State Senator says gun control e-mail was 'threatening;' newspaper manager disagrees

Newspaper manager, Sen. Giron disagree over e-mail language

PUEBLO, Colo. - State Senator Angela Giron says she received a threatening e-mail from the general manager of The Pueblo Chieftain, Ray Stafford.

Stafford sent an e-mail to Giron on March 3 in which he writes that he is "responsible for the entire newspaper, including the newsroom." Stafford goes on to write that he opposed all the bills being considered involving guns and ask Senator Giron not to vote for the current gun legislation.

"You have a copy of my e-mail and it's not threatening at all. In fact, I point out that that was my opinion and I certainly have a right to that opinion and it doesn't matter what e-mail account I send it from.  The fact is the e-mail doesn't contain any kind of a threat whatsoever," Stafford said.

Stafford sent the e-mail from his work account and signed it as the general manager of The Pueblo Chieftain and a gun owner.

"You don't use work e-mails to send personal stuff out and you certainly don't send and he's literally typed in his name, general manager of The Chieftain and a gun owner," said Sen. Giron. "I didn't even know his name so if he didn't send it from The Chieftain, if he didn't say he was the general manager, if he didn't say he was in charge of the newsroom, it probably wouldn't have even been noted."

In a statement by Jane Rawlings, assistant publisher and vice president of The Pueblo Chieftain, she writes, in part, "As a way of identification, as he still is fairly new to the area, Ray Stafford told Senator Giron that he is the general manager of The Chieftain and in charge of its operation, including the newsroom. At no time did he suggest that he would use his position to slant the newspaper's coverage. In fact, a careful review of The Chieftain's coverage of these volatile issues reveals a very deliberate effort to provide balanced coverage."

For now, this situation is not being investigated by law enforcement. As previously reported, Senator Giron has received other threats related to gun control legislation, which includes four e-mails that are being investigated by the State Patrol.

It's also important to note that KRDO NewsChannel 13 and The Pueblo Chieftain maintain a news gathering partnership in Southern Colorado.     


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