More from the Argus on the open/closed session issue

The Argus Leader has more on the special session issue this morning, withtheir attorney who has sued the state for open government talking about why it could be closed... But emphasizing that he thinks it should be open. Plus, more of a rundown on those who think it should be open, and those who think it should be shut:
If a vote were held tomorrow on whether to close the proceedings, it's unclear which side would prevail.


Olson says he wants it closed because of his relationships with the page, the page's father and Sutton.

"I'm just really sensitive because I'm closer to it than most," he said. "Because of my connection to those folks, I don't want a circus."

Sen. Gene Abdallah, R-Sioux Falls, said all meetings should be open unless they involve a personnel issue. In this case, he has mixed emotions. Witnesses could face humiliation in a public session, but, he added, many, if not all, of the players already are known in the public.

"Right now, I would come down on the side of a closed hearing until the facts are known," he said.

Following Olson's remarks earlier this week, several senators stepped forward to say that they would oppose efforts to close the session.

Sen. Jason Gant, R-Sioux Falls, is one. Gant said the session should be open because the allegation doesn't involve a minor.

"This is government," he said. "The people are the government. There is nothing here that is top secret, confidential or would hurt the state."

Sen. Bob Gray, R-Fort Pierre, maintains that because the alleged victim is 18, the proceedings should be open, just as a criminal trial would be.

"I certainly think it should be out in the open," Gray said. "We're a public body."

Sen. Bill Earley, R-Sioux Falls, said his first thought on the session was that it should be confidential. But after thinking about the issues at stake, he supports meeting in open.


Sen. Dave Knudson, a Sioux Falls Republican, said he's adamant that it be open. Knudson notes that court sessions typically are open to the public.

"The public is entitled to understand why an action is taken, if an action is taken," he said.

Read it all here.
So, here's an update on the rundown from yesterday:
Olson - Closed Session (but knows he's in the minority)
Abdallah - Leaning towards Closed Session

Gray - Open Session
Gant - Open Session
Earley - Open Session
Knudson - Open Session
For those who want it closed, I've included their contact information in case anyone wants to drop them a note and encourage them to keep the people's business public. For those who are demanding it be open, good for you!


Anonymous said…
Who cares what the Argus says, or any of the MSM, on this or any other issue. They have long ago established incredibility upon themselves through Kranz et al.
They will continue to "editorialize" through their "reporting" and ruin careers, families, business, where they choose. NEVER will they admit or apologize for the err in their ways.
The Senate session should be open and as before, the caucus of the two parties can be closed as well as testimony in committee prior to the session.
Anonymous said…
South Dakota was ranked 7th in the for the most corruption in State Government. Nebraska was 50th, and Iowa and Minnesota ranked just above Nebraska. This is in an independent report. You do not like it do your own. Links on site below.

Pictures of Judge sponsered child abuse and police reports of domestic violence all bought and paid for by corrupt judges.
Anonymous said…
I've never heard of a committee hearing being closed before. If these charges prove to be false, Dennis Wiese can kiss his political history good by.
Anonymous said…
ummmm....i think you mean his political future. everybody can kiss their history good-bye.
Anonymous said…
"I've never heard of a committee hearing being closed before." It's called executive session or grand jury, both are for discussing sensitive matters in confidence.

As for the ARGUS being at fault here, I would submit they've exercised unusual restraint.

Someone messed up big time in this sad, sordid deal. I just wish Bob Mercer wrote for them.

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