COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 19, 2014 — Apparently they just can’t help themselves. With no serious primaries of their own, Democrats have inserted themselves into the Republican primary race to face Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper in November.
Earlier this month, as reported originally by Fox 31 in Denver, a group calling itself “Protect Colorado Values” started TV ads focused on candidates Tom Tancredo and Bob Beauprez. The group is a 527 PAC partnership between the independent expenditure committee of the Democratic Governors Association and other Colorado-based progressive donor organizations.
They’ve reportedly dumped $500,000 into the race, more than any individual candidate.
There is an attack ad against “Both Ways Bob” Beauprez, who they claim supports Obamacare — or at least the individual mandate — and who was a big government spender as a congressman. The ad is pretty much true.
During a 9 News debate, Beauprez spoke in favor of Colorado’s Obamacare-compliant healthcare exchange. His campaign is largely self-funded.
When it comes to Tancredo, the ads give him a backhanded compliment designed to boost his support among conservatives. He is depicted as a consistent opponent of Obamacare. In truth, however, Tancredo has really only focused on two issues: marijuana legalization and illegal immigration. He favors the former and opposes the latter.
Democrats want to boost support for Tancredo — or “Tancrazy,” as he is sometimes called — because they feel he would be easier to beat in the general election.
Tancredo and Beauprez have a couple of things in common. Both have previously run unsuccessfully for governor and both bypassed the Republican caucus process to petition onto the ballot. Each of the two can claim to be conservative on at least some issues, but neither would have fared well against former state Sen. Mike Kopp, who won the top spot at the state assembly, or Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who came in a close second.
In the four-way race, the pundits and kingmakers in Colorado have all but ruled out the two grassroots-supported candidates.
The Beauprez campaign and the State GOP have both gone on record deploring the interference in the Republican primary process. However, that’s exactly why these 527 issue committees exist. According to the Secretary of State’s tracking, 527 spending in 2014 is $20 million, while Democrat candidates have spent only $3.2 million and Republicans a mere $1.7 million.
According to the conventional political thinking, it’s all about the money. As David Brat said in Virginia, money doesn’t vote — people do. Money can and does influence, though. If Colorado Republican voters are fooled into being manipulated by these Democrat ads, they will pay the price in November—and beyond