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Alva Adams

Ms. Bartels already answered the first batch of questions that came in on Monday. Pasted here are both the questions and responses...


Lynn,
What's your take on CD3? Is Tipton a patsy? Also, what do you make of the Bill Owens lovechild rumors?

Posted by: curious | April 10, 2005 09:31 PM

I don't have a take on CD3. I know that's a lame answer, but it's the truth.

Also, what do you make of the Bill Owens lovechild rumors? If I had a dollar for every person who has written, called or e-mailed asking why I haven't written about Bill Owens' love child I wouldn't be
answering your blog, I'd be on the beach.

I might give more credence to the rumors if people who claim to know the real story didn't have such varying tips: It's a girl! It's a boy! The baby is in Wyoming! No, it's back in Texas. No, the child's been here all along. I'm not sure what the real story is - or even if there is one.


Lynn, given the nature of Romanoff's and Stengel's relationship, do you still think the House is more entertaining than the Senate?

Posted by: also curious | April 10, 2005 10:33 PM

I'm assigned to the Old Folks Home, otherwise known as the state Senate, so I don't get the real flavor of what is going on in the House. Mike Feeley, who had only served in the state Senate, used to poke his head into the House, which is so much louder and frenzied than the Senate, and proclaim he'd rather do time in a Serbian prison than serve in the House.

That said, I'm surprised at how antagonistic Stengel has been. The
Republicans fight everything, including the battle over students saying the
Pledge of Allegiance. I asked about this and some House Republicans told me it's a habit, they're used to getting their way!


Do you have a favorite legislator? Do you tend to vote Republican or Democrat? What do you make of claims that the media is biased againist Conservatives/Republicans?

Posted by: Dale | April 11, 2005 08:38 AM


My press colleagues and lawmakers always tease me about Sen. Ken Kester, R-Las Animas. He was so much fun in the House and he is a riot in the Senate.

But I have lots of favorite lawmakers in both parties. As for voting, I never vote party. And I hope in my Q & A I answered your question about media bias.


How much control do you have over the content of your stories and do your editors guide your reporting?

Do you feel the Post is more or less liberal since the JOA same question for the RMN?

Posted by: Tellthetruth | April 11, 2005 08:46 AM


I turn in stories and suggestions are made. I'll give you an example. At the same-sex marriage press conference, Rep. Jim Welker mentioned that in India a female married a dog and that someone married a horse in Boulder. I put that in my story.

An editor looked up the story on the horse marriage - which was done in jest - and added the details. The Boulder County clerk denied a marriage license because the horse was underage. And columnist Mike Littwin found the article about the India marriage, which was done to ward off an evil spirit. Those additions made my story better.

Sometimes things are cut for space and the cuts make stories less clear. That's unfortunate, but it happens. And editors do guide our reporting. We check in. We run stories by them. We might say, "I'm not interested in this bill," and they might say, "Oh, there's a lot of talk in the public. We should cover it." That sort of thing.

"Do you feel the Post is more or less liberal since the JOA same question for the RMN?"

I don't think the joint-operating agreement has affected the tenor of either paper one bit. What that tenor is, though, is in the eye of the reader.


Lynn, how do you manage to keep your perspective? It seems that over the years you have managed to foster very positive relationships with Legislators and Candidates – yet you never loose your credibility. At the end of the day, how do you still step back and report on a story or candidate with no (at least perceived) bias?

Posted by: RedHawk | April 11, 2005 10:32 AM


Thanks Mom! Actually, I don't know who you are but I appreciate your comments.

I didn't cover the legislature for a couple of years and when I paid a visit I'll always remember Rep. Pam Rhodes, one of the most conservative members of the House, introducing me to Rep. Ted Harvey, another conservative. She told Ted that I gave their side a fair shake. "Doesn't everybody?" I said, and they looked at me in shock.

I grew up in a household with a Republican father and a Democratic mother. I'm one of nine kids. We have Kennedy Democrats and Limbaugh Republicans in that group so I'm used to dealing with all types.

