EDITORIAL: Latest Beauprez mud makes it clear Colorado becoming a political hate state

The latest ads are a shameful, sleazy attempt by Beauprez to smear his opponent in the worst possible way, and they show a tragic lapse of character and judgment

A few more days will bring the merciful end to one of the most obnoxious election seasons Colorado and Aurora have ever seen. But as the insulting and offensive TV ads continue to pile up, it’s clear it won’t be over until it’s over. And even then, the impact of this election will be felt for years.

Last week, Gov. John Hickenlooper took the brunt of two of the most outlandish televised lies to fill living rooms since election advertisements began in earnest several weeks ago.

The first ad, a product of the Bob Beauprez for governor campaign, told viewers that another Hickenlooper term could result in convicts making the state unsafe, directly accusing Hickenlooper of malfeasance in the tragic murder of Colorado Department of Corrections Chief Tom Clements. It was a shameful, sleazy attempt by Beauprez to smear his opponent in the worst possible way, and it shows a tragic lapse of character and judgment. After the widow of Clements, as well as most of the state, expressed her outrage about the ad, Beauprez revised it, but still uses it to unfairly smear his opponent.

This is a worrisome pattern that helped to cost Beauprez a shot at the governor’s office in 2006. Beauprez was soundly and justly rebuked for a series of faulty ads and data that backfired on his losing campaign against former Gov. Bill Ritter. Here we are again.

RGAscreengrabThis week, the Republican Governors Association launched an ad that blatantly lies about a past Denver Post story focusing on Hickenlooper’s controversial move earlier this year to set aside the impending death penalty of convicted Aurora Chuck E. Cheeses murderer Nathan Dunlap. The ad despicably exploits an interview with one of the victim’s father. He emotionally slams Hickenlooper for his decision while the camera roles. That alone is so base and contemptible as to make viewers of any political persuasion cringe. But the ad goes further, saying that the Denver Post story stated that Hickenlooper planned on releasing Dunlap from prison. It didn’t happen. It couldn’t happen. The story said no such thing, and state officials say the governor can permanently stop Dunlap’s execution, but no governor could set Dunlap free.

Beyond tasteless, the ad is appalling and defamatory. For the sake of future elections and his own political future whether he does or doesn’t win this election, Beauprez needs to turn his campaign around and noisily demand the RGA pull the ad, until they actually do.

Hickenlooper isn’t the only victim of sleazy campaign ads flooding the Internet and airwaves. Both candidates for Aurora’s 6th Congressional District have been the victims of misleading, degrading, reckless ad campaigns that serve only to besmirch each candidate’s character and do nothing to enlighten voters. Even accurate charges are sullied by stressing them with unflattering and tawdry pictures of opponents.

No matter who wins that race, Democrat Andrew Romanoff has earned the public’s election trust by regularly pointing out that Colorado election campaigns and political life are out of control. Romanoff pledged to take no traditional PAC money during this election, and he made good on that. He’s pointed out repeatedly that relentless negative advertisements only turn off voters and make them tune out of making important decisions, and he’s largely followed his own admonitions. But in the blizzard of campaign chaos, it’s nearly impossible to find anything not tarnished over the last few weeks.

This by no means that politicians shouldn’t be fiercely called on their exaggerations, hyperbole, slanders and outright deceptions, but using lies, fear and theatrics to get the job done in a way that makes the infamous “Daisy Ad” look like a PSA has got to stop.

When the dust settles after Nov. 4, Colorado should convene elected leaders and civilian panels to find a way out of the state’s political cesspool. Colorado has become a national leader on numerous issues, this one needs to rise to the top.

  • davebarnes

    camera rolls
    not camera roles

    • My Last pay check was $9500 working 12 h0urs a week 0nline, My neighb0ur’s sister has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 2o hours a week. l can’t beIieve how easy it was 0nce l tried it 0ut

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      Here ­­­­­­­­is ­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­started——- > hulujob.cₒm

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  • Get it right

    All of the campaign ads are over the top with distortions, half truths and out right lies. The tv stations have been checking the ads out for facts. It appears about 95% of political ads are lies and/or half truths. There should be a law that political ads and reporter stories contain at least 95% truth. Your story only covers what the republican political ads do wrong. HOW ABOUT COVERING WHAT THE DEMOCRAT POLITICAL ADS LIE ABOUT. You are supposed to be a journalist – act like one and PRESENT BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE OF FALSE POLITICAL ADS.

    • Old Auroran

      Get it right, Please note the first word in the heading — it is is all caps, i.e. yelling at us, that it is an EDITORIAL. In common journalistic parlance, the term editorial indicates that the material that follows is the newspaper’s OPINION. News stories are designed to give us facts, editorials indicate how the newspaper stands on issues of the day.

      Now, is this lesson is journalism clear enough for your understanding?

      • Got it right

        In other words, the Sentinel doesn’t present any ” news” articles – it is all ” opinion”. If what you say is true then almost everything in the Aurora Sentinel are “editorials” as there is very little in the paper that presents the “news” which should cover both sides to an issue.

      • maggie33

        No, they’ve been brainwashed to believe everything is conspiracy and against them. It’s sad to see how paranoid the people on the right have become.

  • Kevin

    Denver Post 8/25/2014 “Gov. John Hickenlooper suggested in a yet-to-be-aired television interview earlier this year that he could grant full clemency to convicted killer Nathan Dunlap should the governor lose his re-election battle this November.” Now tell me again what the Denver Post said or did not say! This man bases his judgement on winning or losing an election? It sure speaks volumes to me about the integrity of this man or lack thereof!

  • Drew

    Have you people at The Aurora Sentinel never heard of the word “Pardon”!! Happens all the time, especially when a governor or president are leaving office!!

  • John Reed

    With support of this kind, what could we expect from Mr. Beauprez as a leader?

  • 2fishandhunt

    It is also a shame that the Aurora Sentinel is so pro-liberal. On the Western Slope, there have been plenty of “mud slinging” by Hickenlooper. In my opinion, ads that are negative toward the opponent make a bad taste in my mouth. I want the candidate to tell me what he/she can and will do if elected, not the perceived sins of the other.

  • Greg Garduno

    I’m downright disgusted with the latest Beauprez ads. I hope they backfire on him. I do disagree with Gov. Hickenlooper in some areas, particularly his support for fracking, but he is light years ahead of the political dinosaur Beauprez.

  • Dawn

    While the camera “rolls,” but otherwise an excellent column. I can’t imagine being led by such an angry person as beauprez. Every time I hear him speak, he answers every question first with an angry, bitter, vitriolic comment about his opponent first, then may or may not answer the question. He’s angry and alarms me.

  • Frank2525

    DA Ritter gave illegal alien agricultural trespass violation, letting him leave Colorado, after committing a felony here. He went to California, raped and killed a young girl. A police officer knew of this case, and advised Bob Beauprez and his campaign. Ritter then issued campaign accusation of Bob Beauprez having gained info from police database, which would be technically illegal. But Bob and his staff did not access the database. DA deputy did access the database, then lied about it, leaving the office, while Ritter was elected to Governor slot. That did not help rest of Colorado, in my estimation. But he did arrange a cushy job at Alternate Energy Labs, for after Governorship for himself. How many of us realized they produced anything at those labs? I don’t see much since the Carter years, though a lot of money has been thrown at alternate fuels and energy. Solar and Wind still not much to brag about in the total picture. And I cannot brag on the Hickenlooper administration either, since it parallels the Obama administration too closely. Too many without jobs, with expensive student loans, for which no jobs exist, high taxes. Most of the larger improvements in transportation and building occurred in the Owens administration. Think about it. If things were so bad in 2000 to 2008, how come most of us did not realize it, until after 2009 when the crap hit the fan, with this administration.