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September 26, 2016 10:21 AM UTC

How To Lie In Political Mailers, Colorado GOP Edition

  • 7 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

Two mailers from the Colorado Republican Party to voters in Colorado’s Sixth Congressional District attacking Democratic candidate Morgan Carroll were forwarded to us over the weekend, and a closer look at the claims and backup cited in these pieces could honestly set a new standard for deception–as we’ll explain:

carrollmailers1

The claim in the mailer is that as a state representative, Carroll voted against a bill to “protect doctors and nurses from junk lawsuits.” Unfortunately, if recipients are looking for more information, there’s no reference to a bill number, or even the year this vote supposedly occurred. The only reference on this mail piece at all is:

carrollmailers2

A mile-long URL link to a page on the Colorado General Assembly’s website. Now obviously, recipients can’t click on this mail piece to visit that page, and laboriously entering this giant URL is something we’re pretty sure very few recipients would ever bother to do. But we did–and sure enough, the URL takes you to the summary report for a February 7, 2006 hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

From there we learn that the bill in question is House Bill 06-1076, and was indeed  concerned with “immunity from civil liability under the Volunteer Service Act.” In this summary, you can see that the bill passed the House Judiciary Committee on a 7-4 vote with Carroll voting “no.”

But that’s not the whole story. Between that committee hearing and final passage of HB06-1076 in the House on February 20, 2006, it was further debated and amended to address concerns of the “no” votes. And if you have the knowledge of the legislative process and Colorado’s famously crappy legislative website to find that “third reading” final passage vote in the House…

hb06-10763rdreading

Here, we blew it up so there’s no confusion:

jn061076carrollyes

The truth is, Morgan Carroll voted “yes” on House Bill 06-1076. She voted “yes” to pass it out of the House, and “yes” again when the bill came back to the House for reconsideration of Senate amendments. The bill was signed into law by GOP Gov. Bill Owens and is the law of the land in Colorado today.

Here’s the problem: anyone who knew about this arcane legislative history well enough to describe Carroll’s “no” vote in the House Judiciary Committee in February of 2006 knows perfectly damned well that she voted “yes” on final passage of the bill. This mailer could therefore be considered a knowing false statement under Colorado’s statute outlawing “false or reckless statements relating to candidates.” Note also that this didn’t come from some shady 527, but from the Colorado Republican Party itself.

We’ve been documenting Colorado political communications for many years, and in its way, this is one of the most deceptive examples we’ve ever seen. To the extent that local media has any power left to call this kind of bad behavior out, they should.

Comments

7 thoughts on “How To Lie In Political Mailers, Colorado GOP Edition

  1. I don't know who the law firms are, but if it is me, I'd sue the pants of the Colorado Republican Party.  Unfortunately, this is yet another "Republican Truth."  Technically true but intended to mislead voters.  They do this all the time.  It's the same thing with the taxes commercial they're running.  Of course in that one they never say that the only tax hike could come from a vote of the people, but what the hell does Amendment 1 mean anyway.

      1. So that's what happened to our dark-brown stripey kitty (she's not black) during the debate tonight. She's a Dem and was watching The Screaming Yam on the sofa with us.

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