Archive for the 'Colorado Statesman' Category

Beauprez’s clarified comments are still in need of clarification

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

In case you missed it, here’s gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez’s response to criticism of his comments on the radio that states should enforce immigration law, if the feds don’t do it, “as Jan Brewer tried to do in Arizona.”

Radio hosts failed to ask Beauprez for details, but Beauprez told former Colorado Statesman reporter Peter Marcus July 14 that his comments were misrepresented by the “radical left.”

“It wasn’t as much about Jan Brewer’s policy as much as Jan Brewer was standing up for her citizens and saying if the federal government’s not going to protect them, somebody needs to,” explained Beauprez. “That was the point.”

As for the comments about blocking busloads of undocumented children if they are transported to Colorado, Beauprez said he was simply repeating comments he had heard.

“That was passed on because somebody in Pueblo told me that that would happen,” clarified the gubernatorial candidate. “That wasn’t me saying it. I said I had heard that from people in Pueblo.

“And that’s the kind of concern, that’s why this president needs to get his arms around this,” Beauprez continued. “You’ve got a volatile society and people are looking for leaders that are willing to address reality. You may not like reality, but you’d better deal with it.

“This didn’t just happen,” he added. “[Texas Gov.] Rick Perry sent the president a letter two years ago that said you’d better get on top of this, and he ignored it. Actions have consequences.”

What I don’t see here is Beauprez saying he disagrees with Jan Brewer’s law, later found to be unconstitutional, to detain anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant. I also don’t see him saying he wouldn’t join in blocking buses with migrant children, if they were sent to Colorado. More clarification is needed.

Peter Marcus to replace Joe Hanel at the Durango Herald

Monday, July 21st, 2014

I had convinced myself, based on nothing except the rip tide that’s pulling political reporters out of Colorado, that The Durango Herald wouldn’t replace its Denver correspondent, Joe Hanel, who left in May after rising to become one best political journalists in the state.

But I was wrong. The Herald has hired Peter Marcus, who left The Colorado StatesmanFriday, to replace

Hanel as its Denver Correspondent. Asked what he’ll be covering, Marcus said via email:

Marcus: “As much as I’d love to be working in Durango — that town is so amazing — I’ll actually be stationed out of the Capitol, holding down the bureau. It’s really critical that southwest Colorado have a link to the happenings in Denver. They don’t get Colorado news down there. The broadcasts are out of Albuquerque, but the people don’t relate to New Mexico. They’re Coloradans. So, it’s crucial that they have a link to the news and happenings coming out of Denver, because the decisions that happen in the Mile High City greatly impact their lives, and they should be able to have a say in what’s going on. During the legislative session, I’ll be mostly covering the legislature for the Herald. More immediately, I’m going to be jumping right into campaign season. It’s not going to be much of a jump for me. That’s been part of my beat at The Statesman. But I’ll also take a close look at the courts and the state boards — especially mining, water and oil and gas — because actions by those authorities are of great importance to our readership.”

I asked Marcus, who starts at the Heraldtoday, about the journalism road that led him to his new job:

Marcus: “It was a bit sad saying goodbye to the Statesman on Friday. That paper really came through for me at a clutch time, when I was seriously considering getting out of journalism. I was the assistant editor over at the Denver Daily News, it was around July 2011, and the paper just suddenly shut down. It literally just shut down in a second. I was out interviewing a Denver city employee for an investigation I was working on, and my phone went off, and it was a text from my editor saying, “Don’t worry about coming back to the office, the paper just folded.” It was shocking, to say the least.

After that, I was sort of losing faith in the industry a little bit. I still had the bug for journalism, but there just weren’t too many options available to me at that time. That’s when I started freelancing for The Statesman. Jody Strogoff, the editor, she saw something in me and allowed me to take on a few assignments for her. I had been covering the statehouse for the Denver Daily News, but it certainly wasn’t my primary beat, so Jody sort of took a risk on me. I started covering the reapportionment hearings at the time. That was a pretty big deal to The Statesman, given the paper’s legislative focus. Reapportionment can be a tough subject to just sort of dive into, but I got it done, and I think Jody started feeling a bit more comfortable. Soon I was a staff writer for the paper, primarily focused on the state legislature.

