The anonymous conservative blog EagleCountyTimes.com apparently has enough juice to catch the ear of the Eagle County Republican Party, which Tuesday reportedly succeeded in getting an incumbent county commissioner running for re-election to give up his public-access cable TV show.
As first reported by Colorado Independent June 9, an e-mail sent by staff@EagleCountyTimes.com objected to “use of taxpayer funded ECO TV for Peter Runyon, during Peter’s election campaign.” Runyon, a Democrat, is facing Republican and former County Commissioner Dick Gustafson in November’s general election.
On Wednesday both the Vail Daily and the Vail Mountaineer reported Eagle County Republican Party Chairman Randy Milhoan filed a complaint with the secretary of state’s office alleging the show violated the state Fair Campaign Practices Act.
Runyon told the papers that he viewed the show as part of his duty as a commissioner and added that he didn’t think the show violated election laws because he didn’t discuss his campaign or campaign issues. The Eagle County attorney reportedly agreed, but Runyon stepped down anyway to avoid “silly news distracting from the real issues.”
The taxpayer-funded public-access channel will continue to cover commissioner meetings during Runyon’s normal course of duties, but no candidates running for re-election will be allowed to appear on the “Up Front” show until after November’s election.