Republican millionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, who is running against Gov. Pat Quinn in Illinos, wouldn’t let a dozen journalism students cover his medical marijuana press conference this morning.
Chicago Sun-Times political reporter Natasha Korecki tweets: “Rauner tells Columbia College students/professor that pressers are open to ‘working press only.’ Locked them out.” She added: “Nor would Rauner stop to talk to students.”
Quinn’s communication director tweets: “What kind of bully candidate turns students away from his press conference? Reporters get sneak preview of what Rauner admin would B like.”
Columbia College interim journalism department chairman Leonard Strazewski tells me he’s looking into the matter. I’ve left a message for Rauner’s press office.
Update: Curtis Lawrence, who teaches a course called Covering Politics, tells Romenesko readers: “We’re covering the state and county races that are coming up on November. The students do their own reporting, and when we get a chance we cover things live. Rauner had an event this morning – an 11 a.m. press conference – and we hopped on the brown line [el train], thinking we were going to get in. …The plan was for them to tweet the event. …We were told we couldn’t come in because it was for working press only.”
Lawrence says the students “thought it sucked …They were disappointed.”
The teacher then tried to get Rauner to spend a few minutes with his students after the press conference. His request was ignored, though.
“He didn’t even look us in the eye or answer us.”