THE BLOG
12/07/2014 01:06 pm ET Updated Feb 06, 2015

Desperately Needing Watchdog

Last week, Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner voted to halt Obama's program to defer deportation of millions of immigrants who have children in our country.

Gardner voted in Aug. (during his successful U.S. Senate campaign versus Democrat Mark Udall) against halting Obama's  program to defer deportations of young immigrants.

The two votes weren't taken on identical topics, but they were close enough to  make you wonder how Gardner reconciles them. Yet, I can't find a single reporter who asked him directly about the obvious inconsistency.

Instead,  the Associated Press, Durango Herald, Fox 31 Denver, the Grand Junction Sentinel,  and The Denver Post all apparently relied on Gardner's self-serving statement saying, in part, that "we owe it to generations past and generations to come to find a solution to our broken immigration system."

It's possible some reporters asked to speak with Gardner himself, but they didn't report this. If so, they should have.

But it's not too late to insist on talking to Gardner, if you're a journalist who has access to him, and thus perform the basic journalistic function of calling out public officials on their inconsistencies between what's done on the campaign trail and what happens in office.

A baby step in the watchdog direction was provided during a Gardner interview Dec. 3 on SeriusXM's new show, Yahoo! News on POTUS.

Host Olivier Knox had the presence of mind to ask Gardner whether his "campaign talk" about making birth control pills available over the counter "can translate into legislative action."

Gardner replied:

It needs to translate into policy action. The FDA has their approval process when it comes to prescription, over-the-counter move. I will certainly continue to support and urge, whether it's legislative action. We've got to figure out the best policy option, the best way forward in making sure we have the continued fight for over-the-counter contraceptives, which I continue and will continue to support and push for. And so, we'll be talking to the FDA and talking about how best to make that happen. It's something Gov. Jindahl first proposed, ACOG, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, supported the move to over-the-counter contraceptions and it's something we've got to encourage to happen here.

I give Knox credit here for asking the question, even though I'd have pressed Gardner to clarify his plan for implementation of a major campaign promise. Will he seek legislation if necessary? How long will he press the Administration? Etc.

Ditto for Gardner's plan on immigration. If he's against deferring deportations, then what's he for? And how does it comport to his campaign promises?

I'm hoping we get this type of watchdog attitude from reporters going forward on Gardner.