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POST SUSPENDS COPYBOYKEN HAMBLIN, NOT IN HIS OWN WORDS

Denver Post columnist Ken Hamblin was suspended last week after it was discovered that his October 18 column contained several paragraphs that had been plagiarized from an October 16 Rocky Mountain News story. He told his editors it was "a stupid mistake," and he was quoted in the Post as saying it was "sloppy work."

But Hamblin, who's known for braying about others' hypocrisy and lies, apparently wasn't too sloppy. When he lifted the material from Brian Weber's scoop--much of which was based on a private interview with the mayor--he was careful enough to switch around a couple of paragraphs and do some minor tweaking. Here are the excerpts from Weber's story and Hamblin's column that tell it like it is.

Weber on October 16:
For the second time this year, Mayor Wellington Webb has accused City Councilwoman Mary DeGroot of racial prejudice.

"Mary thinks that if she sees four or five black people sitting together that they're automatically plotting some overthrow," Webb said Thursday.

DeGroot, who is considering a mayoral run against Webb in 1995, frequently questions city contracts...

DeGroot said the mayor is misreading her and Denver.
"This city will not stand for that kind of name-calling," she said.
DeGroot has always been known for questioning city financial matters. She particularly scrutinized the award of airport concession contracts in 1993.

Some of those deals, made with minority-owned firms, were rejected following charges they were unfairly given to political supporters and others with ties to Webb...

She said the mayor and his supporters are conducting "a whisper campaign" against her.

"I'm not apologizing for the questions I asked," she said.
"I think people want a leader in local government asking questions about all firms and it doesn't matter if they're women-owned, black-owned, white-owned or Hispanic-owned."

Political analyst Floyd Ciruli warned against racial politics.

Hamblin on October 18:
For the second time this year, Webb has accused Denver City Councilwoman Mary DeGroot of racial prejudice.

DeGroot, considering a mayoral run herself, has frequently questioned the methods by which the administration assigns city contracts. But according to Webb, "Mary thinks that if she sees four or five black people sitting together that they're automatically plotting some overthrow."

DeGroot says Mayor Webb is misreading both her and Denver. "This city will not stand for that kind of name-calling," she concludes.

DeGroot, perhaps more than other council members, scrutinized the awarding of airport concession contracts in 1993. Some of the deals made with minority-owned firms were rejected following charges that they were unfairly given to political supporters and others with ties to Mayor Webb...

Now that Webb has raised the issue again, DeGroot has accused the mayor and his supporters of conducting a "whisper campaign" against her. She refuses to apologize for being an inquisitive, tough councilwoman.

DeGroot says, "I think people want a leader in local government, someone who asks questions about all firms no matter whether they are women owned, black owned, white owned or Hispanic owned."...

Meanwhile, political analyst Floyd Ciruli warns against the use of racial politics.

 
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