The Slow Death of the Republican Crimenado Narrative

Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert (R)

Republicans, including fledgling gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, are trying really, really, really hard to cement a 2022 election narrative that crime is out of control in Colorado and it’s all because of Democrats. Vote for us, say Republicans, and your catalytic converters will be safe once again!

This entire effort is getting rather silly. Research show that increases in crime in Colorado have generally mirrored those in the rest of the country, but Republicans have cherry-picked statistics in a dubious scientific manner in order to support their rhetoric that Colorado is more murdery than other states as a result of policies enacted by Democratic lawmakers. We’ll get to that canard in a moment, but first let’s consider how Republicans are dealing with the crime issue right now.

On Wednesday, NOT A SINGLE REPUBLICAN voted to advance legislation out of the House Judiciary Committee intended to cut down on identity-based crimes. Two weeks ago, a bill to reduce youth violence also passed out of the House Judiciary Committee…again, without one Republican vote of support.

For months, Republicans have brayed about “Democratic bills” that have led to a rise in crime throughout Colorado. Yet Republicans are actively opposing crime-prevention measures during the current legislative session. Republicans don’t appear to be interested in preventing crime; their focus is instead on keeping people in jail who have already committed crimes. Or, perhaps Republicans will only work on crime prevention if Coloradans vote for them in November.

Now, let’s get back to the Republican claim that Democrats are responsible for an increase in crime because of legislation passed in recent years. Even if you were able to definitively state that Colorado has more crime than other states and it is because of recent legislation, then you would need to blame Republicans as much as Democrats. Take a look at the list below of the various crime-related bills that Republicans point toward as proof of their “crimenado” nonsense. You’ll notice that most of them have…wait for it…Republican support.

For example, consider HB19-1263, which is the legislation that Republicans generally point toward when they complain that Democrats have made it easier for bad guys to flood Colorado with fentanyl. That bill had bi-partisan support and received eight Republican votes when it was passed. This is why some Republicans, such as State Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown, are now being forced to throw their fellow Republicans under the bus rather than abandon their shaky rhetoric altogether.

Of all of the crime-related bills that get shoehorned into the “crimenado” narrative, only one was passed without any Republican support — and that was legislation (HB21-1251) about regulating the use of ketamine when detaining suspects who are considered overly-aggressive when confronted by police officers. If you want to say that crime is on the rise because Democrats made it harder for paramedics to inject a suspect with ketamine…well, good luck with that.

Look, we get it: Republicans think that scaring Colorado voters about an increase in crime is their best bet for getting elected in November. They might even be correct in that assessment. The problem, of course, is that this narrative of Democrats making life easier for criminals is not supported by actual facts.

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One Community Comment, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    How many with a "Republican" voter registration will think those "Republican" legislators are really Republicans who are doing real "Republican" things?  Priola, for one, has taken a bunch of flak.

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