Caucus secrecy cloaks important legislative moves

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Getting a good idea of what Indiana's lawmakers are thinking on some of the toughest issues of the day often requires finding a way into private caucus meetings of the General Assembly.

The importance of those private meetings became clear this session as fights over gay marriage and nursing home construction spilled out from behind their closed doors.

Republican Sen. Mike Delph was penalized for tweeting about a caucus discussion on gay marriage. Another powerful House Republican's efforts to block the construction ban occurred not in public, but in private caucus meetings. Rep. Eric Turner's lobbying sparked a call from Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma for an ethics investigation last week.

But that investigation might not be possible, because lawmakers are sworn to secrecy inside the private meetings.

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