A fascinating Facebook post from Republican state senate candidate Jess Loban out of Douglas County accuses two-time gubernatorial loser Bob Beauprez of “meddling”–not just in the hard-right Loban’s primary in Senate District 4 against Ben Lyng, but in a number of key GOP legislative primary races around the state:
We found the source of the attacks on me, and it was bigger than expected. It actually was extended to Rep. Lori Saine, Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, and Rep Janak Joshi in the false and vicious attacks just like we have had here in Douglas County.
This was carried out by a group that is called Colorado Right Now that was started by a member of Pioneer Action that launched an all-out attack on conservative candidates across Colorado. The chairman of Pioneer Action is Bob Beauprez, and Bob Beauprez is endorser number 1 for Ben Lyng.
I am so very proud to be included with this group of standing legislators as a real threat to their liberal agenda. This is a fierce and direct RINO attack on anyone who stands for conservative values. WE MUST SPREAD THE WORD.
This is Douglas County, and we won’t put up with kingmaker actions and the oppressive will of an ultra establishment take over.
To be clear, the connection Loban is making to Beauprez isn’t quite bulletproof. According to Secretary of State filings by Colorado Right Now, the registered agent is Justin Prendergast–who also works for Bob Beauprez’s Pioneer Action group. Prendergast in fact uses a Pioneer Action email address in his filing as registered agent for Colorado Right Now. Prendergast is also engaged to Hillary Shoun, who along with Monica Owens runs the GOP PR firm Westbrooke Group. Monica Owens, of course, is married to Bob Beauprez’s son.
On second thought, it’s pretty much bulletproof.
With all of this established, what have here is a very interesting story of red-on-red infighting behind the scenes–not just in open-seat races like Jess Loban’s, but against incumbent GOP lawmakers like Lori Saine, Janak Joshi, and (yes) Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt. These incumbents are all members of the “House Crazies,” members who have all in their way contributed to the GOP’s high negatives–if not in their own districts, then elsewhere as a general problem for the brand.
One might conclude based on this limited information that Beauprez is attempting to mastermind some kind of “purge” of a few of the more hardcore Republicans in the Colorado General Assembly–much like the Republican Governor’s Association openly waded into the 2014 gubernatorial race to freeze out Tom Tancredo. If that’s right, and targets like Loban are successful at getting the word out, we could see it backfiring explosively on Beauprez and the “establishment” candidates he is backing.
And before moderate Republicans rush to express their gratitude, remember that Beauprez has easily done as much damage to the Republican cause as any Republican in Colorado. And for far, far longer.
Stay tuned, this story seems very likely to blow up before June 28th.