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October 07, 2022 2:47 pm MST

New Story Examines History of Ganahl's Furry Obsession

  • by: Colorado Pols
In early October, Lindsay Datko moderated an education “forum” for Ganahl and her LG nominee, Danny Clark Moore.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl spent much of the last 10 days obsessing about a mythical problem of “furries” in classrooms across Colorado, in the process turning her campaign radioactive and cementing her reputation as a complete lunatic who shouldn’t be anywhere the levers of government.

Ganahl has recently backed away from Furry-Lago after she went so far as to claim that she and her campaign were collecting photos of children in schools across the state and distributing those pictures to media outlets as proof of her widely-debunked theory. These claims turned her furry obsession from weird to a legitimate public safety concern, with other news outlets documenting the very real harm that can result in publicly attacking kids for trying to be at all different than others.

To be clear, there remains absolutely NO EVIDENCE that children are wearing animal costumes inside of schools, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying on behalf of Ganahl’s campaign and a group of supporters called “Ganahl’s Gals.”

As Rylee Dunn writes for Colorado Community Media:

Over the summer, the members of a Facebook group called Jeffco Kids First began shifting their concern away from pandemic policies in schools to identities it deemed disruptive to learning. A leading voice in the group told parents to empower their children to find “furries,” kids who dress up in animal accessories, and to record them.

“If any of your kids would be willing to record anonymous audio of their experiences with furries hissing, barking, clawing, chasing, and how it affects their school day, please send to me or let me know ASAP!” Jeffco Kids First creator Lindsay Datko, a parent in Jefferson County Public Schools, posted.

Details like these have not been widely publicized because the Facebook group is private, meaning only members can see what is posted. After being denied entry to the group, Colorado Community Media gained access through a member who wanted the group’s content to be public.

School officials say the group’s activities can be disruptive and harmful to kids. But it has some strong backers, including Heidi Ganahl, the Republican Party’s nominee in this fall’s Colorado gubernatorial race. She’s also a member of the group.

“Boy, Jeffco Kids First has been such an impactful and amazing community, and I’ve gotten to know a lot of you over the past couple of years,” Ganahl said in a post in Jeffco Kids First. “You are warriors fighting for our kids every day in the classroom and in school. I want to be a voice for all of you.” [Pols emphasis]

Lindsay Datko, founder of “Jeffco Kids First” and a member of “Ganahl’s Gals.”

As Dunn reports, it was “Jeffco Kids First” founder Lindsay Datko who apparently helped convince Ganahl that it was a good idea to start talking about “furries” invading Colorado schools. Datko is a longtime Ganahl supporter and a member of “Ganahl’s Gals,” one of dozens of different subgroups that the Ganahl for Governor campaign often promotes.

Last month, Datko urged the nearly 6,000 members of Jeffco Kids First to have their kids secretly record their classmates. [Pols emphasis]

“The media is trying to spin this,” Datko wrote in the post.

A member of the group posted an additional suggestion: “go on tiktok and use the keywords furries and Colorado school.”

A Colorado Community Media search of TikTok found numerous posts where purported students in the state recorded videos of classmates, who seemed unaware they were being filmed dressed in costumes and accessories. Some posts contained threats against the students being filmed. [Pols emphasis]

One post of a student apparently filmed without their knowledge contained the hashtag “#killfurrys.” Other posts harshly mocked the students.

This is the “call to action” that Datko wrote on her “Jeffco Kids First” Facebook group:


The entire Colorado Community Media story is well worth the read. It offers some new insight into the sort of lunatic fringe voices that Ganahl has surrounded herself with during her campaign for Governor.

Datko epitomizes the nutjob right-wing base that Donald Trump pandered to in order to win the 2016 Presidential election. Ganahl seems to have taken that playbook to a new level, however; she didn’t just seek Datko’s support but actively considered her counsel.

Neither Datko nor the Ganahl campaign responded to requests for comment from Colorado Community Media. Datko deleted her Twitter account late last week.


15 thoughts on “New Story Examines History of Ganahl’s Furry Obsession

  1. Ganahl really IS making an effort to get the prize for worst campaign, isn't she.

    Major theme for the closing weeks of the campaign from an activist group without, as far as I can tell, any legal background, academic scholarship, or even mainstream press.  If ALL those other institutions have not been centered on "the problem," what is the chance that it would be the issue that would really move the great middle of the voting citizenry?


  2. In terms of rhetoric, self-justification, self-righteousness, and circular delusion, these people just aren't that far from the sort of people who burnt witches.

  3. Sounds like Lindsay Datko is a throwback to the old days of neighborhood spies in the Soviet Union. Same happens today in "Peoples" Republic of China.

  4. Here’s an interesting thought on why she’s doing this – laziness.

    If you want to know why our politics has reached its current unusual (though by no means unprecedented) state of bitterness and hysteria, take a long look at an often neglected factor in our electoral campaigns: laziness

    1. Laziness, or perhaps just apathy.

      Ganahl had to know she would lose to Polis and that her only job was to keep the base energized with red meat to help in other races like CD8.

      Assuming she is smart enough to know her base is crazy (a big assumption), why not just throw them crazy? That's what the GOP likes, and she would never mobilize the GOP base with an issues campaign. 

  5. I have to ask what color is the sky in her world.  This whole idiotic "furry" thing is bonkers. Except, it is designed, I mean it was created by a nasty human on purpose of demeaning trans children. It was designed to make trans children and adults as not human, not worthy of acceptance and the subject of derision. The hate of the facist republicans towards transgender nad gay people is horrible.  They find it a great way to raise money. Even if Ganahl does not believe it, just by acting like she thinks it is the best thing since a vibrator makes it horrible and another reason she should move out of Colorado.

  6. Try as they may, I will never be convinced they are anything other than a cult, pure and simple. Charismatics, grifters and confabulators wrapped around the axles of billionaires' propaganda – ALEC, SPN think-tanks, Murdoch and Koch.  It's a stinky cesspool of humanity, operating in a self-induced vacuum of critical thinking and nativism.   Come on, Darwin…shift it to high gear.


    1. It boggles the mind of an old-timer, like me.

      The sort of politics that dominates todays’ world is unfathomable to me. Honor, truth, humility, graciousness, courtesy…nowhere near the top of the list of desired qualities in our modern politicians.

      Leadership…nay, statesmanship. What the fuck is that?

      Your explanation, above, is as succinct as I have seen it said. It is the influence of “Big Money” and “Big Jesus” stirring the pot of resentful, greedy, and very frightened “haves”. The “have nots” started losing ground in 1980. I remember…I was there.

      I believe it was 1970 or 1972 when a Republican named Jack Eckerd ( yep…that one) lost the election for governor of Florida. Not long before election day, the press broke the news that Jack, (leading at the time) had spent $1.1 million of his own money on the race. The blowback was immediate and fierce. The voters rejected him, the conclusion of the local punditry was the money was the issue. Such notions have long vanished from the American body politic.

      As Democrats try to revive the New Deal, the Republicans are just as determined to go back to the 1920s. A “Free Market”, according to Naomi Klein, cannot exist in a democracy, hence the urgency by Big Money to tear down our democracy and install a heartless totalitarian as “President for Life.”

      Vote Blue…No Matter Who.

      1. "leadership……statesmanship….." That was Barry Goldwater leading a group of Republican Senators to the White House in 1974 to tell Nixon it was over.

        That was then though; 48 years ago. Only thing close today is Mitt Romney.

    2. "Murdoch and Koch….." There are other shadowy billionaires who fund the far right wing, like the late Sheldon Adelson (I've read that his widow is much less generous to those causes), the Mercers, the Uihleins. As an aside, don't buy any U-Line office products if you don't want to support the far right wing. 

      And it will get worse. During the past two years, a little known Chicago manufacturing magnate, Barry Seid ("said") dropped $1.6 billion on a non-profit led by Leonard Leo, co-chair of the Federalist Society. It appears to have been done tax-free, in accordance with IRS regulations. 

    1. Do you suppose that might matter to any of them? Just when you are convinced they have hit bottom and can descend no further, they break out a sharper shovel.

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