When Congresswoman Martha McSally was campaigning against Ron Barber she made numerous stops in southern Arizona promising local residents that if elected she would delve deeper into border issues.
Since taking office in January, McSally started to fulfill that promise coming to southern Arizona four different times, each time meeting with different groups.
On Feb. 7, with the help of Mayor Danny Ortega Jr., who sits on Mcsally’s transition team, the congresswoman was in Douglas and met with two groups on border issues.
First off we want to applaud Mayor Ortega for his role in bringing the congresswoman to town. Furthermore, Ortega is doing what good local representatives should and making sure our state and federal representatives know the issues we are dealing with right here in Douglas.
However, our concern lies directly with congresswoman McSally’s and her camp of advisors. In three of the four meetings, she has held since being elected, the media was only spoon fed information about those gathering after the event. This isn’t the type of communication you would expect from a newly elected official who we hoped had a streak of independence outside of Washington politics.
It’s difficult to be transparent when sit-downs with constituents are closed to the media.
We’re told that people will talk freely if the media is not present. That may be true, but all citizens have a right to know what’s being asked and how the congresswoman truly views an issue.
That is difficult to do if the meetings are closed to the media.
Several Douglas residents have expressed some frustration about not knowing the Congresswoman was coming to Douglas and not being allowed to talk to her about concerns they may have had.
We would hope the next time McSally comes to Douglas more local residents will be provided the opportunity to talk to her and the media will have more access than what has been provided in recent weeks.