UPDATE: The Colorado Statesman piles on Webb.
Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb has no credibility. None. After blatantly making up facts out of whole cloth in order to falsely accuse Republican Reapportionment Commission members and the Hispanic Unaffiliated Chairman, Mario Carrera, of "using minorities as political pawns," Webb was caught red-handed in his lies. When confronted with his lies, he stuck by his slander, but retreated on the magnitude of his claims.
Despite cold, hard facts proving Webb's slanderous statements had no basis in reality, he tried to "clarify" his comments as merely overblown to an egg-faced and complicit Tim Hoover of The Denver Post:
"I should have said 'hundreds,' not 'thousands,'" said Webb, a Democrat who sits on the Colorado Reapportionment Commission, which is drawing new boundaries for legislative districts.
But the former mayor, who is still a heavyweight in the African-American community, maintained that Republicans still counted minority inmates for partisan gain.
Hoover had originally printed Webb's claim, without verifying the facts, that the GOP members of the Reapportionment Commission and had used "thousands of black and brown inmates" in an Arapahoe County jail to boost the minority population in a House District 37 to make the district a "minority influence" district.
Not only did no one ever claim HD37 was a "minority influence" district, but the addition of the prison's population did not change the percent of minorities in the district even one half of one percent.
Reapportionment is the biennial process of drawing state legislative lines to reflect population changes in the census. The population of each of the 100 state House and Senate districts must include the number of people, not voters, meaning prison populations must be included in the count. The Reapportionment Commission is made up of five Democrats, five Republicans, and an Unaffiliated Chairman.
The 65 state House and 35 state Senate districts are broken into seven regions, with the Commission voting on seven state House and seven state State maps to develop new statewide legislative boundaries.
The Unaffiliated Chairman has sometimes voted for the GOP preferred maps, and other times for the Democrat preferred maps.
Democrat members of the Commission had their preferred maps chosen for every single state Senate district in the state. In drawing those state Senate lines they drew thousands of prison inmates around the state into Senate districts, yet Mayor Webb never accused himself of being complicit in adding prisoners to a district for partisan gain.
Petty partisans like Webb are incapable of objectivity, or logic and reason it seems based on Webb's inability to admit fault when confronted with reality.
As a leader in the African American community, when Webb throws out the charge of racism it has significant authority. Hoover knew this and unethically printed the charge without asking Webb to prove any of his allegations.
In refusing to apologize for the damaging and false charge of racism against Republicans, Webb has lost the respect of his fellow Commission members, and now lacks any credibility to get anything done going forward.
You think Mario Carrera and the others he accused of being racists are going to give one wit what Mayor
Sharpton Webb has to say?
We're glad Tim Hoover at least confronted Webb with the facts we published here on the Peak. Hopefully in the future, Hoover will verify provable facts before printing slanderous accusations. After all, isn't it the job of journalists to verify allegations before sharing them with thousands of readers?