Where it all got started for me was at the Longmont Times-Call. I was an intern there for a while in 2005 right after graduating from Ithaca College where I majored in journalism. I sort of just packed up my car in New York and moved to Colorado. I had a tight crew of friends moving out here, but I didn’t have a job or anything like that. But then I landed the Times-Call gig and that’s where I really got addicted to this thing. It’s funny, I ran into Trevor Hughes at the Capitol the other day. Trevor was at the Times-Call when I was there. He now works for USA Today. Anyway, Trevor took me out on my first breaking news assignment. It was a bank robbery in Longmont. When I saw him, it all came back to me. I guess some of us just can’t say goodbye to being newsmen.”

I also asked Marcus how it felt to be replacing the widely respected Joe Hanel.

Marcus: I can’t begin to explain to you how big of a deal it is that I’m replacing Hanel. His legacy over at the Capitol could possibly be eternal. Hanel held down the Herald’s bureau position with pride, class and professionalism. He really set the bar. As I’ve been telling people that I’m moving over to the Herald, their responses have usually been, ‘Wow, those are some big shoes to fill.’ Indeed. If I come anywhere close to filling Joe’s shoes, I’ll feel like I have done my job. He gave me some good advice after I told him I got the gig. Hanel goes, ‘Just don’t fuck it up.’

I told Marcus that his fans at The Statesman will undoubtedly miss him. Here’s his response:

Marcus: I’m going to miss The Statesman very much. Beyond just allowing me to stay in the game so that I could move on to other opportunities, it’s been a real home for me. The stories are definitely on the long side, and they’re catered for the truly wonky political crowd. But there was something really fantastic about being able to delve into subjects with such complexity and detail. The Statesman is a true institution in the Colorado political world, and it was an honor to represent them over the past few years. They haven’t filled my old position yet, but I understand that there have been some interested and qualified candidates expressing interest.

Multiple news outlets erred in 2010 when they reported on GOP primary-ballot-access rules

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez can try to get on the GOP primary ballot through both petitions and the assembly, despite news reports in 2010 stating that Republican candidates could not pursue both routes simultaneously.

Ditto for Beauprez opponents Tom Tancredo and Owen Hill, who are trying both the assembly and petition avenues.

“Access to the Republican primary ballot by political party assembly or by nominating petitions signed by a sufficient number of registered party members are not mutually exclusive,” GOP Chair Ryan Call emailed me, in response to my request to clarify the rules. “Whether a candidate seeks access to our Republican primary ballot by assembly, by petition, or by both methods, all routes are legal, legitimate, and permissible under state law and the rules of the Colorado Republican Party.”

Media stories produced during the 2010 election, cited below, stated, apparently incorrectly, that a GOP candidate had to choose between the assembly process and the petition route.

When he joined the governor’s race Monday, Beauprez first told reporters he’d petition onto the Republican primary ballot. Then he told KHOW talk-show host Mandy Connell that he might also try to get on the ballot through the vote of Republican activists attending the party’s assembly April 10.

When Jane Norton ran for U.S. Senate in 2010 and bypassed the GOP assembly, she was not allowed to speak at the event. Beauprez could face a similar ban if he decides against submitting his name for nomination at the assembly.

News articles at the time do not cite sources for their assertions that GOP rules forbid candidates from using multiple avenues to get on the primary ballot.

The Pueblo Chieftain, from April 14, 2010, reported:

Under Republican rules, candidates either go to the convention to win a place on a primary ballot or use petition drives, but not both.

A 2010 Grand Junction Sentinel article, referenced in ColoradoPols post states:

…Democratic Party rules allow candidates to go both routes at the same time. Only the Republican Party requires its candidates to choose one over the other.

