U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, has drawn considerable national publicity this week for leading calls for final negotiations over health care reform to be conducted in the open for all - well, at least those Americans with C-SPAN on their TVs - to see.
Buchanan last year sponsored a "Sunshine Resolution" demanding that all debate over health care reform be held not in a smoke-filled back room but before the glare of television cameras and public scrutiny.
This morning, Buchanan took his efforts straight to Barack Obama, imploring the president to keep to his campaign promises and allow television cameras to witness as lawmakers and the White House hash out a final version of health care reform before it is voted on by Congress.
"Open and honest government is the backbone of democracy," Buchanan wrote in a letter to the president. "Excluding the public and the press from this process sends a disturbing message. A government that is secretive and inaccessible cannot maintain the trust and confidence of the people it serves."
Buchanan urged the president to follow the example set in Florida, which has one of the toughest sunshine laws in the nation.
"It has served Florida well," Buchanan wrote. "The American people deserve the same - an open, honest and accountable government."
You can read all of Buchanan's letter here.