Tipton article was biased
June 15, 2011
When a newspaper builds an article around disparaging quotes from a Democratic party operative in Denver while the subject of the article, Congressman Scott Tipton, is available to be interviewed in Aspen in person (as the newspaper was aware), you know the reporting will be biased. This was certainly the result of the lead article on the front page of The Aspen Times on June 6 entitled “Dems: Tipton ‘Inconsistent’ on Federal Funding Plans.”
The article appears to have three premises. The first one, that Congressman Tipton declined to sign a letter supporting a grant for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority solely on the basis of a $9,000 price tag for Wi-Fi coverage on RFTA buses, is a blatant distortion.
The Congressman and his office have made clear that he is not going to rubber-stamp requests for funding from constituents without understanding the components of the request.
There may, indeed, be ways in which the purposes of a $25 million request can be satisfied less expensively.
Particularly in the current budgetary crisis, this type of thoughtful review by our elected representatives should be welcomed rather than subjected to ridicule, especially when only 30 percent of respondents to a recent poll in The Aspen Times said that Wi-Fi would make them more likely to ride RFTA buses.
Recommended Stories For You
The second premise of the article is that Congressman Tipton is against RFTA but in favor of an organization in Pueblo County because of disparity in political support.
This overlooks the fact that RFTA is a vital transportation service for residents not only of Pitkin County, but also of Garfield County, which Congressman Tipton won in the November election and which he no doubt hopes to win again.
Finally, the article alleges that declining to sign a letter relating to RFTA and supporting a $5 million grant to a Pueblo organization are “inconsistent” actions on the Congressman’s part.
Does this mean that all actions by the Congressman should be judged equally? The Pueblo organization is affiliated with the Federal Railroad Administration and engaged in homeland security.
Is declining to sign a letter written by Democratic colleagues the same thing as not supporting RFTA, and is supporting an organization engaged in homeland security and, for that matter, promoting “the use of clean, safe and efficient technologies by railways” bad?