Colorado State Senator John Morse’s Per Diem Problems Continue To Mount While The Local Press Continues To Ignore Them

Colorado Peak Politics continues to go where the local media fear to tread by reporting additional evidence that Colorado “State Senator John Morse [D] collect[ed] tax-free per diem while playing golf, having dinner with lobbyists and attending fundraisers in 2010.” 

This is the kind of thing that shows why conservatives are so convinced that the media is hopelessly biased.  It is not always how a story is presented — although that is part of it.  Often, the bias is most obvious when it comes to news judgment as to whether, when, and how vigorously to pursue a story.

When Republican Scot Gessler indicated he would moonlight for his former law firm while acting as Secretary of State, the media rightly reported on it.  Repeatedly. 

But when there is significant evidence of impropriety in seeking per diem reimbursement by a Democrat legislator, silence. 

We all know that if Gessler had the same allegations leveled against him, with the same evidence, we would be halfway through a three-part investigative series running prominently every Sunday.

Some or even all of the calendar entries showing only non-constituent work on days Sen. Morse claimed per diem payments for constituent work may be explainable.  Calendars don’t always record everything done in a day — mine never does.  And calendar’s often contain artifacts of events that were scheduled but not done then — mine often does. 

But this kind of entry appears to be quite damning — “May 17: Morse on a personal trip to DC to attend a graduation. Returns late at night [7:38 p.m.] on flight from DC, yet claims ‘constituent work.'”  Maybe he did some constituent work.  Maybe he worked all day.  But being on a three-day weekend trip to DC makes that significantly less likely.

There is certainly enough here to warrant an intrepid reporter’s asking Sen. Morse about the discrepancies, reporting the existence of the controversy, and explaining both suspicious and exonerating evidence.  The fact that none of our local media can be bothered to do so indicates incompetence or bias.

Published in: on March 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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