Colorado GOP’s “Groundbreaking” New Website: Epic Fail

UPDATE #3: In a separate post to the Denver Post's Spot Blog, the Denver Post's Jesse Paul belatedly reports the Colorado GOP's accidental use of photos of Utah and Arizona on their "local" research website:

The site, set to go live Thursday but already accessible, features a photo of the Maroon Bells and the state’s capitol building. However, two other images originally posted featured the Colorado River in Arizona and Monument Valley on the Utah-Arizona border.

The image of the Colorado River in Arizona was captioned, “Working to restore Republican values to Colorado.”

By about 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, the out-of-state photos had been replaced with scenic photos of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs and a ski area.


UPDATE #2: To be fair, it does appear that one of our readers was chastising the Colorado GOP for using D.C.-based consultants for Ryan Call's "brain child" website about an hour before that detail was publicized by GOP operative Kelly Maher. Credit where due, ClubTwitty.


UPDATE: Local Republican operative Kelly Maher provides an unintentional clue as to the origin of this site, which the Denver Post falsely billed as Colorado GOP chairman Ryan Call's "brain child." Apparently, Call's brain lives in a Washington, D.C. consultant shop:

Something tells us she wasn't supposed to Tweet that! But there you have it, folks.


The Denver Post's Jesse Paul has an absolutely doting story up about the Colorado Republican Party Independent Expenditure Committee's new website, meant to "intended to help distribute political opposition research and raise funds." Described as the "brain child" of state party chairman Ryan Call, apparently local Republicans are very, very proud of this: acts as an organizational tool for both Colorado-based and national Republican groups involved with the 2014 state elections and beyond as both a fundraising tool and information hub. The idea is to have readily available, easily disseminated information about liberal candidates that others, as well as those running the website, can use to create ads.

"With an eye towards longevity, and in understanding that all politics is local politics, our focus is on winning a majority in the Colorado State Senate in 2014, in addition to targeting statewide races," said Lexi Effron, a spokeswoman for the site's organizing group, Colorado Republican Independent Expenditure Committee.

The site is rolling out with opposition research on seven state senate candidates in districts spanning Colorado that "internal research reveals to be competitive and winnable by a Republican."

The group — which at its heart is focused on unearthing campaign expenditures — is a new tool for the Colorado Republican Committee. Effron says the new site is chairman Ryan Call's "brain child." [Pols emphasis]

Our first thought visiting the new website is that its design is rather…well, clunky–big images that push text content below the fold, and no easy means to accomplish simple modern tasks like social media sharing. Not exactly a "best of breed" design from a commercial web design sense.

And then we noticed something else: several of those big, clunky slideshow graphics don't depict Colorado.


See this image? It's #3 on the Colorado GOP IE website's slideshow. We're pretty sure that anybody who has lived in the American Southwest for any appreciable length of time knows this is Monument Valley–in Utah.


"Working to restore Republican values to Colorado?" By the look of it, they're working to restore Republican values to a canyon in Arizona. Because that's where this photo was taken!

The moral of this story? The same as it is every time a local Republican candidate or organization tries to pass off what's obviously the work of some out-of-state consultant shop as locally relevant–only to get burned by something ridiculous. We discover that it's not local, it's not terribly relevant, and apparently, locals who should have given this site a cursory once-over before the Denver Post launches the site with an obliging story couldn't be bothered.

Which makes it very difficult to take this new website seriously, even with a really great puff piece.

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    Maybe they should have stuck with Soapbox?

  2. BlueCat says:

    Is there a rule that Rs are forbidden to use shots of Colorado sites in Colorado because it seems to happen pretty much all the time. Couldn't they just have an unpaid intern use the old google first? How hard could that be?

  3. ct says:

    Club Twitty uncovered the Harden Global connection around noon today, as your tweet feed below will verify…

  4. horseshit GOP front group says:

    Picking on the Colorado GOP's ineptitude is kind of like B_______   A    D______    H ____

    You can solve this one Moddy.  I know you can do it.  Extra points for GIFs.

  5. Progressicat says:

    If this is the sort of thing birthed by Ryan Call's brain, he needs to get his neurons tied.

  6. ajb says:

    You gotta hand it to HardenGlobal. They can build one generic rightie website and charge four times for it (AZ, UT, CO, and NM). Republicans are none the wiser. 

    They know their audience.

  7. ct says:


    top dollar … ca-ching! 

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      That loud sucking sound you hear is more Koch $$$ being wasted.  Much like last election cycle when they gave how many hundreds of millions of dollars to Karl Rove to retake the Senate? 

  8. ct says:

    Prior to joining the HARDEN|GLOBAL team, Ransom did extensive field work for a number of non-profits in the Washington D.C. area including the Charles Koch Institute and the Leadership Institute. His non-profit and campaign experience helped him develop critical skills in strengthening national grassroots organizations and networks. His experience in multiple local, state, and federal campaigns also brings in-depth knowledge in grassroots and communications strategy.

    Ransom is from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and earned  Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and Criminal Justice from the University of Northern Colorado. When not pouring over project notebooks, he loves watching Colorado sports teams and has a passion for American military history.

    Everything keeps coming up #Koch…

  9. gertie97 says:

    ColoradoCore? CommonCore? WTF?


  10. ct says:


    Kenny B@BuckColorado

    HT > hard-working men, women harvesting blubber in western Colorado oil fields @ryanrcall @hardenglobal #copolitics



    Embedded image permalink

  11. ct says:

    Ryan Call's Brain at Work Colorado"Grassroots" Topshelf Carpetbagger Style:

    4 GOP political operatives, 3 from DC

    Colorado CORE's Followers

    John Vandivier

    JOHN VANDIVIER @johnvandivier

    DC Political Consultant. Writer. Interested in #politics, #econ, religion and more. Pursuing MPP at GMU. #tcot #tlot

  12. The realist says:

    RE: Update #3 –

    By about 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, the out-of-state photos had been replaced with scenic photos of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs and a ski area.

    Said ski area photo is Breckenridge Ski Resort, Summit County. The only elected positions Republicans seem to win in Summit County are those that the wheeler-dealers "give away" in the back rooms, i.e. "you can have the sheriff's position unopposed and we'll expect to have the treasurer's position unopposed," etc.



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