Republican Bob Beauprez’s campaign is furiously backpedaling, forwardpedaling and sidewayspedaling as they try to get out from underneath a scandal that will likely be the final knife in the back of a beleaguered candidacy. As CBS4 reports, there’s a whole lot of squirmin’ goin on…
Legal experts said the same protection given to journalists in Colorado who want to protect sources don’t apply to politicians and their campaigns. Rep. Bob Beauprez, the Republican candidate for governor, has refused to name the source of information for an attack ad on his opponent, Bill Ritter…
…”As I understand it, the law says you cannot access those databases,” said John Marshall, the campaign manager for Beauprez. “We haven’t accessed those databases. We haven’t asked anybody to do that.”…
…CBS4 asked the tough question: Why won’t Bob Beauprez reveal his source to the public?
“We were given information by an extremely credible source,” Beauprez said. “You’re all in the media, you understand this, by an extremely credible source. We verified that information again and are convinced that it’s accurate.”
Beauprez said he approved the attack ad in question. It says that Ritter, as district attorney for Denver, allowed a plea bargain for an illegal immigrant who was allegedly dealing heroin in 2001.
“Was there anything illegal done by your campaign,” CBS4 asked.
“None,” Beauprez answered. “Absolutely none. Absolutely none.”
“Why not reveal who the source is to the public,” CBS4 asked.
“Why didn’t Judith Miller reveal her source?” Beauprez replied. “Why didn’t Bernstein and Woodward reveal their source? We’ll let the investigation take its course.”
Colorado’s shield law allows journalists to protect the identity of sources as they work for the public’s right to know.
Four legal experts contacted by CBS4 said that immunity doesn’t extend to political campaigns.
“Why not just reveal the person who helped you out here,” CBS4 asked.
“Well, I think that’s a conversation that folks can have,” Marshall said. “I think you’re doing a good job raising the question about it when you’re having these conversations, what is and is not First Amendment free speech that the public has a right to know. We believe the public has a right to know what Bill Ritter’s record is as DA.”
The Beauprez campaign didn’t say if or when they’ll reveal the identity of the source to the CBI. They said only that they’re cooperating fully with the investigation.