We saw how Rep. Steve Chabot got a lot of pushback when he tried to lie about how Planned Parenthood uses its funding at a Town Hall meeting in a Front Page Story. Now we can see that Steve Chabot had police confiscate video cameras and cell phones from constituents to keep his words from being recorded.
Democrats’ cameras seized by police at Chabot Town Hall meeting
Monday night, at a “town hall” meeting in North Avondale featuring U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, video cameras owned by two Democratic activists were seized by a Cincinnati police officer at the direction of Chabot’s staff.
A Chabot spokesman said they had the cameras seized “to protect the privacy of constituents” at the event, although there were at least two media outlets at the North Avondale Recreation Center filming the meeting.
Tim Burke, the chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, has written a letter to Cincinnati City Solicitor John Curp asking for an explanation of “the legal basis for the seizure and the enforcement by Cincinnati police of rules created by the Congressman.”
About 100 persons were present – most of whom were clearly not supporters of the 1st District Republican congressman.
But, at this meeting, as at other recent Chabot town hall events, participants were required to sign in as they entered and write out questions for the congressman. Members of the staff chose which questions he answered at Monday’s meeting.
Chabot's office has since issued a statement that in the in future Town Hall questions will come directly from participants and won't be screened.
This is absolutely appalling. This heavy handed closing of the public's eye should offend Americans all across the Political Spectrum.
As ilyana pointed out in a comment recording devices are permitted at public meeting under Ohio Law
Ohio Recording Law
While the Ohio open records law does not specifically state whether you can use recording devices at a public meeting (i.e., a meeting of a governmental body required to be open to the public by law), the Ohio Attorney General has an issued an opinion stating that using them is permissible when it does not unduly interfere with the meeting. As a matter of practice, recording devices apparently are common in Ohio public meetings.