Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More Post complaints about the election

The folks over at the Post must have some rather scintillating lives. I'm growing bored with Denver Post comments about boring elections, such as Susan Barnes-Gelt's article entitled, "Denver's doldrums election."

She thinks that "[t]he climate reflects too much groupthink leading to a faux election where important issues (and there are several) aren't debated." I think that the lack of a serious mayoral contest has destroyed any campaign coverage, meaning issues have not been presented in the mainstream press until very recently (and limited at that).

Barnes-Gelt can talk all she want about the serious questions in front of us - including government privatization, FasTrack compromises, the zoning code update, and the infrastructure task force - but until the media seeks (and publishes) answers about serious questions from our local candidates, we'll have the kind of vapid race their coverage demands.


Ben said...

Why is it up to the media? Why don't you get organized and start asking the tough questions? I have asked several hard questions of both of our Clerk and Recorder candidates and given the chance I will do the same of the Mayor. At some point, we have to take the responsibility ourselves instead of just blaming the media.

Dave Burrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Burrell said...

The same idea has already risen and fallen in action at Denver Politics.

See the discussion of an issue based blogs, a few questions for the candidates (here, here, and here) and most importantly, the results of the effort as discussed in "Candidate Responsiveness."

If you are working with a candidate, why not encourage their involvement?

Ben said...

Dave, I've been following your blog since it started. I'm well aware of your efforts. However I think you can do more and also encourage your readers to do more to go out and ask the tough questions yourselves, in person. There have been several candidate forums and there are still some left, don't let this important election go by without asking the tough questions, and if you do, you can't just blame the media.

Dave Burrell said...

Ben, I appreciate the encouragement, especially for readers (this blog is time enough for me on the election, to be sure!).

However, it begs the question: why hasn't your candidate, Councilwoman Marcia Johnson, been answering these "tough questions" online?

While I appreciate the importance of neighborhood forums, you and I both know that the vast majority of voters won't attend one, and the surge in interest in this blog (and others) suggests you could reach a lot more people by committing answers to this very public forum.

I'd be happy to work with you (and any other campaign coordinator who may be reading) to make this happen.

Ben said...

Dave, to be perfectly honest we were so overwhelmed with questionnaires and surveys when you came out with your questions that they didn't get priority. I have already emailed this thread to the councilwoman and I anticipate her answering the questions soon.

The bigger issue still remains though, why not be more aggressive in pursuing answers from the city wide candidates on pressing issues like infrastructure and proper election management. I encourage you and your readers, who are likely more engaged than the average voter, to go out and ask tough questions in person and not hope that they respond online.

Dave Burrell said...

To be fair, I am less concerned about such "known quantities" as sitting Council members, because they take firm, public stands all the time. They're called votes, and they happen every week on the floor of City Council.

I am more disappointed that the views of challengers (which ARE diverse and, yes... challenging) ought to help shape the public debate.

All of us voters surely are responsible for getting the necessary questions before the public candidates, but until the media actually publicize those views, it's really a rather parochial exercise, isn't it?

If it's not clear by now, I didn't create this blog because I wanted to be know. I created because I wanted the process to be better covered, and though my disappointment may hardly register, I am trying to do something about it with both my actions and my words.

Once these important issues were even tangentially and haphazardly covered, I might not need to do this. But really... review every single article in the Denver dailies prior to a week ago, and tell me they've done their job.

Remember when we used to think the media was so important it was "The Fourth Estate"?

Ahh, history...