This is why they can’t have a seat
Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013
* The Illinois Policy Institute and the Better Government Association both have people who “cover” the Statehouse and have applied for seats in the House and Senate press boxes. So far, neither group has received an approval from the two chambers.
Why? Because the groups directly lobby the Legislature. If they were given permission to sit in the press box, then why not AFSCME, or AARP, or the Illinois Chamber? All of those groups (and many, many more) produce extensive reports on the General Assembly’s doings.
* I’ve been thinking about doing a post on this for a while now. And a newspaper “column” by the BGA’s Andy Shaw, which recently appeared in the Sun-Times, reminded me why I should…
Look, it’s nice to see a goo-goo group occasionally congratulate individual legislators for the work they do, even legislators who aren’t exactly known as “reformers.” Usually, all we see is angry broadbrush criticism from those folks.
But you can’t register with the state, lobby for bills and then heap praise on your sponsors in a “column” and expect to get a seat in the press box. It doesn’t work that way.
There’s been some grumblings about a potential lawsuit, but the groups ought to stow their anger and just do what they do and quit trying to be something they clearly are not.
Maybe you disagree. If so, I’d love to hear it.