CSPAN executives are political geniuses

Who knew that CSPAN exectives had such a good sense of political timing?

The Hill reports:

Noting that Democrats have pledged to increase transparency and accountability in government, C-SPAN Thursday called on House Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to give television viewers the same real-time access to views of the House floor as anyone sitting in the gallery would have.

In a Dec. 14 letter, C-SPAN CEO and Chairman Brian Lamb asked Pelosi to roll back the three-decade old practice that put the House Speaker in charge of the cameras. C-SPAN and the House reached the current agreement in 1979 when cameras were first introduced to the chamber. He wrote that he sought a similar agreement in 1994 when Republicans captured control of the House, but he did not get it.

More:

Rules and established practices prevent cameras from taking individual reaction shots or from panning the chamber, leaving viewers with an incomplete picture of what’s happening in the House,” he added.

In addition, Lamb asked Pelosi to immediately post how individual lawmakers voted on a piece of legislation. Currently, the parties’ totals appear on screen, but the individual tallies are not posted until hours later.

Providing viewers real-time access to who votes how and when would indeed be revealing. So often moderates in both parties vote last while they wait to see which way the tide goes or to see what is possibly in it for them when their vote becomes very valuable at the end. Establishing that trend on the record would be very illuminating.

UPDATE: And then there is this semi-related note from National Journal this morning…

Although Democrats have vowed a return to ‘regular order’ in the legislative process, along with more openness and accountability, many of the decisions about their first-100-hours agenda are being made privately by party leaders and a handful of committee leaders.

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