Reporters barred from Keown fundraiser

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Albany, GA. - A T.V. reporter and two press reporters covering Wednesday's fundraiser for Republican Congressional Candidate Mike Keown were told by campaign staff and federal and local authorities to leave the premises Wednesday morning, shortly after Keown's arrival at the event.

Keown, who polls show is in a tight race with longtime Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, was hosting the $500-per-plate fundraiser headlined by U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, at Doublegate Country Club.

The Herald notified campaign officials Tuesday that they would be covering the event and were told that, while the breakfast itself was closed to the public and the media, that they would be able to stand outside, where Keown could make a few comments. Boehner, the Herald was told, would not make any comments.

Andrew O'Shea, the campaign manager for Keown, accompanied by a federal agent and a local Albany police officer, asked reporters to leave the parking lot where they were situated.

"We're asking everyone to leave the premises," O'Shea said.

When asked if it was Boehner's decision to push reporters out, O'Shea said it was.

Keown, who is running as the anti-spending, tea-party candidate in the race, told supporters at a taped Lee County GOP breakfast on Sept. 11 by a democratic-party official, that he wouldn't "sell out," to special interest or bow to the will of the power of congressional leadership even if it came from within the Republican party.

"I absolutely will not be sold out or sell out to any special interest. And, I'll be honest with you, I won't let the Republican Party push me around and tell me to do something I don't want to do, or something that's not good for the 2nd Congressional District," Keown said during that fundraiser.