The first issue, a bipartisan group working on lAsin political polarization and limiting the impact of big money on politics, he issued a letter Monday with 35 prominent former Democratic elected officials, including half a dozen Coloradoans, who criticized recent efforts by Democratic groups to interfere in the Republican primaries.
Signatories to the letter include former Governor Roy Romer, former US Senator Gary Hart, Tim Wirth and Mark Udall, as well as former US Representatives Pat Schroeder and David Skaggs.
“As former members of Congress and the government, we oppose any practice aimed at elevating election deniers,” the letter read. “As members of the Democratic Party, we are appalled by the recent practice of Democratic organizations interfering in Republican primaries to promote candidates who deny the results of the recent presidential election. Examples include Democratic investments to weaken truth-speaking Republican candidates in Michigan, Colorado, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Maryland.” .
Nearly 36 Democrats described these tactics as bolstering Republican candidates who Democrats hope they can more easily beat in the “devastating.”
“It is risky and unethical to promote any candidate whose campaign is based on an erosion of trust in our elections,” they said. “We must stop this practice, and stop today. Our democracy is fragile, and therefore we cannot tolerate political parties trying to support candidates whose message is to erode our dedication to fair elections.”
Two committees spent more than $5.5 million in Colorado ahead of the June 28 primary to influence GOP voters to vote for more conservative candidates, hoping they would be less electable in the November general election.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Political Action Committee funded a $4 million ad campaign aimed at promoting Representative Ron Hanks in the Republican primary for a Senate seat in the US state of Colorado, according to campaign finance records.
Democratic Colorado, the entity formed in early June that flooded Colorado’s airwaves with television ads that described Hanks as “too conservative” for the state, revealed in an FEC report that the Senate, its sole donor, contributed $4,073,074 in 10 transactions in June.
The effort failed to help Hanks, who lost to Joe O’Dea by 9 percentage points. The Democratic Governors Association launched a similar effort in an effort to bolster GOP candidate Greg Lopez against Heidi Ganal, who won the race by more than 7 percentage points.
DGA awarded $1.5 million to Strong Colorado for All, which funneled the money to an independent spending committee, the Colorado Information Network, which in turn bought the ad that said Lopez was “too conservative” for Colorado.
“It’s a sad day for the Democratic Party when the only Democrats to show leadership are those who served in the 1980s,” Colorado Republican Party Executive Director Joe Jackson said in a statement Monday.
Jackson added: “Michael Bennett and Jared Polis have been shamefully silent about this election interference in order to help them. I appreciate Governor Rumer and Senator Hart doing the right thing and showing leadership, I just hope Bennett and Polis will follow suit.”
The number one among its staff includes former Denver election chief Amber McReynolds, who serves as a senior political advisor.
Former Colorado Governor Bill Owens has decried expensive advertising campaigns as a “deceptive” attempt to influence the state’s Republican primaries for governor and the US Senate by encouraging GOP voters to nominate candidates he describes as “second-class.”
“Democrats are focused on the Republican primaries because their only way to win is to nominate weak candidates in my party,” said Owens, who served two terms as governor from 1999 to 2007. . “
“This is a mistake in democracy,” Owens said. “This puts your thumbs on the scale just because they have big money and no running track record. All they have is money.”
A spokeswoman for the group that runs Hanks’ advertisement denied that Democrats were interfering in the Republican primary.
“We are an organization committed to ensuring that a Colorado Republican is not elected to the United States Senate and giving voters the facts about who they nominate to represent them,” veteran Democratic advisor Alvina Vasquez said in an email. Ron Hanks is too conservative for him. Colorado and voters deserve to know the truth about him.”
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