Pants on Fire: Politifact Shreds GOP SD-19 Mailer

chinagirlA new fact-check from Politifact Colorado’s Alan Gathright posted at Denver7 is most unkind to new mailers hitting in the pivotal SD-19 race in Arvada and Westminster, where an old and already proven false allegation against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger has apparently been recycled for the current election cycle:

For the second straight election, a conservative group has attacked a Democratic Colorado state Senate candidate with the same claim: “Rachel Zenzinger voted to use tax dollars to take a taxpayer-funded junket to China.”

In late June, political mailers started arriving at homes in the northwest Denver suburbs of Senate District 19. They featured a photoshopped image of a smiling Zenzinger wearing sunglasses with dollar signs on the lenses and an ornamental Asian bridge in the background…

The same group attacked Zenzinger for a taxpayer-backed junket to China in 2014. But just as before, there are key problems with these attacks.

“I’ve never been to China,” Zenzinger told PolitiFact. “I was joking to friends, believe me if I had been to China, I would have had so many pictures on Facebook they wouldn’t have to Photoshop my picture in the ads.” [Pols emphasis]

politifact%2Fphotos%2Ftom_ruling_pof_6Even better, and again this is all well-reported common knowledge after fact-checkers tore the claim apart in 2014:

Also, while on the Arvada City Council in 2013, Zenzinger made — and then voted for — a successful motion explicitly prohibiting use of taxpayer funds for a proposed sister-city delegation to China.

In short, not only is there zero truth to the allegation that Zenzinger “voted to use taxpayer funds to visit China,” everyone knew there was no truth to it two years ago. To reuse this debunked story in new attack mailers against Zenzinger strongly points to a conscious disregard for the truth in the state’s most important legislative race. It’s one thing to make stuff up, it’s another to keep using made-up stuff after it has been debunked.

That takes an additional degree of chutzpah.

It’s against the law in Colorado to make false statements in political communications, but the statute has proven notoriously difficult as a means of bringing actual charges–mostly because prosecutors are reluctant to criminalize such speech-related “political questions.” With that said, it’s pretty hard to argue that this lie was not knowing and deliberate, because it’s not a new lie. We’ll be interested in seeing if that makes a difference.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    C'mon Pols. Don't be shy. Who is the group releasing the false ad and how about taking up a collection to rebut the ad? We shouldn’t have to click on a link to find out the ID of the nefarious group. Maybe also ID their registered agent or other spokesperson?  

  2. davebarnes says:

    Why do you get upset about this?
    This is what GOPers do. Learn to live with it.

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    Wow!  Apparently some GOPer staffer forgot to photoshop the stars . . . 

    . . . where's that Grand Old Party discipline, people???

  4. Davie says:

    Speaking of ludicrous Republican smear campaigns, here's a pro-Trump PAC attempting to link Hillary to the KKK in a fundraising email:

    the email address for Crippled America PAC is, which is tied to the That website is pretty basic, showing a photo of Clinton with the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), who was a KKK member in the 1940s.

    Of course, this could actually just be another scam since anyone dumb enough to vote for Trump is likely dumb enough to send money to these guys.  As PT Barnum said "there's a sucker born every minute" and they are Trump's natural constituency.

  5. Voyageur says:

    Impeccable logic, Sir! 

    I dunno, Davie.   Blue Cat pecks at my logic all the timesad

  6. Craig says:

    You should talk to the powers that be in Jeffco Democrats.  They insisted on her this second time around when they had a much better choice.  As I've said many times before, that was stupid.  PS, if you believe voters won't believe this kind of crap, well, you're just plain wrong.  Unless the campaign hits back and hits hard, this will be part of the narrative until she loses the election.  Doesn't matter whether it's true of not.

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