled.

    May I suggest an encounter group where they play very soft music.

    Looking forward to meeting you on the Blog tour.

    Strap on your sense of humor!

  21. Rpolitic says:

    Andre,
    In fact the Senate goes even further and bans lobbyists from the floor prior to and after session. As for the access to the press in the house, I recall former Governor Barnes as a house member have no problem talking to the press during his last session.

    A politician will always find a way to get to the press and has a nose for seeking out a microphone.

  22. Bill Simon says:

    Earl,

    In regards to your comment above of “Oh yeah Billy Simon…maybe we can find a sign with some symbol text on it for you ^$^&%$ ##*** “……..

    …in approximately 4 weeks, I predict you will have that expression on your face when you receive the Ethics Complaint I’m going to file against you for QUITE the questionable expenditures you’ve disclosed.

    But, don’t worry, I’m certain a particular lawyer over at McKenna, Long, Aldridge will accept your case with glee.

    AMF, Earl.

  23. whitemalevoters says:

    We would like to thank Earl Erhart for always looking out for the best intrest of white male voters in this state. Thank you for giving us your unwaivering support, Earl!

  24. GOPeach says:

    Earl –

    Bile Slime-On should stop filing Ethincs Complaints and start filing his toe nails.

    He’s a flippin gargoyle with no life!

    You have to see the picture I saw of him
    scratching his ass in a black T -shirt
    at the Cobb County Convention.

    He is scary… Can someone say hygeine?

    Can we file a hygiene complaint with
    the Health Dept. ? I think what he has
    could be contagious… G-d help us!

    His blood type is B negative!

  25. GOPeach says:

    LOL LOL!!!

    Hey Earl-

    I will forward these pcitures over to you.
    You should see these pictures of Bile –
    Picking his nose and sitting next to
    a lady in a wheel chair.

    You wonder if he is going to wipe his bugers
    on her.

    Earl – You really are a nice looking man.
    ( I am married and I am not flirting- okay)
    But… you are a cutie and I hope you get
    married soon….

    As for Bile Slime-On …
    No wonder he only dates blind people. 🙂

    He’s a frustrated typist … starving for attention.
    He calls me a bitch…

    Well he is right about that!
    I am Judge’s bitch –

    Bill is a bitch also-
    Maybe he is Sue Everharts bitch!
    That could very well be…. hummmmm.

    Somebody call the Governor so he
    can appoint somebody QUICK!!!!

    If Sue is the one -Bill will be one too.

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