Hammered for support of Ref C, Norton still not talking to press

The Denver Post reports today that GOP U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton is being hammered in campaign ads for her support of Referendum C in 2005, which allowed the state to spend roughly $3.7 billion in tax revenues slated to be refunded to tax payers. Conservative voters in the state see Ref C as a major tax hike and a betrayal of the state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The campaign ads are part of an increasingly heated Republican primary battle. Norton is putting out her own campaign ads, one of which– a 60-second spot Politico reports looks more like a news update— targets Pres. Obama, a favored tactic of the Norton campaign so far.

Norton has been the effective frontrunner in the race since she entered in September. A long time political insider whose candidacy was boosted by Washington lobbyists and the national GOP, Norton has made it an unofficial policy that she doesn’t talk about or to her opponents. Nor does she talk to the press.

In reporting the story today, the Denver Post and Politico both talked to Norton Campaign spokesman Nate Strauch. That’s no surprise. As media critic Jason Salzman pointed out in a post at his Big Media blog, yesterday, spokespeople and pre-recorded soundbites are Norton’s preferred modes of dealing with the media.

She’s been quoted directly (words from mouth) in just four articles in The Post since she launched her campaign over five months ago.

Instead of talking to reporters, Norton is giving them spokespeople, written statements, and news releases, which were used in 10 additional articles.

Since Norton’s campaign announcement Sept. 15, ten of 14 articles in the print edition of The Post, plus an additional half dozen posts on The Post’s political blog The Spot, relied on this type of controlled information for quotes.

Jane Norton
Jane Norton

Given Norton’s disastrous track record in speaking off the cuff, where on separate occasions she has made policy pronouncements about abolishing federal departments and said that the president cares more about the rights of terrorists than he does about the lives of Americans and called for a national sales flat tax and proclaimed that health reform is unconstitutional, given that, it’s no surprise she chooses to dole out her communications to the press in drips and drops.

Norton has ideas and she expresses them. She just prefers to do so on conservative talk radio shows and at small conservative campaign gatherings.

The people in this state, whom she has said Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet “holds in contempt,” want to hear her elaborate on those ideas. They deserve to hear more from her directly and less from her spokesman Nate Strauch.

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