Republican Rep. Libby Szabo of Arvada isn't generally known as an intellectual powerhouse–or for that matter, anyone you would want to be the spokesperson for much of anything. Part of this has to do with her awful public presence and speaking voice, which has been regularly likened to fingernails on a chalkboard. And let's not forget the teachings of Szabo's husband, a theological instructor at the notoriously hard-right Faith Bible Chapel megachurch (see: "Libby Szabo, Barack Obama, and the Anti-Christ").
Last week, Rep. Szabo crossed the line into something else entirely.
Appearing on FOX News' O'Reilly Factor on Friday, Rep. Szabo helped host Bill O'Reilly build the case for why Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino "doesn't want to protect the children." This has been the allegation made by Colorado conservatives each time a law known as "Jessica's Law" has been proposed, and then killed because our state is already quite tough on the matter of tracking and controlling repeat sex offenders.
Of course, there's legitimate room to debate that. What's not legitimate, however, is the disgusting accusations made by Bill O'Reilly, and eagerly added to by Rep. Szabo, about Mark Ferrandino personally over this bill. O'Reilly begins his pregnant description of Speaker Ferrandino as "the state's first openly gay speaker" and "a fervent gay marriage person." O'Reilly notes ominously that Ferrandino sent "Jessica's Law" to the same "kill committee" that civil unions (mislabeled by O'Reilly as "gay marriage") was sent to. The sickeningly obvious inference here is that Ferrandino retaliated against "Jessica's Law" over the defeat of civil unions.
As you know, any "retaliation" from Speaker Ferrandino over civil unions occurred in the last election, when Republicans lost their majority in the House after killing civil unions in an epic and ultimately self-destructive fit of pique. The linkage of these two bills, in addition to being shockingly offensive, is totally off-base.
Just after 2:00 into the video, O'Reilly asks Rep. Szabo if Ferrandino had spoken to the press about the defeat of this bill. Rep. Szabo responds that the media covered the issue well from her perspective, Ferrandino wasn't willing to speak to the press. The reason?
Because obviously, he's protecting somebody. [Pols emphasis]
And with that, Rep. Libby Szabo has leveled one of the most deplorable allegations against a fellow Colorado legislator, certainly against a sitting Speaker, that we have ever seen in our years covering this state's often-crazy politics. The clear intention of this nationally televised segment is to accuse Speaker Ferrandino of not wanting to "protect the children," even willfully protecting child predators…because he is a gay man.
Like we said, Rep. Szabo is not very smart, and not very telegenic. But she appearently makes up for that by being willing to descend to the darkest, ugliest depths of character assassination imaginable.