Guarding the House videotapes | Arkansas Blog

Friday, April 29, 2011

Guarding the House videotapes

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Roby Brock and his partners have produced a report on the House policy on use of the trove of new video and audio recordings compiled under the House of Representatives laudable and wholly wonderful expansion of broadcast of committee and chamber proceedings.

The House has adopted a rule that this material cannot be used for political, partisan, campaign or commercial purposes.

Can they do that? A very interesting legal question. It's hard to believe that, if the House really clamps down on use of the material, that it can withstand the test. Although remember that the legislature exempts itself from the Freedom of Information Act in many respects.

There's legal and there's right. Seems simple to me. The public paid for these invaluable records of public proceedings. They should be made available to all on an equal basis and they may be used just about however the recipient intends. I think there might be some room to prevent strict commercial use — resale of the tapes produced for and by the public.

Lawyers?

UPDATE: I've posted a video used against Mike Huckabee by political opponents in the 2008 presidential race. I think it encapsulates why House members fear use of the video in political campaigns. Huckabee's recitation of all the tax increases he supports is powerful TV imagery.

Bill Stovall, former House speaker and now staff, claims credit for the language. He said the interest was in preventing use of publicly financed material for private or commercial use. I get that. Problem is that declaring political speech as "profiting" is a reach, in my view. Stovall contends Texas has operated this way for years. And another caller says the Arkansas rule mirrors congressional rules against use of film shot on the floor in partisan outside uses. Stovall said the policy will be reviewed and if there's agreement that there are constitutional problems, it will be rescinded. I said it would be easy to have a House rule by which members agreed not to use the material in their campaigns. True, Stovall said, but it wouldn't be "fair" to let opponents use the material if incumbents cannot. I'm not sure I see it that way, given incumbents' many advantages, including retention of excess campaign money. They are free to use the words they speak. Why not the images of them speaking the words?

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.
  • Lynchings hidden in the history of the Hot Springs Confederate monument

    Hot Springs twice erupted into the kind of violence that has its roots in the issues left unresolved by the Civil War, and both times, it happened right where that monument to Confederate soldiers stands today.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation