A Democrat political firm whose clients include John Hickenlooper, Michael Hancock, and Ed Perlmutter sponsored The Colorado Sun financially for an undisclosed period of time that, according to Colorado Sun editor Larry Ryckman, was ‘at least two years ago’ or ‘probably three years ago’.
OnSight Public Affairs is a Democrat political firm in Colorado that has clients ranging from political campaigns to taxpayer funded government offices, and many of their clients have been covered extensively by The Colorado Sun.
The Colorado Sun represents itself as ‘non-partisan’ but a page detailing how they are funded lists OnSight Public Affairs as an entity that has “contributed funds and services to The Colorado Sun to support our mission”.
In response to an email from Campfire Colorado asking for further details about their relationship with OnSight Public Affairs, editor of The Colorado Sun Larry Ryckman said, “We don’t have a relationship with OnSight. They are clearly listed on our website as having been a sponsor, from probably three years ago.”
The Colorado Sun did have a financial relationship with OnSight Public Affairs though according to Ryckman’s own admission and the Democrat firm does still appear on their website as a sponsor.
“We seek to be transparent about all of our sponsorships — present and past, which is why OnSight is listed on our website. But as far as our records indicate, OnSight has not been a sponsor of The Sun for at least two years,” Ryckman further detailed.
A request from Campfire Colorado for the exact time period that OnSight Public Affairs was a sponsor of The Colorado Sun and how much money they contributed has so far been unanswered by Ryckman.
Ryckman also refused to answer whether The Colorado Sun had included a disclaimer on any stories they published concerning clients of OnSight Public Affairs during the time period that they were contributing financially to The Colorado Sun.
The time period of ‘at least two years ago’ or ‘probably three years ago’ might include the time period of the 2020 election when OnSight Public Affairs client John Hickenlooper was running – or preparing to run – against Republican Senator Cory Gardner. Public reporting indicates that OnSight Public Affairs principal Curtis Hubbard was reserving domain names for Hickenlooper’s potential Senate run on August 2, 2019.
When asked to explain the reasoning behind any decision not to include a disclaimer noting their financial relationship with OnSight Public Affairs, Ryckman also refused to comment.
“Over the past three-plus years, we have accepted sponsorships from public relations firms that represent Democratic, Republican and unaffiliated clients. We appreciate their support of independent, locally owned journalism, but such support will never influence our news decisions. Our sponsors have zero say over our content,” Ryckman said in response to Campfire Colorado inquiries about whether they had disclosed their relationship in stories about OnSight Public Affairs clients.
“The Sun’s integrity is not for sale to anyone at any price,” Ryckman also proclaimed in one email.
The Colorado Sun’s sponsorship page also includes deep-pocketed donors such as the Gates Family Foundation and Facebook.