I'm from South Dakota and my mother still can't over the fact that I'm good friends with "THAT MAN" as she refers to Dick Wadhams, who helped John Thune unseat Tom Daschle.


Lynn, last year on Colorado Inside-Out, you referred to Republicans as "a bunch of home-schooling, bible thumping, gay bashing...people." Does this thought about a particular group of people you report on affect your stories in any way?

Posted by: Vic | April 11, 2005 12:50 PM


Actually, you're misquoting me. I was reminiscing about the Republican Party before it became controlled by a bunch of "home-schooling, gay-bashing, Limbaugh loving, right-wing Republican psychos."

Was that a gross generalization? Yes, but it was said in fun and Peter moved on before I could elaborate.

One night at the GOP convention in New York City I had dinner with Laura Teal and her husband George. She had worked on Bob Shaffer's campaign. When we were done, she said, "How does it feel to have had dinner with the right wing nuts of the party?"

And that statement was an eye-opener because I had so much fun with them and it made me realize about labels. And I said, "What about having dinner with the liberal media?" And I think that was an eye-opener for her too, because I think she believed I really gave Bob a fair shake in the primary.

Ter Ducken - moved

*Note: this question was originally posted on Monday. I moved it here. - Alva

what do you make of Holtzman raising $500,000 thus far? what can we realistically read into this? how does that amount of money raised, in that period of time, rank in your recent memory?

thanks for doing this.

Posted by: Ter Ducken | April 11, 2005 05:36 PM

JenJen

really cool of you to be doing this. i liked reading about your take on the campaigns of 2004. but what about some of the smaller, or lesser known campaigns that you covered? or were the house and senate races your main responsibility?

thinkin

Lynn, Mike Littwin seems to be about one of the BEST overall writters on the Rocky Staff (second to you)... how often do you guys to work together? Or do you never get to cover the same "beat".

poli.hack


(originally posted by: poli.hack | April 11, 2005 11:33 AM)

lynn:

thank you for taking the time to answer our questions here. i have three-part question for you:

1) what is your take on the ever-growing popularity of the political blog?
2) how has this type of "reporting" affected traditional political journalism in colorado?
3) what is your take on the FEC's recent (proposed) rulemaking with regards to political blogging and other online political activities?

oldhack

How is John Sanko doing we miss him at the Capitol? Do you think our campaign finance laws are working as intended or is the system broke? It appears from inside the dome that the more regulations we pass the more creative legislators and groups get.

Posted by: oldhack | April 12, 2005 07:25 AM

Lynn Bartels

Ter Ducken:

Shows you what I know. When I learned Mike Coffman wasn’t running I said, “How soon before Holtzman drops out?”

And maybe with campaign finance laws the issue now isn’t how much your campaign raises, but how much someone else is willing to raise and spend on you.


JenJen:

I laughed at your question. I can’t wait to show it to my boss. I don’t like covering the big races, the U.S. Senate race, the presidential race, but keep getting stuck with them to my chagrin. I truly believe that all politics are local. Although I got assigned the Senate race in 2004, I kept my eye on other races. When I saw the funeral ad with Marilyn Musgrave, I had to do a story.

And I really liked some of the Rocky’s legislative stories: How David Balmer, running for the House, had a murky history he didn’t reveal on his legislative questionnaire. And how incumbent Sen. Jim Dyer had his state wages garnished after losing a court battle over a house he bought for 10 bucks from an elderly woman. That is not a typo. Ten bucks.

In 2002, the best part was covering the 7th CD race for awhile.

By the way, I do a lot of the work on our voter’s guide, which consists of calling people and cajoling, threatening and begging them to finish their questionnaire now!


thinkin:

Mike Littwin is the best. Think back: What was the best political column in 2004? It was Littwin’s piece on Ben Nighthorse Campbell and the Coors twins ad. Campbell tried to say he never said those things, but trust me, the day the column ran every Republican and Democrat I ran into said, “Classic Ben.”

