One of the things I try to do as a media critic is keep track of what officials tell journalists they’re going to do. And if promises made to reporters aren’t reported on, I ask about them.
For example, there’s the dangling promise Scott McInnis made to The Denver Post about clearing up his name months ago, but tempting as it is, that’s not what I’m returning to now.
Today I’m writing about State Treasurer Walker Stapleton’s promise to 7News in January that he’d seek an opinion from Attorney General John Suthers about whether it’s ok for him to moonlight for his former company.
You recall Stapleton’s moonlighting job would add as much as a quarter-time-plus job to his life and bring in, at $250 per hour, up to a nifty $150,000 on the side, making The Denver Post wonder about a “conflict of time.”
I asked 7News content producer/presenter Marshall Zelinger whether Suthers had produced an opinion on Stapleton’s moonlighting. Zelinger emailed me that Stapleton spokesman Brett Johnson told him that Stapleton never asked for an official opinion from Suthers’ office.
Zelinger told me that he understood from Stapleton, during his Jan. interview with him, that he was going to seek an official opinion, and that’s why Zelinger stated in his piece that Stapleton had “asked the attorney general’s office to make sure it’s OK to moonlight afterhours.”
Zelinger contacted Suthers’ office and confirmed that Stapleton never sought an opinion.
However, in January, Politics Daily reported that Stapleton had talked about the issue with Suthers but did not ask for a formal ruling.