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Georgia's House Republican caucus votes to kick out press

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  1. Freedom of Information
Republican legislators in Georgia voted today in a secret ballot to close the doors and keep the press out of…

Republican legislators in Georgia voted today in a secret ballot to close the doors and keep the press out of an open caucus meeting.

Atlanta’s NBC affiliate reported that the meeting was called to discuss filling former Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson’s position. Richardson resigned after news of "an affair with a lobbyist, an attempted suicide, and an ex-wife’s retribution," according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The speaker pro tem recently declined the position.

Georgia House rules require that meetings be open, but legislators attending the morning session at Georgia Tech Research Institute immediately called for a secret vote. Those attending the caucus voted 68-22 — the required two-thirds majority — to kick the press out of the room, the newscast said.

The NBC affiliate asked Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue about the caucus decision, and he said, "I don’t invite the media when we’re having a family discussion in our home either."

Reporter Jaye Watson said, "We were also told it was going to be a big venting . . . where some lawmakers told us they just wanted some privacy to do that today."