Archive for October, 2011

FCC rejects complaint against CO Springs talk-radio host Lakey

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

After reading on that KVOR talk-show host Jimmy Lakey compared Michelle Obama to Chewbacca, a Colorado resident filed a complaint with Federal Communications Commission, claiming that Lakey’s behavior was “racially motivated and politically biased.”

In a letter last week, the FCC responded to the complaint, stating:

The FCC is barred by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution from trying to prevent the broadcast of any point of view, no matter how unpopular or distasteful that point of view may be to most people. Consumers often complain that certain broadcasts are “un-American,” too violent, or ridicule or demean certain groups because of their race, gender, religion or nationality. Such views that do not rise to the level of  a “clear and present danger of substantive evil” are protected by the First Amendment. Expressions that are obscene, however, are not protected. Similarly, expressions that are indecent or profane may be restricted to prevent their broadcast to children. FCC rules prohibit indecent or profane broadcasts between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. The Communications Act prevents the FCC from censoring broadcast material, in most cases, and from taking any action that would interfere with freedom of speech.

Obscenity is defined as any material that depicts or describes, in patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law; and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Well, it’s clear that Lakey’s comments about Michelle Obama lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

But I know that’s irrelevant and besides the point, which is that the FCC was right to deny this complaint. I wouldn’t want Lakey or anyone shut up for comparing a political figure to Chewbacca or a character in Planet of the Apes. Or for advocating the death of all Iranians.

But I don’t think I’m wasting my time, and the person who filed the FCC complaint against Lakey wasn’t wasting his time either, trying to make more people aware of these comments. This includes Lakey’s bosses at Cumulus Media, Inc, the radio conglomerate that owns KVOR, 470 AM, in Colorado Springs, and broadcasts the Jimmy Lakey Show Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon.

They should know about what he’s saying, in case they want to fire him or scold him somehow.

And of course we can complain to KVOR directly or stop listening to Lakey, which could set an example that might spread to the point where he can scream and laugh to himself on the radio.

Trouble is, it’s more likely that spotlighting Lakey has the opposite effect, bringing him more listeners. But ignoring hate speech doesn’t feel like the right thing to do.

Chain restaurants are heavy backers of campaign opposing sick days, say sick-day supporters in under-covered news conference

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

If you didn’t hear about yesterday’s news conference by backers of Denver’s Initiative 300, which would mandate sick days for Denver workers, you weren’t alone, because it mostly flew under the radar of the local media.

As Fox 31 reported:

On Tuesday, supporters argued that [the opposition to paid sick days] is not a mom-and-pop opposition campaign, noting that more than $250,000 of the $645,270 raised is money coming from out of state.

“Many of the local restaurants that have contributed to the campaign against the paid sick days initiative are part of large, profitable national chains, including Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Buffalo Wild Wings and Morton’s of Chicago,” states a press release from the Campaign for a Healthy Denver.

According to the Fox 31story, opponents called the funding information another “stunt:”

….”This is one more stunt from a group that has received 99.7 percent of their funding from a special interest group in Milwaukee to bring an initiative Denver small businesses uniformly say our economy can’t afford,” said George Merritt, the opposition’s spokesman. “Walk the local shops in LoDo, on Tennyson, South Pearl and East Colfax and they plead with you to vote “No” on initiative 300.”

Supporters of paid sick days say most of their resources come from local in-kind staff and volunteers, and the local chapter of 9to5, which is backing the initiative, raises money locally, but it’s funneled through the headquarters office in Milwaukee.

Coverage also appeared in the Denver Business Journal and The Denver Post.

Would Gessler tell Vincent Carroll whether he thinks there’s election fraud in Denver?

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Part of the reason Denver Post columnist Vincent Carroll is effective at getting under the skin of liberals is that he’s so good at mixing his opinion with interviews and other types of original reporting.

In my lowly way as a progressive blogger, I try to write like Carroll, with his edge and clear reporting, though he’s better at it (though his opinion is usually wrong, even if his facts are right).

