Illinois GOP's media bait-and-switch (UPDATED: miscommunication, resolution?)

Illinois GOP's media bait-and-switch (UPDATED: miscommunication, resolution?)

Posted by JP on Thu, 09/04/2008 - 17:37

UPDATE: An Illinois Republican Party spokesman called to find out what happened with the Daily Herald reporters at the Cross/Watson/AT&T reception. He's checking into the situation and what can be done. Having been to several of these convention events, I'm guessing there was miscommunication between the people handling the door, the hosts, the honorees and so on.

Last week in Denver, Gov. Rod Blagojevich threw a private reception for Tammy Duckworth that essentially turned into a trial run for her convention speech the following night. Although the event was hosted by Friends of Blagojevich (his campaign fund) and the governor is known for being a bit reclusive from time to time, reporters were allowed in.
No fuss, no muss.

Contrast that to the Republican convention in Minnesota where Daily Herald reporters were turned away from an AT&T reception honoring Illinois Senate Republican leader Frank Watson of downstate Greenville and Illinois House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego.
This despite the fact that the Illinois Republican Party charged each Daily Herald reporter a $600 activity fee. The reason the media would pay the fee, or so we were sold, is that we’d not be excluded from Illinois delegation events, which are not inherently open to the public.
We’ve paid it in the past and to my convention knowledge (since 2000) there’s never been a problem with access.
Keep in mind, the reason we go to these conventions is to work Illinois-specific stories. There’s enough reporters crawling all over McCain and Palin. Our goal is to look at the Illinois GOP's rebuilding efforts, catch a glimpse of the party's future and so on.
The Watson-Cross reception was listed on the Illinois delegation’s daily schedule and delegation buses were running to it from the delegate hotel.
We’ve yet to get an explanation for the shutout, though we did get this response from Cross’ spokesman: “I will look into it. Have no idea what happened. I did not even go nor did Cross.”

Even more than an explanation, we’re eagerly awaiting a partial refund.
However, an Illinois Republican Party spokesman has not responded.

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