At Least It’s Not Your Ridiculously Bad Walk Piece

UPDATE #2: FOX 31’s Eli Stokols:

Ramirez told FOX31 Denver Monday afternoon he’s upset.

“They can think what they want about my mailer,” Ramirez said. “But to talk about my daughter and insinuate that I’m running around on my wife, that bothers me. And it bothers my wife and daughter more than me.”

…FOX31 Denver spoke Monday with one of the publishers of Colorado Pols, who referred to the reaction by Ramirez and Colorado Peak Pols as “manufactured angst.”

“Nobody’s insinuating that [Ramirez]’s running around on his wife,” said Jason Bane, a co-founder of Colorado Pols. “The point is he’s got this random collection of photos with no explanation, so there’s no way to know who’s his wife or daughter. There was no attempt to insinuate he’s cheating. It was just – who are these people?

“There’s pictures with his wife, his daughter, with a guy dressed up as Ronald McDonald. For all we know, Ronald McDonald could be his uncle.”

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UPDATE: Via Twitter, @RepRamirez is posting a bunch of pictures of his daughter, ostensibly to clarify her appearance in the walk piece below. Ramirez’s wife, meanwhile (@mrsramirez2002) is really mad about something that must have grown into a super horrible story after different stories were told to her. Because, you see, we didn’t actually say anything about their daughter.

What is truly amusing in all of this manufactured angst is that it just reinforces our original point about the folly of a campaign piece that makes several silly errors arranged within a confusing collage of pictures. Would you assume that the blonde in the top left was his daughter? Would you guess, just by looking at the picture, that the woman in the karate outfit was his wife? Hell, maybe Ronald McDonald is his uncle.

This is just a weird, awful campaign piece for a lot of reasons. We didn’t say anything more than that.

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(cross-posted from Jeffco Pols)

It didn’t seem like things could get worse for State Representative Robert Ramirez. After being forced out of the race for SD-19 by the entrance of much more credible candidate Lang Sias, he’s being significantly outraised and outspent by dynamo opponent Tracy Kraft-Tharp in his re-election bid.

Then again, all of Ramirez’s problems are, perhaps, the result of his own ineptitude. Take, for example, this recent handout/mail piece. Keep in mind that the Republican actually spent money to create and distribute this piece to actual voters.

Let’s start with the obvious. On that sublimely terrible red-text-on-yellow list of accomplishments, Ramirez left out bullet point number three. Seriously, how hard is it to make a list? Sure, it’s easy to overlook a numbering error in the early drafts of campaign piece, but it’s downright stupid for those mistakes to make it into the final, distributed version. Does Ramirez even know how to count?

And what’s with that Facebook link in the lower right corner? Few people are going to go on Facebook to check out a candidate anyway, but nobody is going meticulously type in a complicated URL replete with numbers, question marks, and underscores. Ramirez doesn’t even have a Facebook link on his website — where something like that would kind of make sense — so why on earth would he pay money to put it on his mail piece? You can’t click a link on paper.

So Ramirez took a photo with somebody pretending to be Ronald McDonald down at the Capitol. Neat. Setting aside the fact that Ramirez certainly didn’t get permission to use one of McDonald’s most recognizable corporate trademarks for political purposes, why would he want to? Is he trying to brand himself as the fast food candidate in this race? Beyond that, no candidate should ever publicize photos of them standing next to a clown. Hell, Ronald McDonald looks better in that photo than Ramirez.

Rep. Ramirez played no part in reinstating the Senior Homestead Property Tax Exemption. That happened all by itself.

There’s no question that the two photos of Ramirez with Governor Hickenlooper were used without permission. It’s obvious why Ramirez would want to associate himself with the most popular politician in Colorado, but Hick would no doubt rather be taking bill-signing photos with Kraft-Tharpe.

Then again, maybe Ramirez wants people to think he’s a Democrat. One million dollars for veterans benefits? That’s a lot of state spending from somebody who labels himself a small government conservative.

