Independent Ethics Commission shuts down public livestream of meeting

From The Colorado Independent:  The conflict over a lack of transparency at Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission came to a head Thursday when Colorado Ethics Watch set up a live video feed to allow the public, at least in Denver, to watch and listen to the commission’s meeting.

That didn’t sit well with Commission Chair Bill Leone, who directed the group to shut down the broadcast.

Leone said he was uncomfortable with a third party recording the meeting, raising the possibility that the video could be selectively edited – a concern echoed by fellow commission member and former state Sen. Bob Bacon of Fort Collins.

Ethics Watch Senior Counsel Peg Perl explained that Periscope, the internet broadcast system the group was using, doesn’t allow for video editing, but Leone insisted that she turn off the feed anyway. Perl shut it down about an hour into the meeting.

She pointed out that nothing in the commission’s rules prohibit a third party from broadcasting its public proceedings. “I’m happy to work with you,” she told the commission. “I’d prefer you do your own transparency.”

She noted that the commission has been talking for two years about the broadcast issue, but has done nothing to make meetings more accessible to the public.

Addressing Leone’s third-party concern, Perl pointed out that television news crews and members of the public have recorded audio and video at the commission meetings in the past.

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