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Politics

California State Senate Leader Apologizes For Pulling TV Plug On Tax Hearing

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California State Capitol in Sacramento (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California State Capitol in Sacramento (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

DougSovern20100908_KCBS_0208r Doug Sovern
Doug began his career as a copy boy at the New York Times, and then...
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SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – The leader of the California State Senate has apologized for his office’s last-minute decision not to televise a legislative hearing that included testimony about Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative, Proposition 30.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg took responsibility for last week’s blackout, saying, “It was a mistake.”

The Sacramento Democrat said Monday he did not want the hearing to “become political fodder” that could be used by tax opponents in campaign ads.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Report:

The decision drew public criticism and a rebuke from the committee chairwoman, a fellow Democrat. Steinberg said he realized it was the wrong decision not to air the hearing on public-access television and vowed that it will not happen again.

“I’ve always carried myself in an open and transparent manner. This was inconsistent with that,” Steinberg said.

The public Senate committee hearing was supposed to be shown live on the California Channel, the state’s public access network that airs on many cable systems and streams online.

While the video feed was ordered turned off, audio from the hearing was streamed online.

“It was a more general worry that footage would be taken and it would be used in the political campaigns, but that wasn’t a good reason,” Steinberg added.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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