The Colorado Statesman had the same information:

Party rules allowed Bennet to field a petition while still pursuing nomination through the assembly process, unlike rules forbidding both methods on the Republican side.

Call stated in his email to me:

Call: Ultimately, the choice of who becomes our Republican nominee and candidate for any race will be made by our grassroots Republican voters and by all voters who wish to join our party in order to have their voice heard in our primary process. Interested citizens may register to vote and declare or update their party affiliation by visiting www.govotecolorado.com.

We invite all who share our concerns about the erosion of individual rights and opportunity, who recognize the failures of leadership by Gov. Hickenlooper and Sen. Udall, and who disagree with the hurtful policies and broken promises of the Democrats in Washington and in this state, to join us in voting Republican this year to get Colorado and our nation back on the right course.

Media omission: Hudak-recall leaders lash out at fellow Republicans for “obstructing” their efforts

Friday, November 8th, 2013

CLARIFICATION 11-10-2013: The Colorado Statesman’s Peter Marcus originally reported that Recall Hudak Too hired two young staffers who are involved in the signature-gathering effort, but Marcus found no evidence at the time (Marcus’ article was published Oct. 28.) that Kennedy Enterprises was on the payroll. He also reported that RMGO promised financial support.

UPDATE 11-9-13: Here’s a some evidence that McAlpine’s organization, Recall Hudak Too, has money for signature gathering. It might be gearing up in case money comes in, of course. But signs point to a paid effort.

——————

The tone of the Hudak-recall organizers was one of forced optimism this morning, as they told KNUS’ Peter Boyles that they’re “just over half way” to their target goal of signatures, and they blamed Colorado GOP Chair Ryan Call and Colorado Republican leaders for obstructing their efforts and turning fellow Republicans against them.

Recall leader Mike McAlpine said Call is “impeding” and “obstructing” the recall, and doing so “to intimidate [Republican] supporters into not supporting a winning issue.”

Sounding hurt, fellow recall organizer Laura Waters said that, thanks to Ryan Call’s comments, “at certain doors and in certain phone calls, we’re even fighting against our own party.”

In numerous morning appearances on KNUS, McAlpine and Waters have avoided attacking fellow Republicans, but on air today, the anger in their voices was deeper and more explosive when they talked about Republicans than it was when they discussed recall target Sen. Evie Hudak.

Listen to McAlpine and Waters on KNUS 11-8-13

Waters got particularly angry when she talked about receiving a fundraising call Monday from the Republican Party telling her that maybe the State GOP would be organizing recall campaigns.

Waters: “[The GOP phone caller] told me that maybe they would be doing some recalls. But what I think is, they were throwing that word [recall] out there. It’s a buzz word that they know will help raise money.”

McAlpine added that he received an email from the Colorado GOP and Ryan Call “saying by insinuation. ‘Pueblo recall was us; Colorado Springs recall was us; grassroots efforts are us.’ It could not be farther from the truth.”

“Here’s the problem we have,” said Waters. “It seems like it’s just us. It’s us. It’s RMGO.”

Yesterday, I pointed out that the Colorado Statesman and The Denver Post published conflicting information about whether paid staff has been hired to gather signatures for the Hudak recall effort, with the Colorado Statesmen’s Peter Marcus reporting McAlpine as saying that  “his group has not paid a petition-gathering firm.” The Denver Post’s Kurtis Lee, citing anonymous sources, reported that Kennedy Enterprises is on the payroll.

Statesman reporter Peter Marcus defended his reporting in an email to me yesterday, writing that he asked McAlpine if “Kennedy or any other paid gatherers were collecting signatures at all, and that’s when [McAlpine] told me about the two paid staffers. But they’re teenagers, if I remember correctly, so nothing significant.”

Marcus wrote:

I also asked what RMGO has done for them, and they said pledged financial support.

[Recall organizers] also said that paid petition gatherers isn’t off the table. But this was a few weeks ago.

