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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Democrats wrong to close first meeting

The new Democratic Congress hasn't taken office yet but its leaders already plan a closed session.

How disappointing.

The only reason closed sessions of government at any level take place is to keep someone else in the dark.

The proposed Jan. 4 meeting is to take place in the hours before Democrats formally take power and is being called a "bipartisan caucus" to get away from the nasty words "secret meeting." The meeting, according to incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, is to get the newly elected officials off to a smooth start and allow members to get grudges off their chests.

But aren't their constituents entitled to know why the nation's highest elected officials have been so vitriolic toward each other?

Democrats howled for years about the secrecy in the Bush administration and how Republicans cut them out of the legislation-making process. They are about to set the wrong tone for dealing with the "culture of corruption" theme that was part of the Democratic campaign mantra.

Republicans fear Democrats will use their new powers to investigate such things as the government's relationship with Halliburton. Isn't the public entitled to know what quid pro quo Democrats are offering Republicans as they take control of both houses of Congress?

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