So I read his column.

On Saturday morning, Carroll is very effectively ripping apart the county clerks, and at the end, he’s quoting from his personal interview with Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

For weeks, I’d been trying to ask Gessler–or anyone in his press office–a simple question about whether he thinks there’s fraud in Denver elections, and his office will not comment.

But he’s yapping it up with Carroll.

So I emailed Carroll:

I’m wondering, do you think Gessler or his media people should talk to me, even if I’m progressive, as they do you.

…what seems to bother Gessler’s spokesman the most about me is the fact that I crosspost on ColoradoPols, obviously a left-leaning blog.

I mean, it would be one thing if I were a progressive hatchet man, but I really don’t think I’m harder on the conservatives I interview than you are on the liberals who talk to you.

Carroll replied:

You are right that you are not a left-leaning hatchet man, but that doesn’t mean Gessler is under any obligation to talk to you.  Some people won’t take my calls, too.  Such is life in journalism.


But you’d think a public official would at least listen to the question, and if it’s a basic one, like whether there’s election fraud in Denver, and if the answer would serve the public interest, he’d respond, whether the questioner were progressive or conservative.

Gessler apparently thinks a lot of the “mainstream media” and The Left are one and the same

Monday, October 24th, 2011

On Saturday, The Denver Post’s spot blog posted a story about Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s comments at a GOP lunch last week.

The Spot’s headline was “Republican Scott Gessler talks about the left: venom, hysteria and class warfare.”

The phrase “mainstream media” should have been added to that list.

Gessler took a serious whack at journalists during his speech when he said, according to a Spot transcript:

It’s really not the civil rights issue of the year. But I look at this venom and I think there’s a couple of things going on that we need to pay attention to as Republicans and conservatives.

And one is it seems pretty clear that to the left and particularly a lot of the mainstream media, Republicans are fine as long as they don’t make waves. And one is it seems pretty clear that to the left and particularly a lot of the mainstream media, Republicans are fine as long as they don’t make waves. Pat them on the head. ‘Good boys, good girls, Republicans.’ But when they actually make waves and challenge the status quo and challenge the way things have been done in the past, the left really gets upset. I think that’s in part what’s going on.

Unless he misspoke, Gessler apparently thinks a lot the “mainstream media” should be lumped together with the left.

In fact, judging from his use of the word “particularly,” it looks like he thinks the mainstream media are even more bothered than the left when Republicans get uppity.

You have to wonder if he’s got evidence for this.

Does he keep it in the same secret box with the evidence for fraud in Denver elections?

Talk Radio host says all Iranians should be killed

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

In a segment KENN’s radio’s “Painful Truth” show Oct. 12, host Jeremy Osborn squawked “blame the Jews,” and then he said, “Very few times on the face of this planet has there ever been a group of people who have cried out for their self destruction.”

Who would these people be?

“The Iranians,” he said.


“What have they contributed to the planet in the last….”

Then he said that Iranian women and children are also crying out for their own destruction because Iranian women “breed the new ones and the children will grow up to become them.”

Then Osborn said: “When you irradiate cancer, do you leave the young cancer cells alone? You irradiate them all.”

I emailed Osborn, whose show airs in the four corners area, to find out if he had an explanation for his comments, and I did not get a response.

But he did address my question on his radio show Oct. 20. He said:

Do I have an explanation for these comments as delivered and do I stand by them?  I hope that I have explained myself to you.  Do I stand by them?  Why not? Since I don’t remember exactly what I said. But like I said, you’re going to take the comments, I’m sure… I am going to go check out the blog now., I’m going to check it out. Talk show host wants to irradiate women and children in Iran.  I am sure that is what the headline is going to be.  But whatever.  If you hear the show on a daily basis, you’ll understand what the comments are coming from. It’s like the Bible, you cannot just crack open the Bible, read a verse and think you know the whole book.  Right?

He said I would take his comments out of context.

I really wanted to prove him wrong, but between the squawking, rambling, and leaps of logic, I couldn’t find much context.

