Karen Crummy, Floyd Ciruli, And The Height of Absurdity

It is with no small sense of amazement that we turn to widely-reputed Colorado “political expert” Floyd Ciruli, writing this morning at the blog for his consultant firm Ciruli and Associates:

The Colorado Republican Party, which was competitive at state-level politics and dominated local politics throughout the 1990s, was basically bought out of the game in 2004.  Democrats, with four multi-millionaire and some new funding rules and techniques, outspent and out-campaigned Republicans to take over Colorado.  And, it continued through 2010.  Democrats had $4 million to Republicans’ $30,000 in 2010, helping stop the Republican national tide in Colorado. [Pols emphasis]

Ciruli is referring to a story published in the Denver Post this weekend by reporter Karen Crummy, which drew some very strange conclusions about the relative disparity between Democrats and Republicans in “independent expenditure committee” or “Super PAC” spending in Colorado in the 2010 elections. Crummy’s report has been widely ridiculed by political insiders in the days since it appeared, as it not only appears to leave out GOP “Super PAC” spending like American Crossroads, but inexplicably downplays any other type of spending–such as 501(c)4 and other types of organizations that engaged for the GOP in races all over the state.

Whatever the questions about Crummy’s analysis (and omission) of the facts, the comments of Floyd Ciruli above, self-billed as one of the most politically savvy operatives in the state, take the ridiculousness of this business to a new level. Ciruli doesn’t even attempt to distinguish between “independent expenditure” committees and other spending, he just asserts straight out with no qualifications that “Democrats had $4 million to Republicans’ $30,000 in 2010.”

Folks, Floyd Ciruli knows better than this. If he doesn’t, he has no business ever taking money from someone else for political advice again, but we don’t think that’s the case. Ciruli knows perfectly well that Republicans went to war in 2010 with more than half of one full time employee’s salary. Ciruli knows, as Josh Penry boasted last year, that Republicans had a well-funded network of 527, 501(c)4, and other groups heavily engaged all over the state. The fact is, anyone with more than two days’ experience in this business knew that Crummy’s reporting is woefully incomplete. And yet here Ciruli not just uncritically repeating it, but making it worse.

In today’s Denver paper, Crummy may have revealed what the purpose of this actually was. After helping mercenaries like Ciruli claim Democrats enjoyed a “150 to 1” superiority, Crummy breaks the news today–unions, yes unions, are involved in politics! Given the Denver Post’s history of descending into irrational “Jimmy Hoffa” nonsense every time unions are mentioned, this helps explain why journalistic standards may have been relaxed. We’re not sure we’ve ever seen disclosure so absurdly penalized, and lack of disclosure so ignored or even rewarded.

Between Crummy’s expounding on this misleading story line and Ciruli’s just plain embarrassing abridged version, we do see one possible motive: terrifying Republicans. Because this story is absurd to anyone with even casual understanding of politics and campaign finance, the only value we can possibly imagine is to scare open the wallets of low-information GOP donors.

Which is, if you think about it, no less embarrassing.

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15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    1. The Denver Post is making epic fools of themselves waging Dean Singleton’s compulsive war on organized labor. It’s just a crazy vendetta now and it shows.

    2. Floyd Ciruli is as big an idiot as I always suspected he was. Perhaps bigger.

    3. I agree on the motive of terrifying Republicans, but it may not necessarily be fundraising. It’s enough to have this propaganda out there to terrify and motivate the talk radio set.

    Is this the worst journalism ever from the Post? I’ve been racking my brain for a worse example, maybe McInnis and the Platform for Prosperity front page rollout? Pretty damn bad though.

    • Ralphie says:

      However, neither Ciruli nor Crummy took into account that the big discrepancy might not be money raised or spent, but failure to report.  But no Republican 527, PAC, or (c)(4) would do that, right?

      Never confuse correlation with causation.

    • how many idiots in this state are there that have now fallen to Gessler-level logic?

      oh, breathlessness, . . . we’ve learned that the Democrats are stealing Colorado elections with money and voter fraud . . . it’s enough to give this objective reporter the vapors . . .  

  2. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    Poor Denver Post isn’t carrying Democrat water this year? Really?

    Too bad. Now you know what Republicans have felt like for decades. But I think they’re just being fair, and kudos to the management if so. Crummy is just shining a light into the Democrat cave.

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      Because repeating that Republicans only had $28,000 to spend in the last election is obviously the unadulterated, full-context truth, right? Heck, Arap, you probably make more than that for your vigilant shilling.

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        She said that she was only counting IE committees. She knows this wasn’t everything that was spent, her article was only on IE committees. By that measure, Dems outspent Republicans by 150 to 1.

        Crummy is not responsible for Floyd Ciruli’s error.

        • harrydobyharrydoby says:

          In fact, using that same technique, if CDOT only counted Chevrolets passing through the Eisenhower Tunnel, this whole so-called “traffic congestion on I-70” myth would be busted.

        • RedGreenRedGreen says:

          And you know that. To pretend otherwise, or to just blindly accept that absurd 150:1 spending ratio, is idiotic. You’re a lot of things, Arap, but you’re not that.

          • ajb says:

            When was the last time you saw Arap make a well-reasoned argument backed by sourced facts? Just because he’s more coherent than Libby doesn’t make him the sharpest knife in the drawer.  

  3. rathmone says:

    Seriously? That’s Ciruli’s blog title? I mean, how can he possibly say that when federal poverty line is only $22,000- The R’s are clearly rolling in it at $28K.

    Republican Poverty, riiight. Keep thowing that one against a wall, Floyd, tell us when it sticks.

  4. Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

    The article was dishonest, plain and simple. Disgusting.

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