Here’s an excerpt from the Oklahoma County Democrats email newsletter (on a sidenote, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see OK County Dem’s actually being half-way progressive these days. I hope this trend continues)….

It’s a sad day for First Amendment Rights in Oklahoma when those who call themselves “journalists” in this state attempt to deny citizens the right to free expression. Perhaps you read Sunday’s Oklahoman about what happened to Ed Romo, a great OK County Democrat, at a state capitol news conference. Ed questioned Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, about a immigration bill Rep. Terrill is introducing in the legislature. A man named Bill Bateman, who calls himself a reporter, tried to silence Ed and ordered Ed to leave the room, even going so far as to call capitol security to have Ed forcibly removed. (The news conference ended before the security police arrived.)

I would urge you to contact KTOK and tell them that you find Bateman’s actions reprehensible. Their phone number is (405) 840-1000 or *1000 on your cell phone. You can also contact Mike McCarville, program director at mikemccarville@clearchannel.com or news host Reid Mullins at reidmullins@clearchannel.com.

Pretty disturbing news if you ask me. I can’t help but think that KTOK reporter Bill Bateman is a racist for pulling this stunt. The state capitol belongs to all of us, and yes a citizen defintiely has a right to be there for a public press conference.

As for Ed Romo, he was a guest speaker for the Oklahoma Green Party I think in 2004 and I was very impressed with him and his willingess to speak out for Latinos in Oklahoma (I think he is the head of LULAC in Oklahoma if I recall correctly). His treatment at the Capitol is disgusting and wrong. I hope that our elected officials make it clear who owns the Capitol and puts this Bill Bateman in his place. I also hope that if an apology isn’t made and a clear policy in favor of access to government by the people isn’t made clear, that Ed will sue. I’m not a lawyer, but it sure looks like his rights were violated.

Also here’s some press coverage of this…

NewsOK: Capitol reporter boots Hispanic leader

KTEN.com: Local Hispanic leader asked to leave news conference

Demookie.com: Bateman Capitol Reporter censors Hispanic Reporter