Reporting on 5th District debate, Gazette again left out comments of sole Democratic candidate

Reporting on 5th District debate, Gazette again left out comments of sole Democratic candidate

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

The Gazette of Colorado Springs, in an article about a Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce breakfast attended by all seven candidates running in Colorado's 5th Congressional District, again omitted the comments of Democratic candidate Jay Fawcett, even as it prominently featured the Republicans' positions.

In a July 26 article about a Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce breakfast attended by all seven candidates running in Colorado's 5th Congressional District, The Gazette of Colorado Springs again left the comments of Democratic candidate Jay Fawcett out of the article, even as it prominently featured the Republicans' positions. According to The Gazette, the format of the breakfast debate allowed each candidate to ask a question of another candidate. After devoting the entire article to Republican questions and answers on issues ranging from same-sex marriage to military spending, The Gazette briefly mentioned Fawcett in the article's final sentence: "[Republican candidate Lionel] Rivera, the Colorado Springs mayor, had the final question and chose to raise a policy matter with Jay Fawcett, a retired Air Force officer and the Democratic nominee, about Fawcett's desire to raise the minimum wage." Fawcett's answer to Rivera's question and any questions he may have asked were not included in the article.

In the article, Gazette reporter Ed Sealover included numerous questions and comments from the six Republicans in the race -- former El Paso County Sheriff John Anderson, former El Paso County Commissioner Duncan Bremer, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce vice president Jeff Crank, state Sen. Doug Lamborn (Colorado Springs), retired Maj. Gen. Bentley Rayburn, and Rivera -- but referred to Fawcett only twice in the article: noting that "the lone Democrat" in the field "attended" the breakfast in the article's first sentence and mentioning Fawcett by name in the article's final sentence. While the bulk of Sealover's article focused primarily on exchanges between Crank and Lamborn, statements of or questions posed by Anderson, Rayburn, Bremer, and Rivera also received mention. For example, The Gazette related the following exchange between Rayburn and Lamborn:

Rounding out the Republican field, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Bentley Rayburn, asked Lamborn why he refused to consider Rayburn a "major candidate" in his ads and stared him down while waiting for an answer. A stammering Lamborn noted that Rayburn had moved to the district in April and that Lamborn had not had enough time to learn his positions and compare them with his.

In contrast, The Gazette noted only Fawcett's presence at the breakfast meeting -- not his comments or questions:

Rivera, the Colorado Springs mayor, had the final question and chose to raise a policy matter with Jay Fawcett, a retired Air Force officer and the Democratic nominee, about Fawcett's desire to raise the minimum wage.

From the July 26 article inThe Gazette of Colorado Springs:

At a breakfast Tuesday attended by the six Republicans and lone Democrat seeking to replace the retiring Joel Hefley, it was Crank's turn to make a jaw-dropping accusation: that Lamborn had accepted the support of people who opposed increased military spending.

Two weeks before an Aug. 8 primary and campaigning furiously despite the absence of significant differences among them on most issues, the Republicans in the race have turned their dialogue into a series of brickbats and over-the-top claims.

[...]

The forum featured many standard questions and similar answers. Among the Republican candidates, only former El Paso County Sheriff John Anderson took a notably different tone on some issues, saying, "I do not believe we should be advancing any social issues at the federal level."

Anderson has said he would not back a constitutional amendment outlawing samesex marriage and would not work to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.

But things really got interesting when each office-seeker was allowed to ask one question of any other candidate.

Crank, a former Chamber of Commerce vice president, asked Lamborn why he would accept support from opponents of increased military spending. Crank did not specify who the supporters were, and a confused Lamborn said he would have to see evidence of it.

[...]

Another GOP candidate, former El Paso County Commissioner Duncan Bremer, questioned why Lamborn refused to sign Bremer's pledge of integrity in campaigning. Lamborn promised to be honest but said he could not enforce a pledge provision that would require him to control the opinion of outside groups that support him.

Rounding out the Republican field, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Bentley Rayburn, asked Lamborn why he refused to consider Rayburn a "major candidate" in his ads and stared him down while waiting for an answer. A stammering Lamborn noted that Rayburn had moved to the district in April and that Lamborn had not had enough time to learn his positions and compare them with his.

Rivera, the Colorado Springs mayor, had the final question and chose to raise a policy matter with Jay Fawcett, a retired Air Force officer and the Democratic nominee, about Fawcett's desire to raise the minimum wage.

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