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May 30, 2008 09:59 PM UTC

Open Letter to Schaffer: Stop Hiding Behind Dick

  • by: Colorado Pols

Check out this letter we were just copied on (along with most of the political beat reporters in Colorado) to Bob Schaffer from the head of liberal activist group Progress Now: “We call on you to end your pattern of hiding when asked the tough questions that only you can answer.”

From: Michael Huttner (  

To: bobschaffer@——-.— [redacted by Pols]

Cc:,,,,,  ‘The Colorado Statesman’ (,,,,,,,,  ‘Chris Cillizza’ (, ‘Gathright, Alan’ (,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ‘Chris Cillizza’ (,,,,,, ‘Riley, Mike’ (,,,, ‘Lewis, Al’ (,  ‘Neil Westergaard’ (

Date: Friday, May 30, 2008 10:58 am

Subject: Mr. Schaffer you need to answer this question

Dear Mr. Schaffer,

In this morning’s newspapers, you were questioned about your involvement as the Director of an organization whose President has been found guilty of numerous felonies for defrauding the government.  Rather than answering the questions that only you could speak to accurately, you hid behind your campaign manager to address your involvement with this organization. (Denver Post, 5/29/2008; Grand Junction Sentinel, 5/29/2008)

This is just the latest example in a pattern of you hiding behind your campaign manager when it comes to the press and public.

Earlier this month you avoided being questioned about your views on oil policy.  Rather than answering the questions from a Grand Junction Sentinel political reporter, you hid behind your campaign manager who “launched” into the reporter for even raising such questions.  In the end, you never had to answer any questions. (GJS, 5/9/2008)

Days earlier you used your campaign manager to threaten to “cut off” an interview if a reporter from PolitickerCO continued to question you about a proposed referendum that may appear on the November ballot., 4/28/2008)

And when you were asked last month about your trip to the Marianas Islands, paid for by associates of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, you hid behind your campaign manager, who, once again, blamed the Denver Post reporter for questioning your ties to Abramoff. (DP, 4/11/2008)

We call on you to end your pattern of hiding when asked the tough questions that only you can answer.

To begin, please explain to us, and the press cc’d here, what you knew about the criminal activities that were taking place under your nose as the Director of the National Alternative Fuels Foundation.


Michael Huttner

Executive Director


This might seem a little flip at first read (as if Schaffer cares what Mike Huttner thinks), but there’s actually logic to it: the more reporters can be persuaded to not take Dick Wadhams’ profanity-laden brushoff for an answer, or accept him as permanent stand-in for the actual candidate, the more Schaffer will be forced to deal with the hard questions himself.

Which is probably the worst thing that could happen to him, experience being any guide at all…


38 thoughts on “Open Letter to Schaffer: Stop Hiding Behind Dick

          1. his demographic modeling has been more predictive than polling.

            BTW my sister is a liberal in DC and she has almost an encylipedic knowledge of baseball.  I think there is something about the stats that attract certain kinds of liberals.

            Myself I’m a football and hockey fan.  I like hitting in sports and politics.

            1. I think there is something about the stats that attract certain kinds of liberals.

              Yep…rationality and a fact-based approach to decision-making.

    1. same old corruption story with the GOP… nothing to see here… just another corrupt politician trying to hide all of his corrupt ties to imprisoned felons who steal from the taxpayers… nothing to see here folks, move along.  

      1. Same old talking points by Blue, you need some new material.  It’s funny that you talk about “stealing from the taxpayers”.  The Democratic Party has been doing that for a century.

        1. …the actual issue so it’s the tired old “but, but the D’s do it too” dodge.  Talk about needed some new material!

          So much for that “change you deserve” crappola.  

        2. aren’t in your favor. The GOP has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, over and over. This is just another example of the culture of corruption involving conservatives.

          Same old talking points Ben, but no facts to support yours.

      2. Kiss My Ass

        No one cares what this group thinks or does not think. Why should Schaffer or Wadhams waste their time with them?  

        1. Its the fact Mr. Schaffer continues to duck the press and the obvious questions.  We need to hear form Mr. Schaffer on all of these issues including the sweatshops and forced abortions in the Marianas and his relationship with two convicted criminals (Messrs. Orr and Shires).  Mr. Schaffer is asking the citizens of this state to bestow the title of United States Senator on him.  We have the absolute right to ask these questions and demand answers from him.  We need answers from Mr. Schaffer not Mr. Wadhams.

