Media discovers pay to play is Obama's way

Pay to play, that is being required to pony up a campaign contribution in order to get access to political power, has been the Chicago way of politics for decades.  Some in the media are now unhappy to learn that the best funded presidential campaign in history is taking this concept to a new level.  It expects them to pay close to $2,000 if they want to cover Obama's coronation in Chicago on the evening of November 4. According to Crain's Chicago Business that is not all.  

The area also does not include access to top Obama campaign officials, whose statements likely are to be in hot demand on Election Night. They apparently will be available only in the “press file” tent, to which an additional admission fee of $935 per person is being imposed.
It is customary for the media to be charged for out-of-pocket costs when traveling with campaigns, such as a fee for being on the campaign plane and to pay their own hotel bills. But Obama's campaign is going well beyond that in charging a fee for the coverage itself.   
Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times is so unhappy she posted the entire price list from the Obama campaign as part of her blog entry on this development.  Here it is in its entirety,  in case like so many other things involving Obama it later disappears down the memory hole.

With so many media organizations cutting back on staff, one wonders if this demand for financial tribute might put a damper on some of the media cheerleading in the final days of the election.

The following coverage resource packages are available for purchase:

* Main Riser Position - $935 (Includes 4 Main Riser Credentials, 5'x8' Slot on Covered Main Riser and one 20 amp circuit)
* Main Riser Position with Telecommunications - $1870 (Includes Main Riser Position services, PLUS two unlimited long distance/local phone lines and one wired high speed internet connection)
* Cut Riser Position - $880 (Includes 4 Cut Riser Credentials, 5'x8' Slot on Covered Cut Riser, one 20 amp circuit)
* Cut Riser Position with Telecommunications - $1815 (Includes Cut Riser Position services, PLUS two unlimited long distance/local phone lines and one wired high speed internet connection)
* Press File Seat - $935 (includes 1 Press File Credential, seat in heated Press File Tent, Power, Cable Television, High Speed Wired Internet Service, Catering)
* Satellite Truck Position - $900 (includes 35'x20' parking position and 100 amp electrical service)
* Radio Position - $715 (includes table space and chair behind the riser, power and an ISDN BRI line for radio -- comes with two credentials)

Billing information must be submitted at as part of the request. Your credit card will not be charged until the campaign confirms your coverage resource package request. Coverage resource packages must be requested at:

Additional services may be purchased a la carte:

* Unlimited Long Distance Phone Line - $300
* High Speed Wired Internet - $275
* One 20 amp circuit - $165

For telephone service internet connectivity and additional power, orders must be placed by October 23rd, 2008. For questions on pricing or additional telecommunications assistance, please contact (deleted)

The following credentials may be requested at no cost:

* General Press Area - No Charge (Includes access to bike racked press area with standing room only)

You must fill out the form to the right to request each individual General Press Area credential.

Request media credentials for the Election Night event:

Credentials to access the General Media Area are available at no cost. Please note that the General Media Area is outdoors, unassigned and may have obstructed views. General Media Area credentials do not include access to riser positions, satellite truck parking or the press filing center.

Access to those resources are available for purchase at Space is limited.

Email: *
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Phone: *
Media Outlet/Affiliation: *
Media call letters (if applicable):
Base of Operations:
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City media outlet is based: *
Media Type:
TV Camera
TV Audio
TV Producer
TV Talent
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* denotes required field