Bob Beauprez’s Reckless, Factless Attacks: Too Far Again

Bob Beauprez.

Bob Beauprez.

FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports:

One day after GOP gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez released a TV ad citing last year’s murder of former Colorado Dept. of Corrections Chief Tom Clements’ as an example of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s failure to keep the state safe, Clements’ widow, Lisa, asked Beauprez to stop.

“Mr. Beauprez, it is with great sadness and frustration that I am breaking my silence on matters involving the death of my husband,” Lisa Clements wrote to Beauprez Thursday in a letter shared with Colorado media outlets.

“On several occasions this year, you have attempted to use our family’s tragic loss for your personal and political gain, and we are respectfully asking you to stop.  We’re requesting you to please stop referencing our tragedy in your debate statements and in your campaign ads. Because every time you do, you re-open the wounds that our family continues to suffer from.

“We have not asked you to defend or publicize our experience, and we are not interested in accepting the support of anyone who chooses to do so with the expectation of something in return.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has a long history in Colorado politics. Beauprez went to Congress in 2002 after winning an extremely close and bitter CD-7 race by only 121 votes–a result finalized weeks after the election. Beauprez ran for governor in 2006, and had to fight a particularly bitter primary campaign against entrepreneur Marc Holtzman: a primary that left Beauprez seriously damaged even before the race against eventual blowout winner Bill Ritter got underway.

In 2006 on the way to his historic 17-point defeat, Beauprez earned a reputation as a ruthlessly negative campaigner. Whether this is a product of Beauprez's character or the desperate battle he fought to win his seat in Congress is tough to say, but as Beauprez sagged in the polls he simultaneously threw the kitchen sink at Ritter–including highly controversial claims about illegal immigrants in Denver that resulted in a federal investigation.

We've talked a lot this year about the crazy things Beauprez has said on the record since losing the 2006 gubernatorial race. Many of the worst of Beauprez's statements date to the high tide of the Tea Party in 2009-10, when all kinds of immoderate nonsense was fashionable. Comments about President Barack Obama "pushing" the nation toward civil war, Muslim Sharia law "creeping in" to Colorado, etc. betray either pathological or deeply cynical motivations underlying Beauprez's politics.

The tragic story of the murder of Department of Corrections director Tom Clements has been crassly politicized almost from the day he was killed. Not long after Clements' death, unnamed Republican sources persuaded the Denver Post to write a front-page story essentially blaming killer Evan Ebel's release on a Democratic-sponsored 2011 law. The next day, a 9NEWS report showed that Ebel had been released years early due to an entirely unrelated judicial error, and the Post eventually admitted that the factual basis of their story was wrong.

A 9NEWS Truth Test last night explains further, referencing their earlier report:

The assassinated prison chief was a member of the governor's cabinet and a close friend of Hickenlooper's.

To portray Hickenlooper as responsible for Ebel's release from prison deliberately misleads voters.

The Beauprez camp defends this claim by pointing to a law that Hickenlooper did sign in 2011, which allows offenders like Ebel to earn time off for good behavior while in solitary confinement.

Ebel did earn time under that law.

But that wouldn't have mattered in this case. The courts made a mistake that allowed Ebel to get out four years early. [Pols emphasis]

Beauprez has repeatedly invoked Clements' death to attack Gov. John Hickenlooper on the campaign trail, blaming Hickenlooper for the legislation the Denver Post wrongly identified as the reason for Ebel's early release, as well longstanding problems with releasing inmates like Ebel directly from solitary confinement to the street. But the truth is, Clements, under Hickenlooper, was working to reform the solitary confinement system in Colorado prisons when he was killed. To mislead voters about these events to the degree that Beauprez has, for the kind of crude political scare tactics that Beauprez has employed, is objectively deplorable. It's deplorable in a way that should disgust members of both parties–anyone who considers themselves a responsible stakeholder in Colorado politics.

It is wrong, it demeans us all, and it must not be rewarded. We really don't know what else to say.

25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DawnPatrol says:

    In politics, this is known as "desperately, maniacally throwing shit at your opponent's wall to see if any of it will stick." I call it a "Hail Bobby" pass.

    It's never the act of a winning, confident candidate.

    Poor old Bothways Boopray — a bona fide three-time loser.

    • Moderatus says:

      This isn't the only example of Hickenlooper being soft on crime. Sparing Nathan Dunlap will cost Hick more votes than Evan Ebel.

      Soft on crime is soft on crime. Hickenlooper didn't want Clements to die but if he helped create the weaknesses that led to it, he should be held responsible.

      • DawnPatrol says:

        Fuck you, dummy.

      • dustpuppy says:

        Dude. How about if we just stuff you in a barrel and leave you in the wilds?

      • gasan says:

        I second that 'fuck you.' His wife wants this dipshit Republican to leave her family alone. If you can't respect that, then you're an asshole.

        • Moderatus says:

          Not to be rude, but it's a week from the election. What's her party affiliation?

          • Progressicat says:

            She didn't bring it up, you absolute piece of amorphous shit.

          • FrankUnderwood says:

            Some people (obviously excluding you and BWB) place human decency and compassion above ideology and partisan affiliation.  All that hard work being done showing Gardner as a kinder, gentler wing nut (windmills and tractor lots in the background) is being negated by the shit coming out of Both Way's mouth.  Keep it up……

          • Wong21fr says:

            Trying to quantify an incredibly rude question doesn't make it not rude.  

            Not to be rude, but you come off as an individual who places a goddamn political party before everything else; including the Constitution, the nation, and human decency.  Hell, you'd probably kill someone if it would guarantee an election.


