Politicians Privately Yearn for Smoke-Filled Backroom
Gov. Hickenlooper says transparency causes gridlock
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2013 5:10 PM CDT
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

(Newser) – How to unblock the least productive Congress in US history? Here's a counterintuitive notion: Reinstate pork-barrel spending and the smoke-filled backroom, where lawmakers can make legislative deals in private, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper tells Time. Surprisingly, other politicians agree—some off the record—that modern attempts at transparency and fiscal responsibility have played a prime role in Congressional gridlock.

"We elect these people to make these difficult decisions, but now they are in the full light of video every time they make a decision," says Hickenlooper. "Let them go back into a room like they always did." As for earmarks—now banned under House Speaker John Boehner—many say the funding of pet projects once greased Congressional wheels. But don't expect the anti-spending tea party to let Republicans turn back the clock: "This is pretty simple: Earmarks aren’t coming back any time soon," says a Boehner spokesman.

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
HANKHILL
Aug 8, 2013 2:53 PM CDT
let them smoke! better dead than fed!
Crotalus
Aug 7, 2013 9:25 AM CDT
It might be sooner than you think come election time next year and you, along with every other bought and paid for crook in congress is going to find themselves out of a job. Hopefully to eventually drop off into poverty, just like you have put the majority of Americans. CONGRESS, YOU SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Vote these self serving crooks out next year people.
lostmtnman
Aug 7, 2013 8:55 AM CDT
Hick is right. There are far too many politicians, particularly on the right, who refuse to compromise on any level. Their world view is one of a world that never existed except on television in the "50s and "60s. Ronnie Raguns saw that same world however he was willing to compromise to get things done. Unfortunately he also was over the most corrupt administration in history. More people in his administration went to jail than any before or since. George W Bush was right up there in the number of convictions. The cleanest in many, many years has been the current one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_federal_politicians_convicted_of_crimes