The interesting thing about Littwin is not just that he is great writer. He and editor John Temple are among the best journalists I know. Littwin can look at something and say, “Here’s the news. Here’s what we should be covering.”

We’ve worked together on politics and of course there’s my favorite shared byline with Littwin and reporter Kevin Vaughan: That unbelievable day we got the CU investigative panel report early and scooped the world.


poli.hack:

Do you think I answered your questions in my Q & A? I think I answered 1 and 2, but I have no opinion on No. 3

GOPer

Thanks for participating.

I'll fire this question out first. How would you handicapp the governor race at this point?

Stygius

Hi Lynn.

Please describe Andrew Romanoff's style as Speaker of the House. How is he viewed in the House in his own party?

Ben

What race, on both sides, do you think was the dirtiest in the state during '04? What race did you find the most interesting, politically or otherwise?

Adam Schrager

Hi Lynn,

Thanks for not making fun of my sweater vests... and for that matter, television news coverage of politics. Keep up the good work.

--Adam Schrager

Lynn Bartels

How is John Sanko doing we miss him at the Capitol? Do you think our campaign finance laws are working as intended or is the system broke? It appears from inside the dome that the more regulations we pass the more creative legislators and groups get.
Posted by: oldhack | April 12, 2005 07:25 AM

Life without John Sanko sucks. No doubt about it. But life for John Sanko as
a grandpa is great.

The thing is he made the job look so easy and after he slipped out in the middle of a Friday afternoon never to return we discovered there was so much
that he did we didn't even know about it. In the space of two years, the Rocky has lost three really good political reporters: Michele Ames, Peggy Lowe and John Sanko.

That hurts and it has an impact.

Look what happened at the Post after Fred Brown retired. Their political coverage sank like a stone and they're just now coming back.

Campaign finance laws are made to be skirted. They haven't gotten big money
out of politics, they've just driven it underground. Trying telling that to,
as they're known in Republican circles, "Common Curse" and the "League of
Women Vipers."

Lynn Bartels

I'll fire this question out first. How would you handicapp the governor race
at this point?

Posted by: GOPer | April 12, 2005 08:13 AM


I think Bob Beauprez could run for just about anything he wanted and win.

Jon Ogden

What do you make of what the Republicans are doing in the legislature. I don't remember them saying this many crazy things (gay marriage and dogs), and being so splintered. What do you make of this new "conservative caucus" thing.

This is great. Thanks.

Amber

what is the strangest or most useless bill that you can remember being brought up?

lovethevest

Adam S. keep wearing the vest you are an inspiration to us all and good reporting btw. Back to Lynn how many people call you with "off the record" information in a given day 20-30-40%? Why was there not more coverage of the Democrat millionares and there plan prior to the election and could we see a story on how they are influencing an agenda at the capitol i.e. Gill and homosexual rights or Yates and HIgher ED issues etc... Just think it might be a cool post session story.

Lynn Bartels

Round3

Hi Lynn.
Please describe Andrew Romanoff's style as Speaker of the House. How is he viewed in the House in his own party?

Posted by: Stygius | April 12, 2005 08:28 AM

Remember, I don’t cover the House so I don’t see him much. I will say that I was stunned when he got the Democrat of the Year Award from the party recently and gave a speech. He was brilliant. He was part passion, part stand-up comedy. As how he’s viewed by Democrats, remember, that party has it own factions too.

What race, on both sides, do you think was the dirtiest in the state during '04? What race did you find the most interesting, politically or otherwise?

Posted by: Ben | April 12, 2005 08:31 AM

Dirty is in the eye of the beholder.
Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, isn’t happy with the campaign that Democrats ran against him, bringing up his past. He asked me if something more than 10 years old is relevant. I responded that the Swiftboat Veterans seem to think it is.
I’m sure Marilyn Musgrave’s fans think the ads against her were dirty.
John Salazar’s fans thinks the ads against him were dirty.

