Replacing Salazar II

The Post has published a more extensive piece on John Suthers – the governor’s nominee to replace Senator-Elect Salazar as the state’s attorney general.

Interesting notes? The Post labels Suthers “a conservative Republican.” [emphasis mine] I have only heard about him secondhand. I’d love to hear what others’ impressions are of his political leanings. My guess is he’s probably center-right to moderate, which would merit the Post calling him conservative. (A real conservative is usually called something like a “radical” or “flaming right-winger” by the Post.) But I could be wrong. I’d love to hear.

The Post’s writers also build on the assertion reported by Lynn Bartels that Suthers is likely an easy confirmation for Owens:

Sen. Joan Fitz-Gerald, the incoming state Senate president, said people who have worked with Suthers respect his ability and consider him more practical than ideological.

“At first blush, it looks like an appointment that’s going to go through without much controversy,” the Democratic leader said.

In other words, Suthers is not one of those “God, guns and gays” guys who many believe – especially among the state’s new ruling legislative majority – cost Republicans some of their power.

Ken Gordon, the Colorado Senate’s incoming majority leader, called Suthers “a fine nominee” with a good reputation, but said he wants to know more about Suthers’ political philosophy.

He said he hopes Suthers would concentrate on issues of importance to Colorado and “is not somebody like (departing U.S. attorney general) John Ashcroft, who cares about whether gay people can get married and whether there’s the Ten Commandments in every classroom and everyone’s saying the Pledge of Allegiance in the right way.”

Note to radical gay interest groups: I guess we can infer that Senator Gordon doesn’t “care” if homosexuals can marry each other. Or if someone is saying the Pledge correctly. Hmmmm…. Another topic for another post.

Reading the comments of Speaker-elect Andrew Romanoff and Democrat State Party Chair Chris Gates, along with the remarks made by Ken Salazar himself, I think it’s more than fair to assume that Suthers will breeze through the confirmation process.

It’s probably also fair to assume – for good or ill – that Suthers isn’t as “conservative” as the Post labeled him. If he were as “conservative” as all that, he wouldn’t be getting such lofty praise from Democrat leadership.

My hypothesis? The Post is giving hints of going out of its way to make the new Democrat leadership look moderate and reasonable, while the paper itself provides pressure from the left.

Evidence? The writers felt the need to quote this guy:

But the nomination drew criticism from a Denver defense attorney who dealt with Suthers as a county prosecutor, prison director and U.S. attorney.

Suthers is “a John Ashcroft type of a guy,” attorney David Lane said.

He faulted Suthers for zealously prosecuting three nuns who vandalized a Colorado missile silo.

“He’s a politician, so now these nuns are doing ridiculous amounts of time for politics,” Lane said.

What’s that? Does anyone else smell a Diane Carman column coming?

NOTE: By my reckoning, besides Suthers himself, 10 people’s comments were quoted or cited in this article. Gov. Owens and former Colo. Springs mayor Mary Lou Makepeace were the only Republicans. With praise from many and only criticism from the left – not the right, how is the reader supposed to get a true idea of where the new AG stands?

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