You often seem like you’re entering another world when you listen to a talk radio show, and this show is a good example of talk-radio un-reality. But I’ve included his entire response below, in case you can make better sense of it than I can.

You can also listen to the audio clip of Osborn calling for the death of Iranians here: Osborn on the “Painful Truth” Says Kill all Iranians

Partial transcript of KENN’s the “Painful Truth” with host Jeremy Osborn, Oct. 20, 2011

OSBORN: I’ve got an e-mail here that I got to share with you.

LOGUE: Oh really?

OSBORN: Hello Sean Jeremy Osborn. I blog in Denver. [Gives the blog website.] I heard a segment of your radio show and you started by squawking, “[squawk noise] Blame the Jews” and then you said Iranians have cried out for the self-destruction.  Then you said the Iranian women and children should be included among those Iranians because Iranian women bread new ones and the children grow up to become them.

LOGUE: Right. Then you said when you irradiate cancer do you leave the young cancer cells alone? You irradiate them all.

OSBORN: I remember that part.


OSBORN: Do you have an explanation for these comments as delivered?  Do stand by them?  Thanks in advance for your response.  Jason Salzman.Well Jason, I hope you’re listening because I am not going to respond to your e-mail in e-mail because A) I don’t know who you are. I’ve already sensed you’ve taken my comments out of context.  I don’t know what your agenda is but let me address squawking blame the Jews.  When we do the “[squawk noise] Blame the Jews, blame Bush, [squawk noise] millionaires and billionaires, tax the rich. We do that because that is the broken record, same parroted response you always get from anybody on the left.


OSBORN: The Wall Street protesters are out there blaming the Jews. The signs are out there.  So, hence the term [squawk noise] blame the Jews.  Presidential Obama has been an office now for nearly three years. [squawk noise]  Blame Bush. Everything is still Bush’s fault.  In fact, I have audio coming up here from Joe Biden.


OSBORN: Where he continues to blame Bush.  So that is where [squawk noise] blame Bush, that is what the parrot is.  The parrot is just, that’s the left.  You guys are a broken record out there. Same old thing. [squawk noise] Failed economic policies of Bush [squawk noise]. Millionaires and billionaires [squawk noise]. Corporate jet owners…That is where that comes from. So that is where the blame the Jews thing comes in. I don’t remember specifically what I was talking about.  I am sure I did say that.  But not in an effort to blame the Jews for anything but as in parroting what the people on the left are saying.  It’s always the Jews fault. You are always blaming the Jews.  I then said, “Iranians have cried out for their self-destruction.”  Hmmm, did I say that?  Did I say that?

LOGUE: What, I’m sorry.

OSBORN: That Iranians have cried out for their self-destruction?

LOGUE: Once.

OSBORN: Did I say that?


OSBORN: OK. Plausible.  I’m sure I did.  Not remembering exactly what the story…ohh, I remember what the story was.  Oh yea, when we uncovered that plot to execute some crimes on our soil.  I’m certain I didn’t go out on… I didn’t spin the wheel of destruction here in the studio.  Give me a wheel of Fortune, but spin the wheel of destruction here. We will spin the wheel here this warning. Let me show you how to show doesn’t work. Just look at this fabulous showroom full of prizes and the big prize wheel were we spin the wheel of destruction.  Here is the lovely Vanna White. Ok Vanna, spin the wheel. [Wheel spinning sounds] Micronesia!  No, that is not how it works.  I have a problem with how the Iranians conduct themselves on the world stage.  I have a problem with a Grand Po Ba Pork Chop over there…Commine or Khamenei or whatever his name is, makes his comments.  I have a problem when Ahmadinejad makes his comments.

LOGUE: Its official. Gadhafi’s dead.

OSBORN: It is official?  Where you confirming it at?

LOGUE: A national transitional council…

OSBORN: What web site are you getting the information from?

LOGUE: This is on MSN.

OSBORN: Ok, all right, that is all I needed to know… [indiscernible]… new ones and the children grow up to become them.  I am sure that I probably said that too.  Because you always hear that on the left. You always hear the, “oh, what about the innocent women and children.”  There are no innocents.