I’ve been pretty hands on. I’ve been to the house they’re organizing at, I’ve been on the street corners with them — there has not seemed to be a paid petition effort. I also live in the district, and I haven’t seen anything but what looks like volunteers on the street. But it’s been a couple weeks now since I’ve really paid attention. Maybe they’ve hired someone at this point.

I don’t know where Kurtis got his info, but it didn’t match what I was told at the time I was writing my story. I’m not sure if he’s actually been down on the street like I have, but I just have had no indication that they’re paying for signatures. I saw how they were organizing at the house they’re working out of in Arvada, and these guys were volunteers. Granted, many of them are not from the district, but there’s nothing illegal there. These recalls have become more than just district issues, I think everyone knows that. If the Democrats can raise millions from Bloomberg and D.C., then I don’t see why recall proponents should be criticized for utilizing help outside the district.

I just checked out their disclosures on TRACER, and they’ve raised about $23,000, with only $358 in non-monetary items. There’s nothing in their expenditures that shows paying for petition gathering. I also don’t see any contributions from RMGO, or any organizations like that. Their effort looks a lot like the one down in Pueblo, which was mostly grassroots.

I also don’t see any expenditures in the RMGO PAC to the recall effort.

They could funnel donations through a C4, but if Recall Hudak Too takes the contributions, they would at least have to list the C4 on their disclosures. So, if RMGO makes a contribution for petition gathering, or any other organization, then it would be listed on the disclosure as a non-monetary contribution, as was the case in Colorado Springs for the recall effort there. I Am Created Equal donated for Kennedy and it was listed as a non-monetary contribution of like $64,000, or something like that.

If Marcus is right, and he makes a convincing case here that paid signature gatherers are not a factor now, you begin to understand the desperation in the voices of Hudak-recall organizers on the radio this morning.

Journos should clear up conflicting reporting on whether Hudak recall campaign is using paid signature gatherers

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

If you’ve been following the effort to recall State Sen. Evie Hudak, you know that conservative honchos, including the Independence Institute’s Dave Kopel and Morse-recall spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns, have expressed skepticism about whether the Hudak recall campaign can collect enough signatures to put the recall measure on the ballot.

The uphill battle to gather signatures would obviously be even steeper without the help of paid signature gatherers from Kennedy Enterprises, which was hired to manage the signature-gathering campaign in the Morse recall effort.

Political journalists should sort out the conflicting reporting over whether Kennedy is involved this time around in the Hudak recall. This is a critical piece of the recall story that shouldn’t dangle in a fog of contradictions.

In  in an article Oct. 28, the Colorado Statesman’s Peter Marcus reported:

Statesman: “Contrary to some reports, McAlpine said his group has not paid a petition-gathering firm. In Colorado Springs, proponents used Kennedy Enterprises.”

Marcus was likely referring to reporting by The Denver Post’s Kurtis Lee, who reported Oct. 23:

Post: But sources close to the recalls confirmed Tuesday that McAlpine is using Colorado Springs-based Kennedy Enterprises, the firm that paid volunteers to gather signatures in the Morse recall.

Of course, it’s possible that McAlpine had hired Kennedy Enterprises, but dropped the consulting firm after reading accusations, published in The Post’s story, that Kennedy has not required “background checks of employees” sent door-to-door.

It’s also possible that Rocky Mountain Gun Owners or some other political group allied with McAlpine is the one paying Kennedy to gather signatures.

We don’t know but it’s important for journalists to lay out the facts on the table.

Candidates should face “personhood” questions from journalists in 2014, as another amendment heads to ballot

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Activists led by Personhood USA yesterday submitted over 50,000 more signatures than the 86,000 required to make the 2014 election ballot, making it likely voters will cast ballots next year on a measure that would add “unborn human beings” to the definition of a “person” and “child” in Colorado’s criminal code.

Backers and opponents of the measure disagree on whether it would affect abortion rights, but the fact is that supporters of the amendment, including its designated representative and a spokesperson for Colorado Right to Life, have referred to it as “personhood.”

So this means it’s likely that political candidates will face questions next year about their views on the personhood concept, under which all abortion would be banned, even for rape and incest, as well as common forms of birth control.

In 2010, the last time a personhood amendment was on the Colorado ballot, all Republican candidates for Governor and Senate supported the measure.

This year, most top-line Republican candidates are on record supporting personhood (See below), while no Democrat has done so publicly. The Colorado Statesman’s Peter Marcus has sought comments from this year’s crop of candidates, but he’s faced some resistance.

Coverage of the yesterday’s signature submission, including informative pieces by CBS4′s Shaun Boyd and the Colorado Independent’s John Tomasic, didn’t provided a tally of personhood support among top candidates. So I will supply it below:

Governor

State Sen. Greg Brophy endorsed personhood in 2008 telling 7News at the time, “Clearly it’’s always the right time to take the stand for the sanctity of life.” Colorado Right to Life writes on its blog that Brophy “supports personhood” and is “pro-life with no exceptions.”

Secretary of State Scott Gessler is apparently not on record on personhood.

Former lawmaker Mike Kopp “supports personhood” and is “pro-life with no exceptions,” according to the Colorado Right to Life blog.

Former Rep. Tancredo supports personhood.

U.S. Senate

Sen. Randy Baumgardner is “100% pro-life with no exceptions” and “supports personhood,” according to the 2012 Colorado Right to Life blog.

Weld Country DA Ken Buck withdrew his support for the personhood amendment in 2010, but stood behind is position against abortion, even in the cases of rape and incest.

Sen. Owen Hill is “pro-life” and “supports personhood” according to CRTL in 2012.

U.S. House

Rep. Mike Coffman is listed by CRTL as a personhood supporter, and he has been held up by Personhood USA as a model personhood-supporting candidate. He’s against abortion for rape and incest.

Rep. Cory Gardner supports personhood.

Rep. Doug Lamborn supports personhood.

Rep. Scott Tipton is not on record as a personhood supporter.

 

Will reporters accept silence from candidates on Brady Amendment

Monday, August 12th, 2013

The Colorado Statesman’s Peter Marcus provides an excellent update today on a personhood-backed ballot initiative aiming to change the definition of “’person’ and ‘child’” under Colorado law to include “unborn human beings.”

Signatures for the fetal-homicide measure, criticized by pro-choice activists as a backdoor abortion ban, are due by Sept. 30.

But the question still hanging out there is how Republicans, who favor the personhood position against abortion, even in the case of rape and incest, are going to deal with the latest infant-mortality measure, which is at a minimum a step toward such a ban.

Will reporters let candidates brush it off, as Coffman did in 2012, saying it’s not their focus, even though Coffman was later held up as the poster-child for Personhood USA?

Marcus couldn’t get answers from top 2014 candidates about the so-called Brady Amendment, but he provided this useful roundup on some past positions on abortion and personhood.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, last year said he would not endorse the initiative, despite his pro-life stance and past support for the effort. And former Seventh Congressional District candidate Joe Coors also would not endorse the initiative last year, despite past support.

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck also found trouble in 2010 when he ran against Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. Buck softened his stance on personhood after Bennet attacked Buck for his position. Buck’s campaign later backtracked, saying he would not vote for personhood. Buck on Wednesday filed paperwork to run for U.S. Senate again in 2014 against Democratic incumbent Mark Udall….

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Republican who is running for governor in 2014, declined comment until Hickenlooper publically speaks out on abortion. Tancredo points out that OnTheIssues.org does not have a recorded stance for Hickenlooper on abortion.

State Sen. Greg Brophy of Wray, who is also seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for governor, did not return a request for comment left by The Statesman.

The positions of candidates on both sides of the aisle regarding the Brady Amendment might be influenced by the stance of the Denver Archdiocese, which, as the Statesman reports, has previously opposed personhood measures but has signaled support for fetal-homicide laws.

A list of the best political journalism in Colorado so far this election cycle

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Compared to the 2010 election in Colorado, this one has been mostly a snoozer, journalistically.

