Yes Colorado, Post Card Palooza Was One Giant Setup

Meet the pitcher and the catcher.

This afternoon, as Ernest Luning of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports, the other shoe dropped in a situation we’ve been following for a number of days–an erroneous story at CBS4 Denver about post cards sent to non-voters outlining eligibility requirements to register to vote, since deleted, which has caused a nationwide wave of misplaced anxiety on the right, “confirming” their groundless fears that mail ballots are an impending disaster:

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, on Tuesday demanded an explanation about allegations contained in a TV news story that was retracted over the weekend concerning a mailing sent to potential voters by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat…

CBS4 news director Tim Wieland pulled the story Sunday afternoon and replaced it later that night with an interview with Griswold meant to “[set] the record straight,” but not until after conservative news outlets and Republican personalities had blown up the misleading account across the internet.

The Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter:

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, who chairs the Colorado Republican Party, has asked the Justice Department and Federal Election Commission to investigate postcards sent by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, the latest escalation in a dispute that began with a debunked and retracted television news story.

“The American people deserve to know that the 2020 election will be conducted in a fair and transparent manner,” Buck wrote to the federal officials Wednesday. “As such, I urge the DOJ and FEC to open an investigation into the Colorado Secretary of State’s efforts to register individuals who are ineligible to vote.”

Somewhere in here, Buck either became or always was fully aware that this entire story was wrong. If he needed any further confirmation, he could have asked Republican Secretaries of State Wayne Williams and Scott Gessler–both of whom sent similar post cards during their own terms in office. From Luning’s story:

[Betsy Hart, the secretary of state’s communications director] added that the election information postcard was first sent out using a similarly compiled list by Griswold’s GOP predecessor Scott Gessler, and former Secretary of State Wayne Williams, also a Republican, continued the practice through his four-year term. [Pols emphasis]

Given that this entire nontroversy is based on a news report which has been retracted by the original outlet, a fact which every subsequent story has been diligent in noting, Buck’s request for a formal investigation into the Colorado Secretary of State by the Justice Department isn’t off to what you’d call a good start. In fact, barreling forward with this grandstand regardless of what facts emerge subsequently is a pretty good indicator that it was all a setup.

And the timing isn’t the only thing that looks canned:

Buck said the state party heard from a woman who received the postcard addressed to her late mother, who died in 2016 and hadn’t lived in the state since 1967. [Pols emphasis]

Flashback to the now-deleted original CBS4 report from Shaun Boyd:

Karen Anderson says she opened her mail about a week ago to find one of the postcards. It was addressed to her mom.

“Which sounds really nice except my mother has been dead four years and she hasn’t lived, voted, owned property, worked, or done anything other than visit Colorado since 1967.” [Pols emphasis]

That would be, barring a remarkable coincidence, the same person.

While this isn’t enough to prove that Buck and the state GOP are the ones who shopped this bogus story to CBS4 to begin with, it’s pretty likely the case based on the available information. It looks to us like Buck engineered the original story for the purpose of justifying his groundless investigation request to the Justice Department against Colorado’s Secretary of State–and when the story fell apart due to lacking a factual basis, Buck simply carried on with his plan.

The bottom line is the same, and it will be the same no matter how many times it needs to be repeated: this post card wasn’t sent to anyone on the “voter rolls.” Eligibility requirements to vote have not changed. As much as Republicans, even Colorado Republicans who are supposed to know better wish it were so, there is no scandal.

Only partisan distractions, boosted by bad journalism.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    I suspect if we looked, there could be a letter or two over Ken Buck's signature asking for donations sent to non-citizens.  And probably more that encourage dead people to vote for him. 

  2. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    “Kill them all. Let God sort them out.”  (Ken’s t-shirt caption at a Boebert fundraiser)

    Referring to the Proud Boys taking on unarmed protestors…..right, Ken? 

  3. PKolbenschlag says:

    CBS 4 Denver ought to be ashamed and there ought to be accountability for  any "veteran political reporter" that report this level of disinfo. I get journalism is on hard times, but this kind of garbage circulating under a banner that pretends to be such does not do the profession any good. 

  4. Gilpin Guy says:

    If making spurious allegations that can be easily debunked is the best Buck can bring to retaking the state house and/or senate and drum up support for Gardner and Trump then he is easily the worst state party chair in Colorado Republican history.  He must live in a alternate reality where accusing Democrats of wrong doing while knowing that Republicans did the same legal things is thought to be a clever campaign strategy.  I’ll take a bet that they also lose CD 3 and the CU Regent to be totally wiped out this election.  The only real suspense with the senate and presidential races is how big the margin will be.  Buck has done nothing to remove the toxic image of corrupt, petty white men from voters mind because I guess it’s basically true at least in the case of the presidential race.  What a putz.

  5. Moderatus says:

    Were the names of non citizens and dead voters on the post card or not?

    Then the story is true, libs. Quit protesting your own guilt.

    • unnamed says:

      So, nutlid, if this election goes like 2018, are you going to disappear like a little bitch?

      Also, tell me how Trump's goon squad disappearing American citizens is any different than what your Gestapo did in Germany back in the 1930s.

    • Genghis says:

      Let us recall that on this very site Moderatus came right out and said that wingnuts have a "right" to pull people from their cars and beat the shit out of them. Moderatus openly advocates violence, and should be banned for that reason.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      The story is misleading and was taken down by the originating news outlet.  These are not ballots but reminders to vote.  The fact that both Republican SOS Williams and Gessler sent the same reminders using the same list source seems to be lost on Moldy.  Reminders aren't ballots Moldy.  If this is the best you can do to question the legitimacy of our elections then get ready to be wiped out on election day.  A monster of a blue tsunami is forming over the Centennial State.

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