• Sen. Michael Bennet, on March 21, was recipient of a DC fundraising breakfast at The Source by Wolfgang Puck, hosted by Louis Dupart, a lobbyist who frequently fetes Colorado politicians. According to a February 2010 Sunlight Foundation article, “Dupart and his colleagues at The Normandy Group, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm that ranks appropriations and federal legislative issues among its specialties, have hosted or are scheduled to host at least nine fundraisers for Colorado politicians, including some who have requested earmarks for projects benefitting the firms clients.” Why is Louis Dupart so fond of Colorado lawmakers, and have they helped him with any legislation?

Such information doesn’t usually produce a page-one story—but it could. At the least, it gives readers engaging material and interesting insights into elected leaders. At best, follow-the-money stories shine a light on who’s funding our policy makers and trying to influence their votes. It’s an exercise in keeping elected leaders honest, and it’s a high, hard calling.

Mary Winter has worked for seven newspapers, most recently the Denver Post, and was assistant managing editor at PoliticsDaily.com. She spent the bulk of her career at the Rocky Mountain News, first in features and later managing the legislative and state government teams. In 2008, she oversaw delegate coverage at the Democratic National Convention for the paper. She wrote a weekly column for the News for 10 years.