UPDATE #3: In a separate post to the Denver Post's Spot Blog, the Denver Post's Jesse Paul belatedly reports the Colorado GOP's accidental use of photos of Utah and Arizona on their "local" research website:
The site, set to go live Thursday but already accessible, features a photo of the Maroon Bells and the state’s capitol building. However, two other images originally posted featured the Colorado River in Arizona and Monument Valley on the Utah-Arizona border.
The image of the Colorado River in Arizona was captioned, “Working to restore Republican values to Colorado.”
By about 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, the out-of-state photos had been replaced with scenic photos of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs and a ski area.
UPDATE #2: To be fair, it does appear that one of our readers was chastising the Colorado GOP for using D.C.-based consultants for Ryan Call's "brain child" website about an hour before that detail was publicized by GOP operative Kelly Maher. Credit where due, ClubTwitty.
UPDATE: Local Republican operative Kelly Maher provides an unintentional clue as to the origin of this site, which the Denver Post falsely billed as Colorado GOP chairman Ryan Call's "brain child." Apparently, Call's brain lives in a Washington, D.C. consultant shop:
— Kelly Maher (@okmaher) August 27, 2014
Something tells us she wasn't supposed to Tweet that! But there you have it, folks.
The Denver Post's Jesse Paul has an absolutely doting story up about the Colorado Republican Party Independent Expenditure Committee's new website, meant to "intended to help distribute political opposition research and raise funds." Described as the "brain child" of state party chairman Ryan Call, apparently local Republicans are very, very proud of this:
ColoradoCore.org acts as an organizational tool for both Colorado-based and national Republican groups involved with the 2014 state elections and beyond as both a fundraising tool and information hub. The idea is to have readily available, easily disseminated information about liberal candidates that others, as well as those running the website, can use to create ads.
"With an eye towards longevity, and in understanding that all politics is local politics, our focus is on winning a majority in the Colorado State Senate in 2014, in addition to targeting statewide races," said Lexi Effron, a spokeswoman for the site's organizing group, Colorado Republican Independent Expenditure Committee.
The site is rolling out with opposition research on seven state senate candidates in districts spanning Colorado that "internal research reveals to be competitive and winnable by a Republican."
The group — which at its heart is focused on unearthing campaign expenditures — is a new tool for the Colorado Republican Committee. Effron says the new site is chairman Ryan Call's "brain child." [Pols emphasis]
Our first thought visiting the new ColoradoCore.org website is that its design is rather…well, clunky–big images that push text content below the fold, and no easy means to accomplish simple modern tasks like social media sharing. Not exactly a "best of breed" design from a commercial web design sense.
And then we noticed something else: several of those big, clunky slideshow graphics don't depict Colorado.
See this image? It's #3 on the Colorado GOP IE website's slideshow. We're pretty sure that anybody who has lived in the American Southwest for any appreciable length of time knows this is Monument Valley–in Utah.
"Working to restore Republican values to Colorado?" By the look of it, they're working to restore Republican values to a canyon in Arizona. Because that's where this photo was taken!
The moral of this story? The same as it is every time a local Republican candidate or organization tries to pass off what's obviously the work of some out-of-state consultant shop as locally relevant–only to get burned by something ridiculous. We discover that it's not local, it's not terribly relevant, and apparently, locals who should have given this site a cursory once-over before the Denver Post launches the site with an obliging story couldn't be bothered.
Which makes it very difficult to take this new website seriously, even with a really great puff piece.