Coloradoan, CBS4 reported Allard's participation in Visa events, but not company's campaign contribution to him

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

In reporting on October 10 that Colorado Republican U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard took part in high school events sponsored by Visa and the National Football League, neither the Fort Collins Coloradoan nor KCNC CBS4 disclosed that the financial services company contributed $1,000 to Allard's 2002 re-election campaign.

On October 10, the Fort Collins Coloradoan and KCNC's CBS4 News at 5 a.m. reported that U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) participated in events sponsored by Visa and the National Football League, at Fort Collins High School and Denver's West High School, respectively. But neither report mentioned that Visa Inc.'s political action committee contributed money to Allard's last senatorial campaign in 2002, as Colorado Media Matters has noted.

As the Coloradoan reported, "A football game between students at Fort Collins High School put Sen. Wayne Allard and former Broncos linebacker Karl Mecklenburg head to head over finances. Allard and Mecklenburg coached two teams of students through a first run of Financial Football, a National Football League-inspired computer game that teaches high school kids about finances." The article further reported:

The game, sponsored by Visa and the NFL, will be distributed to every high school in 10 states, including Colorado.

With students getting ready to purchase their first car or go out on their own, it's an appropriate time for them to start learning about finances and financial jargon, Allard said.

"Kids can start getting to know terminology," Allard said.

During the game, students answer questions about financial issues to gain yardage up and down the football field.

Questions deal with liquid assets, credit cards, bank accounts, interest rates, stocks and the hidden cost of a job.

"We hope to prevent financial mistakes before getting to college," said Jason Alderman, director of financial education for Visa.

Some students do not get this informal training on how to manage a checkbook or establish a line of credit, Allard said, calling exposure to those skills "minimal at best." And parents who want to help their children may not have the knowledge, he said.

"Credit issues are much more complicated than they were 30 years ago," Allard said.

The October 10 CBS4 broadcast similarly reported on Allard's attending the West High event, described as "a joint initiative by Visa/NFL Financial Education":

BROOKE WAGNER (anchor): When you think of a touchdown, you probably do not think of the football term with financial stability. Students at Denver's West High School were introduced to Financial Football yesterday. It's an interactive video game with an NFL theme designed to appeal to teenagers. Former Bronco linebacker Karl Mecklenburg and Senator Wayne Allard sat in on the class and learned with the students.

ALLARD [video clip]: They're all learning about what it takes to be a responsible consumer; that is, how to manage your credit correctly. And this is where it all starts, right here when they're playing this game of Financial Football. And I would encourage students that are in high school and college with their parents to sit down and learn the game.

WAGNER: Financial Football will be distributed to every high school in Colorado thanks to a joint initiative by Visa/NFL Financial Education.

TOM MUSTIN (anchor): It's important to learn when to punt. That's one of the big things.

WAGNER: Yeah, that would be a major one, I would think, on Financial Football.

MUSTIN: I've learned that over the years.

However, neither media outlet reported that in 2002, Visa U.S.A. Inc. Political Action Committee contributed $1,000 to Allard's campaign, according to a Federal Election Commission filing.

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