Lynn Bartels adds Brandon Shaffer's scalp to her collection

"Senate to Repay Funds" reads the headline atop the Denver & the West section in this morning's Denver Post -- and there's little doubt Senate President Brandon Shaffer didn't enjoy seeing it. On the very day Shaffer was ostensibly the most powerful elected official in the state (because both Governor Bill Ritter and Lieutenant Governor Barbara O'Brien were out of town), he found himself apologizing for the decision to charge Colorado taxpayers $4,300 for a retreat that only Democrats attended. Yesterday, Shaffer announced that he would reimburse that amount from Democratic Party funds -- a move as tardy as it was inevitable.

Credit for this scoop goes to the Post's Lynn Bartels. For years, she's routinely uncovered stories like this one, but until recently, she did so for the Rocky Mountain News. Given her loyalty to the tabloid and her fierce dedication to besting the Post whenever possible, editor Greg Moore could easily have chosen not to bring her aboard with a handful of her colleagues when the Rocky went down in February. Instead, Moore made the journalistically smart decision, and he -- and Denver readers -- continue to reap the benefits. And Shaffer? Not so much....

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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

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