Thursday, October 16, 2014

Indy publisher involved in chicken ploy

Posted By on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 3:18 PM

click to enlarge Doug Carter and two chickens state their case at the City Council meeting on Tuesday to draw attention to Doug Lamborn's refusal to debate his opponent.
  • Doug Carter and two chickens state their case at the City Council meeting on Tuesday to draw attention to Doug Lamborn's refusal to debate his opponent.
Independent publisher John Weiss fessed up today that he participated in the publicity campaign and political action committee that is publicizing Congressman Doug Lamborn's refusal to debate his opponent Irv Halter.

Two days ago, we blogged on the subject at which time Weiss was circumspect about his involvement.

But today, he says he did take part in organizing an effort to underscore Lamborn, a Republican, backing out of debating Halter, a Democrat.

When this reporter called him for a comment on the campaign on Tuesday, he says, he was caught by surprise and didn't want to reveal he was involved. Reason being, he had made two promises to other participants not to disclose his involvement, so he avoided the question.

Weiss says many of the backers of the committee, Colorado Springs Citizens For A Congressman Who Won’t Chicken Out, are registered Republicans and didn't want to be outed as being involved. He, too, pledged to keep it secret that he was taking part.

He characterized the group as up to 35 people who, like him and committee registrant Doug Carter, are outraged that Lamborn won't debate.

Weiss emphasized that Lamborn earlier promised that he would debate and later changed his mind.

The Independent has endorsed Halter. The Gazette, which traditionally endorses Republicans and whose endorsements arguably carry a lot of weight with voters in the 5th Congressional District, has yet to tell readers whom the newspaper will endorse in the race.

Weiss says the group's strategy wasn't so much to embarrass Lamborn into debating Halter as it was to embarrass those who support him.

Weiss also says while he told his senior editorial staff that he was involved in the effort, he didn't reveal details, which he now regrets. "I have learned I cannot keep my public and my private civic activities separate," he says. "There's a clear conflict of interest."

The PAC sent more news releases today, reminding people that a debate will take place at 4:30 p.m. today at the Carnegie Room of Penrose Library downtown between Halter and Lamborn. If Lamborn doesn't show up, and there's no indication he will, Halter will debate a person dressed up like a chicken. 

In addition, Lamborn's primary opponent, Bentley Rayburn, has indicated he will attend the event and make a statement.

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