          • JeffcoBlue says:

            Her party affiliation is WIDOW, you unspeakable disgusting fuck.

            God Republicans make me so sick. I mean really, viscerally. You will literally defend anything.

            • FrankUnderwood says:

              I'm reminded of what that f—ing chicken hawk, Sexy Chambliss, in Georgia did 12 years ago to Max Cleland.  The guy lost three limbs in Vietnam and that piece of shit the Repubs nominated ran against him as making the United States unsafe post 9/11.

              The only good news is that Real Clear Politics, that right wing site, has shifted Georgia as likely to go to Michelle Nunn come election day.  

          • dustpuppy says:

            Does it fucking matter, Moddy? She said for Boopray to leave her alone and stop using her husband's tragedy as a political target.


          • BlueCat says:

            Modster, if you really think a grieving widow only has a problem with having the shocking, violent loss of her beloved husband being used in ads to score political points because of her party affiliation you have drunk way, way, way too much Kool-aid. Step away from the giant smiley faced pitcher and listen to yourself for a second. Is this really who you want to be?  Someone who claims this woman is only pretending to be upset that her family's tragedy is being exploited in political ads because of her political views? Seriously?

            I sincerely hope that, on further consideration you have enough decency to be thoroughly ashamed of your question which is many magnitudes beyond rude. It's inhuman. Have you ever lost someone you loved?  If so, can you imagine giving a damn about political advantage or disadvantage in connection with that loss? I certainly hope not.


        • DawnPatrol says:

          These are some really, really sick, twisted, amoral assholes, these GOTP trolls, Evil.

      • Progressicat says:

        Let me elaborate on Dawn Patrol's comment.  Fuck you. Every minute of every day. In every orifice possible.  And may the fucking continue for the eternity you will undoubtedly spend in Hell.

        Evan Ebel was released early because of an obscure administrative practice in the DoC that led them to interpret sentences as running concurrently if consecutive sentences weren't indicated on the form they receive.

      • Commuting Dunlap's sentence to life without parole is one of those things that actually increases my admittedly lackluster support for Hick. I don't get the argument about a life without parole sentence being "soft on crime" – it's hard for me to imagine a sentence worse than spending the rest of your life in a hard core prison.

        The argument that the death sentence is a deterrent has been proven false. On top of that, it's expensive, our execution methods still aren't reliably humane, and there are too many cases where the sentence is wrongly assigned. Once you execute someone, you can't compensate them when you figure out the justice system erred.

        And, as others here noted, trying to tie Hick to the Clements murder is an outright deception – Ebel wasn't released due to Hick's policies, but rather due to an error in the determination of his elegibility.

        • OrangeFree says:

          If it's not state-sponsored revenge-driven bloodlust, it's "soft on crime."

        • DawnPatrol says:

          Same here; in contrast with his fracking BS, the commutation actually increased my fondness for Hick. Everyone who's ever stopped to look into it can see that the death penalty is an absolute crock in terms of any "deterrence" effect. Death is the easy way — or in Dunlap's case, the coward's way — out.

          But I sure do get a kick out of all these bloodthirsty chickenhawk GOTP cowards, so arrogantly sure they're always right about everything, and so very willing to mete out the cruelest of punishments to those they dislike — always, of course, as long as someone else handles all the dirty work, whether it be executions, or fighting wars. Yeah, a real macho bunch of hairy-ass commandos they are.

        • PERA hopeful says:

          But Hickenlooper didn't commute his sentence.  He gave Dunlap a reprieve from his imminent death date and expressly stated that the next governor could decide whether to kill him or commute his sentence.  Big difference and in my humble opinion consummately chickenshit.

  2. JeffcoCO says:

    I realize that if someone can't accept the request of a widow, they are truly irredeemable. And so my comment isn't going to penetrate that iron plated heart. But I will say it anyway.

    It seems so easy to forget that there are human beings all over this story. And for a politician to politicize this kind of tragedy requires that he and all of his advisors forget that there are other human lives here. The fact that we all know that the release was a DOC error that it had nothing to do with the Governor's policies would make it that much more despicable if it weren't already so far down that path as to make "more so" irrelevant.

    Mrs. Clements has spoken. And yet an apologist on this blog doubles down. And as far as I know, Beauprez campaign has not responded.

    In 2004, the Ebel family buried their teenage daughter. A church packed with teenagers mourned with the family, including Evan. And then they buried him less than 10 years later.  

    Of course, if they won't respect the wishes of a widow (and worse, cast aspersions on her motives as Moderatus did here), why would they care about the Ebel family?  

    Maybe because we are dealing with human beings. Or, at least, I thought we were.

  3. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    As an actual, real-life, conservative (not the Conservative In Name Only (CINO) type who claims to be for small government except in bedroom affairs), I'm reminded again of how even Tom Tancredo probably would have been a better candidate than Bozo Bob. Sad, but true, that our party's bench is so weak that we had to bring back a re-tread like Beauprez.   Regards,  C.H.B.

  4. mountain grammy says:

    Banish Beauprez into the right wing darkness, and may he take Cory Gardner with him..

  5. DenverMom says:

    I watched the debate last night, and I was astonished at how rude Bob Beauprez was–interrupting the Governor's responses, ignoring Shaun Boyd's admonitions that time was up.  He clearly is very ignorant of how regulations are passed in Colorado.  The Governor does not have the authority to suspend new regulations on day one.  There is an administrative process that is set out in statute.  He came across as nasty and ignorant.

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