But the 2010 election wasn’t really an election. It was a dramatic comedy show, with so many stories to tell and scandals to uncover that journalists almost couldn’t help but be stars.

Still, reporters have turned out some excellent work this time around, and I’ve listed my favorite reporting below. I’m hoping to see more great work in the next few weeks, but this list is inspiring.

9News Kyle Clark: “Coffman won’t explain Obama ‘not an American’ comments” Rather than let Coffman hide, Clark went out and found him.

Fox 31′s Eli Stokols:FOX31 Denver goes one-on-one with Paul Ryan” Stokols shows how an informed journalist can challenge a candidate’s spin.

The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels and Tim Hoover: “Anarchy, chaos behind Colorado civil unions bill may have long-lasting effects” They dug deep to show, among other things, how the upcoming election influenced the legislative debate on civil unions.

The Denver Post’s Tim Hoover: “Noncitizen ID’d fraction of those first alleged by Gessler” No matter where you sit on the political spectrum, to understand Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s behavior and priorities, you have to understand the blizzard of numbers Gessler tosses around. Hoover did a great job clarifying Gessler’s figures in this piece.

Associated Press’ Ivan Moreno: “Voter Purges Turn Up Little Evidence Of Fraud Despite Republican Insistence” Like Hoover, Moreno gets to the heart of the voter “fraud” issue by looking at the details.

Fox 31′s Eli Stokols: “Colo. girl registering ‘only Romney’ voters tied to firm dumped by RNC over fraud” Stokols quickly connected the dots from Colorado to a scandal that was developing nationally.

CBS4′s Shaun Boyd: “Romney Loses Cool When Questioned About Marijuana, Gay Marriage” Boyd keeps her cool and sticks to her questions even as Romney flips out.

KBNO radio host Fernando Sergio’s interview with President Obama, which makes the list because Sergio almost certainly got the first interview with a sitting president on Spanish language radio in Colorado.

Colorado Statesman’s Judy Hope Strogoff: “Perry campaigns with friends in Colorado” I love this scoop, with the photos. An illuminating and fun piece.

The Denver Post’s John Ingold: “GOP’s VP candidate, Paul Ryan, emphasizes contrast with Obama’s vision” I like how Ingold gets at the candidates’ underlying view of government, as he reports on a campaign stop.

Local TV news fact checkers Shaun Boyd (CBS4), Matt Flener (9News), Brandon Rittiman (9News), and (sometimes) Marshall Zellinger (7News). I don’t always agree with them, but what they do is really important, especially on local TV.

Westword, Statesman aren’t Schmucks; pick up extreme GOP comments

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

I blogged March 14 about how bizarre it was that, apparently, no news outlets had picked up on ColoradoPols video of Colorado Republicans (Tim Neville) comparing Hitler to Obama, (Ted Harvey) saying a mandate for health insurance coverage of contraception leads to “genocide,” (Ken Lambert) saying such a policy is “mind control,” and (Scott Renfroe) saying the policy could lead to a government takeover of the church.

Oh, I forgot to note that all of those Republicans are elected members of the Colorado Senate, making them impossible to ignore from a public-interest, journalistic point of view–kind of like Tom Tancredo running for President.

I uploaded my piece prior to the publication date of the Colorado Statesman, which reported the GOP comments March 16, as well as additional remarks by Sen. Greg Brophy, who seems to be a quote machine for thoughts harkening back to the 1950′s.

Last week Brophy tweeted:

Ms. Fluke, I don’t want to buy your booze, pay for your spring break or your birth control. Call your Dad for that.”

Then the Statesman reported:

Brophy told The Colorado Statesman that before he sent his Twitter update, he knew the comment would likely spark animosity and criticism, but he said he felt it was necessary to send a strong message since he only had 140 characters to do so, as is the limit with the Twitter technology

“When you’re limited by 140 characters, either you make a point, or you don’t make a point… The discussion is over whether it’s appropriate to hand out birth control to 18-year-old coeds on campus… I don’t think it sells the college experience to mom and dad looking to send their kid to that school,” said Brophy.