That attractive blonde woman posing with Ramirez in the upper left-hand corner? That’s not his wife (his wife appears alongside the representative in a much smaller photo adorned in a kung-fu uniform). The woman in the picture may be a family member, but Ramirez should probably point that out in a caption. Looks like he forgot to hire a professional to take a few photos of his family — bizarre, considering even no-hope candidates figure out that they should do that.

The worst photo of all, however, is the large profile shot of Ramirez on the right hand side. While it might make a great photo for a membership card at the local gun club, it shouldn’t be the centerpiece of his first major push to connect with voters. Ramirez doesn’t look like a sitting state representative. Instead, he looks like some cross between a Kentucky Militia leader and the Unabomber. He clearly had a much better photo to use — his official shot from the capital is just centimeters to the left, there — but for whatever reason he decided, “Hey, I don’t want voters to associate my name with my face, use the photo of me in the shades with the flags. I look cool, like a Hispanic Tom Clancy.”

This has to be one of the worst campaign pieces we’ve ever seen. That would be bad enough if Ramirez was the token Republican opposition in a heavily Democratic area. But he’s the incumbent legislator in a swing district. He can’t even number a list correctly, and yet this dude has a vote on issues that affect the entire state.

Although, if this piece is any indication, not for much longer.  

Democrat Announces for House Seat Pivotal in 2012

(Cross-posted at Jeffco Pols)

We know of quite a few Democrats who blame the loss of the majority in the State House squarely on the shoulders of former Rep. Debbie Benefield; when you lose your majority by a one-seat margin, it’s inevitable that people will look for someone to get the blame. Democrats with the House Majority Project and in leadership at the Capitol have come up with a laundry list of reasons why Debbie lost her race: She didn’t walk enough, she didn’t call enough, or she just didn’t have the enthusiasm. We don’t agree with all of those criticisms, but nevertheless, it was a foregone conclusion that the next Democratic candidate in HD-29 would be someone new.  

That’s why we’re not surprised to have received this press release from JeffCo Dems chair Chris Kennedy championing someone other than Benefield to take on Republican Rep. Robert Ramirez.

Long-time Arvada resident Tracy Kraft-Tharp has announced her candidacy for the Colorado House of Representatives in House District 29, which includes parts of Arvada and Westminster in Jefferson County. Kraft-Tharp will be seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2012 election.

Kraft-Tharp has long been involved in the Arvada community while dedicating her career to serving people in need through social work, nonprofit management, legislative advocacy, and teaching.

Addressing her decision to run, Kraft-Tharp said, “I have been frustrated that the current State House leadership has only looked out for special interests and their tax breaks at the expense of investing in our kids and creating jobs. Arvada and Westminster deserve better, and I will fight to make sure our families all have a fair shot at the American Dream.”

First and foremost, this is a pretty bad press release. We first heard from sources several weeks ago that Kraft-Tharp was planning on staging a run, so a press release that essentially says “this woman is running for the state house,” is kind of a waste of ink. Everybody knew that already. The least you can do in a press release like this one is tell the media who the candidate is; this one doesn’t even tell us what she does for a living. She’s a resident? Good for her. Glad to know that she is legally able to run for the seat (for now, anyway)…but who the hell is she? That’s what a press release is supposed to explain.

Still, Democrats may be excited to have Kraft-Tharp in the race because, if nothing else, she’s a new face after a decade of Benefield and former Rep. and Sen. Sue Windels. Ramirez, by all accounts, is inept at campaigning and won by a combination of a good year, dumb luck, and a lazy incumbent. The district was represented by a Democrat for most of the last decade, even though many of those races were very close.

Kraft-Tharp may also luck out by way of the reapportionment process. It’s been widely acknowledged that Jeffco is going to lose a House seat, and Ramirez and Republican Libby Szabo may be drawn into the same seat at the same time that the makeup of HD-29 becomes more favorable for Democrats.