STATE BILL COLORADO
Stephanie Villafuerte’s withdrawal from her U.S. Attorney bid puts two Dem rivals — Pueblo DA Bill Thiebaut and private attorney John Walsh — back in contention. Here’s how news media and others reported the story.
The Denver Post: The move comes two days after U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked that consideration of her nomination as Colorado U.S. attorney be delayed because her record is “incomplete.”
Westword: The move, though painful for Villafuerte and her supporters, makes perfect sense from a political standpoint. The actions of Sessions, Coffman and Colorado GOP head Dick Wadhams made it clear the Republicans weren’t going to drop their objections. So, with Governor Bill Ritter facing a tough re-election campaign next year, why not take their lumps now, hoping that by the time balloting takes place, the whole mess will be a distant memory rather than a fresh wound?
Associated Press: Ritter had no immediate comment.
7News: In her letter, Villafuerte said she answered all the questions honestly and did nothing wrong. “I continue to stand by my statements and maintain that my involvement was appropriate at all times,” she wrote.
Liberal political blogger David Thielen (via ColoradoPols): I think some very valid questions were raised and we weren’t seeing any substantive answers that held up to scrutiny. Liberal or conservative – I want a U.S. Attorney that doesn’t cut corners.
Associated Press: Villafuerte said a “needless and extraneous political fight” has overshadowed an independent assessment of her qualifications.
Conservative political columnist Michelle Malkin: She has now withdrawn her nomination. But the questions will not go away.
Fox31: Colorado Republican Party Chair, Dick Wadhams, says Villafuerte should never have been nominated in the first place. He says just because she’s withdrawing does not mean she should not have to answer questions about her actions during the 2006 campaign.
The Pueblo Chieftain: Longtime Pueblo Democratic figure Bill Thiebaut is getting a second chance to become President Barack Obama’s choice to fill the post of U.S. attorney for Colorado.
The Denver Post (editorial): Villafuerte may not have done anything wrong, but from what she’s said publicly, she lacks the ability to prove it. And that creates a cloud of suspicion under which the state’s chief federal prosecutor cannot operate.