(“We just don’t reach out to ColoradoPols bloggers” – promoted by Colorado Pols)
UPDATE: Bob Moore, former Executive Editor of the Ft. Collins Coloradoan, emailed me about the treatment he got from Rich Coolidge of Gessler’s press office. Moore wrote:
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, emailed that he would have posted this on Pols himself, but he was having problems accessing his account. So he sent it to me and gave me permission to post it.
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.
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.
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 BigMedia.org, 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.
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.