LOGUE: Wait, in the…

OSBORN: There are no innocents. I’m sick and tired of hearing that term. You have a government that is an open supporter of shady stuff all around the planet.


OSBORN: Sure why not. Where do tomorrow terrorists come from?

LOGUE: Middle East?

OSBORN: No, they come from people. People that breed have kids that grow up to be terrorists.

LOGUE: Well, yea.

OSBORN: Sorry, it is a painful truth. Where is the majority of the terrorism coming from on this planet right now?  Is it coming from Guatemala?

LOGUE: Not so much.

OSBORN: Is it coming from Belgium?


OSBORN: Is it coming from New Guinea?


OSBORN: Ok, thank you. “Then you said when you irradiate cancer do you leave the young cancer cells alone?” Yes, that is exactly what I said.  And I believe I peppered that with the comment here is reason 8,497 why I will never be president.  I make that comment a lot. And by the way, when you do treat cancer and you’re going through radiation therapy, the radiation doesn’t leave a little cancer cells alone.  Does it?  Do I have an explanation for these comments as delivered and do I stand by them?  I hope that I have explained myself to you.  Do I stand by them?  Why not? Since I don’t remember exactly what I said. But like I said, you’re going to take the comments, I’m sure… I am going to go check out the blog now., I’m going to check it out. Talk show host wants to irradiate women and children in Iran.  I am sure that is what the headline is going to be.  But whatever.  If you hear the show on a daily basis, you’ll understand what the comments are coming from. It’s like the Bible, you cannot just crack open the Bible, read a verse and think you know the whole book.  Right?

LOGUE: Not even close.

OSBORN: Right?

LOGUE. Nice try.

OSBORN: I do not come on the show everyday and say, “Why haven’t we dropped the bomb in K-Ran?”  That is not what the show was about.


OSBORN: And you pull anything out of context, you can pull the president’s words out of context and make them sound good. Oh, kind of like the media, how they do anyway.  So yea, those are my words and my explanation.

LOGUE: That is my story and I am sticking to it.

OSBORN:  I’m sure made the comments about the women and children as a part of a…I’m sure I asked myself a question, “Oh, you can’t drop the bomb. What about the innocent women and children?”  So again, don’t pull the comments out of context.  If you’re going to comment on my comments, make sure you understand the whole picture.  I hope I’ve done a better job painting it for you and Jason I thank you for your e-mail.

LOGUE: You are a charitable artist.


LOGUE: I’m kidding. I’m just giving you crap.

OSBORN:  [Squawk noise] Blame the white guy.

LOGUE: Yea, it’s because you’re white.

OSBORN: No, I’m African-American. Stop disparaging me. You know that to be true.


OSBORN: That is the Painful Truth and you will have to deal with it. I’m Sean Jeremy Osborn.

Reporter suggests that Post Office coverage should include point that Congress doesn’t fund U.S. Postal Service

Friday, October 21st, 2011

I was glad to receive an email this morning from Matt Hildner, The San Luis Valley Correspondent for the the Pueblo Chieftain. He commented on my recent post arguing that reporters should question Rep. Scott Tipton about how his request that the U.S. Postal Service take a thoughtful approach to cutting rural post offices squares with his heavy-handed demand that the federal discretionary budget be cut by 10 percent, across the board.

Here’s our exchange.

Hi Jason,

My name is Matt Hildner. I cover the San Luis Valley for the Chieftain and I wanted to contact you about your post on the post offices.

While I don’t disagree that politicians should always be questioned on why certain budget decisions are justified when they normally pound on the need for cuts, I think the post office issue doesn’t apply, since the postal service hasn’t been funded by congress since 1982. I’ve linked to the semi-annual report of the agency’s inspector general below if you want to verify that.

Obviously, it’s on me as a reporter for not including that information in the story and it’s a worse story because of it.

If you feel like sharing this, feel free to quote from any section of this e-mail or attribute to me by name.