Lynn Bartels

What do you make of what the Republicans are doing in the legislature. I don't remember them saying this many crazy things (gay marriage and dogs), and being so splintered. What do you make of this new "conservative caucus" thing.
This is great. Thanks.
Posted by: Jon Ogden | April 12, 2005 09:14 AM
Jon:
I personally don’t think the Republicans are any different this year than in previous years; same with Democrats.
The Republicans were split when I first covered the House in 2000. Speaker Russ George was a moderate and he appointed moderate committee chairs: Mark Larson, Matt Smith, et al.
I think it’s very normal and natural to have some people in a party more conservative than others.
That said, the conservative wing of the party is frustrated. They expected to control the House and the Senate. They control nothing.
In addition, the El Paso County delegation is used to telling the rest of the state how to operate. They can’t do that this year.

what is the strangest or most useless bill that you can remember being brought up?
Posted by: Amber | April 12, 2005 09:19 AM
I don’t have a quick answer. There are so many bills and you tend to track only a few of them. It may come to me later today and I’ll repost.

Adam S. keep wearing the vest you are an inspiration to us all and good reporting btw. Back to Lynn how many people call you with "off the record" information in a given day 20-30-40%? Why was there not more coverage of the Democrat millionares and there plan prior to the election and could we see a story on how they are influencing an agenda at the capitol i.e. Gill and homosexual rights or Yates and HIgher ED issues etc... Just think it might be a cool post session story.
Posted by: lovethevest | April 12, 2005 10:06 AM
Dear Love:
The reason we didn’t write about the rich Democrats beforehand is they didn’t share their plan with us. Once we learned of it, we wrote about it.
And you get a fair share of off the record tips. I’ve never really broken it down.


Susan

You've covered both Denver and statewide politics from what I can tell. Is there a difference to running a citywide race as opposed to a state house or even congressional race? There's that old saying that Denver politicians can't win statewide. Does that have something to do with politics being different in the city?

Thanks and great work.

bored

what state reps and senators do you think will be running for new (higher) offices in 2006? who stands a change of winning and how will it affect the 2006 legislative session?

DPfan

Do you have a favorite Denver Post reporter? What do you think of Chris Frates?

RMfan

You've covered both Denver and statewide politics from what I can tell. Is there a difference to running a citywide race as opposed to a state house or even congressional race? There's that old saying that Denver politicians can't win statewide. Does that have something to do with politics being different in the city?
Thanks and great work.
Posted by: Susan | April 12, 2005 11:08 AM
Susan:
I think the biggest difference is if you’re running for the legislature and Congress your coordinate with so many groups, than if you are running for City Hall. Both the state House and Senate Ds and Rs have their committees to get people elected. And Congress. My God.
And Dick Wadhams and I have had many discussions about the Denver factor. Maybe that will fade somewhat as Denver becomes much more The Metro Area.

what state reps and senators do you think will be running for new (higher) offices in 2006? who stands a change of winning and how will it affect the 2006 legislative session?
Posted by: bored | April 12, 2005 11:38 AM
Dear Bored:
It depends on who steps down. If Diana DeGette pulled a Campbell can you imagine the free-for-all for her Denver seat? Same with Joel Hefley in Colorado Springs.
Sessions during election years are part posturing, part caution. You want to show your constituents you’re with them, but you also don’t want to look like a lunatic.


Do you have a favorite Denver Post reporter? What do you think of Chris Frates?
Posted by: DPfan | April 12, 2005 11:59
I do have a favorite Denver Post reporter. And I’m not sure, dear Dpfan, why you asked about Chris specifically.


DPfan

I just think he is good, thats all. Wanted a fellow reporters take.

Lurker

Hi Lynn,
What press advice would you give persons who are thinking of entering politics? And, in your eyes, what common mistakes do freshman candidates make?
Thank you for your time.

vladimir

1. Cuteness aside how good a Speaker is Romanoff -- do not rank on glibness but effectiveness please
2. Spradly -- how good a Speaker? Does she have either the talent or ambition to seek and win another major office
Thank you

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