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Ken Buck spokesman: Rape case stories smears that may scare women away from reporting

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Are ProgressNow and the Independent "sister organizations"? Not according to Forseth, who says she's not aware of any organizational connection between the two outfits, adding that she has to pitch stories to the Independent just as with any other news agency.

But that's not how Loftus sees it. He cites the book The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care), co-authored by Rob Witwer and Adam Schrager, which contains the following passage that Loftus also brought to the attention of the National Review:

"ProgressNow and the Colorado Independent are both part of the Colorado Democracy Alliance network, and they have a history of coordinating their efforts to push negative information about Republican candidates. This looks like a carefully planned and well-executed effort by two related organizations who have done similar things in prior elections. For example, they worked together to push negative stories about Marilyn Musgrave in 2006 and 2008. Their strategy is to raise the volume enough that the mainstream media feels obligated to report the story."

That's precisely what happened this time around, Loftus believes, with the effect being what he considers to be a distortion of the facts.

After the meeting between Buck and the victim, Loftus says, "Ken said he would look into it further -- and that's why the Boulder DA's office looked into it, too. And he also had four different chief deputies in his office look at the case, including two women -- and two of those deputies are now judges. And none of them thought it could be successfully prosecuted.

"This is something every DA has to go through. You saw this in 2006 when Bill Ritter ran for governor, and it's happening now in New Mexico with Susana Martinez. Sometimes DAs can't prosecute certain case. Stan Garnett will tell you the same thing. In fact, I'd like to know why ProgressNow and [Colorado Democratic Party boss] Pat Waak aren't calling out Stan Garnett for not prosecuting certain cases."

Garnett, a Democrat running for Colorado Attorney General, didn't head the Boulder district attorney's office during the period when the decision about not prosecuting the 2005 case was made. He took over in early 2009.

In Loftus's opinion, ProgressNow, Waak and others are acting as if they're compassionate, "but they're really exploiting victims -- and that's the really unfortunate thing about this. Now, a victim might not want to report a case because they're afraid their story could end up on the front page of the Denver Post."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts