Post Editorial Page Editor promises “Battleground” panels will be fair in the end

The Denver Post’s  latest “Battleground Colorado” panel is stacked against Democrats, but Post Editorial Page Editor Curtis Hubbard tells me that things will be fair in the end, as Dems will outnumber Republicans on a future panel.

The Post’s “Super Tuesday” panel, the second in election-season series that promises to be interesting, in part because of the different levels of interaction with the community, features the following folks, according to The Post:

Former state chair Dick Wadhams, Jessica Peck of Henley Public Affairs and Arapahoe County Commissioner Susan Beckman for Republicans; Former House Speaker Terrance Carroll and political strategist Leticia Martinez of Project New West for Democrats; analyst Eric Sondermann of SE2 communications; and special guests former GOP congressman Tom Tancredo and Colorado College professor Tom Cronin.

Sometimes it takes me days of bean counting to show unfairness. But here, The Post does the counting for me. Two for the Dems. Three for the GOP. That’s a stacked deck!

My progressive friends will hate me for it, but I’ll accept Sondermann as a centrist here, as The Post defined him in its first panel Feb. 10. Cronin looks to be left-leaning. And Tancredo is way right, but overall a partisan Republican.

So what gives? Why create a panel with a 4-1-3 split in favor of the conservative agenda?

In response to that question, Post Editorial Page Editor Curtis Hubbard emailed me:

The makeup for the first panel was 2-2 between Ds and Rs, with me and Sondermann serving as referees.

Given the attention that’s being paid to women’s issues, I wanted to add voices of suburban women for our second panel on March 7. But I don’t want the panel to get too unwieldy. So, for next Wednesday’s discussion, where much of the focus will be on the Republican primary and the conversation largely focused on Romney vs. Santorum, I opted to bring in an additional Republican woman for broader context of what’s happening and how her friends and neighbors see it shaping up.

As we move closer to November, you can look for some panels to tilt toward Ds, more participation from unaffiliated voters, and additional guests who bring experience that is under- or unrepresented on the panel (young voters, rural voters, retirees).

I’m also eager to hear from readers in hopes of providing information that they’re interested in for future panels.

Hubbard also informed me that Beckman will be part of the panel going forward, and one more Democrat and independent will be added “hopefully by April or May.”

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