The Sandia Resort & Casino, site of the 2016 Quadrennial State Convention for the Republican Party of New Mexico, informed state GOP officials on Tuesday that media passes will not be issued for the event at the direction of Pueblo Sandia’s Tribal Council.
State GOP spokesman Tucker Keene said his organization has no problem with letting media onto the convention floor, but the last minute notice by property personnel didn’t allow enough time for a change of venue.
The convention is scheduled for Saturday, May 21.
The resort property is part of the Pueblo of Sandia reservation, home of a native central New Mexico tribe, just north of Albuquerque.
Originally, the New Mexico state GOP had planned on charging $100 per person for a media pass at the convention, but later reneged on the policy.
Susan Boe, executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, is not pleased with the Sandia Tribal Council’s decision.
“They’re clearly going to be talking about public business that will have a huge impact on life here in New Mexico,” said Boe. “I can’t imagine a national convention not allowing the press to attend.”
Despite the apparent lack of TV, radio and print coverage, there has been a lot of interest in the state convention this year with 161 New Mexicans applying for 24 delegate slots. Only 81 people applied in 2012.
New Mexico’s Republican presidential primary will be held on June 7, when California, New Jersey, South Dakota and Montana will also hold GOP contests.
[Albuquerque Journal] [McClatchyDC]