          1. Republican 36:  “We have the absolute right to ask these questions and demand answers from him.”  yes you do.

            You also have a perfect right to stamp your feet and whistle Dixie….

            I think the wadhams strategy is not half bad….good cop/bad cop…..Schaffer doesn’t say a damm thing..except “I am bob schaffer and I approved this ad”……he smiles, family, country, colorado….beaming….colorful colorado all over the TV

            Wadhams does all the dirty work…


            1. but if you make “Silent Bob” into an attack point too, that’s not half bad either. One of the reasons Wadhams succeeded running Allard and Thune this way is because he cowed the press and no one called him on it. Might not work this time.

          1. right now, wadhams is “branding” Udall as the “boulder liberal” …..that is what he is doing…..and bob is the nice family guy….with all those smiling kids…” nice guy bob”

            Apropos of absolutely nothing….anyone notice how schaffer kinda looks like the PC guy in the MAC ads….and it is a stretch…but Udall looks a little like the MAC guy?.

            1. Schaffer has a big round moon face, and Udall is rather gaunt. Other than that, I don’t see any resemblance with John Hodgman or Justin Long. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Udall has more Mac users and Schaffer’s supporters are heavily PC. Maybe that explains Wadhams’ sputtering and spewing — he’s frustrated because Vista keeps crashing on him.

  1. of being a board director for a charity like this to provide oversight over officers?

    I only ask because it seems like a lot of excuses are being made for Sweatshop Schaffer.  

    1. Craig made the point yesterday that charities often include figurehead board members who are supposed to be clueless about the organization’s inner workings. It’s a fair point if you’re talking about the Denver Foundation or United Way or the like. But look at the board of NAFF (it’s accurate but a real stretch to call this outfit a charity, it’s a nonprofit entity). Before Schaffer joined, the board consisted of TWO members beyond Orr and Shires. It’s not as though it’s a 15-member board with a prominent philanthropist or two.

    2. Nothing to see here. Move along. All is well. Stick your fingers in your ears and sing lalalalalala until it all goes away. Republicans really, really, really don’t like bad news about one of their precious beloved, particularly when a pattern of criminal connections becomes apparent.

  2. patterns can not.  They become a narrative.

    If Clinton didn’t have a reputation for infidelity the public would not have tolerated wasting time on impeachment:  It was the narrative that made it possible.

    There are two very negative narrative developing on Schaffer right now: 1. Clueless Idiot 2. Afraid of press.

    Clueless Idiot is the lesser of two bad narratives that can come out of the combination of the Marianas and NAFF scandals.  Either he knew about the forced abortions in the Marianas and the fraud at the NAFF or he was foolishly unaware: both are bad.

    In the Marianas he said he was going on a “fact finding” mission.  While there he didn’t winess any forced abortions, but he did discount reports from the Catholic Diocese:  For Bob, his corporate paymasters are mre credible than the Catholic Church.

    At Naff he joined as a director.  Directors have fiduciary duties to the organization and in the case of nonprofits, the stated mission of the Organization.  The board is trusted by the public to manage donated funds or government grants to fulfill the organization’s mission.

    Directors also have a duty aprove all major contract (major is loosely defined) and to make sure that the organization follows the law.


    After Enron, one of the things that SOX tried to do was to empower and force corporate boards to do their oversight role.  Though not a complete success (I’ve written extensively on this topic–If only someone would hire me to write on this topic) it is better than the nonprofit world where no reform has happened.

    Back to topic

    Bob has shown an inability to represent others interests, eiher as a board member or as a house member. If his only excuse is “I saw nothing” how can he expect to be elected?  We are electing a senator, why would we want Sgt. Schultz?

    1. Another worthy contender.   A bit more obscure than “Big Oil Bob” or “Sweatshop Schaffer,” but inclusive or most of his scandals, and gives everyone the chance to do their lame Sgt. Schultz impression, “I saw NOTHING!”  If I knew haw to include a picture (or better yet photoshop one) I would.

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