Inspector General report (see the introduction, page 3, seventh page overall including table of contents, etc.)

My response:

Hi Matt –Thanks very much for getting in touch.

I agree that this is different than your typical story about a politician who, say, voted to eliminate federal funding for military bases but then fights to keep all the bases open in his district.

That’s why I asked Fred Brown about it. It was an inconsistency in Tipton’s approach, not a flip flop, that was the problem, so it wasn’t necessarily an obvious point for a journalist to bring up.

Previously, Tipton advocated a 10 percent across-the-board cut for the federal budget, which is a heavy-handed approach to budget cutting. He didn’t suggest targeted cuts that would be less disruptive or possibly even more efficient.

Then, when it comes to the Post Office, he’s suggesting a highly detailed analysis, with special concern for rural economies, transportation issues, safety, etc.

Why is he being so much more careful about budget cutting in this case, whereas before he was acting like the clichéd elephant in a china shop?

Maybe Tipton’s “cut-the-federal-budget-across-the-board-by-10-percent” line made a good campaign slogan, but actual budget cutting hurts people and should be done with more care, like he’s advocating now with respect to the Post Office?

So the fact that the Post Office isn’t funded by Congress doesn’t matter.

Do you see what I mean?



Hildner’s response to my response:

Jason, Thanks for the reply. I understand where you’re coming from. If someone repeatedly uses a meat cleaver but then questions why someone else isn’t using a scalpel, it merits a question from reporters.  At the same time, I believe reporting needs to make clear that Congress doesn’t hold the purse strings here, which, again, is something I failed to do in the story linked in your post. I think both the question and the funding fact have a place in the story.

At any rate, I appreciate the exchange and am always glad to read your posts. 


My response:

Thanks.I wish I’d called you prior to posting. I will do so next time.

I’d like to post our exchange if you are willing?


Colorado probably only state where a registered voter isn’t guaranteed mail ballot after missing one election

Friday, October 21st, 2011

It seems crazy to me that in Colorado, you won’t necessarily get a ballot in the mail if you missed voting in just one election, and I haven’t seen much info reported locally on how other states deal with this issue.

So I got in touch with the Brennan Center for Justice, which got a bunch of national attention for its recent report about the menu of new rules around the country that tighten “restrictions on voting,” and it looks like Colorado is unique in its treatment of “inactive” voters.

Jonathan Brater, a Law Clerk with the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, wrote me that Colorado is one of just a handful of states that don’t mail ballots to all “inactive” voters, and Colorado rushes voters into the “inactive” category faster than any other state.

So, Brater points out that “in any other state, there would be no possibility that a duly registered voter would not receive a mail ballot simply because she missed one election.”

Our current research is not yet complete, but so far reveals Colorado is unique in a number of very relevant ways: Colorado is the only state we have identified where a person becomes inactive if they miss just one election.  Also, our research has not identified any other state that makes a statutory distinction among different classes of inactive voters. Additionally, Colorado is one of only a handful of states that do not mail ballots to voters designated as inactive. The third point is critical when combined with the first point because it means that, under Secretary Gessler’s proposed interpretation, registered voters are prevented from voting after missing a single election unless they submit to an onerous administrative process to “reactivate” their status.

Thus, there is not a relevant point of comparison in any other state; in any other state, there would be no possibility that a duly registered voter would not receive a mail ballot simply because she missed one election.    

This makes you think that Colorado’s apparent uniqueness looks pretty bad and may make moot Gessler’s argument that it’s not fair for one county to send ballots to inactive voters, while another county does send them.

As Brater wrote me, uniformity is an “important and a helpful goal,” but:

“A bad or illegal policy, however, is not desirable in one instance, much less uniformly.”

He added:

Furthermore, under Colorado’s election law, no scenario would provide for perfect uniformity.  The law states that counties may conduct mail ballot elections, which means that in certain elections, some counties will send mail ballots and others will not.  Under the circumstances, the best policy is to make sure as many registered and eligible voters are allowed to participate as possible.

