Is Governor Rell done taking serious questions from reporters in 2009? Today at a homecoming ceremony for National Guardsmen and women, Channel 3’s Heather Hegedus was asked if she wanted to talk to the Governor. Heather said yes, and she told me one of the Governor’s aides told Heather “only if you ask about the troops, nothing else.”
Yesterday at a holiday media gathering at the Governor’s office, Channel 3’s Susan Raff asked to talk to the Governor about the sex offender treatment facility. “Not today ,” she was told by Chief of Staff Lisa Moody. Moody then showed Susan some convulated paperwork as she disputed claims by Democrats about the Governor’s budget cuts. Susan said “why don’t I just talk to the Governor, she is right over there?” “No,” Susan was told. “Not today.” Susan is now wondering, “when?”
As we reported before, Susan put in a request to talk to the Governor back on November 25th. The state is in a budget crisis and the Governor should be taking questionsfrom reporters about the serious issues facing the state.
I know Channel 3 Eyewitness News is not the only organization that would like to see the Governor’s handlers allow her to hold a news conference and take questions from reporters. Voters, our viewers, want to hear from the Governor, not hear from our reporters reading an excerpt from a news release from her office.
Journal Inquirer reporter Keith Phaneuf called Governor Rell “the most tightly managed governor” he’s ever covered. Seems the reins are being pulled in even more during the holiday season.
We’ ve talked about this issue before and it doesn’t seem to be improving:http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/fedele-says-he-will-be-more-media-friendly-than-rell/
Let me add that I like the Governor personally, and I have written about this before. I even emceed her inaugural ball. The Governor also does a very good job in on-camera interviews, so I find it hard to believe it is her decision to not be on television more often. The Governor seemed very comfortable on Face the State when she was in here in February.
However, I will say I am disappointed the Governor (or her people) has never taken us up on our regular invitations to join us for the entire half hour of Face the State, and has only appeared on the program once (this February) since being sworn in back in July 2004.