May 18, 2016

Reporters will be allowed to cover GOP convention after all

The announcement came a day after officials from Sandia Pueblo said press would not be allowed on the Sandia Casino grounds to cover the convention. The Sandia Tribal council reversed the decision Wednesday, according to a press release from the Republican Party of New Mexico.

The release from the party said it was a “surprise” that the Sandia Tribal Council announced the decision to bar reporters from the event.

In a statement, Republican Party of New Mexico spokesperson Tucker Keene said the party was unaware that press would be barred from covering the event at the casino and that the convention would have been held somewhere else otherwise.

“We had not been made aware of this no-press policy when we signed our contract with Sandia Casino back in October, and would not have hosted our convention there had we known otherwise,” Keene wrote. “We have been excited to host our Convention this Saturday at Sandia and welcome the press to see our well-managed Convention process.”

The convention received attention earlier this month when they announced then quickly reversed a decision to charge members of the press $100 to attend the event. The party said it was an attempt to recoup costs of hosting press.

On Tuesday independent journalist Peter St. Cyr said, via Twitter, that he was informed Sandia would not allow press to attend the event.

Wide ranging coverage of the ban followed.

The New Mexico GOP will elect delegates for the National Republican Convention during the event on Saturday.

The New Mexico convention has also garnered attention because an election to be an RNC Committeeman. Harvey Yates, a critic of the Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration, is attempting to unseat current Committeeman Pat Rogers, who has represented the governor in various legal matters.

Rogers has held the position for eight years and the race between the two highlights a split among some state Republicans.