The PJ Tatler

Capitol Hill Club: no political pressure - Bachmann changed the event

In a quick back-and-forth, the Republican Capitol Hill Club contacted the Tatler to stoutly deny that anyone in Republican leadership kicked out Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who was informed yesterday that she could not broadcast her Tea Party State of the Union reply from the club. Earlier today the Tatler sources had reported that the club had been pressured by Republican leaders to deny her the use of the club for her speech.

Stan Lawson, general manager for the club, told the Tatler that Bachmann’s staff had changed the event from a pen and pad meeting with reporters to a broadcast event. Club rules and bylaws, he said, strictly forbid video cameras or broadcasts from his facility.  “Recording of any kind in a broadcast setting is illegal” at the club, he said.  The matter of the denial, Lawson said, was decided solely by the club’s executive committee. The general manager said someone on his staff may have learned of the Bachmann change last Friday but that he only learned of it yesterday.

However, the  club’s “House Rules” as stated on its web site do not forbid the use of broadcast equipment on the premises.  The Tatler is still trying to get its hands on the bylaws.

When asked if there was any political pressure on the club to bar Rep. Bachmann, he said, “that’s absolutely untrue.”

“The Republican leadership never contacted us on this matter,” he told the Tatler.  “It was only decided by members of the executive committee who serve in a pro-bono basis.”

Rep. Bachmann has raised eyebrows inside Washington with her intention to give a counter State-of-the-Union speech on behalf of the Tea Party Express.