Rand Paul Did Not Appear at Denver Event

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rand Paul Joins Ken Cuccinelli At Campaign Rally In Virginia

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky did not appear in Denver this week for the Colorado Renewal Project's "Rediscovering God in America" event in Westminster, despite widely distributed promotional materials stating that the Kentucky Senator would be in attendance as a "special guest."

Paul was never planning to come to Colorado at all, Paul's press office emailed me Friday, referring to organizers of the event.

"That was an error on their part," wrote Paul spokesperson Sergio Gor.

Paul's visit to Colorado appears to have been organized by evangelical political operative David Lane, who organizes meetings between Republican presidential contenders and pastors in swing states. Lane is associated with the American Renewal Project, which advocates for more involvement by Christians in politics.

Numerous efforts get a comment from Lane or any organizer of the Colorado event were not successful. It was not clear who sponsored Colorado's pastor event this week, but similar events in the past have ties to Colorado for Family Values and the Christian Family Alliance of Colorado.

Paul's visit to Colorado raised eyebrows because Colorado senatorial candidate Cory Gardner has been telling reporters that there is "no federal personhood bill"–and Paul is the unabashed sponsor of a federal personhood bill, called the Life at Conception Act.

(more…)

The Orwellian Desperation of Jefferson County Republicans

SATURDAY UPDATE: The Denver Post's Eric Gorski, who took the photo of Jefferson County protesters that was crudely doctored for this Republican mailer to remove their original protest message, is most unhappy to see it being misused:

The photo on the fliers appears to blur out the faces of the students. The sign messages were changed to reflect … it’s not clear.

But one thing that is clear is students took to the streets because they are unhappy with a school board controlled by three Republicans who won office in 2013… [Pols emphasis]

Neville, Sanchez and Woods won GOP primaries and had the backing of the strongly conservative Rocky Mountain Gun Owners organization. Neville’s son, Joe, is a lobbyist for the gun group. Neville’s sister-in-law, Julie Williams, sits on the Jeffco school board.

In addition to Jefferson County Public Schools' demand that these candidates stop using the district's trademarked logo, the Post's lawyers are demanding they stop using the doctored image of these students:

“Not only does the use of the photograph infringe copyright interests, it violates other intellectual property laws by unlawfully associating The Denver Post with your campaign. It also violates basic transparency principles by altering a photograph without informing the readers. Finally, it offends the Fair Use policies in place by Twitter and creates an actionable claim by the person pictured in the photograph holding the sign.” [Pols emphasis]

If we were one of the kids in this doctored photo, we'd be talking to Mom and Dad about a lawyer.

—–

nevillemailer

7NEWS reports:

Attorneys representing Jeffco Public Schools have sent a cease and desist letter to candidates for state senate who used the district's logo in a campaign mailing.

Tim Neville, a self-described "Independent Republican," is running for office in Senate District 16. The campaign flier in question criticizes incumbent State Senator Jeanne Nicholson.

Beside the district's logo, the flyer states: "Jeffco schools are in crisis because Denver politicians like Jeanne Nicholson are keeping funding from the classroom while giving more power to corrupt union bosses."

Neville's statement of "crisis" in the district references recent widespread protesting over the conservative board majority's decisions regarding teacher compensation and a plan to review the AP US History Curriculum…

As you can see above, the mailer plainly makes use of the Jefferson County Public Schools' copyrighted logo, and that's obviously not okay. But there are other aspects to this mailer that make it vastly more deceptive. For starters, a sign held by a student in the photo has been crudely doctored to replace their protest message with the words "I want my future back." The original photo, taken by the Denver Post's Eric Gorski, clearly displays the student's original message: "my education, my voice, save AP U.S. history." We assume nobody has spoken with that student about this mailer yet, but we rather doubt she would approve of her sign being altered in this manner.

We think she'll be especially outraged to learn, as 7NEWS continues, that

Neville is the brother-in-law of Jeffco School Board Member Julie Williams. [Pols emphasis]

That's right, folks–the brother-in-law of Julie Williams, the school board member at the heart of the recent internationally-publicized controversy over "reviewing" the district's AP history curriculum, is himself altering the history of the recent protests against Williams to make it look like he sympathizes. The mailer includes a photo of Tim Neville with his wife Barb, Julie Williams' sister, who also runs Williams' political action committee (PAC). The deception here is so over the top brazen that it just leaves you shaking your head in disbelief. It's not much better for two other Jefferson County Republican Senate candidates who sent out similar mailers, Laura Waters Woods in SD-19 and Tony Sanchez in SD-22, both of whom have been supported by Williams and vice versa–but in Neville's case it's so outlandishly hypocritical and insulting to have doctored this student's protest sign that we have to think it will end in disaster.

That, or history is in greater danger than anyone ever imagined.

Ballots drop into the mail; $51,000 from two donors drops to Jefferson County race

Two donors, oil and gas investor Mitchell Solich and mozzarella billionaire James Leprino, dropped a total of $40,000 in late September into the Jefferson County Commissioner race supporting Commissioner Don Rosier over US Marine Lt. Colonel and Delta pilot John Flerlage.  Solich's money is on top of $11,000 he pitched in earlier and $1000 from Solich's business partner Roger Flahive.

 This cold blast to the Democrats shows two things: the impact of unlimited contributions on a race, especially late to the party, and how dicey everything is in Jeffco. Rosier's total campaign dollars at the end of the previous reporting period were $29,808.

 James Leprino pitches $10,000 to Commissioner Rosier
James Leprino's $10,000 comes after the August completion of a $350,000 improvement to his jet hangar at Jefferson County Airport, paid for in a budget supplemental by the county.  The county put $200,000 into fuel line construction and $150,000 into taxi-lane improvements. (See August 5, 2014 report).
 
Mitchell Solich tosses $41,000 to Rosier
Mitchell Solich is senior managing director and Roger Flahive is managing director of SFC Energy Partners.  The company holds many investments in oil and gas development enterprises.

 Solich's late September $30,000 comes just after county commissioners voted on changes to oil and gas set back rules for drilling from 600 feet to 500 feet. The change conforms Jeffco to state regulations, but locals wonder "why now" when the Governor's oil and gas task force will report in March.  

 Voters in south Jeffco will be most affected by drilling, as some early oil and gas exploration is going on behind the Hog Back, near the Ken Caryl Valley in the south on up to Red Rocks and Morrison.  "The Turkey Creek outcrop is oil-saturated," said Dr. Steve Sonnenberg from Colorado School of Mines in an article in the Columbine Courier.  

 Drilling in these areas hits three highly contested Senate seats in addition to the commissioner race:  SD 20 Jahn v Queen, SD 16 Nicholson v Neville, and SD 22 Kerr v Sanchez.  The County owns open space but may or may not own mineral rights, depending on location.

 Rosier was earlier under pressure from south Jeffco voters outraged by a possible flag-pole annexation of Southwest Plaza to the tiny town of BowMar.  Rosier supported the county's further exploration of the deal, but BowMar eventually bowed out.  Rosier also did not step in to protect Chatfield Reservoir from its deployment away from its recreational purpose of 45 years.

 Dems hold candidate campaign funds advantage

Despite this late influx of cash into Jeffco, Democratic state Senate candidates overall have a 3:1 advantage over Republicans running for the legislature.  Republicans, following the GOP Jeffco commissioner race model, have the big pockets of big PACS to do late ads and mail, however.

 Individual Democrats have to spend more time raising money.  But that also puts them in touch with many more voters.  This election cycle tests the logic of the divergent strategies.

 HD-22 Dem candidate Parker has her own strategy
State House candidate Mary Parker, a Democrat in a non-targeted race, is running her own course against Rep. Justin Everett.  She's focusing on Everett's records for the 2014 session:  most NO votes, most missed committee hearings until his party got on him in March, most snoozes, and 49 general assembly tardies over 32 weeks.  Her "Justin Everett Absent" video  on her opponent's late attendance to the House assembly is both funny and not funny.
 
Here's the latest Senate count:
  • 15 Senate seats are to the Republicans  (doesn't include Sens. Herpin and Rivera)
  • 13 Senate seats are to the Dems (includes Garcia)
  • 3 seats are likely Dem:  Merrifield-Herpin ($1.8:1), Jahn-Queen ($4:1), Solano-Humenik ($4:1)
  • 4 seats are up in the air: Zenzinger-Woods/Waters ($2:1); Donovan-Suppes ($1.5:1); Kerr-Sanchez ($2.5:1); Nicholson-Neville ($2:1)
To capture a majority, Republicans need to win 3 of 4 up-in-the-air seats or grab some number of the likely Dem seats.   If Dems carry the 3 likely seats, they need to capture 2 of 4 toss-up seats. 

 Contested Senate races give Dems the edge

Sen. Kerr in SD-22 has a money and campaign experience advantage over Sanchez.  He gets the edge.  The Donovan-Suppes race may turn on some of Suppes' twitter postings on ethnicity and debate statements about the United Nations. 

 The Jeffco Nicholson-Neville and Zenzinger-Woods/Waters races, along with Kerr's and Jahn's, may turn on impacts of the AP history controversy in Jeffco. Neville's wife Barb has helped sharpen her sister's school board message, but that's very bad timing for Neville.

 Right now, the Democratic betting line for state Senate simple majority is 60-40; for a majority of 20-15, it's 50-50.   

 House secure for Dems

The Democratic majority on the House side is secure at 34.  Republicans have 24 safe seats.  The following seats are toss-ups:
  • McLachlan-Brown; money advantage McLachlan, registration advantage Brown; performance advantage McLachlan
  • Primavera-Tinlin; money advantage Primavera; registration even; performance advantage Primavera
Contested House races include:
  • Kagan-Benge; money and performance advantage Kagan; registration even
  • Doyle-Keyser; registration advantage Keyser, party flip advantage Doyle, money close
  • Cronk-Tate; registration advantage Tate, slight money advantage Cronk because of primary
  • Young-Aricayos; registration, performance, and money advantage Young
  • Tyler-Barnes; registration, performance, and money advantage Tyler
  • Parker-Everett; registration and performance advantage Everett; party flip advantage Parker; money close

Weekend Open Thread

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

"Be in love with your life. Every minute of it."

–Jack Kerouac

Help Us Pick the Best and Worst Campaign Ads of 2014

Yesterday we discussed the first TV ad from Democrat Joe Neguse, who is running for the open Secretary of State seat. We think it may be the best TV ad of the cycle, but we can't know if we've seen every TV ad thus far.

So help us out, Polsters. Nominate your favorites for Best and Worst Campaign Ads of 2014 in the comments below. Please include links when available. We'll take your suggestions and then do our own roundup in a post next week.

(Note: Unless you have an entirely different take, one nomination per ad is sufficient. This isn't a poll.)

Gun group’s attack ad appears to violate campaign-finance rules

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A "Rocky Mountain Gun Owners" attack advertisement, mailed to constituents of State Sen. Andy Kerr, appears to violate a couple of campaign finance rules.

The return address on the ad reads, RMGO SuperPAC, but the disclaimer lists the sponsoring organization as "Rocky Mountain Gun Owners SuperPAC."

Neither entity has reported a campaign expenditure attacking Kerr, according to campaign finance reports, so there's almost certain violation of the 48-hour reporting rule currently in effect.

Another problem, "Rocky Mountain Gun Owners SuperPAC," does not exist on Secretary of State's website, and sponsoring organizations must file reports. Obviously, this could be a typo-like error, but it's still a likely violation.

(more…)

Bob Beauprez’s Reckless, Factless Attacks: Too Far Again

Bob Beauprez.

Bob Beauprez.

FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports:

One day after GOP gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez released a TV ad citing last year’s murder of former Colorado Dept. of Corrections Chief Tom Clements’ as an example of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s failure to keep the state safe, Clements’ widow, Lisa, asked Beauprez to stop.

“Mr. Beauprez, it is with great sadness and frustration that I am breaking my silence on matters involving the death of my husband,” Lisa Clements wrote to Beauprez Thursday in a letter shared with Colorado media outlets.

“On several occasions this year, you have attempted to use our family’s tragic loss for your personal and political gain, and we are respectfully asking you to stop.  We’re requesting you to please stop referencing our tragedy in your debate statements and in your campaign ads. Because every time you do, you re-open the wounds that our family continues to suffer from.

“We have not asked you to defend or publicize our experience, and we are not interested in accepting the support of anyone who chooses to do so with the expectation of something in return.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has a long history in Colorado politics. Beauprez went to Congress in 2002 after winning an extremely close and bitter CD-7 race by only 121 votes–a result finalized weeks after the election. Beauprez ran for governor in 2006, and had to fight a particularly bitter primary campaign against entrepreneur Marc Holtzman: a primary that left Beauprez seriously damaged even before the race against eventual blowout winner Bill Ritter got underway.

In 2006 on the way to his historic 17-point defeat, Beauprez earned a reputation as a ruthlessly negative campaigner. Whether this is a product of Beauprez's character or the desperate battle he fought to win his seat in Congress is tough to say, but as Beauprez sagged in the polls he simultaneously threw the kitchen sink at Ritter–including highly controversial claims about illegal immigrants in Denver that resulted in a federal investigation.

We've talked a lot this year about the crazy things Beauprez has said on the record since losing the 2006 gubernatorial race. Many of the worst of Beauprez's statements date to the high tide of the Tea Party in 2009-10, when all kinds of immoderate nonsense was fashionable. Comments about President Barack Obama "pushing" the nation toward civil war, Muslim Sharia law "creeping in" to Colorado, etc. betray either pathological or deeply cynical motivations underlying Beauprez's politics.

The tragic story of the murder of Department of Corrections director Tom Clements has been crassly politicized almost from the day he was killed. Not long after Clements' death, unnamed Republican sources persuaded the Denver Post to write a front-page story essentially blaming killer Evan Ebel's release on a Democratic-sponsored 2011 law. The next day, a 9NEWS report showed that Ebel had been released years early due to an entirely unrelated judicial error, and the Post eventually admitted that the factual basis of their story was wrong.

A 9NEWS Truth Test last night explains further, referencing their earlier report:

The assassinated prison chief was a member of the governor's cabinet and a close friend of Hickenlooper's.

To portray Hickenlooper as responsible for Ebel's release from prison deliberately misleads voters.

The Beauprez camp defends this claim by pointing to a law that Hickenlooper did sign in 2011, which allows offenders like Ebel to earn time off for good behavior while in solitary confinement.

Ebel did earn time under that law.

But that wouldn't have mattered in this case. The courts made a mistake that allowed Ebel to get out four years early. [Pols emphasis]

Beauprez has repeatedly invoked Clements' death to attack Gov. John Hickenlooper on the campaign trail, blaming Hickenlooper for the legislation the Denver Post wrongly identified as the reason for Ebel's early release, as well longstanding problems with releasing inmates like Ebel directly from solitary confinement to the street. But the truth is, Clements, under Hickenlooper, was working to reform the solitary confinement system in Colorado prisons when he was killed. To mislead voters about these events to the degree that Beauprez has, for the kind of crude political scare tactics that Beauprez has employed, is objectively deplorable. It's deplorable in a way that should disgust members of both parties–anyone who considers themselves a responsible stakeholder in Colorado politics.

It is wrong, it demeans us all, and it must not be rewarded. We really don't know what else to say.

Dear Jeffco Students, Sorry if It Feels Insulting, but You’re “Pawns”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

After the last big meeting of the Jeffco School Board, I was driving my teenager home from school, and we heard conservative radio host Kris Cook's analysis of the meeting:

Cook: "They had students saying, 'Don't censor my history,' and taking umbrage at the fact that we, correctly, labeled them as pawns, because they have been made into pawns. I'm sorry students. I know that feels insulting. But your critical thinking skills are not where you think they are. And that is not your fault. Honestly, you've been offered a one-sided view for so long that you don't know how to assess both sides of a situation and come down on what the truth may be." [BigMedia emphasis]

I looked over at my teenager, who definitely has enough critical-thinking skills to understand a school-board proposal, and thought, why the crass condescension?

And Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has said essentially the same thing, that teachers are manipulating the Jeffco students.

My kid doesn't go to the Jeffco schools, but if you've ever spent time with teenagers from Denver, Jeffco, or anywhere, or if you've ever been a teenager yourself, you know that when they decide to focus on something other than Facebook or Snap Chat, they're amazing.

So I emailed Cook, who hosts KLZ's Grassroots Radio Colorado, and I asked why she had such a low view of the intellect of Jeffco teens.

Cook wrote that "no censorship had been proposed by Julie Williams or anyone else on the school board," and, yet, the "students, by their own admission, were protesting censorship of the AP US History curriculum."

(more…)

Friday Open Thread

"There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."

–Frank Zappa

Seriously, Walker, You Should Probably Stop Doing That

Republican Walker Stapleton

This email sent out by Stapleton’s campaign on Thursday wants to make sure you know that he is being accused of not showing up to work.

Republican State Treasurer Walker Stapleton is clearly worried about recent polling results showing that he is perilously close to losing his re-election bid to Democrat Betsy Markey. Questions about Stapleton's apparent disinterest in actually showing up to his office seem to have hit a sweet spot with voters, and Markey wasted little time getting right to the heart of the issue in her first TV ad:

At best…it’s inexcusable. At worst…it’s a scandal.

State Treasurer Walker Stapleton. Official key-card records from his Denver office confirm… Stapleton only bothers showing up at his office around ten days a month.

Often, skipping the office for weeks at a time. Or only showing up after three P.M.

For those who have yet to see the ad, worry not. For some completely inexplicable reason, Stapleton and his Republican pals are doing everything they can to make sure you are aware of the accusations against him. On Thursday, Stapleton's campaign sent out an email linking to a 9News "Truth Test" about Markey's ad; while 9News says there is "no proof" to the claims made in the ad, the "Truth Test" doesn't exactly set Stapleton free:

It's important to note that we can't prove the Markey campaign's claim wrong, either.

We asked Stapleton to respond and he called the attacks "total B.S." in a phone interview with 9NEWS.

"I don't bring my key card into work every day," said Stapleton. "And when I don't, the public entrance is closer to my car than the other entrances and sometimes people open the doors for me. The main point is every single day that I'm in Denver on my schedule I'm in the office. [Pols emhpasis]. And to suggest otherwise is a complete bold-faced lie."

The campaign for Democratic challenger Betsy Markey sent us plenty of other items to back up their theme, including a scheduling calendar and attendance records at board meetings.

None of these items prove the claims in their ad.

Likewise, Stapleton's campaign couldn't provide records to disprove them either. [Pols emphasis]

Come again? "The main point is every single day that I'm in Denver on my schedule I'm in the office." What the hell does that mean? He's always in his office, if he's in Denver…and if it's on his schedule? WTF?

Look, we get that Stapleton believes his campaign is in trouble, in large part because of Markey's ad, and that he wants to do whatever he can to dispute the allegations. However, if Stapleton can't prove them wrong, he should probably shut up about this. Markey doesn't have millions of dollars to saturate the air waves in a down ballot race like State Treasurer, so it seems pretty obvious that the best course of action is to just ride this out while coming up with your own separate messaging.

Stapleton has long been mentioned as a potential Republican candidate for Governor in 2018, so perhaps he's trying to diminish this attack for reasons beyond 2014 (although, at this point, we'd wager that Stapleton has pretty well disqualified himself as a serious challenger for Governor anyway). Whatever the reasoning, the logic is flawed; the best way to deal with damning allegations is usually not to keep bringing them up on your own.

Have you ever known someone who gets a bad haircut and is so worried about appearances that they can't stop talking about it? That's pretty much Walker Stapleton in a nutshell.

What Cory Gardner and Manti Te’o Have In Common

catfish2

mantigardner

The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels reports with the San Diego Chargers playing tonight at Mile High Stadium–ouch!

Catfishing is phenomenon of a person pretending to be someone they are not by fabricating an identity to lure someone into a relationship. One of the San Diego Chargers is Manti Te’o, the Notre Dame linebacker duped into an engagement with a woman who never existed and who reportedly died during the season.

Amy Runyon-Harms, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, said Gardner is catfishing Colorado in his attempt to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. The group posted the web site CoryGardnerIsCatfishingColorado.com, which includes a fake profile of Gardner. Among the things he couldn’t live without: Crest White Strips, the Koch brothers, his signed copy of “Atlas Shrugged” and Obamacare. Snap!

From ProgressNow Colorado's press release:

"Colorado currently has our own catfishing scandal. US Senate candidate Cory Gardner has created a fake persona of his own with the goal of duping Colorado voters into a romance at the ballot box. His cons include supporting a federal Personhood bill that he claims doesn't exist, false claims that over-the-counter birth control would save women money, lies about his role in last year's government shutdown and his giant fib about supporting Colorado's green-energy economy that turned out to be completely false," said Amy Runyon-Harms, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado.

It's a story that still hasn't been fully explained: did Manti Te'o believe the fake dying Facebook girlfriend was real? Was it all a sympathy ploy to win the Heisman Trophy? The world has its suspicions, but Te'o will most likely take the truth to his grave–after a successful NFL career.

Cory Gardner may not be so lucky with his federal Personhood bill.

Quinnipiac: Hickenlooper Closes Ten-Point Gap

Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The last couple of polls from Quinnipiac University of Colorado races have pegged both the U.S. Senate race and the Colorado gubernatorial race with Republican leads considerably in excess of most other polling. In polling speak, Quinnipiac's numbers this year are what you'd call an "outlier"–a poll skewed well away from the results of other contemporary polling.

There are signs today that this is changing, at least in the gubernatorial race. Five weeks ago, Quinnipiac released a poll showing Republican Bob Beauprez leading Gov. John Hickenlooper by ten points, numbers that not even partisan Republicans could feel confident about. A week ago, Quinnipiac had Beauprez up by four points. Today, Q-pac's press release announces a that Hickenlooper has fully closed the gap:

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, behind 50 – 40 percent September 17, now has 45 percent to former U. S. Rep. Bob Beauprez' 44 percent among likely voters, leaving the governor’s race too close to call, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today. Libertarian candidate Matthew Hess has 1 percent, with 2 percent for Green Party candidate Harry Hempy. Another 7 percent are undecided.

Women are the key to Hickenlooper’s strength, backing the incumbent 49 – 39 percent. Men back Beauprez 49 – 41 percent. Hickenlooper gets 45 percent of independent voters to Beauprez’ 40 percent. Democrats today go to the governor 94 – 4 percent, while Republicans back their challenger 86 – 6 percent.

“Off the mat and clearly building momentum, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper fights off a ten count and enters the final round of the gubernatorial slugfest looking stronger by the day,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Any way you look at this poll it's good news for Hickenlooper. That said, we're still not really convinced at this point that Quinnipiac is polling accurately, and wonder if this sudden shift to Hickenlooper is more "CYA" on the part of Quinnipiac. Quinnipiac's results have been outlier on the other side of this race, too: back in April they had Hickenlooper leading by 9 points, the last such numbers he has seen. Without impugning their metholodology from the peanut gallery, we will say that it's very common for polls to get closer as the election approaches–and sometimes, that happens as much to protect the pollster's reputation as it represents legitimate science. Back in their more partisan days, Rasmussen was infamous–or at least perceived to be–for polling that was heavily GOP biased right up until the last few weeks before election.

Is Quinnipiac really seeing these wild swings, or has the gubernatorial race been close–but still favoring Hickenlooper–since at least early September as almost all other polling has shown? Team Hickenlooper is fine either way, but our gut says the latter.

Is this the Best TV Ad in Colorado in 2014?

Trying to find news about the Colorado Secretary of State race has been harder than trying to locate State Treasurer Walker Stapleton. Even though the SOS race is one of the few open-seat battles in Colorado, it hasn't garnered much attention with the gajillions of dollars being spent on races for U.S. Senate, Governor, and in CO-6.

Democrat Joe Neguse has run a record-setting campaign for SOS against the barely-awake Republican Wayne Williams. But like so many downballot races in the past, it's difficult to control your own destiny when voters are blasted with ads from top-ticket candidates.

Win or lose, however, Neguse may very well be responsible for the single most compelling TV ad in the 2014 cycle. If you haven't seen it, here it is below.

If you can think of a better Colorado ad that you've seen, let us know in the comments section.

Anybody Seen Doug Lamborn?

Doug Lamborn in hiding

Hey, is Doug Lamborn back there?

Megan Schrader of the Colorado Springs Gazette takes an interesting look at the (non) strategy of Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn:

Voters in the El Paso County-centered 5th Congressional District likely won't see a slew of yard signs for U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn.

He hasn't purchased TV ad time leading up to Election Day on Nov. 4.

And he's refused to debate Democratic challenger Irv Halter.

In fact, Lamborn has been conspicuously absent this election season despite the robust campaign Halter, a retired Air Force general, has launched against the eight-year incumbent.

But staying on the sidelines might be the best possible strategy for Lamborn.

As irritating as it may seem to voters and others who are just sick of Rep. Lamborn's dumbassery — and really, let's not pretend that the man isn't a complete embarrassment — from a strategic standpoint it's hard to disagree with this approach to re-election. Nobody is harmed more by a Lamborn interview than Lamborn himself. After all, the last time we heard from him, Lamborn was suggesting that military leaders resign as a show of disappointment with President Obama's foreign policy; even fellow Republicans such as Rep. Mike Coffman and Rep. Cory Gardner couldn't disagree fast enough.

Nevertheless, it's a damn shame that we have a Congressman in Colorado who is so bad that his re-election chances actually decline when he speaks about, well, anything. There's still an outside chance that Democrat Irv Halter can pull the upset in November, but even if he doesn't, it sounds like Lamborn is still walking around with a big target on his back (if you see him, that is). Here's Republican Rep. Mark Waller, who ran briefly for the GOP nomination for Attorney General this year, sounding very much like someone who is licking his chops for June 2016:

"Based on things I've heard in the community, it would not surprise me if Congressman Lamborn received another challenge from another Republican in two years," Waller said.

Hell, we'd be surprised if Lamborn ever makes it through an election cycle without a serious challenger. Lamborn is in Congress today because of 16,000 or so people who helped him win a Republican Primary in 2006, and only inertia has allowed him to remain in office thus far.