New Radio Spot Aims to Shut Down Tancredo on West Slope



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This new radio spot from the Colorado Conservation Victory Fund is notable for a few reasons: for one thing, it attacks American Constitutional Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo, which one could interpret as recognition of his improving poll numbers. But more interesting to us is the target audience–this ad hits Tancredo over the much-reviled Referendum A, a failed 2003 ballot initiative that would have created large diversion projects of Western Slope water for Front Range use. To this day, support for Referendum A is a litmus test issue for many Western Slope “water buffaloes,” and Tancredo’s support for it could badly hurt him in an area of the state he is certainly counting on to overcome Hickenlooper’s popularity along the urban corridor.

Shorter version: a hard shot in a soft spot, this ad is a very good investment.

UPDATE: To be sure, everything said about Tom Tancredo and Referendum A above applies to GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck, as this related TV spot from the national League of Conservation Voters, now playing in West Slope markets, makes clear:

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29 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bjwilson83 says:

    Hickenlooper has it in the bag. Right?

  2. Ralphie says:

    It was a good ad.

    But 2003 was a long time ago.  We’ve had a lot of turnover and growth.  Energy workers and rich retirees coming (and in the case of energy workers, some going).  Not sure that Referendum A is in the public’s memory banks anymore.

    As an aside, by close of polls yesterday, 9.3 percent of active voters had voted already in Mesa County.

    • Ralphie says:

      What I saw last night was a TV ad put out by League of Conservation Voters.  Same theme, same comment.

      • Awen says:

        If you look up the victory fund on TRACER, you’ll find that the League’s political engagement fund has put $70,000 into the Colorado Conservation Victory Fund in the last two months.

    • gertie97 says:

      This just doesn’t hit in Mesa County, it’ll go across the Western Slope. Water buffaloes have long memories, as do Republicans.

      Ref A is still alive and well as the personification of what the Front Range would like to do to the Western Slope.

      The ad has plenty of punch. The rich retirees don’t by a longshot outnumber the old-timers, and energy workers who come and go (and vote in their home states of Texas, Louisiana or Wyoming) don’t matter.

      It’ll hurt Tanc if the radio buy was done well.

      • Irish Patti says:

        what praytell, is a water buffalo in political context?

        I know I should be ashamed that I can’t get a ‘native’ plate, but I am happy to be here now.  

        • MADCO says:

          in a nutshell:

          CO water law is complex – everyone wants more than they have, especially if and when someone else pays for it.

          No one wants “their” water going somewhere else.

          Add the two together and you get people who are only happy when it’s raining while the sun is shining.

        • gertie97 says:

          To them, water is not just their top issue, it’s the ONLY issue. Water buffaloes can be farmers and ranchers who deal with water daily; they can be those who serve on water boards, they are people living in places other than the Front Range metroplex. Newer water buffaloes, i.e. those in the conservation community who won’t admit to water buffalo-ism but are anyway, and the older ones clash because the older ones basically never met a dam they didn’t like (unless it is to aid diversions out of their own basin) and the new ones want water in the streams, no matter what. But when push comes to shove, they’re buffaloes.

          The species is native to rural areas in the state, although a few can be found in Front Range cities.

          They are a political force. Which is why support for Ref A will forever be an albatross for those who supported it.

          • Irish Patti says:

            water rights do seem to be dicey here. I remember a debate the CO State House last session, that was about whether or not rafters and kayakers had a right to the water in CO; for use with non motor watercraft.

    • Voyageur says:

      I was, sigh, a backer of Ref A along with Gov. Owens.  I remember discussing with Ken Salazar that he was arguing A:Ref A wasn’t necessary because everything in it could be done by existing law (he was probably right) and

      B: passage of Ref B would mean the end of Western Civilization.

        I challenged him on the contradictory nature of his claims — if all the evil that would stem from Ref A could be done under existing law, then weren’t we doomed whatever the outcome?

        We both got a good chuckle.  But he whipped my butt in the Referendum.  And , Yeah, West Slopers still throw that at any R who foolishly backed it.  

    • Aggie says:

      …just ask Greg Walcher.

  3. observe says:

    I find it odd that a county district attorney either would be, or even could be a “leading supporter” of the water financing initiative in 2003.

    While I find it odd, it isn’t impossible.

    Thoughts or knowledge on him being a “leading supporter”?

  4. Princess says:

    It is a hit but with a cute poem and no ominous music playing in the background.  I am so tired of the swishing symbols and low piano cords.  

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