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June 13, 2022 11:14 AM UTC

The Fault Lies Not In Your Trolls, But In Yourselves

  • by: Colorado Pols
Greg Lopez, Heidi Ganahl.

In a deep dive into the gubernatorial primary this weekend from the Denver Post’s Alex Burness, the struggle between the establishment-favored candidate Heidi Ganahl and what should have been an easy challenger in former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez gets a full and mutually unflattering airing–though despite revelations that Greg Lopez’s campaign platform was broadly cribbed from other sources, Lopez manages to come out ahead. Still unable to answer questions that have dogged her campaign from the day it launched, the story illustrates how Ganahl’s weakness helped create the vacuum that has made Lopez competitive:

“Joe Biden is our president,” [Ganahl] told The Denver Post during a recent interview, though she declined to say whether she feels he is a legitimate president.

But when pressed a bit more on the topic — in this case, by being asked whom she supports in a GOP primary for Colorado secretary of state that pits two election deniers against someone who does not believe the election was stolen — Ganahl quickly snaps.

“This is how we go wrong in these interviews,” [Pols emphasis] said the University of Colorado regent, seeking to redirect the conversation to talk about Democratic legislation she opposes. “This is why the people of Colorado, or a lot of them, don’t trust the media.”

Her opponent, 58-year-old Greg Lopez of Elizabeth, who won top-line support at the party’s state assembly in April, is more welcoming of a broad range of questions — but his answers on key issues are often incomplete.

The last week in Colorado politics has witnessed a great deal of well-publicized Republican whining about Democrats spending money defining Republican candidates ahead of the June 28th primary election–despite this being a relatively common practice employed by Colorado Republicans as recently as 2020 with their backhanded promotion of Democratic underdog candidate Andrew Romanoff.

“Establishment” Republicans raging over the “dirty trick” of accurately representing candidates’ positions on issues relevant to primary voters have betrayed an underlying deep fear about their own favored candidates for U.S. Senate and Colorado governor. In both of these races, the anointed candidates have faced serious problems with their own deficient name recognition. And on the issues that matter to Republican primary voters, underdog challengers have proven better aligned with the views of those voters, and more willing to talk about them.

[Ganahl’s] campaign hasn’t generated as much grassroots enthusiasm as Republican politicos in Colorado had hoped for… [Pols emphasis]

Asked to reflect on what’s gone so wrong for the Colorado GOP in recent years, such that she is now the only statewide elected Republican here, Ganahl puts most the blame on Democratic money.

It is this combination of circumstances that makes Democrats illuminating the views of candidates in these races potentially much more impactful–and why Republicans have responded with a desperate full-court press to get the word about Democratic “shenanigans” instead of asking their voters to honestly examine the differences between the candidates. The problem is that most voters don’t know Ganahl and Joe O’Dea any better than Lopez and Ron Hanks, and therefore have no real reason to prefer the establishment picks–especially once they learn where the candidates stand on the issues.

It’s an identity crisis that calls out for strong leadership, and there is none to be found.


8 thoughts on “The Fault Lies Not In Your Trolls, But In Yourselves

  1. Nobody has to love the media, but it's as legit as it gets for a journalist to ask a candidate for Governor about their positions on elections-related issues. The guv has the power to sign or veto election bills, and the guv or guv's office can work closely with a Sec O'State or the legislative branch on bills. I wasn't going to vote for Hiedi anyway, but in this case "the media" was literally doing its job – which makes me trust them more, and Hiedi less.

  2. As a recovering ink-stained wretch, I can assure you that candidates getting mad because they don’t like a question is nothing new, nor is it partisan. It is, however, an effective way to determine whether a candidate has anything resembling a thick shin and sense of humor.


    1. Agreed that getting mad about a media question or trying to pivot is as old as the hills and nonpartisan, but I'd suggest turning a fair question toward blanket distrust of the media in current times is far more likely to come from members of one party than the others.

  3. The story literally says Lopez plagiarized his whole platform.

    And Colorado Pols thinks he got the better end of it?

    Your biases are showing as usual.

    1. It is pretty clearly reported in the Denver Post article… and yet, who is talking about it?  linking it to prior Republicans who plagiarized material and suffered because of it?  discussing it in terms of whether that has any impact on the ability to get elected or do a good job if elected?  Heck, I don't even find much on the sources and why Lopez (or someone on the campaign) thought it a good idea to pull from each source rather than others.

      Lack of attribution means there are some strange "ties" — Greg Lopez using an Urban Institute report?

      As a former student (who had my work used without attribution by someone else), a debater & coach, a faculty member evaluating student speeches and papers, and researcher (who had work used without permission or attribution), I have strong feelings about use of plagiarized material. 

      From the Post article, there seems to be a misunderstanding of the need for showing the content is drawn from someone else, a lack of appreciation of the need to give credit, and a sloppiness of no one checking the copy put on the website. It isn't intentionally duplicitous or explicitly claiming credit for someone else's work.


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