Former Coloradoan Editor also ignored by Gessler press office

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

I’ve been writing about the difficulty I’ve had getting anyone in Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s press office to return my call.

And then, finally, when I got Gessler spokesperson Rich Coolidge on the phone, he wouldn’t say much.

It turns out, Bob Moore, former Executive Editor of the Ft. Collins Coloradoan, got similar avoidance treatment from Coolidge.

In response to my crosspost on ColoradoPols about my exchange with Coolidge, Moore emailed me:

Coolidge stopped responding to me on Larimer GOP questions several weeks before I left. It was very strange. I used to be able to get him to respond virtually any time of the day. But after the dunking booth stuff, nothing. I would have made a bigger deal out of it if I wasn’t on my way out of town.

Moore, who is now the Editor of the El Paso Times in Texas, emailed me that he would have posted his comment on ColoradoPols himself, but he was having problems accessing his account. So he sent it to me and gave me permission to post it.

Reporters should ask Tipton how his idea of cutting the fed budget by 10 percent squares with his plea to save rural post offices

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service, as you may know, is trying to save money by closing  post offices in rural areas, like the district of Rep. Scott Tipton.

This prompted Tipton and fellow Congressman Cory Gardner to deliver a letter, electionically I presume, to the Postal Regulatory Commission, protesting the closure of so many Colorado post offices.

We are aware of the grim fiscal position of the Post Office, and the need to make changes in order to survive in today’s competitive environment and adjust to the new means of communication in the 21st Century. However..Our constituents are concerned that retail discontinuance of some of these post offices could negatively impact their own businesses, especially during these tough economic times. Additionally, we are concerned that closing certain facilities will lead to costly and time-consuming commutes. Traveling to distant postal facilities in the 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts during winter months could be extremely difficult, expensive and dangerous. Some post offices that appear to be in geographic proximity are in reality not readily accessible. Finally, some of these post offices that seem to service a proportionately small population are essential to the existence of small isolated communities. The potential effect of these closures should involve significant consideration of the individual or unique characteristics of the respective communities served…. We would prefer to see a bottom-up approach that utilizes actual cost savings rather than a top-down approach focused on an arbitrary revenue figure.

So, what Tipton and Gardner are saying here is, don’t just close post offices willy nilly. Be smart about it. Think about economic costs and benefits, and use a selective approach to closing post offices.

Except…isn’t Tipton the guy who’s called for a 10 percent across-the-board cut in federal budget discrtionary spending?

He is, but you wouldn’t know it from reading press coverage of his efforts to save post offices. None of the coverage I’ve seen (e.g., Montrose Press, Pueblo Chieftain, The Craig Daily PressThe Denver Post’s Spot blog) explains how Tipton squares his chain-saw approach to cutting the federal budget (10 percent cuts for all) with his touchy-feely, wonky recommendation for post-office cuts.

But should a reporter raise this point with Tipton? Or would this be a snarky attack?

It’s clear that journalists should report a “flip-flop” by a politician. So if Tipton had said that the U.S. Postal Service should be closed, and then he said, keep it open, that would an obvious matter for a journalist to raise.

But Tipton’s inconsistency on this isn’t really an in-your-face  flip-flop. It’s more of a sleight-of-hand.

So were journalists right not to question Tipton about why he thinks the post office deserves careful budget cuts while the federal budget does not?

Via email, I asked Fred Brown, a veteran Denver joiurnalist and columnist who’s nationally known for his ethics work with the Society of Professional Journalists, “Would it be unfair for a reporter to ask Tipton about this? Or would this be seen more as an attack by someone out to get Tipton?”

I think that’s a legitimate question to ask, at least in the initial report. Is it worth a follow-up story? There, I’m not so sure. It is more likely then to come across as an attempt at “gotcha” journalism. But if the question is asked, and answered, as part of the story about Tipton’s (and Gardner’s) request to keep post offices open, it’s certainly pertinent — and it shows a nice bit of research and recall on the reporter’s part. Tipton may say it’s a silly question, or that this isn’t part of the 10 percent he was talking about, or that he’d be perfectly happy if each little post office cut its budget by 10 percent. But if the question and answer are reported in full, then I’d say leave it to the reader (or viewer or listener) to decide whether it’s a fair question. I think it is.

