Political parties to media: Get noses out of our tents

  • Article by: BOB VON STERNBERG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 14, 2008 - 9:48 PM

Fearful of slip-ups or infiltration, some DFL and GOP events have barred recording devices or bloggers.

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lloydlettaMay. 14, 0811:25 PM

It's good that the Strib has finally started covering this story after it's been going on for over a month, and is after all the congressional district conventions. It's worth noting that the Endorsement convention between Kiffmeyer and Olson had the same rules - no audio or video taping. Dump Bachmann Blog quoting Times Reporter Schumacher's blog: http://dumpbachmann.blogspot.com/2008/04/6th-cd-republicans-give-another-story.html "Television crews were exempt because their footage is unlikely to end up on YouTube. Also, television crews are easy to identify. Other media representatives? Not so much," Wilson wrote. Wilson, who was the chief Seargeant-At-Arms for the convention, said he was responsible for enforcing the ban. However, 6th Congressional District Republican Party Chairman Mark Swanson, who was the one who told me no video or audio recording devices would be allowed, said it was a rule that applied to everyone, regardless of what media they represented. Wilson said in the letter he personally expelled two individuals who had come to the convention for the purpose of "attempting to obtain material that would be embarrassing (sic) to (U.S. Rep. Michele) Bachmann or others running for various positions." Chair Mark Swanson, from when Larry Schumacher tried to video at the convention: http://dumpbachmann.blogspot.com/2008/04/6th-district-gop-shutting-out-public.html "We've just had too many issues with videotape of Congresswoman Bachmann on the Internet with funny music playing, and chopped up to make her look foolish," he said.

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jrolsonMay. 15, 08 6:48 AM

It's funny how both parties seem to believe in free speech, but only up to the point it is consistent with "their" views. So someone is going to post a stupid video of Rep. Bachmann or others on YouTube? That justifies asking the press to leave? Whether they like it or not, they are public figures who chose to run for public office and this sort of thing goes with the territory in today's world. Deal with it or don't run again.

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regofamMay. 15, 08 7:47 AM

Does the GOP allow visitors in to their state convention? A few years ago they required a "pass" in order to get in the door. The DFL has an open meeting rule in its constitution - visitors are always allowed.

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MsVogelMay. 15, 08 7:48 AM

This is just another case of the Greediest of People (GOP) party needing to hide embarassing moments while exposing other parties embarassing moments. Get a life I totally agree with jrolson - candidates for public office chose to run - no one is forcing them. When choosing to run for public office you had better be very prepared to have yourself in the public eye. The GOP needs to be reminded that the PEOPLE are the employers of persons in PUBLIC office; they are not employees of a particular political party. DFL- if you do not want embarassing moments - keep your noses clean too.

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allarson73May. 15, 08 9:17 AM

Both sides like the media for spinning stories. Neither side like the media when they ask tough questions. Some media members are goof balls some are sincere. If you answer honestly it shouldn't matter. I don't know what to think, I do know that I am growing more cynical of all politics, global, national, state, local, neighborhood, home, bedroom, etc.

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jfbarnettMay. 15, 0810:10 AM

For some background on this story, please go here: http://theuptake.org/?p=629 and for a report on the DFL CD2 event go here: http://theuptake.org/?p=632 Note: no one was actually kicked out at CD2. Rules were not followed by the individual in question and restrictions were put on that individual, but he was not permanently removed from the building. The UpTake is still concerned by the reaction of the CD2 DFL, but it is clear that rules were not followed by the tracker in question. I would love to see the allegedly captured video from the CD1 DFL convention. Has anyone seen it, and what reasons would there be for the claim of it existing, but not publishing it? The beauty of video, is that you can actually see what happens. Allegations of having video are not the same as showing the video, I would think any reporter would want to confirm the validity of the video before buying into the suggestion of it's existence. Thank you for continuing the reporting on this story. Jason Barnett Executive Director The UpTake

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mmcinteeMay. 15, 0812:33 PM

GOP Communication Director Mark Drake’s statement appears to be in direct conflict with his actions at the GOP State Central Committee meeting in Blaine on Dec 8, 2007. Listen to the interview with UpTake Volunteer Journalist Kyle Potter and you'll hear that Mark Drake was the one who approved kicking Kyle Potter out of the GOP State Central Committee for video taping. That was AFTER Mark Drake originally told Kyle it was OK to video tape. Kyle talks about this here on video 2:44 into the story: http://theuptake.org/?p=629 Drake told the Star Tribune: "My standpoint is that these things should be open to members of both political parties. ... But we believe in local control. The fact is, tracking is part of the political reality now." Is the GOP STATE Central Committee meeting under "local control"? That's the only way that Drake's statement has any truth to it at all.

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mmcinteeMay. 15, 0812:33 PM

GOP Communication Director Mark Drake’s statement appears to be in direct conflict with his actions at the GOP State Central Committee meeting in Blaine on Dec 8, 2007. Listen to the interview with UpTake Volunteer Journalist Kyle Potter and you'll hear that Mark Drake was the one who approved kicking Kyle Potter out of the GOP State Central Committee for video taping. That was AFTER Mark Drake originally told Kyle it was OK to video tape. Kyle talks about this here on video 2:44 into the story: http://theuptake.org/?p=629 Drake told the Star Tribune: "My standpoint is that these things should be open to members of both political parties. ... But we believe in local control. The fact is, tracking is part of the political reality now." Is the GOP STATE Central Committee meeting under "local control"? That's the only way that Drake's statement has any truth to it at all.

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mmcinteeMay. 15, 0812:33 PM

GOP Communication Director Mark Drake’s statement appears to be in direct conflict with his actions at the GOP State Central Committee meeting in Blaine on Dec 8, 2007. Listen to the interview with UpTake Volunteer Journalist Kyle Potter and you'll hear that Mark Drake was the one who approved kicking Kyle Potter out of the GOP State Central Committee for video taping. That was AFTER Mark Drake originally told Kyle it was OK to video tape. Kyle talks about this here on video 2:44 into the story: http://theuptake.org/?p=629 Drake told the Star Tribune: "My standpoint is that these things should be open to members of both political parties. ... But we believe in local control. The fact is, tracking is part of the political reality now." Is the GOP STATE Central Committee meeting under "local control"? That's the only way that Drake's statement has any truth to it at all.

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chris5144May. 15, 08 1:41 PM

If they allow video, then everybody gets to see spectacles like at CD3 where Carey took to the podium to lambast and denigrate Paul supporters as being a bunch a gay rights activists, and then later any candidates for national delegate were physically prevented by multiple Sargent-at-arms officials from passing out literature supporting their candidacy to the convention, since the brass was pushing their own tight slate. When you want to rule with an iron fist, clamping down on the media coverage goes with the territory. In answer to the question about guest status, yes its allowed as long as you register, pay the small guest fee, and wear the guest nametag. Some conventions require as well that you arrive accompanied by a delegate or alternate if you wish to be a guest, but that's up to each convention I guess.

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