If you want to cover tonight’s Republican election night party, you better bring some money.
News reporters attending the party at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, which will feature gubernatorial hopeful Rob McKenna and other top Republicans, are being asked to pay $150 for Internet and another $40 for power — plus taxes and fees.
Internet and power will be free to reporters at the Democrats’ party at The Westin Seattle.
Kirby Wilbur, chair of the Washington State Republican Party, said the fees are not meant to make it more difficult for journalists to cover the event.
“It wasn’t our call,” Wilbur said. “It’s the hotel, and they charge everybody.”
The Hyatt corporation is owned by the Pritzker family, which is well known for its support of Democrats –Penny Pritzker was Barack Obama’s presidential campaign finance director in 2008. Wilbur said the party had no other choice for location because it’s “the biggest place available in Bellevue.”
The paying-for-access dynamic is playing out nationally as well.
Poynter, a media news outlet, reported today that journalists will have to pay between $75 and and $1,000 just to get into Republican Mitt Romney’s election night party. Some major broadcast news organizations are being asked to pay $6,500 for their workspace, according to the report.
Admission to Obama’s party will be free for credentialed reporters.