While this blog has repeatedly referred to Sally Jo Sorenson of Bluestem Prairie as “one of about five Minnesota liberal bloggers that don’t deserve police surveillance” – not the highest compliment I can give, but the highest warranted under the circumstances – one should not presume that I agree that Ms. Sorenson will go out of her way to tell a story that the DFL doesn’t want, or pay to have, told.
So with yesterday’s post about the Minnesota Senate “tightening” media credentialing rules, which was signal for including just the bits that fit the DFL’s narrative about media and communications:
Via David Montgomery’s post at the Pioneer Press’s Political Animal blog, MN Senate tightens rules for press credentials and The Uptake’s MN Senate Tightens Media Credential Rule, we learn that ““individuals affiliated with a political organization” can no longer be credentialled as journalists or keep their press pass at the Minnesota Senate.
Now, the mainstream press is noplace to get information about this issue, since they’ve been blissfully above it all from the beginning. And the Uptake has a bit of a conflict of interest, as it was the DFL’s favoritism toward them (they gave credentials to the stridently partisan Uptake, but denied them to conservatives) in 2010 that led to the whole “Senate Media Rules” fracas in the first place.
Back when the GOP took over the Senate in 2011, then-Senate-GOP-comms guy Michael Brodkorb convened a working group to come up with new rules for media credentialing. I was part of the group, along with David Brauer. And we did a really good job; they were among the best, fairest rules in the country, balancing the investment the big mainstream media outlets had made in coverage with the access for alternative media sources.
And to prevent the system from being hijacked by the parties, the rules barred people who were on party payrolls from getting credendialed. Period.
In 2013, the DFL took control of the Senate:
That’s a pretty broad definition, but the background appears to be related to a blogger named Shawn Towle, who received a Senate press pass while also being paid by the Senate DFL.
Republican senators made a stink about Towle in April of 2014, putting out a press release accusing DFL leader Tom Bakk of “secret payments” to Towle.
Introducing the proposed change today, Bakk described it as “something the rules committee had considerable conversation about near the end of the session last year.”
In other words, Bakk is reiterating the process that we came up with in 2011. With a great deal of noise, he returned the Senate to the rules it had before.
One presumes that the DFL will find some way to sneak Towle, their favorite hit-piece writer, into the room – but it’ll be the traditional Democrat way; rules be damned!And that is the rest of the story.