That’s what I thought, too. I don’t think it merits a stand-alone story either, unless this turns into a trend, with Tipton asking for lengthy cost-benefit analyses of cuts proposed for stuff in his district, while throwing everyone else under the across-the-board-cut bus.

But reporters won’t have to wait for a possible stand-alone story. They will probably have a chance to query Tipton during the normal course of reporting the post office woes.

In Silver Plume Nov. 16 and elsewhere on other dates in November and December, public meetings will be held on proposed branch closures in Colorado.

Why does Gessler think “fraud exists” in Denver elections? His office is “not going to comment”

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

For weeks, I’ve been asking Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s media people if Gessler was serious when he said, in a radio interview, that “fraud exists” in Denver elections, and when, on another occasion, Gessler implied that there’s election fraud in Denver.

I’ve left lots of messages and gotten no response.

This surprised me, truly, because you’d think the Secretary of State would want to make it clear either way.

If he thinks there is really fraud, that’s obviously a huge problem that every active, inactive, and dead voter should hear about.

If there’s no fraud, then we should hear this, to put us at ease since Gessler previously said there was fraud.

So I was overjoyed Tuesday when I got Gessler’s media spokesperson Rich Coolidge, instead of an answering machine, when I called his direct line in Gessler’s press office. But disappointment followed.

Jason: Hi Rich. It’s Jason Salzman, a blogger in Denver. I’m very sorry to keep bothering you. I don’t know if you got my messages about whether there’s fraud in Denver elections?

Gessler’s spokesperson: I got the one last week, and we’re not going to comment to you.

Jason: Why?

Gessler’s spokesperson: We just don’t reach out to ColoradoPols bloggers.

Jason: I’m not a ColoradoPols blogger. I post there. You’ve talked to me in the past, and I thought I represent you fairly when you tell me a fact. And if I don’t, you can ask me, and I’ll put whatever you want to say in my blog.

Gessler’s spokesperson: I appreciate that. And you can write whatever you’re going to write, and we understand that. And we’re good to go. We’re not going to comment.

Jason: Isn’t it a basic question of whether you think there’s fraud in Denver elections? I mean, don’t you think that’s a question that you’d want to comment on?

Gessler’s spokesperson: Jason, you’re going to write what you want to write, and that’s fine.

Jason: Last time we talked…

Gessler’s spokesperson: You have your bent. You’re going to post on ColoradoPols. We don’t have anything to say. But thank you for your call. We are not going to comment.

Jason: What if I were just a citizen, or any person, worried about fraud?

Gessler’s spokesperson: You’re going to post it on ColoradoPols, and you are free to do that.

Jason: Well, I won’t. I have a blog; it’s called, and I post on Huffington Post. If you don’t want it on ColoradoPols, I won’t put it on ColoradoPols.

Gessler’s spokesperson: You’re going to do what you’re going to do.  I don’t read your blogs and your pieces. You know, go ahead and write it. And that’s fine. We’re not going to comment. Thanks for your call. I’m going to let you go now.

Jason: There’s nothing I can do? Nothing at all?

Gessler’s spokesperson: No.

Jason: There’s no way we can negotiate this?

Gessler’s spokesperson: No thank you.

Jason: Well okay, thank you very much.

Gessler’s spokesperson: Thank you.

Jason: Have a good day.

Gessler’s spokesperson: You too.

Jason: Bye.

Gessler’s spokesperson: Bye.

Gessler’s spokesman is correct that I write from a progressive perspective.

But I hope that anyone who follows my work knows that I try hard to be fair and accurate, especially when I interview someone. I do my best not to misquote anyone or present their views out of context. I will always update my blog posts with whatever my interviewees want me to add, if they don’t like what I’ve written.