Lowdown

John Adams, a reporter who covers the Montana Legislature, has an interesting entry today at his Lowdown blog.

It may not sound like an interesting topic – open caucus meetings? zzzzz… – but it really is a fascinating look at Montana politics.

The dirty little secret at the Capitol is that lawmakers from both parties, in both houses, have more-or-less ignored the court’s ruling…or at the spirit of the ruling. For the most part, the open caucus meetings that are announced on the House and Senate floors and held in meeting rooms during a recess in floor action are more show than substance.

The real party caucusing happens behind closed doors or at off-site locations.

Sometimes caucus leaders hold meetings at the Capitol with fewer than half the caucus members present. Without a quorum present, they can can legally turn away the news media. This has happened to me in past sessions.