Congressman criticizes barring media from Tennessee GOP event

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- U.S. Rep. John "Jimmy" Duncan Jr. says barring news media from the annual state Republican fundraising dinner featuring former top White House adviser Karl Rove is "ridiculous."

State GOP spokesman Bill Hobbs says the "Statesmen's Dinner" in Nashville on Saturday is no different than other political fundraisers, which "are typically not open to the public."

But Duncan, an 11-term Republican congressman from Knoxville, says events of this type have always been open to the media and always should be.

Duncan -- a former judge who holds a law degree from George Washington University and a journalism degree from the University of Tennessee -- says he hopes "whoever made this decision reverses it and opens this event to any member of the media who wishes to come."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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