DA Mark Hurlbert, Colo. State Senate Race, and Errata – Updated

District Attorney Mark Hurlbert wrote me the other day and claimed I was “lying” about him all over this blog and all over the internet in my coverage of his Colorado state Senate campaign. Unhelpfully, he failed to elaborate on what “lies” he was referring to.  One would hope a career prosecutor would present evidence to back up accusations.

Update March 30: One of Hurlbert’s supporters, a candidate for state office,  said I was wrong about Hurlbert being a RINO, but provided no evidence of fiscal conservatism, and only said Hurlbert had been helpful in Republican campaigns, including his own.  This new post on Hurlbert’s budget increases during the recession provides more evidence that he’s a typical career politician, and no small-government fiscal conservative as he’s claimed.

Wishing to be as fair as possible,  I re-read my posts and articles and the only thing I could come up with were my references to statements by him from the Lincoln Day event in Beaver Creek that I made after perhaps a too-quick listen to a video.  That post and the embedded video are here.

The audio on the video is poor at times, but on re-listening (this time with headphones)  it appears that Hurlbert did not come up with the term “legal trifecta” on his own, but graciously attributed it to Colorado AG John Suthers.  Other than that, I jokingly referenced his arguments about DA term limits in a way that might have suggested to those who never bothered to watch Hurlbert’s Beaver Creek video performance, that no elected officials in either of the four counties in the Colorado 5th Judicial District- Summit, Eagle, Lake or Clear Creek, had term limits for Sheriff or County Commission.  It is far more complex than that, and Hurlbert attempts to clarify the details in the video, and does a good job at it.

The above post with the two videos has been updated and clarified to reflect all of this.  The more important fact remains, though:  Hurlbert tried and failed to extend his term limits from two to three.  He stated he might try again in 2010, and then the Sentate District 16 seat opened up and he jumped on that new opportunity to extend his political career.

I also neglected to point out that the guy yelling out in the video, “Mark, you’re the greatest DA in the world,” is none other than candidate for State Treasurer, Ali Hasan.  Hasan was the subject of a DA investigation while he was campaigining for House District 56 in 2008, according to the Denver Post, and DA Mark Hurlbert was handling the case.

The wealthy young Republican financial scion touts Hurlbert as being of great help in his campaign (see Hasan’s comments following the post).  Hurlbert declined to file charges, perhaps correctly, perhaps not.  But most DAs in that situation would have bowed out of the case and let a special prosecutor handle it given the conflict of interest.  This is no aspersion on Ali Hasan, only on Hurlbert, who could have and should have voluntarily recused himself.

I suspect corrections and additions like these were not Hurlbert’s concern;  more likely it’s that the only other time he’s  faced any  media scrutiny beyond the press releases he receives in the Swift newspapers, the Summit and Vail Dailies, was in the deluge of media coverage thrust on him in the expensive and ultimately abandoned, Kobe Bryant prosecution.  And neither he nor his handler, GOP boss Dick Wadhams, appreciate it

Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert is taking a lot of heat for his handling of the Kobe Bryant case. ( NBC Sports)

Wadhams is well-known as a control-freak of the media and his candidates, an inclination examined  in this 2005  Slate piece by Alexandra Starr, and recently spoofed in my Hitler YouTube video. This may be why well over two months into his state Senate race against Tim Leonard, Hurlbert has still failed to post an issues section on his website.

I try to research everything I write as thoroughly as possible, and embed links to as many sources as possible.  And though mistakes are inevitable, I strive for accuracy.

That’s the reason I wrote this update to the piece on “martial law” that was declared about a month ago in a small North Carolina town, where Second Amendment rights were briefly suspended, curfews imposed, and liquor sales halted.  I phoned the police chief  in that breaking story and learned she was being unfairly blamed.  I read the NC and local statutes and wrote the updated post to reflect the facts.

This blog was ahead of North Carolina media on it.   I immediately linked our story to Carolina Politics Online, so that their far greater local readership could get the message, as the chief was receiving threatening phone calls.

Ex-Pat Ex-Lawyer welcomes comments from all readers about opinions or any specific errors you believe we have made, and if  we’re proved wrong, I’ll promptly make a correction.  The Hurlbert state Senate campaign pieces on this blog and the two I’ve published to date for Associated Content (which conducts editorial review and fact-checking), have received combined viewings by over 650 readers (as of March 22), and not one has commented about any inaccuracies.

Even the Hitler YouTube spoof, which I’m flattered was  published in Lynn Bartel’s column at The Spot in the Denver Post, was quite factual, and probably the reason the politcally-savvy Bartels deemed it a “riot.”  Satire is funniest at its most realistic.   Since then, the video was picked up by many conservative political blogs (and probably Lakers fans too),  and, as of March 26, has drawn over 1,800 views.

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