Those that follow Texas Scorecard know we endeavor to go to great lengths to bring readers the stories they need to know to be effective and informed citizens. Sometimes that means the Texas Capitol. Sometimes that means the southern border.
But it also means going to the Texas Democrat Convention, held this year at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas.
Like other media outlets, Texas Scorecard applied in June for press credentials to the biennial event, where the party creates its platform and gears up for the November election.
As recently as last week, we were assured by party staff that we “should be all set” and that credentials would be emailed out shortly before the convention.
The credentials never arrived.
On Thursday, we inquired again about the status of the credentials. We were told “unfortunately we do not have space and are not able to accommodate your request,” adding, “space and resources are limited and we only have capacity for so many outlets.”
We asked again and were denied again, with a recommendation that we watch the livestream of the major events on YouTube.
Of course, a livestream is little substitute for the interaction of being present reporting live on the ground. We wanted to talk to delegates to find out why they were there, what priorities they care about, and if they believed that the Democrat party truly has a chance in Texas in 2022.
Additionally, the Texas Election Code is clear: the “news media are entitled to attend” the Democrat and Republican conventions.
So, on Friday morning, we drove up to Dallas to report on the event and were delighted to see the convention center was far from being “at capacity,” as we had been told.
All was fine as we set up a camera and microphone in a lightly-traveled hallway on the ground floor and began to ask willing participants various relevant questions:
- Is this your first time at the Democrat convention?
- What priorities do you care about?
- Do you think Beto O’Rourke has a chance in November?
- Do you think Joe Biden will be the nominee in 2024?
In the next few days, we’ll be publishing the result of those interviews. Each of the men and women we interviewed were eager to chat, and pleasantly surprised that anyone from the media cared about what they had to say.
After holding polite, informative interviews for over an hour, a disruptive attendee began to hurl obscenities and shout that we were “fascists.”
Then, she brought a few friends who began taunting us and yelling for the purpose of disrupting an interview.
With the mob cheering on, one of the KBH Center’s “security” ushers soon informed us the event was “private” and that we must leave. (She also was probably unaware of state law on the matter.)
I asked, once more, if we could go get our media credentials, but was escorted to the door. We weren’t there to make a scene. Our goal isn’t to be the story, or in the story, but rather to report on the issues that matter to Texans. So, at the Democrat Party’s (profane) direction, we respectfully left.
Thinking back, I’m not sure who tipped them off, though State Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Carrollton) had fired off a tweet earlier in the morning.
— Julie Johnson (@juliejohnsonTX) July 15, 2022
Seems like Rep. Johnson, and her party, aren’t proud of their delegates…? Or, perhaps, are worried about what they might say? Either way, nothing good happens when politicos hide from Texans.