“When did you stop beating your wife” is one of the most well-known “loaded questions” in the English language. In a strange new video, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Lopez is the first politician in memory who actually answers that question.
In this video posted to YouTube on January 7 by “Greg Lopez for Colorado Governor,” Greg and Lisa Lopez discuss a domestic violence incident from 1993 in which they admit to physically assaulting each other. The video is a bizarre play on the #MeToo movement that is partially about having an open discussion of domestic violence and the importance of counseling…but also a pretty obvious attempt at generating some publicity for a campaign for governor.
Lopez is a former Mayor of Parker who made a half-hearted effort to seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2016 (Lopez didn’t have enough support to come close to getting his name on the Primary ballot). Lopez is now making another no-shot bid for statewide office which isn’t likely to advance beyond his apparent ability to influence a GOP county straw poll, and this video is an uncomfortable attempt at making news. The entire video is 9 minutes and 20 seconds of mostly broad generalities about domestic violence and marriage counseling, with a significant helping of political posturing for good measure. Here are some of the, uh, highlights:
(:25 second mark)
LISA LOPEZ: Over 24 years ago, that [domestic violence] happened to us in our marriage, and in a twist of irony, it made us stronger in our marriage…stronger as individuals. We learned a lot from it. We grew. Our marriage has survived for this long because we learned to work together, love each other, and respect one another.
GREG LOPEZ: A lot of people out there might be asking, ‘why are we talking about this?’ We’re talking about this because it’s important, and we want everybody out there to know that we don’t condone any type of violence in any home, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of wealth, regardless of what it is [sic]. This kind of issue does not discriminate.
LISA LOPEZ: When Greg becomes Governor, we want to bring this to the forefront. [Pols emphasis]
GREG LOPEZ: It happened one time, and this is a very traumatic event for anyone to go through. But really, the test of love, the test of character, is how you come out of it. And we are united. We are a team. We have been traveling the state. We’ve been talking to people. We’ve been listening. And we just hope that you listen to us, as we share with you, some of the challenges that we’ve faced in our marriage, and most importantly, how we were able to come out on the other side.
GREG LOPEZ: Alcohol is something that we should all be careful about when we utilize it. Not only is it causing a lot of injuries and deaths on the highways, but we find that alcohol oftentimes can alter the judgment of people. I had been drinking that evening. I’m not proud of it, but after nine weeks of counseling — marriage counseling — and I’m proud to say that we’ve been three times since our marriage. And it saved our marriage. And it made us stronger.
GREG LOPEZ: For those of you who were wondering, ‘what were the charges?’ Well, we were both charged. We were both charged, and we were both held accountable, for our actions that night. But we did it together.
LISA LOPEZ: [On talking with their children about the incident] We instilled upon them, ‘it’s okay to make a mistake. Just don’t continue to repeat it.’
GREG LOPEZ: As Governor of Colorado, I will make sure that people understand that life is difficult. When we try to make decisions for the betterment of our families, and our state, and our children, we must always remember that family comes first…[Pols emphasis]
…On this issue of domestic violence, I can assure you: I will make sure that we do not let this issue go off into the dark without some real discussion. Because it’s important. For everyone. All ages. All generations. To know that this is something that, here in Colorado, we do not condone this, and we want to make sure that families are strong and united, and that we all work together to make Colorado a better state.
LISA LOPEZ: As first lady, I, like Greg, I echo his sentiment. We need to bring this from the darkness to the light. We need to be there for the victims of domestic violence. [Pols emphasis]
GREG LOPEZ: So, Lisa and I ask you, as we continue down this journey to the Governor’s Mansion, we ask for your support. [Pols emphasis]
LISA LOPEZ: We thank you for your support. Not only during the time of the campaign, but when Greg becomes Governor, we are thankful for the support of all the people of Colorado. [Pols emphasis]
Neither Greg nor Lisa Lopez get very specific about their domestic violence incident in the video. Here’s what the Denver Post reported on August 10, 1993:
The mayor of Parker was cited for third-degree assault and taken to a hotel after an argument with his wife allegedly escalated into domestic violence last weekend.
Greg Lopez, 29, is alleged to have pushed his wife, who is six months’ pregnant, to the floor and kicked her after she hit him on the top of his head with a closed fist Friday night, according to a police report of the incident.
Lisa Lopez, 28, was cited for harassment in the altercation.
You might be inclined to look at this video from Lopez as an attempt to get ahead of an issue that could be a strategic problem in his campaign, but that would assume that Lopez is anything more than a gadfly candidate. It’s doubtful that any other Republican campaigns have even bothered doing opposition research on Lopez, who has virtually no chance of winning the Republican nomination for Governor — let alone generating enough support to get his name on the June Primary ballot.
This video appears to be nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt dressed up as a public service announcement. It’s transparently absurd and disgusting — which makes it exactly the kind of politics that have come to define our times.