It's 1 in the morning, and Speaker Sheldon Silver has just taken the chair from Peter Rivera as the Assembly continues to pass budget bills. (I'm cheating -- watching on the computer which meant I had to download the "Real Player".)
A few hours ago, Common Cause/NY issued this statement:
"The virtual lock-down of the State Capitol today to prevent ordinary citizens from personally observing their elected representatives conducting what is supposed to be the people’s business offends all notions of good government and civic engagement. This action would be objectionable at any time, but is even more so during the debate on this year’s budget bills. Given the financial challenges our state faces, the budget bills are arguably the bills which will have the most immediate and direct impact on millions of New Yorkers. It is outrageous that the Legislature is so frightened of ordinary New Yorkers that they will not allow anyone other than staff and the press to observe the debates in person. This flies in the face of long-standing American tradition and is simply wrong.”
They adjourned at 1:08 a.m.