You could see this one coming: In the wake of the controversy over The Uptake‘s state Capitol accommodations, Minnesota Democrats Exposed announced Friday it would “apply for Capitol press access & credentials when the opportunity becomes available before the 2011 session.”
MDE cited “the willingness to allow an outright partisan group into the press area.”
Current Minnesota Republican Party Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb’s creation, now run by Luke Hellier, has been a consistent Uptake antagonist. Interestingly, MDE’s move comes after the state Department of Administration canceled The Uptake’s basement-space lease, as part of a thorough policy review. The Uptake has been credentialed at the Capitol since 2008.
While MDE is all about defeating Democrats, and The Uptake’s unedited political feeds are as close as Minnesota has to C-SPAN, that doesn’t mean Hellier’s site will be denied space or a pass, depending on the non-ideology-based standards the First Amendment demands.
MDE will have to meet current state Senate rules requiring them to be a “news agency” that “regularly” covers the legislature. And depending on what Admin decides, they’ll probably have to wait in line behind The Uptake if $28-a-square-foot space opens up in the basement.
[Update: Hellier says MDE only wants credentials, not space. I’m sure many in the Capitol are breathing a bit easier.]
By the way, The Uptake issued a statement on their press access battle here.
[Hat tip: Jay Furst.]