|WTDY's Dylan Brogan|
MADISON -- (WTDY) Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson made an appearance at Monona Terrace in Madison on Wednesday to talk about Mitt Romney's plan to strengthen the middle-class. WTDY News reporter Dylan Brogan was supposed to cover the event, which was open to the press, but a Romney spokesperson asked Madison Police to escort him out of the building instead.
A Romney campaign staffer asked Brogan to wait to talk with Romney's Wisconsin Communication Director Ben Sparks before entering the room where the event was being held.
"I'm sorry, I'm going to have to ask you to wait outside until Ben gets here," the staffer told him. "That's what he asked me, sorry about that."
Once Sparks arrived, Brogan was told that was not allowed to cover the event with Sen. Johnson because WTDY morning talk show host Sly in the Morning protested a previous campaign event for Mitt Romney in Janesville.
"He reflects poorly on you, you work for that organization, and you suffer the consequences," Sparks said. "That's how it's going to work. Now we're not going to discuss this anymore. You cannot cover the event."
Sparks went on to say that Brogan was "guilty by association."
When Brogan asked if he could wait outside the room where Johnson was speaking, he was told by a Madison Police officer and a staffer from Monona Terrace to leave the building.
"I can physically take you out, if that's what you want," the officer told him.
According to audio captured on Brogan's own digital recorder, at no time did Brogan raise his voice to Sparks or Madison Police or make any unkind remarks. Brogan left Monona Terrace without any further intervention by police.
In response to the incident, WTDY News Director Amy Barrilleaux issued the following statement:
"It's unfortunate that our reporter was singled out and prevented from covering Sen. Johnson's speech, when his only offense was walking into the building with a press pass bearing the WTDY logo. All other local media wishing to cover the event were allowed in. Decisions made in our newsroom are not influenced by WTDY talk show host Sly in the Morning."