9News, Rocky reported Owens' support of a third term for Allard, omitted senator's term-limits pledge

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The Rocky Mountain News and KUSA 9News reported Republican Gov. Bill Owens' support of U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) for a third term but failed to note that Allard repeatedly has pledged not to run for more than two terms.

In reports referencing Republican Gov. Bill Owens' support of a third term for U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO), KUSA 9News and the Rocky Mountain News failed to note that if Allard decided to run in 2008, he would be breaking his self-imposed term-limits pledge.

In an interview with reporter Adam Schrager aired during the December 7 broadcast of 9News at 6 p.m., Owens discussed his plans for once he leaves office in January. Discussing speculation that Owens might run for the U.S. Senate, Schrager noted that instead, "Owens wants Colorado's senior senator, Wayne Allard, to run for a third term." 9News co-anchor Bob Kendrick also reported that "Senator Allard will announce his future plans early next year."

SCHRAGER: Owens wants Colorado's senior senator, Wayne Allard, to run for a third term. But until he decides for sure, Owens' name continues to surface as a potential candidate. He says it's flattering, but unrealistic.

[...]

KENDRICK: Well, he was candid, Adam. Thank you.

SCHRAGER: Thank you.

KENDRICK: Senator Allard will announce his future plans early next year. Democratic Congressman Mark Udall has already announced his intentions to run for the seat.

A December 7 article by Schrager on the 9News website further noted that "[t]he term-limited governor [Owens]" said "Colorado is better-served by Allard running for re-election."

Noting the 9News report, the News similarly reported on December 8, "Gov. Bill Owens told a Denver television station on Thursday that he is not interested in running for a U.S. Senate seat in 2008 and hopes that Republican Wayne Allard seeks re-election. Allard is expected to announce whether he will run again early next year. Owens has been widely mentioned as a possible candidate if Allard decides not to seek re-election." The article further stated, "Owens said a successful Allard re-election campaign would be the best scenario for Colorado because it would retain the incumbent's seniority and experience on Capitol Hill."

However, in coverage of Owens' support of a third term for Allard, 9News and the News both failed to report Allard's self-imposed term-limits pledge.

As the News reported in an October 13, 1996, article (accessed through the Nexis database), "Rep. Wayne Allard, who is hoping to become Sen. Wayne Allard, has won the 'Mr. Smith Award' for championing the term-limits movement." According to the News, "Given annually by the group U.S. Term Limits, the award goes to a legislator who 'exemplifies the concept of a true citizen-legislator,' Allard's office said."

A News article (accessed through the Nexis database) from October 9, 2002 -- the year Allard ran for re-election -- noted that "Sen. Wayne Allard said Tuesday that he hasn't wavered in his term-limits pledge and, if re-elected, he will go home to Colorado for good in six years." The News further reported:

"I'm term-limited," Allard said Tuesday. "That has always been my position. I've always said I believe in limiting my term. I've stipulated in past campaigns that I believe in term limits, and I've never wavered on it."

In contrast to its December 8 article, the News reported on November 27 that "Allard was elected in 1996 and pledged to serve only two terms. He reiterated the pledge in 2002, but has since been ambiguous." Similarly, a December 3 Denver Post article noted, "Allard, 63, pledged in 1996 to serve just two Senate terms. He now says voters view term limits differently."

From the December 7 broadcast of KUSA's 9News at 6 p.m.:

SCHRAGER: Owens wants Colorado's senior senator, Wayne Allard, to run for a third term. But until he decides for sure, Owens' name continues to surface as a potential candidate. He says it's flattering, but unrealistic.

OWENS: I'm going to be doing some international business, going to be putting some kids through college, not having to worry quite as much financially.

SCHRAGER: The governor has three children, two of whom are in college now, and the third is on his way. The governor says he will remain active in policy discussions, but Bob, he has no desire to do so as a candidate for the United States Senate.

KENDRICK: Well, he was candid, Adam. Thank you.

SCHRAGER: Thank you.

KENDRICK: Senator Allard will announce his future plans early next year. Democratic Congressman Mark Udall has already announced his intentions to run for the seat.

From the December 8 Rocky Mountain News article, "Owens cold to '08 Senate run, backs Allard rerun":

Gov. Bill Owens told a Denver television station on Thursday that he is not interested in running for a U.S. Senate seat in 2008 and hopes that Republican Wayne Allard seeks re-election.

Allard is expected to announce whether he will run again early next year. Owens has been widely mentioned as a possible candidate if Allard decides not to seek re-election.

But the governor, who will leave office Jan. 9, told 9News that while the speculation is flattering, a Senate campaign is not something he is interested in.

[...]

Owens said a successful Allard re-election campaign would be the best scenario for Colorado because it would retain the incumbent's seniority and experience on Capitol Hill.

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