The editorial board of The Gazette newspaper in Colorado Springs, CO, has consistently praised U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn (R) without ever disclosing the financial ties between the editorial board and the campaign. Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show that the wife of Colorado Springs Gazette editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen received over $3,000 for campaign consulting services in 2015.
Gazette Editorial Board Has Praised Glenn Multiple Times Since 2015
The Gazette: Glenn “Captivated The Audience With A Heartfelt” Speech At The Republican Convention. The Gazette editorial board lauded Senate candidate Darryl Glenn’s “ability to command an audience” at the Republican National Convention. From the July 19 editorial:
Glenn, Colorado's Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, took the prime-time stage Monday during the opening night of the Republican National Convention. He captivated the audience with a heartfelt talk about evil, parenting, American exceptionalism and uniting the country.
“Mr. President, I have a message,” Glenn said. “This is not about black America, or white America, or brown America. This is about the United States of America.”
The crowd loved it, interrupting the speech to chant “USA, USA, USA.” Glenn was interrupted by applause throughout the talk.
[Glenn’s] ability to command an audience, at a major national event, should put to rest the insulting and unfounded assertion that Republicans forfeited Colorado's senatorial election by making Glen (sic) their nominee. If given public forums, Glenn will quickly be known. Coloradans are likely to respect who they see. [The Gazette, 7/19/16]
The Gazette: Glenn’s “Credentials Are Impeccable.” The Gazette’s editorial board praised Glenn’s “Coloradocentric” resume and purported likeability “up and down the political and socioeconomic spectrum.” From the July 17 editorial:
Glenn's credentials are impeccable and Coloradocentric. He is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, a lawyer and a public servant who has won landslide elections to the Colorado Springs City Council and El Paso County Board of County Commissioners. He grew up in a Democratic household in Colorado Springs, saying he was inspired by Ronald Reagan to become the black Alex P. Keaton — referencing a liberal family's rebel conservative teen in the old TV sitcom “Family Ties.”
Among staunch conservatives, Glenn has the rare quality of relating well with people up and down the political and socioeconomic spectrum. People like and respect him, whether they share his views. [The Gazette, 7/17/16]
The Gazette: Glenn Is “Different From Standard Republican Fare.” The editorial board at The Gazette praised Glenn’s “passionate commitment to aggressively represent” Coloradans and his refusal to compromise “across the aisle.” From the April 10 editorial:
Glenn convinced the crowd he was different than standard Republican fare. He repeatedly brought delegates to their feet when talking immigration, debt, national security and race relations. The message was nothing so unique. What mattered most was the passionate commitment to aggressively represent the people without favoring authority, establishment politics, Washington etiquette or political fashion.
“I hope the reporters are listening, because I've got news for them: All lives matter,” said Glenn, who is black.
Then he delivered the line of the day.
“I'm tired of hearing about Republicans reaching across the aisle. We need to step up and lead, ladies and gentlemen,” Glenn said. It appeared to close the deal among a crowd that believes House and Senate Republicans have squandered majority status and buckled under a popular Democratic president. [The Gazette, 4/10/16]
The Gazette: Glenn Is A “Well-Qualified Contender.” As early as October 3, 2015, the Gazette editorial board claimed Glenn’s “resume and political track record” in local politics made him well-qualified for national office:
We’re not in the universe of supporting Glenn, or any other Senate candidate at this juncture. We are pointing out a glaring and possibly willful effort by the majority of media to marginalize a well-qualified contender.
Glenn is not some political neophyte looking for a distraction from monotony. He has been elected in landslides to the Colorado Springs City Council and the El Paso County Board of Commissioners. As a second-term commissioner in the state's most populous county, Glenn represents more Coloradans than any state representative. He is a retired military officer, a graduate of the Air Force Academy, a lawyer and a small businessman. Given Glenn's resume and political track record, genuinely objective reporters would not write him off. [The Gazette, 10/3/15]
Gazette Fails To Disclosure That Editorial Page Editor’s Wife Is A Consultant For Glenn
Colorado Springs Independent: “No Disclosure” Of Payments To Editorial Page Editor’s Wife From Glenn Campaign. On July 18, the Colorado Springs Independent reported that the Gazette did not disclose the editorial board’s financial ties to the Glenn campaign while it “once again sang [Glenn’s] praises.” According to the Independent, the editorial page editor’s wife, Dede Laugesen, received $3,000 for “campaign consulting and expenses from Glenn”:
On Sunday, the Gazette once again sang [Glenn’s] praises (although the newspaper didn't endorse him in the Republican primary election), saying:
“Glenn's credentials are impeccable and Coloradocentric. He is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, a lawyer and a public servant who has won landslide elections to the Colorado Springs City Council and El Paso County Board of County Commissioners.... Among staunch conservatives, Glenn has the rare quality of relating well with people up and down the political and socioeconomic spectrum. People like and respect him, whether they share his views.”
It was signed the "Gazette editorial board," which includes editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen, who happens to be married to Dede Laugesen, who happened to have collected more than $3,000 for campaign consulting and expenses from Glenn early in his campaign.
There was no disclosure of this fact, just as the Gazette failed to disclose a couple of times in its editorials favoring The Broadmoor land swap that it's owned by the same guy who owns The Broadmoor, Philip Anschutz.
The payments were made to Windhover Media for campaign consulting, $2,500; reimbursement for event supplies, $588, and reimbursement for domain names, $59, according to Federal Election Commission reports. All payments were made in January 2015.
Here's a description of Windhover from its website:
“Laugesen, CoSGW’s [Colorado Government Watch] executive director, is a communications consultant, digital media designer, writer and video producer. She is an entrepreneur, public speaker, and producer of popular children’s prayer-based videos. A Colorado native and longtime El Paso County resident, she has been owner of Windhover Media since 2003 and has developed a broad base of clients in politics and industry.”
We've asked Mr. Laugesen for a comment and will circle back if and when we hear something. [Colorado Springs Independent, 7/18/16]
FEC Filings Show Payments To Consulting Firm Windhover Media. According to Glenn’s April 2015 FEC report, Windhover Media received over $3,000 from the Glenn campaign for campaign consulting:
[Federal Election Commission, accessed 7/20/16]
Windham Media Is Owned By The Wife Of A Gazette Editorial Board Member. According to Dede Laugesen’s biography on a political website she runs, Laugesen is the owner of Windham Media and the wife of Gazette editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen:
[Colorado Government Watch, accessed 7/20/16]