KUSA - A left-leaning group called "Protect Colorado Values" jumped into the mix in Colorado's Republican primary election, trying to sway the outcome in favor of former Congressman Tom Tancredo.
9NEWS recently explored the political tacticplay here, with Democrats banking that Tancredo will be easily defeated by Gov. Hickenlooper and may even boost candidates for House and Senate by driving more Latino voter turnout, angry over Tancredo's hard line on immigration.
To that end, Protect Colorado Values jumped in with two ads: one attacking former Congressman Bob Beauprez, and another "attacking" Tancredo with messages that actually help him with voters in the June 24 primary.
9NEWS will hold those who run political ads on our networks accountable for what they say. You can find the entire collection of Truth Tests here. To learn more about how political ads and fact-checking work on 9NEWS, please read these answers to our common questions and comments.
CLAIM: Tom Tancredo opposes Obamacare, calling it "crony capitalism on steroids" and a "monstrous government scam."
All four candidates in the GOP primary for Governor are on record against Obamacare and this ad is a gift to Tancredo in that respect.
We're used to having campaigns strongly refute claims in ads about them from the other side, but in this case Tancredo couldn't be happier.
"Coloradans are witnessing history with these amazing ads in that Democrat party bosses are finally telling the truth about my strong opposition to their Obamacare fiasco," Tancredo said in a statement to 9NEWS.
Of course, the entire advertising effort is aimed at helping Tancredo and hurting Beauprez, who is seen as a tougher match for Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) to face in November.
CLAIM: Bob Beauprez says he's for cutting spending, but as a congressman he voted for earmarks and spending bills while the national debt ballooned $2 trillion.
VERDICT: NEEDS CONTEXT
First of all, Congress has the power of the purse.
It's the job of Congress to pass spending bills, so it's no surprise that any given member has voted for spending money. They all do, even if they believe in shrinking government.
Beauprez came into office in 2002 during the George W. Bush presidency. The nation's debt did grow during Beauprez's time in office, but pinning it on him and earmarks is awfully simplistic.
While Beauprez has talking points to defend earmarks for Colorado transportation projects and the new VA hospital in Aurora, this line of argument gets into the weeds in the face of the glaring reality that there's a lot more to the growth of the nation's debt in the relevant time period.
For starters, Beauprez came into office while the country was ramping up two wars.
CLAIM: "Now that he's running for governor, Beauprez says he's against Obamacare. But he supported the individual healthcare mandate that's the cornerstone of Obamacare."
VERDICT: FLAWED LOGIC
Beauprez did support mandatory coverage in a blog article before Barack Obama was nominated for President, pointing to Gov. Mitt Romney's (R-Massachusetts) "must-have law regarding healthcare," while arguing against a nationalized healthcare system.
That doesn't make Beauprez's opposition to Obamacare hypocritical, as the ad implies.
The Affordable Care Act is a big law with all kinds of other things in it: the employer mandate, minimum standards for health plans, and the federal healthcare exchange.
It is worth noting, however, that his campaign says Beauprez no longer supports the individual mandate, even in Massachusetts, where he feels it hasn't worked out as he envisioned.
Supporters would call that an evolution, opponents a flip-flop.
Either way, it's fair game to bring up Beauprez's past position on this specific policy, as expressed in the article, written by Beauprez for his own public policy website called "A Line of Sight."
"I reluctantly come to the conclusion that just as motorists are required to have auto insurance, and lenders require homeowners insurance, citizens should have to have health insurance," Beauprez wrote in the 2007 article. "The libertarian side of me doesn't like to encroach on personal freedom, but in a civil society rules are imposed so as to prevent one person from damaging the rights or property of another. Without health insurance, the burden of cost is shifted to someone else to pick up, the market place is distorted, and public health is also put at risk from untreated communicable diseases. Every citizen has an obligation to be responsible, and in 21st century America that includes providing for their own health insurance coverage."
This writing has become a hot topic among political junkies lately in Colorado, with accusations that Beauprez is attempting to scrub it from the internet.
As of our deadline, the original blog no longer appears online its usual web address alineofsight.com, which remains registered to a former press secretary for Beauprez.
The relevant article can be found archived here, and the Beauprez campaign says it is not attempting to hide this or any of Beauprez's old blog material, pointing us to this alternate address (http://alos.thinkrootshq.com/home ) where A Line of Sight (including the healthcare article) still exists.
BOTTOM LINE: The Tancredo ad is a blatant gift to him in the primary and does not distort his position against Obamacare. As for the Beauprez ad, Protect Colorado Values sells GOP primary voters a too-simple narrative in an effort to paint Beauprez as bad on Republican red meat issues.
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