UPDATE: Tim Neville responds to the Colorado Springs Gazette in more detail:
Many of you believe that once the liberal media starts attacking you, it’s a sign you are doing something right.
And in this case, I’m inclined to agree with you.
Today I was labelled “unelectable” by the Colorado Springs Gazette, a title I haven’t had the pleasure of wearing since my last election…
And what did I do to be so viciously attacked?
It wasn’t my leadership in the state Senate – no.
It wasn’t the fact that I’m the only candidate with a true legislative record – nope.
It wasn’t the endorsements of 18 current and former Colorado House and Senate members, or even the undeniable support of the grassroots across the state – none of those things.
No, I’m unelectable because like Cory Gardner, I have a relationship with the National Association for Gun Rights and their state affiliate Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.
You can see where he’s going with this, right?
An editorial this weekend from the Colorado Springs Gazette practically begs Republican voters to not support state Sen. Tim Neville in the GOP Senate primary, despite Neville’s clear dominance of the grassroots-driven caucus process up to now:
Colorado’s Senate contest is second only to the presidential race in importance to Republicans nationwide. To blow a rare opportunity, Republicans need only nominate State Sen. Tim Neville — a politician known for close ties to a special-interest lobby that insidiously harms gun rights…
Neville’s campaign “is backed by Dudley Brown,” reports the Denver Post. Neville’s “close ties to Dudley are not in dispute,” reports BigMedia.org, a liberal blog gleeful about Neville’s assumed coronation.
If these reports and others are true, conservatives should worry. A Brown candidate will not win a statewide campaign, and is exactly what the Democratic Party wants most.
Brown runs Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the National Association of Gun Rights, which sounds good to unwary gun-rights voters. Though the organizations claim to defend the Second Amendment, they fight the NRA at every turn to raise cash. Brown opposed last year’s Republican effort to ease the left’s ban on ammunition magazines exceeding 15 rounds.
A major split emerged last year within the gun-rights-focused GOP political establishment over a stillborn legislative proposal to change the 2013 15 round magazine limit to 30 rounds, which would allow owners of AR-15 rifles and so-called “wonder nine” pistols to use the large capacity magazines those weapons can be fitted with. Jon Caldara and the Independence Institute led the push for this “compromise” bill, but a large bloc of conservative lawmakers flatly opposed anything other than a total repeal of the magazine limit.
The problem with blaming Dudley Brown and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners for this lockdown by conservatives against Caldara’s proposal is that RMGO-aligned candidates have been winning Republican primaries and general elections for years. At this point, ideological unity with Brown does not require some kind of robotic control of RMGO-backed legislators, although RMGO does enforce their agenda vigorously within the Colorado GOP.
The bottom line is that Dudley Brown and RMGO are the Colorado Republican Party now, at least so far as the legislature is concerned. Brown didn’t have the votes to stop the 30-round magazine bill last year so much as the “no compromise” gun rights movement in general did. And without a unified GOP in the General Assembly, the bill remains DOA even if a few Democrats might otherwise be peeled off.
Back to Neville–as you can imagine, he wasn’t impressed with the Gazette’s hit piece.
— Tim Neville (@NevilleforSen) April 3, 2016
Nothing like a “Second Amendment remedy” to a First Amendment problem, eh? And if you think this Tweet is an image problem for Neville, think again. Neville is ingratiating himself with exactly the voters he needs to win the Republican U.S. Senate primary and challenge Michael Bennet this November.
And there may not be a thing Wayne Laugesen can do about it.