Sometimes reporters write stories that just aren’t newsworthy, and we have to wonder why. Was it a slow news day? Is someone pushing an agenda? What’s the deal?
Such is the case with a recent Denver Post blog that takes a deep dive into Senate President Bill Cadman’s financial disclosures. They decided to use Cadman’s disclosure form as an example for the piece, although, we have no idea why him and no one else. It makes the story feels more like a poorly vetted tip from liberal operatives than good reporting.
Let us explain. The rules for financial disclosures are vague, as The Denver Post points out, so they sought clarification from the Secretary of State’s office on whether unpaid board positions should be listed. In addition to reporting the SoS’s response, the reporter adds a truly bizarre “side note:”
“Unless that person has some control over finances, personnel or operations … they don’t have the legal effect of an officer or director,” said Staiert, who is staying on board under incoming Republican Secretary Wayne Williams. (As a side note, Cadman’s political marketing firm did work for Williams campaign.)
Does the fact that this particular staffer is staying on under the incoming SoS have any bearing on her interpretation of the rules? No. And does Cadman’s connection to the incoming SoS have any bearing on her interpretation of the rules? No. Does her interpretation do Cadman any unfair favors? No. So why is this a thing?
The story also makes a totally unexplained dig at the American Legislative Exchange Council, on which Cadman serves as a member of the board, writing: “Cadman touts his connections to the group, despite its controversial past.” Not sure what they mean by “despite its controversial past” because that inflammatory statement is never explained.
Then there is the throwaway quote from GOP-hating Luis Toro, with the poorly named Colorado Ethics Watch. But no parenthesis explaining how the group’s sole purpose is to harass Republicans.
All of the insinuations and parenthetical notes about irrelevant small world connections have us wondering if someone from ProgressNow actually ghost wrote the piece instead of the Post’s newest political reporter.