Kicking off our recap of the top ten stories in Colorado politics for 2017 is another story about one of Colorado’s most consistently off-message state lawmakers–GOP Sen. Vicki Marble of Larimer County, representing a long stretch of northern Colorado suburbs, exurbs, and agricultural communities along the I-25 corridor. A few years ago, Sen. Marble made national headlines for a now-infamous lecture in a Capitol hearing on health problems caused by African-Americans eating so much damned chicken. Marble’s unfortunate response to that rather straightforward controversy deepened her self-dug hole, and the embarrassment only slowly faded with time–after delivering a big fat black eye to the Republican brand well outside the boundaries of the state of Colorado.
You might think based on that disastrous experience that Republicans in Sen. Marble’s district would be…you know, careful about putting her in the spotlight, since like Forrest Gump said about a box of chocolates you never know what you’re going to get. Or in Sen. Marble’s case you do know what you’re going to get, and it’s all the gross chocolates nobody wants.
When Ames Mayfield’s Cub Scout den met with a Colorado state senator last week, the 11-year-old came prepared with a long list of typed-up questions. He excitedly raised his hand to ask his first one…
But after the meeting, the leader of Ames’s Cub Scout pack, which oversees various dens, requested a meeting with his mother. The leader told Ames’s mother, Lori Mayfield, that her son was kicked out of his Cub Scout den, the mother said in an email to The Washington Post.
The son’s den leader was apparently upset over Ames’s questions, particularly the one on gun control, Mayfield said. The mother was told her son’s question was disrespectful and too political. [Pols emphasis]
…After Mayfield posted the videos on YouTube, the website Colorado Pols published a story about the senator’s exchange with the Cub Scouts. It was after this article published that Ames’s pack leader requested a meeting with his mother.
Looking deeper into the local Cub Scout organization that included Ames Mayfield’s pack, we found much evidence to suggest the entire operation is “too political”–just not in the direction of Mayfield’s politics. We were genuinely surprised to learn that of the leaders of this Cub Scout pack is former Rep. Don Beezley of Broomfield, who can accurately be described as a fringe blowhard on par with Marble herself. And although the Cub Scout pack invited one of the Colorado General Assembly’s most controversial Republican lawmakers to speak to a bunch of children, we’ve never seen anything to suggest a Democrat was ever similarly invited.
And that’s all before we address the substance of Sen. Marble’s responses to Mayfield’s questions, which were wildly age-inappropriate. Marble graphically described cases of rape and murder to Cub Scouts. Marble’s wholesale denial of the previous “ChickenGate” controversy earned her a public shaming from the Denver Post’s editorial board, but we come back to Marble’s disturbing justifications for carrying weapons to young children as the worst aspect of a story long on lowlights. Kids should not be subjected to this stuff. Yes, if Ames Mayfield hadn’t had hard questions for Marble, she might not have said some of it. But it was all in her waiting to be said. And what appears to be the partisan political leadership of this Cub Scout pack knew it full well.
In the end, Sen. Vicki Marble’s second trip under the national microscope helped add to a coalescing national narrative of a Republican Party offensively out of touch with the electorate they represent–and tone-deaf enough to not just make a fool of themselves in a closed setting, but double down on said foolishness before an incredulous national media.
Which makes her a fitting microcosm of today’s Republican Party.