Brophy doesn’t mention Hitler, as you can see, which might explain why he didn’t get “Schmuck of the Week” honors from Westword’s Patricia Calhoun, though you might think he deserves it.

Sen. Tim Neville got the Schmuck award for his deep Hitler comment.

Westword posted Pols’ video of Neville on its website, making it the only news outlet to do so. I’m tempted to call the Denver news media a bunch of Schmucks (with the exception of Westword and the Statesman), but I won’t.

Catch your breath, “mainstream media,” Gessler doesn’t like you

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

There’s a good chance someone is going to say something newsworthy when he or she prefaces it with, “some folks in my office cringed when I said this, but I’m going to say it again.”

That’s what Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler said to a GOP group, as reported by Colorado Statesman’s Judy Hope Strogoff, prior to repeating his view that the mainstream media hates uppity Republicans. I wrote about it the first time he said it, calling on wimpy reporters to fight back and ask him for more evidence, but no enterprising reporter took the challenge.

Now journos have another chance. Gessler said:

Gessler: “Republicans who behave well, who the mainstream media can sort of pat on the head and say, “Good boy, that’s a good job,” Republicans who sort of toe the line and don’t really want to make real change but you know, sort of will kick around the edges a little bit but buy into the mainstream media, the big money type framework — they’re good, they’re okay, they’re the Republicans that they like. But God forbid someone would really want to shake things up, that’s terrible. So they don’t like that.”

I wouldn’t say I had to catch my breath after I read that, like Andrea Mitchell was after Foster Friess told her that “gals” should just keep their knees together.

But I was gasping as I read numerous other Gessler statements in the Statesman’s Gessler article, which is well worth taking a break from Twitter to read.

I’ll stick to Gessler’s media criticisms here, because they’re so sophisticated, but, please, you’ll love everything he has to say.

Gessler: “What I have found is, there is a status quo, there is a way of going about things in this state and oftentimes in this country, and there’s a reason it’s there. And if you look, probably the perfect embodiment of that is The Denver Post editorial board. I mean if you called up Central Casting and said, “I’d like a liberal mainstream media establishment, can you send one to me?” they would send you the Denver Post editorial board. And I think within my first three weeks they’d written six editorials against me, either about me or against me. None of them were favorable.”

See what I mean about how sophisticated Gessler is when it comes to media criticism?

I’d always thought Vince Carroll, who sits on The Post editorial board, was part of the conservative media establishment, but Gessler blows this up by lumping him into the “liberal mainstream media establishment.” Good media criticism should challenge your thinking, and Gessler hits a home run here.

I can think of only one Colorado media critic who showed more depth, and that was Doug Bruce when he kicked an annoying Rocky Mountain News photographer.

In case you missed Gessler’s bold point about the liberal media’s unfair treatment of him, he returned to it again in the Statesman article, lumping together news reporters, editorial writers, and Democrats (and therefore socialists) in one nasty army out to get him.

Gessler: “And remember our Central Casting mainstream media, The Denver Post? They editorialized against this law and they said, “It’s a power grab by Gessler and he already has the authority to do it.” Now if you think about that, those are two mutually exclusive… I mean if it’s a power grab then I don’t have the authority, and I’m grabbing power. And those sentences were right next to one another.

So we lost last year’s legislative battle.”

If you take a look at The Post editorial that he’s talking about, titled “Voter Integrity or Power Grab?” you’ll find that The Post thought Gessler was grabbing power because his bill would have given him the authority to run amok. In other words, a true power grab. The editorial didn’t mention anything about Gessler already having the authority he needed to do his job. That came out later, in a news article.

The Post made this radical observation in its editorial:

If people who are ineligible to cast ballots in Colorado are on voter registration rolls, they need to be removed.

On that point, we agree with Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

However, we’re concerned that the power he is seeking from the state legislature to conduct such investigations is overly broad and undefined.

That opinion is so conservative, it must come from the “embodiment” of the “liberal mainstream media establishment.”