Sirota and Muckrock want to have a look at energy-loving Colorado legislators’ e-mails, but there’s a price

Author: Joey Bunch - May 8, 2017 - Updated: July 23, 2017

David Sirota, Colorado’s most famous openly liberal journalist (OK, tied with Mike Littwin) is leading a money march for e-mails to find out if Colorado legislators are in bed with the oil and gas industry.

To pay for an open-records request for legislators’ e-mails, Sirota on Friday was urging his audience to help crowdfund $1,670 — less than the price of a 1975 Lincoln Continental in Colorado Springs, coincidentally, though it looks suspicious.

Sirota was well on his way Saturday, according to a tweet by Muckrock.

You would think if legislators were up to no good or professing their undying love for Dan Haley, they would be smart enough not to send e-mails about it on their government accounts. But that’s beside the point.

The news peg for the interest is the aftermath of the House explosion in Firestone that’s been linked to underground gas lines near the home. The political fallout is huge, after the industry has argued somewhat successfully for years that what they do in residential areas is perfectly safe.

Sirota writes for the International Business Times, and cited his recent work on wells near schools. You never doubt where he’s coming from, so that probably gives Sirota the moral high ground for Republicans to be clear about their influences.

Muckrock is a news collaborative website that helps journalists and anybody else, on the left or right, access public records.

The site sued the CIA in 2014 to gain access to more than 13 million pages of declassified documents in a database.

Even when records are open in Colorado, they’re not cheap.

Any request of more than 25 pages of documents or more than one hour of staff time gets expected. An agency can charge 25 cents a page and $20 an hour for staff time that doesn’t involve a lawyer. If they have to bring in counsel, that’s another $30 an hour, under state law.

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.

One comment

  • Sharon Friedman

    May 8, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Colorado produces oil and gas, wind and solar energy.. is it OK to be “in bed with” other energy folks? Or how bout the marijuana industry? I can imagine quite the email- reading fest…

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