Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The first-amendment-challenged House story grows 

Marty Owings is still banging at the doors of the DFL Legislature, trying to get equal press access.
Mr. [Andrew] Whittenborg [DFL Director of Public Affairs] mentioned that various people had "touched the Meeting/Hearing policy proposal from house attorneys, the Sergeant At Arms Office, House Leadership, Republicans and members of the media." and quickly added that "Your feedback to this has been sharp and instantaneous and nothing on this is going forward."

Mary Lahammer of TPT's Almanac suggested that any lawyer who proposed these rules should be "disbarred". Tom Hauser from KSTP agreed and added that it was "absurd" that any Law Maker would even propose these rules. Jason Barnett of the Uptake.org asked what the real issue was. Mr. Whittenborg said it ran the gamut from "space concerns" to "security issues." He said some concerns were raised about who was filming Law Makers and that some of them were "weirded out" while others welcomed the cameras.
Pat Kessler reported last night on this meeting, including a clip of Michael calling shame on the DFL.

You will recall that we reported on this last Monday, and I thought that the press might take this story up. Mary Lahammer has picked up on this, including an utterly stunning story in which Don Davis, a very longtime, reputable reporter for Forum Communications, was approached by state troopers for taking pictures of a representative introducing a bill. Tim Budig thinks it's got everything to do with bloggers (though as I recall the Uptake, which is a blog with a camera, has six passes!)

Most of the attention so far is on the House. I hope there is as well follow-up on the removal of credentials by Senators Tarryl Clark and Larry Pogemiller from KNSI host Dan Ochsner.

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