Denver Post should correct State Senate candidate’s claim that he never supported personhood

Last week, The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels posted an email from Rep. Ken Summers, in which he explained why he thought he lost his State Senate race against Democrat Andy Kerr.

Summers wrote Bartels that his opponents lied about him and distorted his views. He wrote, for example:

I have never been supportive of the personhood amendment, but that was the basis for saying Ken Summers is against contraception.

This sentence caught my attention because it directly contradicted Summers’ response to a 2008 Rocky Mountain News candidate questionnaire, which you can see with your own eyes here: Ken Summers’ 2008 Rocky Mountain News candidate questionnaire

In it, Summers, a Republican and former pastor, answers plainly:

Do you support Amendment 48? It would ban abortion by defining personhood as beginning at fertilization.

Summers: Yes

In the candidate’s words: A new baseline for this issue is needed. Clarifications will be needed.

In her blog post, Bartels didn’t correct Summers’ statement. Nor did she do so after a commenter spotlighted the factual error. Clearly, she should have set Summers straight for the record, because these details matter.

And of course, more could be written about Summers and personhood, even though the election seems like ages ago already, and Summers lost.

People might want to know why Summers apparently has no recollection of supporting personhood, and whether he understood that it would, in fact, ban many forms of birth control, in addition to all abortion, even in the case of rape and incest.

Would Summers, who I’ve found to be relatively reasonable, be less angry at the “nasty” mailers of his opponents, and more upset with his own self, if he were reminded of his 2008 endorsement of personhood? Perhaps he thought his extreme position on abortion was private, that he’d not gone public with it, and he simply forgot about the Rocky questionnaire.

Who knows?

But from a journalistic perspective, it proves the point that’s been proven over and over again, that nasty things usually look a lot less nasty when you report both sides and put the facts on the table.

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