Throwback Thursday: Bob Beauprez And The 2014 “Crimenado”

2014 GOP gubernatorial loser Bob Beauprez (right).

With Colorado Republicans pulling out all of the logically consistent stops in order to blame local Democrats for crime rates on the rise in our state along with most of the country in the last three years, let’s take a brief trip back to the last time the issue of crime became a political sparring ground in our state, the 2014 governor’s race between incumbent Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Republican challenger Bob Beauprez. Ernest Luning at the then-Colorado Statesman reported in May of 2014 on a controversial and exceedingly bitter line of attack on Hickenlooper pressed by Beauprez, falsely blaming the murder of Colorado Department of Corrections director Tom Clements on Hickenlooper being “soft on crime.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez this week linked Gov. John Hickenlooper’s policies to last year’s murder of Colorado Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements, who was gunned down by parolee Evan Ebel after the white supremacist prison gang member removed his ankle monitor and killed part-time pizza delivery driver Nathan Leon…

“There’s an important piece of a healthy economy that John Hickenlooper’s completely missed. That’s the public safety component,” Beauprez told about 100 supporters gathered at the Tavern Tech Center in Greenwood Village.

“You’ll all remember the name Evan Ebel,” Beauprez continued. “If you don’t remember Evan Ebel, you certainly remember Tom Clements. Tom Clements was our director of Corrections in Colorado. Evan Ebel was paroled directly from — they call it ‘administrative segregation’ — directly from solitary confinement onto our streets, and within a matter of hours, he killed a pizza driver, guy working a second job to try to keep his family whole. Killed him for his uniform, his pizza delivery uniform. Then about 48 hours later, he knocked on Tom Clements’ door and killed him.”

Beauprez’s attack on Hickenlooper over the death of Tom Clements, which continued into the fall with a controversial ad (still above) that invoked Clements’ murder to ask “with John Hickenlooper as governor, is your family safe?” mangled the timeline of events leading up to the tragedy, but perhaps the most cruel and thoughtless aspect of misusing Clements’ murder as a political football is that Clements at the time of his murder was working to reduce solitary confinement of problem inmates–the very issue that Beauprez bewailed in his attack on Hickenlooper.

In the end Bob Beauprez lost the 2014 race for governor, blighting a year that overall was still pretty good for Colorado Republicans–arguably the last election in Colorado in which they came away with something to celebrate. The problem then as with today is that voters actually understand the complex origins of rising crime far better than politicians looking to scare them believe. Beauprez’s dark and brooding negative campaign ads contrasted unfavorably with Hickenlooper’s positive message and personal popularity, and turned voters off.

In 2022, here we’ll go again.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnNorthofDenver says:

    Only difference is since then people have far more crime coverage being directed at them from social media. Violent crime is down throughout Colorado with the exception of Denver seeing less than double digit increase and Aurora seeing 34% increase. The majority of property crime… stolen packages. 

    It’s not about crime it’s about paranoia.

  2. Genghis says:

    2015 GOP gubernatorial loser Bob Beauprez (right).


    Well done!

  3. RepealAndReplace says:

    Isn't 2022 a Beauprez for Governor year? Seems he runs every 8 years whether he needs it or not.

    And with Hiedi Heidi Ganahl's campaign circling the drain, Beauprez may be just what the GOP needs … to lose with some degree of dignity and to avoid another Dan Maes debacle.  


  4. doremi says:

    Unfortunately for every one of us, violent crime is up.  Not only in Colorado, but across the nation.  

    It wasn't hard to predict, when people went stir crazy at the start of the pandemic and stood in long lines to buy…guns.  Gun buying surged, and so did gun deaths. 

    There were 273 Coloradans killed in gun homicides in 2021, up from 176 in 2019.   It's quite clear.  (data extracted from the Gun Violence Archive). 

    By the way, if you haven't learned this yet.  You and your family are safer if you DON'T have a gun in the home. 


  5. JohnInDenver says:

    A qiuck search turned up the 2019 comparison for states.  Leaders in gun homicides per 100,000 ahead of Colorado at 14.2 were , from a high of 24.4


    From my memory, I bolded those with a Republican party that controlled the governor’s office and the state legislature, used italics to show those with Democratic party control of both branches. [corrections welcome] 

  6. RepealAndReplace says:

    Today, with John Hickenlooper as senator, my family is safer.

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