The House Democratic political operation is banning the press from covering Pres. Clinton's Chicago visit on Monday. He's the headline guest at an event designed to raise mega-money for Illinois House candidates in two of the biggest races in the country, Democrats Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Melissa Bean.
I was told the press would be barred from reporting by three sources: Sarah Hamilton, a spokesman for The Clinton Foundation and staffers from the two House campaigns. ``Closed'' was the word Hamilton used. Clinton will also be the draw at some Chicago engagements he will be paid for.
I was told the no-press rule was the order sent from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, chaired by Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) to the Bean and Duckworth staffers. The Bean and Duckworth campaigns are working to have that ruling changed.
The Dems are inviting an unflattering comparison. The press was allowed to cover President Bush's recent trip to Chicago to raise cash to help the Democrats' rivals--David McSweeney and Peter Roskam. Bush has been getting deserved flak for keeping the press out of a series of fundraisers he's headlined in recent weeks--but those were in private homes.
This Clinton event is supposed to draw hundreds. It's a homecoming for Clinton, who has always been popular--beloved in Chicago, as is native Chicagoan Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. It will be a home town tribute to Emanuel--who has assembled an organization that is on the verge of winning the House for Democrats. Clinton is his former boss and mentor.
What part of this is a bad story?? Bean has been running a smart campaign--her staff wants this event open, don't blame her. Duckworth's camp is also looking into the situation.
excerpt from the invitation.....
at a lunch reception honoring
Monday, October 23rd
12:00 PM- 1:30 PM
720 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60605