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Behind the Scenes: David Pourshoushtari won’t speak for Senate Democrats anymore

Author: Joey Bunch - November 9, 2017 - Updated: November 9, 2017

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David PourshoushtariDavid Pourshoushtari, at left, mugs for Evan Semon’s camera with fellow Senate Democratic staffers, from left, Lisa LaBriola, the current Chief of Staff. The woman on the right is Jill Mullen, our Deputy Policy Director. (Photo courtesy of David Pourshoushtari)

The Colorado Senate Democrats lost their voice this month, as spokesman David Pourshoushtari ended his two-year run in the job. He’s stepping away to take care of a family crisis, he told the press.

He told Colorado Politics even more. We asked the man with all the answers a few more questions before he got out of the Capitol.

What did you learn about politics and human nature during the last two sessions?

“I don’t know if it was something I learned, but something that was radically enforced to me was just how different people are if you have an in-person conversation with them, versus if you just spar with them over social media. It can be so easy for us across the spectrum to get trapped in this world where we put their messages out there in the Twitter sphere, go back to our respective corners, and then duke it out 140 characters at a time (sometimes 280). I’ve absolutely been guilty of this, and knowing my profession, it probably won’t be the last time I get into a Twitter spat with a colleague across the aisle.”

What was the toughest part of the job?

“Getting to know the different voice of every single member of your caucus. While other communications people have to master the voice and style of the one person they work for, my counterparts and I have to know how to write for different elected officials. We have to know, and understand, that something Senator A may say or focus about is not necessarily what Senator B may say or focus on as much. If anything however, while one of the toughest parts of the job, I’d say it’s one of the most fulfilling parts of the job.”

Did you ever have a part-time job as a younger Dave that groomed your skills for the statehouse?

“My mom is a party planner and balloon decorator back in Maryland where I grew up. So, from the age of 10 until I eventually got my first big-boy job, I spent my weekends blowing up balloons, making centerpieces, and decorating parties of all kinds alongside my sister, stepfather and any assistants my mom happened to employ at the time. We’d hop in the van filled with balloon bouquets, drive to the location and have to quickly place the decorations on the table. If any of the balloons popped, we would inflate replacements right there. All with the goal of making sure the room was ready before the guests arrived.”

“Through that job, I’d say things I learned that prepared me for life at the state Capitol were the willingness to be available at all times of the day and week, the humility to handle any task, big or small, and the ability to get things done on a tight deadline. Being a reporter, I imagine us comms guys respecting deadlines is something you appreciate.

If you were a menu item at McDonalds, which one would you be and why?

“I’d say I’m the apple pie. While the “components” that made me what I am came from completely different places (Dad is Iranian, Mom is Korean), like the apple pie, I am All-American and a patriot to the core.”

If you summed up Colorado Senate Republicans — yes, Republicans — in a word, what would that word be? Is it printable on a family-friendly website?

“Ha! Yes, actually. Believe it or not, I have great respect for and get along with the vast majority of the Senate Republican Caucus. That being said, the word I would use is conflicted.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.


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