Naifeh says Democrats were more open than Republicans when they controlled House

Excerpt from a Commercial Appeal report on developments in the flap over House committee “pre-meetings:”

(O)n Wednesday, former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, a Democrat from Covington, took exception to assertions by House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada on Tuesday that secret meetings were more prevalent when Democrats controlled the House until 2009.

Naifeh, who retired from the legislature four years ago, said Wednesday that the only “secret” meetings he knew of during his tenure were the budget committee and occasionally the industrial impact subcommittee, which no longer exists.

“As usual, Mr. Casada doesn’t understand what he’s talking about. We did have secret budget meetings in my office, but it was always posted on the bulletin board — ‘secret budget meeting in Speaker Naifeh’s office 4 p.m. Tuesday.’ The doors were open. I had it in there because we could all feel like we were closer together than sitting around a conference table.

“Republicans were there. They were not closed.”

Naifeh said that in his last two years in the legislature, the House budget committee had “closed secret meetings and Democratic members weren’t allowed in. The only other one I can remember when I was speaker was the industrial impact subcommittee that would get together sometimes when they had some very hard issues. I didn’t participate but I knew it was going. Each bill was discussed and the (bill) sponsor could come in.

“It seems to be” more systemic now, he said.

Note: Post including Casada’s comments is HERE.