Why was Senator Jim Smith expelled from the Republican caucus?
I know Senator Jim Smith. Jim is a good man, and a good legislator, among the best.
Indiana State Senate leadership, and fellow Republicans in the Senate, recently expelled Senator Jim Smith from Charlestown, Indiana from their caucus and Jim still faces further sanctions and punishment. What does that mean? Well, a caucus is a special interest group that meets in a back-room behind-closed-doors under pledge of secrecy to plan legislation. Jim Smith asked his constituents a simple question on Facebook?
“The Indiana senate republican leadership is pushing a homosexual civil rights bill…. What do you think?”
The senate republican leadership expelled Jim for violating his pledge to their secrecy. But which takes priority? Jim’s pledge to his constituents to be transparent and seek their input and feedback on issues and pending legislation or Jim’s pledge to keep the republican caucus’s schemes secret?
Why aren’t the discussions that take place in secret caucuses instead made on the senate floor? That is what our form of government contemplates. That is what transparency dictates. Special interests do not always mean the rich wealthy donors. Special interests also consists of unions, senior citizens, environmentalists, homeless advocates, gun owners, LGBT, religious groups, etc. But what is too often common across all special interests? Their desire to scheme and draft legislation in favor of their special interest in secret behind-closed-doors, often in caucuses.
I have no problem with special interests. We are all members of various special interest groups, and we should be allowed to speak as a group in favor or against legislation. However, these groups too often fear the transparent light of sun shining on their plans. They do not want to debate and justify their ideas openly in public. They strongly prefer secret caucuses.
Jim Smith dared to ask his constituents for their feedback on the drafting of special interest legislation taking place behind-closed-doors. They expelled Jim out of fear that he will inform his constituents about legislative plans they are scheming. This is what is wrong with government at all levels today.
I want transparency in government. Secret caucuses run contrary to transparency. Republicans should be leading the cause for transparency. At this point, what makes the Republicans in Indiana any different than national Democrats? Their policies that they are scheming to implement - IN SECRET? How can we know?
Edited by Patriot, 21 November 2015 - 06:35 PM.