By Ben DeGrow | Special to Colorado Watchdog
The Occupy movement‘s progression and political momentum has forged a trail into the heart of the current electoral battle over the past year.
Remarkably, though, an important conflicting element of the story largely remains untold by Denver‘s mainstream media.
The Occupy movement’s effort to get out its anti-capitalist message by assailing the privileged “1 percent” set the stage for President Barack Obama and the Democrats to disparage then-presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney‘s former work as a venture capitalist.
Against the backdrop of Romney being portrayed as a cold, out-of-touch plutocrat who closed down factories and outsourced jobs, my Independence Institute colleague Todd Shepherd published an interesting find: Former Denver mayor and Obama national campaign co-chair Federico Pena himself works as a venture capitalist.
As Todd highlighted, Pena’s Vestar Capital firm has performed many of the same needed services as Romney’s former Bain Capital. Vestar closed down factories and laid off employees to save and restructure businesses, like Del Monte Foods and Solo Cup Co.
Nearly four months have gone by without the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain region’s leading media voice, spilling a drop of ink or posting a pixel on Pena’s venture capital connections. The story has become the cause célèbre of the online “Where’s the Denver Post?” community.
Independence Institute president Jon Caldara decided that if the Post won’t cover this significant story, then let’s raise money to buy a full-page ad, lauding the “courageous and successful business man” Pena. Westword editor Patty Calhoun this week described the cause célèbre as a “lost cause.”
Funny, The Associated Press writer Meghan Barr used the same phrase — “lost cause” — in Monday’s retrospective of the anti-capitalist movement that has captured so many journalistic hearts and even inspired poetic outbursts like this one:
Occupy is a network. Occupy is a metaphor. Occupy is still alive. Occupy is dead. Occupy is the spirit of revolution, a lost cause, a dream deferred.
The Occupy movement a lost cause? Letting thousands of Coloradans see that one of Obama’s national co-chairs fits squarely into the reviled “1 percent” would help seal the deal — and maybe open a few more eyes to the benefits of free enterprise.
One man’s cause célèbre is another man’s lost cause.