74°F
weather icon Clear

Heller event in Las Vegas closed to media for space reasons

Updated April 4, 2018 - 11:47 am

A prominent Republican club kept reporters out of a luncheon with U.S. Sen. Dean Heller because the group’s president said they get in the way of serving food at the crowded restaurant.

The monthly luncheons hosted by the Nevada Republican Men’s Club have been open to reporters in the past. But when it came to featuring Heller, a disclaimer was posted on the club’s website: “SOLD OUT — NO PRESS ALLOWED!”

Club president Pauline Ng Lee said reporters take up too much room in the tiny restaurant and block servers during meal service. The monthly lunches have been held at Cili Restaurant inside Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas for years.

“We have a membership of like 400 people, and we need to make sure that our members are seated first,” Lee said. “It’s a real problem when we have press standing in the back. What has happened in the past is it interferes with dining service. So we are asking the press to not be here.”

Lee could not recall the last time the club closed a luncheon to the media. The event was well-attended Tuesday, with top Republicans rubbing elbows with Heller’s senior staffers, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, state treasurer hopeful Derek Uehara and other Nevada politicians.

Heller declined comment through a spokesman Tuesday. Lee denied that Heller’s office demanded no media at the event, saying it was her board’s decision.

“We don’t take requests from people. It’s our decision as a board,” she said. “We’ve had major issues with people interfering with our dining service. This isn’t a political issue. It really is an issue of space.”

When asked why the club continues to use Cili Restaurant if it’s too crowded, Lee said the club has considered moving its lunches, but Cili is convenient and features valet service.

Past luncheons have featured 3rd Congressional District candidate Danny Tarkanian, Attorney General Adam Laxalt, Treasurer Dan Schwartz, former U.S. Rep. Cresent Hardy and Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.

Contact Ramona Giwargis at rgiwargis@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4538. Follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - Video
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - Video
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST