Family Ties: Stapleton Heads To Texas For Dubya Fundraiser

The Denver Post reports:

Walker Stapleton is once again tapping his Bush family ties to raise big money in the Colorado governor’s race.

The Republican candidate’s campaign is hosting a Feb. 22 fundraiser in Dallas featuring former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush as the special guests, according to an event invitation…

Stapleton, the two-term state treasurer, is a second cousin to Bush. His father, Craig Roberts Stapleton, was an ownership partner with Bush in the Texas Rangers baseball team and served as ambassador to France from 2005 to 2009. Stapleton’s mother, Dorothy Walker Stapleton, is a cousin to former President George H.W. Bush.

Given Walker Stapleton’s early-season pitch in the Republican gubernatorial primary as more or less the willing water-boy for the oil and gas industry, a fundraiser in the Big D makes plenty of sense. And at this point, we don’t think showcasing Stapleton’s Bush family ties puts Stapleton at a disadvantage–at least not in the primary. Hell, even some Democrats say that graded on Donald Trump’s curve, they’d take Dubya again in a hot minute.

Of course, that’s graded on one hell of a curve.

The Get More Smarter Show: February 6, 2018

Today on the Get More Smarter Show: your hosts Jason Bane and a flu-addled Alan Franklin talk Tom Tancredo, the 2018 gubernatorial primary, and a new poll that’s bad news for Sen. Cory Gardner. Then stay tuned for an in-depth interview with Jason Crow, Democratic candidate for Congress in CD-6! Don’t miss the fun as the two biggest Jasons in Colorado politics join forces.

To skip directly to the interview with Jason Crow, jump to 15:00.

Catch up on past episodes of the Get More Smarter Show here! And thanks for watching.

Caption This Photo: Walker Stapleton Goes Plinkin’

As posted to Twitter yesterday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton taking some time off work “the campaign trail” to punch some smoky holes in some paper:

Unfortunately for the GOP’s newly-minted presumptive favorite in the governor’s race, a close examination of Stapleton’s performance against said offending paper targets, who by the way never did a thing to Walker Stapleton, deflates some of the chest-thumping manly bravado of the scene:

Nice grouping, Tex! And of course, being staged for the camera we have no way of knowing what sort of handicap Stapleton may have enjoyed on his way to losing the match–one yard for three? We’ll never know for sure, but for political efficacy Stapleton probably should have paid the other guy to swap targets.

He’s got the money. On the other hand,

Another way to look at this is that when it comes to embarrassing one’s self with a gun, Walker Stapleton is just keeping up the family tradition.

“Ultimate Insider”–Tanc Throws Major Shade At Stapleton

As Westword’s Michael Roberts reports, now ex-GOP gubernatorial frontrunner Tom Tancredo is leaving plenty of bad blood in the wake of his departure from the Republican primary as rumors of high-level intervention against Tancredo swirl among the party rank-and-file:

“I think if the Republican Governors Association had seen polling numbers that showed me to be a viable general-election candidate, they might have offered some support,” Tancredo allows. “But the Republicans in Colorado…I don’t know if they would have given me anything no matter what. Most of these folks are crony capitalists to begin with, and what they want is a cozy relationship with the government. They believe the government is mostly there to provide services for them, and they certainly hate my position on illegal immigration. So I don’t think many of them would have come in no matter what.”

Did such forces conspire to starve his candidacy in order to clear a path for Stapleton? Tancredo doubts it.

“I don’t think there was a conspiracy,” he says. “It’s not like a group of people were meeting in secret to create that phenomenon. It’s just the way it is. Nobody has to create it. Walker Stapleton is the ultimate insider, and I’m the ultimate outsider — and nothing has changed except that, in the past, I was able to raise enough money to make things doable, at least from my point of view. I raised $1 million the last time during the primary. But we weren’t going to be able to get anywhere near that this time.”

“Crony capitalists.” “Cozy relationship with the government.” “Walker Stapleton is the ultimate insider.” Tancredo may be downplaying a “conspiracy” by Republican elites in Colorado and in the Republican Governors Association (RGA) to force him out, but he is employing all of the code words necessary to tell the fractious Republican base exactly what they need to come to that conclusion by themselves. To call this sort of rhetoric from a suddenly sidelined Tancredo poisonous to lay GOP morale in general and Stapleton’s campaign in particular is an understatement.

And the Tanc wasn’t done:

Tancredo goes on, “Maybe Walker can go through his Rolodex” — a reference to Stapleton being a member of the extended Bush family that has already given the United States two presidents…

In Tancredo’s view, Stapleton will also face Colorado voters’ traditional antipathy for any candidate portrayed as inevitable: “That’s absolutely something he’s going to have to overcome. I would have had to prove that I’m not the Devil incarnate — not a wild-eyed racist who meets on Lookout Mountain with others wearing sheets. But Walker will have to defend himself against being that ultimate insider, [Pols emphasis] and I hope he has the ability and I hope he’s successful, if he’s the nominee.”

Safe to say that Tancredo is doing the opposite of releasing his supporters to get behind Stapleton. If anything, he’s making it clear that his substantial base of support will not be automatically transferable, certainly not to the “ultimate insider” whom the GOP elite appears to be now ready to anoint. After innumerable instances of party brass stepping in to squelch undesired candidates in recent years, Colorado Republican voters are thoroughly sick of this kind of heavy-handed control by elites and keen to recognize it.

Tom Tancredo just validated the base’s distrust for another election cycle.

Tancredo Wants No Part of the Blue Wave

Tom Tancredo sees the same numbers as everyone else.

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo was the frontrunner for the Republican gubernatorial nomination until this afternoon, when he abruptly dropped out of the race altogether.

If you’re wondering what in the hell just happened, the answer is deceptively simple: Tancredo decided the 2018 race for Governor was not winnable for Republicans. Here’s the money quote via Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

“It appeared to me the goal — winning the general, that was the main goal — and it does not appear to me to be feasible.”

The 2018 election is shaping up to be a catastrophic event for Republicans, and everyone sees it coming. In the House of Representatives alone, there are 35 Republicans who are just walking away from office and not even trying to run for re-election — including some of the most powerful and influential committee chairs on Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been open about his concerns that Republicans might lose both the House and the Senate in November.

Here’s another key quote from Luning’s story:

“I can’t do this and risk taking resources away from other Republican races.”

Remember that Tancredo joined the race for Governor well before the November 2017 election that officially started to panic Republicans around the country. Tancredo ran for Governor in both 2010 and 2014; he knows what it is like to run a statewide race more than just about anybody in Colorado, and he is absolutely not afraid of challenging the GOP establishment. But Tancredo is also at the end of his political career, and he doesn’t want to be blamed for a 2018 loss that may be unavoidable for Republicans.

Polis, Tancredo Top Polls in Governor’s Race

Earlier today we wrote about polling numbers from the American Politics Research Lab (APRL) at the University of Colorado showing absolutely putrid approval ratings for Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma). The APRL poll also included some questions about the 2018 race for Governor, and the results seem to square with everything else we’ve been hearing for the last several months.

American Politics Research Lab, January 2018

 

The only other publicly-reported poll numbers about the race for Governor came in October via the Braynard Group. The Braynard (no, autocorrect, not “Barnyard”) poll showed Tom Tancredo atop the Republican field of candidates at 22.1%, with Walker Stapleton the nearest elephant at 8.5%. Braynard put the percentage of “undecided” voters in the GOP Primary at the same 54% as the APRL poll above.

Across the aisle, the APRL poll represents the first publicly-reported numbers on the 2018 Democratic Primary (we’re not counting the mini-results from Cary Kennedy’s campaign). This new poll has Jared Polis atop the Democratic field with 24% support, with Kennedy a distant second at 6% and a whopping 58% listed as “undecided.” We can’t speak to specific numbers here, but the general idea of a Polis/Kennedy race at the top of the Democratic Primary fits with rumors we’ve gleaned about internal polls.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Colorado Republicans respond to being told: “clear the field” for Stapleton

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

On January 14, the Anschutz-owned Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board told Colorado Republicans: “clear the field for gubernatorial hopeful Walker Stapleton. Fellow candidate Tom Tancredo, the primary target of the newspaper’s “step aside” directive, took to the airwaves two days later to reply directly. Meanwhile on Facebook, numerous other Colorado Republican officials and leaders responded to the Gazette’s opinion. On the whole, their reactions can be characterized as less than enthusiastic.

Here they are in their own words: (more…)

Fundraising Numbers for 2018 Governor’s Race

UPDATE (3:10pm): Walker Stapleton finally figured out how to use the Internet. We’ve updated the numbers below…

—–

The fundraising numbers for the Q4 (2017) reporting period are in – most of them, anyway – giving us our first glimpse at the level of support for the various campaigns seeking one of Colorado’s top jobs in November.

Let’s break down the numbers for Colorado’s top candidates for Governor…

NOTES
We haven’t broken out self-funding numbers like this in the past, but with so many candidates drawing from their own checking accounts and not even trying to fundraise in a traditional manner (see: Victor Mitchell, Jared Polis, etc.), it is more important than ever to distinguish self-funding numbers that can be included in the total “contributions” for the quarter.

We also haven’t broken out the numbers from various Independent Expenditure Committees (IECs) that have been formed to (essentially) support individual candidates. Walker Stapleton can expect more than $750k in support from “Better Colorado Now.” There is also more money in an IEC for Cynthia Coffman than the she has raised herself.

 

SORE THUMBS (OR, WHAT STICKS OUT)
Democratic candidates for Governor are outraising Republicans by significant margins; Michael Johnston, Donna Lynne, and Cary Kennedy all raised more than $250k in Q4. Democratic candidates are also spending considerably more money than Republicans, which indicates more comprehensive and well-organized campaign operations.

On the Republican side, former Congressman Tom Tancredo isn’t bringing in a lot of cash – but he’s also the only candidate in the field whose public profile is robust enough to run a viable campaign without raising a lot of money. The most alarming numbers belong to Coffman, who only cracked the $100k mark because of a $15k transfer from her Attorney General campaign coffers. Both Tancredo and Coffman were expected to seek ballot access via the caucus/assembly route, and their relative inability to raise money essentially precludes them from trying to petition onto the ballot.

Second-tier gubernatorial candidates such as Mitt Romney’s Nephew (R) and Noel Ginsburg (D) are only going to be competitive to the extent that they are willing to continue writing personal checks to their campaigns, although Mitt’s Nephew will benefit from a hefty IEC (“Build Colorado’s Future”) while he spends the bulk of his campaign warchest petitioning onto the ballot.

Where’s Walker’s Finance Report?

UPDATE (1:14pm): Stapleton’s campaign has been fined by the Secretary of State’s office for failing to meet reporting deadline requirements (scroll to bottom).

—–

We’ll have a full roundup of the Q4 (2017) fundraising numbers a bit later; perhaps by then Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton will have finally filed his report that was due before Midnight.

Last week Stapleton’s campaign leaked out news that it had raised a record amount of money in Q4, but we’re still waiting for confirmation of those figures because…well, according to one of Stapleton’s top advisors, it’s the Secretary of State’s fault:

It’s worth noting here that no other major campaign in Colorado failed to report its Q4 fundraising report before last night’s deadline.

Gazette’s Desperate Stapleton “Hail Mary” Says a Mouthful

This weekend, the Colorado Springs Gazette’s editorial board–considered a direct expression of the political desires of the owner of the Gazette, billionaire Phil Anschutzattempted to put an early end to the 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary by declaring Treasurer Walker Stapleton the only viable candidate:

If Republicans hope to elect a governor this fall, they need to narrow the primary field and unite behind State Treasurer Walker Stapleton…

Several of the other candidates pitch mostly interchangeable platforms, lack substantial public service, and share the uphill battle of achieving name recognition.

Coffman has won state office but has failed to launch a primary campaign that shows promise of traction. If Tancredo gets only 22 percent of the primary vote, eight other candidates divide up the remaining 78 percent. The winner in a nine-way race will enter the primary with scars inflicted by eight opponents.

If Tancredo wins the primary, even his most loyal supporters should know he cannot win the general.

By all accounts we’ve heard so far today, this editorial is provoking major controversy among Colorado Republicans. It’s still very early in the primary process, before many Republican primary voters have even learned about the field of candidates in the running. Precinct caucuses aren’t until March 6 this year. Without a chance for opinions to form in the minds of many Republican party faithful, this heavy-handed declaration that it’s time to clear the field isn’t likely to be received well. Colorado Republicans have a larger-than-usual contingent of perennially disaffected party activists waiting for the chance to declare shenanigans.

And the Phil Anschutz machine just gave those folks exactly what they needed! Ethically, this editorial only compounds widely-perceived problems at the Gazette with favoring establishment Republican candidates–and not just an editorial problem, as the Gazette’s political blog’s questionable “breaking” of news about Stapleton’s fundraising haul most recently evidenced. We also took note in this space about blatant impropriety at the Gazette in the service of Bob Beauprez’s Pioneer Action group, which attacked unfavored Republican incumbents in 2016. Suffice to say that there is a great deal here to enrage anyone who isn’t already backing Stapleton. Stapleton may be the candidate of choice for the moneyed GOP establishment in Colorado, but this editorial could well have the effect of driving the angry GOP base away from Stapleton.

With all of that said, of course there is plenty in this editorial that accurately reflects political reality. Cynthia Coffman has indeed failed to carve out a place of strength in this primary, and the self-funded candidates have not attracted the Trump-style grassroots support they got in the race laying claim to. The September poll cited by the Gazette shows Stapleton trailing distantly behind Tancredo, though with a large undecided factor that they argue should coalesce around Stapleton. All told, and as we said when he originally got into the race, we agree that Walker Stapleton is the GOP primary frontrunner–and more than that, he is most likely the only candidate who has a shot at stopping Tom Tancredo in the gubernatorial primary.

But above all, this editorial should have the effect of emboldening Tancredo and his hard-right supporters. For a candidate who has been waging insurgent politics his entire political career, this clear signal of fear in addition to the usual loathing from the Republican establishment is the greatest validator Tancredo could ever ask for.

Tancredo to the Gazette: Do you really think Colorado Republicans are so stupid?

(The Anschutz Machine throws down – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tom Tancredo.

Acting as if the Republican Party in Colorado is on its death bed, the Colorado Springs Gazette trashed all the GOP gubernatorial candidates Sunday, except Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton, whom the newspaper presented as the last great hope:

Republicans have an unusual opportunity to elect a governor this year. Stapleton’s primary contenders would do themselves and their party a favor by selflessly clearing the field and helping him win against the odds.

While Stapleton “has earned name recognition and has a host of leadership accomplishments to run on,” the Gazette editorial stated, the other GOP candidates are paralyzed, boring, bumbling, inexperienced, unknown, and/or clueless.

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is described as a “niche candidate with a single message,” who “invariably returns to his stark views about federal immigration enforcement.”

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman “has failed to launch a primary campaign that shows promise of traction,” states the Gazette.

“Several of the other candidates pitch mostly interchangeable platforms, lack substantial public service, and share the uphill battle of achieving name recognition,” concludes the newspaper, which is owned by Republican billionaire Phil Anschutz, through Clarity Media.

And what does Tanc, who bears the bunt of the Gazette’s criticism, have to say about it?

“Why don’t we let the people of this state figure that out.” Tancredo told KNUS radio Monday when asked to respond to the Gazette editorial. “…Do you really think the Republicans in this state don’t see the needs that we have, don’t look at this whole picture, don’t look at, you know, who would be the best candidate against a Jared Polis? And let’s let them make that decision, right?  [The Gazette is] assuming the Republicans are so stupid as to nominate me, even though no one believes I can win this thing.” [Listen here at 29 min 30 sec.]

Tancredo also told the radio station, as he has in the past, that he’d be governor today if establishment Republicans hadn’t succeeded in knocking him out of the gubernatorial race in 2014. (See related posts here and here.)

The question is, is the Gazette’s brazen desperation to stop Tancredo premature? Quite possibly, given the money flying around out there.

But you can see why the Gazette is worried. Tanc isn’t looking any weaker than he did when he jumped out the gate as the front runner to win the GOP nomination.

On Friday, 9NEWS political analyst Floyd Ciruli was the latest to unequivocally predict a Tancredo primary victory.

Walker Stapleton Captures Many Straws

Not a majority of all straws in existence.

The Mesa County Republican Party held a gubernatorial forum on Thursday night in Grand Junction that attracted every major Republican candidate to town.

At some point during Thursday’s event, the Mesa County Republicans held a “straw poll” vote to express their preference among the GOP candidates for Governor. State Treasurer Walker Stapleton apparently won the most straws, and his campaign was quick to pound its chest in an email announcement:

Last night we attended the Mesa County GOP Governors Straw poll. I’m so humbled by all of the support our campaign received and really enjoyed the opportunity we had to share our campaign’s vision for renewing and inspiring strength in Colorado.

The results of the straw poll were overwhelming: We won the straw poll with a sweeping majority! [Pols emphasis] Here were the totals:

Walker Stapleton      35
Greg Lopez                 16
Tom Tancredo            9
Vic Mitchell                 8
Doug Robinson          5
Cynthia Coffman       3
Steve Barlock             2

Walker Stapleton

First off, it is a bit embarrassing for Colorado’s frigging STATE TREASURER to call this straw poll win a “sweeping majority.” Stapleton received 35 votes out of a total of 78, which works out to a little less than 45%. This is not a “sweeping majority” or even a regular plain-old “majority,” which can only occur when you receive more than half of the total votes cast. Stapleton’s margin here is what people who are supposed to be familiar with numbers — you know, like State Treasurers — would call a “plurality.” What we have here is some Donald Trump inauguration crowd math.

Now, as to the rest of the results…

Yes, straw polls are largely meaningless, but they can still provide some interesting information. The most curious number here — other than the 16 votes for Greg Lopez, which is about the same number of people who supported his 2016 U.S. Senate campaign — is the fact that Cynthia Coffman only managed to pick up one vote more than Steve Barlock. Coffman is the sitting Attorney General of Colorado, and Barlock is…some guy named Steve Barlock. Heck, even Mitt Romney’s Nephew got 5 votes, and nobody even knows his real name. This isn’t a definitive problem for Coffman, but it is another bad sign for a campaign that has been trending in the wrong direction since day one.

Stapleton Touts Fundraising Record in Governor’s Race

Walker Stapleton

As Joey Bunch reports today for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, the campaign for Republican Walker Stapleton is leaking out fundraising numbers that would represent a record haul for a candidate for Governor in Colorado:

Stapleton will report about $750,000 for the quarter, the most any of the 18 candidates has raised in any quarter so far…

…Walker’s campaign roll call of donors for the quarter includes corporate titans, small business owners and household names — Phil Anschutz (disclosure: He owns Colorado Politics and lots of other stuff), real-estate mogul and philanthropist Larry Mizel, beer magnate Pete Coors, car king Greg Stevinson and Dan Ritchie, a civic mainstay in Colorado who has led the University of Denver and the Denver Center for Performing Arts, after he was CEO of Westinghouse Broadcasting.

Stapleton seeded his campaign with $250,000 of his own money when he finally announced his gubernatorial intentions in late September, so it is likely that an official announcement of his Q4 fundraising numbers is intended to portray that the campaign has more than $1 million in the bank.

If Bunch’s reporting is accurate, Stapleton’s Q4 numbers would represent a record quarter for any statewide candidate in Colorado. This doesn’t include the $785,000 that Bunch says has been raised by “Better Colorado Now,” a political action committee that exists solely to promote Stapleton’s candidacy for Governor (Stapleton waited until late September to announce his campaign in part so that he could exploit a campaign finance loophole that let him assist in raising money for the “Better Colorado Now” PAC).

The nearly $2 million set aside to support Stapleton isn’t going to scare off Tancredo, but Stapleton’s fundraising numbers are certainly geared toward shooing away the rest of the GOP field. As Bunch noted today:

Stapleton’s haul in the last quarter would be more than [Doug] Robinson, [Victor] Mitchell and former candidate George Brauchler had raised in outside donations, combined, in previous quarters. And [Cynthia] Coffman’s finance co-chairman during her 2014 run for attorney general, Lanny Martin, is part of Stapleton’s PAC, too. [Pols emphasis]

The fact that Stapleton appears to be the candidate of choice for the moneyed Republican establishment is certainly no surprise; the June Republican Primary has long been setting up as a battle between Stapleton (and his money) and the more grassroots campaign of firebrand Tom Tancredo.

Campaign finance reports for Q4 are due to be filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office by January 16.

Top Ten Stories of 2017 #8: Big Crowd for Governor and the Return of Tom Tancredo

Rep. Jared Polis (D) looks like the candidate to beat in the race for Governor.

Colorado voters will choose a new Governor next November, and if 2017 is any indication of what to expect, then the 2018 election is going to be a wild ride.

For the third time in the last four cycles, there will be no incumbent on the ballot for Governor. Numerous candidates from both sides of the political aisle have been preparing for this open race since late last year, but few could have foreseen the twists and turns that defined 2017. Both Democrats and Republicans saw potential frontrunners enter and exit the race this year, dramatically shaping and reshaping what should easily turn out to be the most expensive gubernatorial race in Colorado history.

There has already been so much movement in the race for Governor, in fact, that many of the projected top candidates 12 months ago aren’t even in the field anymore. Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) looked like the Democratic frontrunner when he announced his candidacy in April, but he changed his mind after a few months of campaigning and decided to run for re-election in CD-7 instead. Republicans thought they had a top contender in George Brauchler, but the Arapahoe County District Attorney proved to be completely inept as a candidate and officially shifted his sights to Attorney General in October.

Perhaps no name better encapsulates the strange turn of events in the Governor’s race than that of Republican Tom Tancredo, who is again running as a Republican after losing the GOP nomination to Bob Beauprez in 2014 and serving as the nominee of the American Constitution Party in 2010. Tancredo’s surprise candidacy makes a certain kind of sense in retrospect; as we’ve written before in this space, the Tanc might be better-positioned in 2018 than he was in either of the previous cycles in which he sought the top job in Colorado. The fact that Tancredo is even able to return to the big stage in Colorado creates plenty of uncomfortable questions for Republicans, not the least of which is the fact that he appears to be an early favorite to capture the GOP nomination.

As we turn the calendar to 2018, Tancredo and Democratic Congressman Jared Polis are well-positioned to capture their respective party’s nominations, but they both have several hopefuls hot on their heels. We’ve answered a lot of questions about the gubernatorial race with a busy 2017, but many more remain:

Walker Stapleton

Will Walker Stapleton ever appear in a photo where he doesn’t look bewildered?

Can Mike Johnston turn his national fundraising haul into local support?

Can Cary Kennedy convince Democrats that she is more than a policy wonk?

Why is Republican Cynthia Coffman such a supremely-terrible candidate?

Will Donna Lynne figure out how to do this campaigning thing?

How many personal checks will Victor Mitchell write to his campaign?

Can Democrat Noel Ginsburg Move Colorado Laterally?

Will anyone ever remember the name of Mitt Romney’s Nephew?

 

The Colorado Governor’s race was as busy in 2017 as any off-year in recent memory. The June Primary is just six months away, so get ready for a hectic half-year of campaigning.

Whither Naming The Neighborhood “Stapleton?”

Walker Stapleton: NOT responsible for the sins of his great-grandpa. Or his cousin George Bush. We should stop.

9NEWS reports on an increasingly hot topic in the affluent northeast Denver neighborhood built over the former Stapleton International Airport:

Two community forums were held Tuesday to discuss the use of the name ‘Stapleton’ — in a building with the name ‘Stapleton’ above both entrances.

Change The Name Stapleton held two meetings at The Cube near Northfield Stapleton.

“I heard everything from, ‘I am diabolically opposed to a name change’ to, ‘It is absolutely what we need to do to have social justice.’ And, to me, that’s the best thing you can ever hear is to have that spectrum of opinion on a very complicated topic,” said moderator Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler.

The “topic” is, of course, that former Denver mayor Ben Stapleton “had ties” to the Ku Klux Klan before and during his long administration of the city–a tenure running from 1923-1947 with a four-year gap between 1931 and 1935. To say that Stapleton “had ties” to the KKK is a bit of an understatement; Stapleton was in fact himself Klansman #1128, and after early denials openly appointed members of the KKK to city government–leading to an unsuccessful attempt at a recall. Later as the KKK lost popularity he turned against his former allies, but by no account we’ve read became repentant a la Robert Byrd or other publicly rehabilitated Klansmen.

All of which does rightly lead to the question, should the Stapleton neighborhood keep its controversial name? In recent years as the movement to take down monuments to the Confederacy and other commemorations of racists and racism across the nation has accelerated, this has repeatedly bubbled up as a topic of discussion. We don’t see any sign of that lessening, and the diverse and generally liberal residents of this Denver neighborhood might well decide a change is necessary at some point. That’s not a rejection of the city’s history, more of acknowledgment of the city’s diverse reality today. Which we readily concede the KKK wouldn’t be very pleased to see.

Above all, Colorado Republicans ask, please don’t hold this against the great-grandkids!

But perhaps Walker Stapleton has something to say about it, and that would certainly be a headline.