Feathered Bastard

Channel 12 Reporter Booted from State House Floor

GOPer and State House Speaker Andy Tobin's turning into a regular Russell Pearce clone these days.

Earlier in the year, there was his support of new restrictions on freedom of speech at the Arizona Capitol, and today, according to Channel 12 reporter Melissa Blasius, Tobin's officious flack Rey Torres booted her and photojournalist Ed Ayala from the state House floor.

Torres told Blasius he had implemented a new policy at the beginning of this session requiring journos to scan state-issued identity cards before entering the House chamber. Thing is, neither he nor security staff at the House had bothered to inform Blasius during her frequent visits.

In the video above, Blasius asks to see the wording of the new policy. Torres tells Blasius that there's nothing in writing, and that he's been informing the media via word-of-mouth.

Moreover, to obtain one of these new House-approved badges, a news hound has to register with the Arizona Department of Administration, which then passes the info on to Torres & Co. for approval.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons