The Colorado Republicans’ ‘People-Like-Me’ Problem

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

“Both Ways” Bob Beauprez (right).

In exit polling after the 2012 election, voters said they backed President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney because they thought Obama cared more about "people like me."

Republicans in Colorado apparently didn't learn anything, because they've made the same mistake again this year, failing to show that they care for regular people.

The proof goes beyond nominating a gubernatorial candidate, Bob Beauprez, who once said that 47 percent of Americans are "perfectly happy" to be dependent on government.

In August, Beauprez said Colorado is too far "inland" to house destitute child migrants, fleeing from gangs and other horrors in Central American countries, as they wait for their deportation hearings here in America. In effect, Beauprez said, let other states worry about these poor children.

How can someone with so little compassion for these kids, on our midst, possibly care about regular people? It's mean, period. Voters say they want their leaders to care. Beauprez made the comments on a conservative talk-radio show, where they were received with loud praise. No one was there, of course, to represent the children.

Respect for young immigrants doesn't rank high on senatorial candidate Cory Gardner's compassion meter either. He now says he favors offering work visas for undocumented immigrants, but he opposes offering in-state tuition for undocumented students who know only Colorado as their home, having been brought here illegally as children.

This type of heartlessness spells doom for the GOP at the ballot box, as Republicans have warned themselves about.

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

Days after the last election, writing in The Denver Post, big-wig Republicans Josh Penry and Rob Witwer offered this advice to fellow Republicans in Colorado:

"We've forgotten that politics is a game of addition, not subtraction. And here's some more math: 50,000 Latino kids turn 18 every month in this country," Penry and Witwer wrote. "These kids grow up in households where parents work hard and attend church on Sunday. These are American values. But yes, some of these kids — through no fault of their own — were not born American citizens."

Yet, Gardner says the border must be secured to an unspecified degree before tiny steps, like in-state tuition for undocumented students, are implemented for immigrants.

What's more, Gardner continues to co-sponsor a federal abortion-ban bill that would prevent rape victims from having the choice of abortion.  Gardner says the bill simply states that life begins at conception and would have no impact, but fact checkers conclude otherwise.

No matter how strongly you oppose abortion, even for respectable and honorable religious reasons, a hard-line stance like this is disconnected dominant cultural norms and, in a political context, from common-sense compassion.

It understandably creates the perception for most people that a politician like Gardner doesn't support "people like me," especially if you're a woman.

With Beauprez and Gardner at the top of the Republican ticket, you're witnessing a repeat of the 2012 election, where voters came around to thinking that Obama cared more about them than Romney did.

That's obviously a huge problem for Republicans, and given their actual factual positions on these issues, I don't have much compassion for them. Who would?

Weekend Open Thread

"Do not trust the cheering, for those persons would shout as much if you or I were going to be hanged."

–Oliver Cromwell

Best Local Journalism of the Election Cycle

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Here's my list of top election-season journalism by local reporters:

Fox 31 Denver's Eli Stokols didn't take Cory Gardner's falsehood for an answer on personhood. And, and in the same five-star interview, he tried harder than any other journalist to get a straight answer from Gardner on the details of his health insurance plan.

Only the Colorado Independent's Susan Greene offered a comprehensive look (with Mike Keefe cartoon) at the extreme right-wing comments of gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez. See Bob Beauprez's Last Eight Years: Conservatism at its Extremes.

The Associated Press' Nick Riccardi explains why senatorial candidate Cory Gardner says he favors immigration reform. And he points out that that Gardner's actual support for reform proposals is limited and illusive.

Corey Hutchins, who writes for a variety of outlets, broke the shocking story on Medium about Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) urging a military revolt against Obama. (Reminder: Our country is at war.)

9News' Brandon Rittiman was the first local journalist to press senatorial candidate Cory Gardner on the hypocrisy of his withdrawing support for state personhood measures but remaining a co-sponsor of a federal personhood bill. Other journalists, besides Stokols and Rittiman, deserve credit for challenging Gardner on this: 9News' Kyle ClarkThe Grand Junction Sentinel's Charles Ashby, The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels, and The Durango Herald's Peter Marcus.

Stokols wrote the definitive piece on Rocky Mountain Gun Owners toxic impact on Colorado Republican Party's election prospects. See The New Front in Dudley Brown's War: Jefferson County.

Colorado Community Media's Vic Vela provided the first comprehensive look at the Republican turmoil in all-powerful Jefferson County. See Jeffco Limps Forward in Races.

The Denver Post's John Frank wrote an insightful piece on the potential impact on the election of the school-board protests in Jefferson County.

They err themselves, but local TV news fact checkers Shaun Boyd (CBS4), Brandon Rittiman (9News), and sometimes Eli Stokols make a huge contribution to rational electoral debate with their Reality Check, Truth Test, and Fact or Fiction pieces.

Freelance journalist Sandra Fish filled a media gap with detailed reports on election-ad spending, mostly written for Colorado Public Radio (e.g., here and here).

The Associated Press' Kristen Wyatt was quick to expose Gardner's hollow claim of being a leader of Colorado's new energy economy. See Senate candidate in Colo. touts a failed measure.

The Denver Post's Mark Matthews wrote intelligently about how the outcome of the Coffman-Romanoff race, in district whose demographics reflect America's, could portend how well the GOP does in 2016. See GOP incumbent in Colorado 6th CD in a Race with Implications for 2016.

The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels told the story of how the grand fracking compromise was reached, with its implications for the upcoming election. See Let's Make a Deal: How Colorado Came to a Fracking Compromise.

Finally, and I'm a progressive media critic being completely objective here, the Colorado Independent's Mike Littwin has been brilliant over the past few months, writing with humor and insight that you can't help but appreciate, even if you love the people he lampoons or shreds.

All in all, at a time when everyone complains about the demise of local journalism, we saw some great stuff. Of course, there were epic lapses, but I'll get into those later, or perhaps at our (bipartisan) Nov. 11 panel discussion on media coverage of the 2014 election.

Put the Stamps Away and Drop Off Your Ballot

Remember, folks, that ballots must arrive at the county clerk's office prior to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday; the postmarked date is irrelevant in this case.

To find your ballot drop-off location, go to JustVoteColorado.org.

For Denver voters, ProgressNow has developed a cool text message system that allows voters to find the nearest 24-hour ballot drop location. To use this free service, Denver voters can text DROPOFF to 30644.

dropoff

 

Coffman Not a Good Debater in Spanish, Either

Denver Post reporter Jon Murray, top, and Associated Press reporter Nick Riccardi Tweeting during yesterday's debate.

Denver Post reporter Jon Murray, top, and Associated Press reporter Nick Riccardi Tweeting during yesterday’s Spanish-language debate in CD-6.

Yesterday Republican Rep. Mike Coffman and Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff participated in the first Spanish-language debate in Colorado history.

While Coffman seemed to have trouble with the language — his campaign has backpedaled significantly from touting Coffman's Spanish-language prowess — he nevertheless managed to flip-flop on a key issue. In 2011, Coffman proposed amending the Voting Rights Act to eliminate the requirement that ballots be printed in different languages. It was a surprise, then, when Coffman stated his belief that bilingual ballots are important. As Jason Salzman noted, this appears to be the first time Coffman has ever offered a different position on bilingual ballots.

For a good rundown of the entire event, we turn to the Aurora Sentinel:

Republican incumbent Mike Coffman, a recent student of Spanish, did his best to keep up with the language skills of his Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff. Due to his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica, Romanoff is fluent in Spanish and used his familiarity with the language to go on the offensive at Coffman’s expense, attacking his record of historically voting against policies intended to reform immigration laws. Coffman didn’t offer much defense to Romanoff’s barbs and appeared to stick to a prepared set of talking points, frequently glancing at the podium in front of him. He touted his backing of a military version of the DREAM act, called the ENLIST act, which would allow for children brought to the U.S. illegally to become members of the military and obtain citizenship…

“Does Congressman Coffman really think memorizing a new script is enough to mask the harm he’s done to the Hispanic community throughout his career?” Romanoff said in a statement after the debate. “Mr. Coffman’s record doesn’t sound any better in Spanish.”

At the end of the debate, Romanoff said his comments and philosophies were heartfelt and Coffman was providing nothing more than a “script.” The comment drew audible response from the audience. [Pols emphasis]

If you weren't already aware, both candidates received the questions in advance of the debate at the request of Coffman's campaign — which was obvious throughout the debate as Coffman largely repeated memorized responses. Coffman supporters like to say how nice it is that Coffman is trying to learn Spanish, and while that sentiment carries some truth to it, Coffman is clearly getting more credit than he deserves for his Spanish-language skills. Agreeing to debate in Spanish was a noble effort by Coffman, we suppose, but he's obviously not fluent enough to participate in a forum of this nature.

We've said it before after watching numerous other debates between Coffman and Romanoff, but it bears repeating here as well: If debates decided the outcome of elections, Romanoff would be on his way to a blowout victory on Tuesday. Perhaps there is a third language in which Coffman could win a debate with Romanoff, but you can mark English and Spanish off the list.

A Few Words About “Mark Uterus”

Rep. Amy Stephens (R).

Rep. Amy Stephens (R).

The issue of reproductive choice has undeniably played a large role in the 2014 U.S. Senate race in Colorado. The heavy focus on abortion this year has a couple of origins: first and foremost, the successful prosecution of the issue in 2010 against stridently anti-abortion Republican candidate Ken Buck. Like Cory Gardner, Buck was a longtime supporter of the Personhood abortion ban, and this was used effectively against Buck to run up the score for Democrat Michael Bennet with women voters. In the end, Bennet's 17-point margin with women was the decisive factor in the 2010 Senate race, overcoming public polling that only once out of a dozen or more showed Bennet with a lead in the month of October.

The second reason abortion has loomed large in 2014 is that Republican Cory Gardner made it an issue by affirmatively disavowing the Colorado Personhood amendments just a few weeks after entering the Senate race. Gardner himself focused the race on his decision to disavow Personhood, and all the consequences that spun out of that decision: the contradiction with Gardner's continued support for equivalent federal legislation that would ban abortion and common forms of birth control, and dismay from anti-abortion activists on the right who openly disagree with Gardner's decision and stated reasons for it.

Focusing on Gardner's no-exceptions opposition to abortion has had the desired effect for Democrats of alienating Gardner from women voters, and Gardner's attempts to put the issue to bed early in the campaign failed dramatically as his federal Life at Conception Act became the story. In response, Gardner and Republican surrogates have decried Democrat Mark Udall as a "social issue warrior," and the standard response to this issue became feigned exasperation over the Udall campaign's "obsession" with the issue of abortion. At the Denver Post's U.S. Senate debate early this month, reporter Lynn Bartels invoked the now-famous nickname "Mark Uterus" in a question about his campaign's focus on the issue.

Of course, Bartels didn't come up with that nickname. According to a story published just before that debate, the credit for "Mark Uterus" goes to outgoing state Rep. Amy Stephens. Stephens exited the Senate race early this year to make way for Gardner. But what you might not know, because Bartels never mentioned it, is that Stephens is a former public policy specialist for the nationally known evangelical Christian organization Focus on the Family. Stephens also wrote Focus on the Family's abstinence-only sex ed curriculum, No Apologies.

Take a moment and let that sink in, folks. One of the foremost "social issue warriors" in Colorado is responsible for the meme now being used to paint Mark Udall…as a "social issue warrior." If "Mark Uterus" didn't currently have thousands of Google hits, and mentions from the Denver Post to the Washington Post, we'd be inclined to let this go. But like it or not, "Mark Uterus" has seen a great deal of play. And it has its origins with someone who, if the full facts were understood, most voters would laugh at for going there.

All we can say is, the extreme hypocrisy on display here says a lot about this race.

Coffman’s new desire to offer “bilingual ballots” contradicts his proposal to eliminate federal requirement to provide them

(Old Coffman strikes again – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Mike Coffman.

Mike Coffman.

Yesterday, during what was apparently Colorado's first candidate debate in Spanish, Rep. Mike Coffman said:

Coffman: "The federal government has obligated local governments to send bilingual ballots to everyone. I think that bilingual ballots should only go to people who need them. It's a question of saving money. I would hope that every voter will be able to get the information that he needs in a language he can understand."

But back in 2011, when Coffman proposed repealing the section of the Voting Rights Act requiring ballots to be printed in multiple languages, Coffman said nothing about making sure those who needed translated ballots get them.

Coffman: "Since proficiency in English is already a requirement for U.S. citizenship, forcing cash-strapped local governments to provide ballots in a language other than English makes no sense at all," Coffman told the Denver Post at the time.

I went back to the archive, and I couldn't find a single instance in 2011 where Coffman said everyone who needs a bilingual ballot should have one. The best I could find was an acknowledgement that some voters have "legitimate needs," but he suggested second-class solutions, like making a sample ballots available to voters somehow, without any guarantees that they even get this.

His 2011 proposal, by turning ballot-translation decisions over to local authorities and releasing local jurisdictions from the federal requirement, contradicts Coffman's statement yesterday that he wants to provide a "bilingual ballot" to "people who need them." That's not consistent with his actual 2011 proposal.

What if local officials decide that Coffman's dictionary idea is better and cheaper?

So after his debate yesterday, I asked Coffman if he'd offered a new position on English-only ballots.

He said, "No."

Coffman: "I think I was always opposed to them because the way the Justice Department took it. And they have backed away. But it wasn't just to the voters that needed them. It was going to be to every voter, an unfunded mandate by the federal government. I just thought that that was ridiculous. And there are all kinds of ways that are cheaper than that to disseminate the information. Obviously the county clerks got to make the decision, but right now it's, if they can reach a certain threshold of population. But what about the people that English isn't their language and they are below the threshold. And so we just need a different system that's smarter and certainly can be more cost-effective."

The Voting Rights Act requires ballots in multiple languages only in areas with large populations that are nonproficient in English

So if Coffman truly believes that Spanish-language ballots should be provided to those voters who need them, he'd support the requirement to do so in Voting Rights Act, despite the cost. Sure, it could be tweaked, but he'd support the mandate.

Instead, Coffman is saying the expense is more worrisome to him than the possibility of excluding voters who aren't proficient in English.

Unfortunately, journalists covering the debate between Coffman and his Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff, did not report this key point.

Rep. Kagan Helps Rescue ISIS-Bound Denver Girls

A sidenote to the riveting story this week about Denver teenage girls who were stopped in Germany on their way to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)–Democratic Rep. Daniel Kagan, who represents Cherry Hills Village in the Colorado House, played a role in the recovery of these teenagers before they made it to the Middle East. It's not a political story but it is an interesting segue into a subject we wouldn't normally discuss in this space. The Denver Post's Jesse Paul reported earlier this week, or you can watch the Post's video above:

"I'm very sure if my daughter crossed into Syria, I was never going to see her in my life," he said. "She would be gone."

It wasn't until he saw tweets and Facebook posts that he connected the dots and discovered she was heading to Syria, he said…

During the search for his teen daughter, the father sought help from state Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Cherry Hills Village. Kagan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, pushed the matter up the chain of command.

"He was worried sick," Kagan said Monday. Kagan said as he listened to the man's story, he became extremely concerned.

"This is a girl in a good family with good strong family roots," Kagan said.

If you haven't had the pleasure of getting to know Rep. Kagan, the son of Holocaust survivors who grew up in England before emigrating to the United States almost forty years ago, you ought to. He's one of the most interesting members of the legislature in either party, with stories you don't normally hear in the Colorado capitol building. He's not the type to make political hay out of helping recover these teenage girls, even with elections right around the corner. That too speaks to good character, and we think this deserves a favorable mention.

Friday Open Thread

Okay, me thinks this stinks trickery
Some weak links in the chain of the mystery
Time for that mist to leave
By way of the breeze, flows formed by my speak

–Del the Funky Homosapien

The shirtless sheriff is back in the news

The first post of the day is mine! From the early edition of the Local Paper of Record

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26830913/probe-maketa-took-favors-mishandled-internal-investigation?source=rss

Trouble finds some candidates. Others bait a trap for it.

“Liberal” NPR goes with Gardner’s lies about Personhood and Women’s health

I truly believe NPR's Mara LIasson has Stockholm Syndrome from being a Fox News Analyst for many years. That's exactly what Roger Ailes wanted by hiring her and Juan Williams way back when, and when she clearly spouts Republican rhetoric over the People's airwaves on all those "liberal" NPR stations it becomes quite clear:

 

 

Morning Edition: Liasson Spins Gardner's Record To Paint Him As A Prime Example Of GOP Outreach To Women. On October 30, NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson appeared on Morning Editionto discuss the importance of the women's vote in the 2014 midterms. Liasson claimed that Republicans like Senate candidate Cory Gardner disprove Democrats' narrative that GOP policies hurt women, misrepresenting his policy positions in order to claim the Republican is "affirmatively going after the women's vote this year by changing their positions." [NPR, Morning Edition10/30/14]

There's more. And it's sad, though not unexpected, that the Liberal NPR has such a right-wing bias in their political coverage.

Did Democrats or Republicans Guess Wrong on Spanish-Language TV?

SEIU Colorado TV ad

Somebody guessed wrong on Spanish-language television buys in Colorado. Was it Democrats…or Republicans?

 

We haven't seen the hard numbers on this yet, but as it has been explained to us, 2014 has seen considerably more money spent on Spanish-language media buys than any other mid-term election (anecdotally, of course, it makes perfect sense). In fact, spending on Spanish-language media is at a level comparable to the 2012 Presidential election. That spending has not been equal among Democrats and Republicans, however, and on Tuesday evening we will have a pretty good idea of which Party made the wrong decision. Democrats have spent much more money on Spanish-language television than Republicans; media buys for Democratic Sen. Mark Udall alone have dominated the airwaves on Univision in Colorado.

Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner launched his first Spanish-language TV ad in Colorado today, the same day in which the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was promoting another new Spanish-language ad in a media campaign that has been underway for months (check out the SEIU press release from Oct. 7 after the jump). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has run a Spanish-language TV ad with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush endorsing Gardner, but the Gardner campaign itself had not ventured into the medium until today. Coincidentally, NBC News reports on the attraction for politicos of Spanish-language media around the country:

That means in places like Colorado, there are many more Spanish-language ads than in previous elections, the sort of “wall-to-wall coverage” that non-Latino white voters have long been accustomed to seeing in elections, Chambers said. On top of that, Hispanic advocacy and other groups are doing field work, knocking on doors to register and turn out Latino voters and making sure those who can get their ballots mailed in…

…An ad titled “Tu Poder” running in Colorado – paid for by People for the American Way and NexGen Climate and done by Chambers – hits several themes at once to reach Latinos. It shows a mailbox to explain the new Colorado voting law in which every registered voter gets a mail-in ballot that has to be mailed back by Oct. 31 and it also touches on issues of the environment and health.

The ad for Colorado’s Democratic Sen. Mark Udall opens with several official ballot packets landing on a table and a narrator saying “Este es tu poder. (This is your power.)" That line is repeated later and followed by “úselo (use it.)”

The ad is part of a multiyear effort People for the American Way (PFAW) designed to reach Latino voters. Randy Borntrager, political director of the liberal group, said in 2014 Latinos “could be kingmaker” in several of the close 10 Senate races.

What's so fascinating about this disparity with Spanish-language media buys is that it offers a unique opportunity to examine different strategies in play. Just like any other big-money industry, politics is a copycat business. Everybody does TV and mail. Everybody does online advertising. Everybody has some sort of field campaign. But in this particular case, only one Party can be correct about their decision on how to allocate money for Spanish-language media (and TV specifically).

The relative importance of Spanish-language media to each Party is pretty clear in 2014, but by 2016 lessons will have been learned and cats copied.

If the Latino vote in Colorado does prove to be the final arbiter in many of these races, we can guess which side will be doing the copying in two years.

SEIU Launches New Ad Featuring Colorado Latinos Rejecting Cory Gardner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Published 1:07 PM Eastern – Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Beau Boughamer, beau.boughamer@seiu.org; Beatriz Lopez, beatriz.lopez@seiu.org, 202-412-7396

Ad Underscores Gardner's Harmful Record on Wages as SEIU Continues Efforts to Mobilize Colorado Latino Voters

WATCH AD HERE: http://seiu.me/trabajamos

WASHINGTON, DC – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) continued to unfold its million-dollar Spanish-language paid media campaign against U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner (Colo.-4) Tuesday with a new television ad featuring local Latino constituents weighing in against the Republican candidate running for U.S. Senate.

The fourth Spanish-language ad in the series, "Trabajamos" ("We Work" in English), features Colorado Latinos speaking out against Gardner's opposition to Colorado's efforts to raise the minimum wage.

"Republican Cory Gardner fought against raising the minimum wage here in Colorado," the ad says.

Tomas Perez, a Colorado voter, responds in the ad, "And I don't think that's fair and just, because I'm here to work with dignity."

The new ad follows three recent SEIU ads, which focused on Gardner's failed record on immigration (Ad1: http://bit.ly/Zaf8Oy) (Ad2: http://bit.ly/1tsTc9y) (Ad3: http://bit.ly/ZPpl4k), and follows an ad by the National Education Association (NEA) that highlighted Gardner's harmful education record (http://bit.ly/1yId5BU).

"Colorado Latinos can't ignore what the future would hold with Mr. Gardner whose voting record shows callous disregard for working Latino families," said SEIU Executive Vice President Rocio Sáenz. "The constituents you hear and see in this ad are just a small sample of a larger dissatisfaction that is quite clear among Latino voters in Colorado."

"The distinction between Sen. Mark Udall and Congressman Gardner is clear. While the senator understands that Latino and immigrant families are fighting for better wages, education, and immigration reform, Gardner has actively ignored or blocked these key issues," Sáenz said, adding. "It's unforgivable and unforgettable."

WATCH AD HERE: http://seiu.me/trabajamos

Script:

(ENGLISH)

Juanita: I am a person who works… and I need to have two jobs…

Voiceover: But Republican Cory Gardner fought against raising the minimum wage here in Colorado.

Tomas: And I don't think that's fair and just, because I'm here to work with dignity.

Luisa: It's indignant because he doesn't think about the community, about the people. He only thinks like a Republican.

Voiceover: In November, we're voting against Cory Gardner.

SEIU COPE is responsible for the content of this message.

(SPANISH)

Juanita: Yo soy una persona que trabajo…Y tengo que tener dos trabajos.

Voiceover: Pero el Republicano Cory Gardner luchó en contra del aumento al salario minimo aquí en Colorado

Tomas: Y yo creo que no es justo por que you vengo a trabajar dignamente.

Luisa: Es indignante porque el no piensa en la comunidad, en la gente. El solamente piensa como republicano.

Voiceover: ¡En Noviembre votaremos contra Cory Gardner!

SEIU COPE es responsable por el contenido de este mensaje.

Citizens United: The Ultimate Colorado Politics Faux Pas

We wrote earlier this week about the new "shockumentary" from national conservative filmmakers Citizens United on the "takeover" of Colorado by Democrats beginning in 2004, Rocky Mountain Heist. As we discussed, the film is mostly a hyped-up version of Adam Schrager's excellent book on the same subject, Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado, with as much bombast as host Michelle Malkin could muster (which is apparently quite a lot). Mostly the film doesn't allege anything more than, well, really effective Democrats–and where it does, it's so inaccurate that it's more or less laughable.

Although Rocky Mountain Heist is now available online to watch for free online, we ordered a DVD copy almost two weeks ago. It finally arrived yesterday, and we were immediately struck by the cover photo:

rockymountainheist

The mountains in the background of the DVD cover for Citizens United's Rocky Mountain Heist are indeed in the Rocky Mountains. The problem is, this is a photo of the Canadian Rockies. The image you see is a very common stock photo of Moraine Lake, located in Banff National Park in Alberta. Here's another photo of this picturesque but foreign location:

winter_moraine_lake_alberta_canada-wallpaper-1152x720

In Colorado politics, one of the worst embarrassments possible is the use of mountains not located in our state in campaign ads and literature. Back in August, National Right To Life pulled down a social media graphic touting their endorsement of Cory Gardner after it was found to feature Wyoming's Mount Moran. Earlier this year, the Colorado GOP's independent expenditure committee used photos of Utah to extol "restoring Republican values to Colorado." Back in 2009, Scott McInnis used a photo from the same Banff National Park in Canada on his website, and in 2008 Bob Schaffer's family jumped out of a photo of Alaska's Denali instead of the intended Pikes Peak in a campaign TV spot. Most of these incidents were followed by lampooning local media coverage.

To some this may seem like small potatoes, but the truth is that proud Coloradans do not appreciate these kinds of mistakes–coming across as pandering by out-of-state interests to whom "all mountains look alike." Colorado has worked hard to overcome our flyover state reputation, and this is the exactly the sort of indifference that rips the scab off that longstanding resentment. It's also an inexcusably-lazy mistake to have made, particularly when so many others have already tripped over this.

Colorado Democrats in particular should find it pretty ironic.